Area Sport Fishing Reports
Silver salmon are the fish of the month in the northern Cook Inlet area. By early August, road system anglers can still find lots of silvers in the lower Little Susitna River (near the Public Use Facility), at the Eklutna Power Plant tailrace, and at the mouth of Cottonwood Creek. Boat anglers will find early silvers at the mouths of the Alexander and Deshka rivers, and in Yentna river tributaries such as Lake Creek.
Mid-August sees silvers in good numbers in the upper Little Susitna River, Jim Creek, and the Eklutna tailrace, and in good numbers at the mouths of Willow and Little Willow creeks. The rest of the Parks Highway roadside streams - Sheep, Montana, Rabideux, Birch, Goose, Sunshine, and Caswell - should be excellent fishing by the third week of August, through early September.
Anglers with boats should be at the mouth of the Deshka River by early August for some excellent action. Try fishing the tributaries of No-name, Trapper and Chijuk creeks as coho tend to congregate in these areas. Good to excellent fishing for coho can be expected in Alexander Creek, and the Yentna River tributaries such as Lake Creek, Indian Creek, and Hewitt Creek. But by the end of the third week of August, anglers in these systems will have to go upstream to find the fish.
Also by early to mid-August, there are usually lots of silvers showing up in such West Cook Inlet streams as the Theodore, Chuit and Lewis rivers. By mid-August, the Talachulitna River is also fishable for silvers.
By the second week of August, the silvers will have moved up as high as the Talkeetna River and such tributaries as Clear Creek, and by the third week in August fishing gets very good.
For the most successful fishing, try using salmon roe on your spoon or spinner. Pixees™, Vibrax™, and the "yarn fly" are perennial Alaskan favorites. Early morning usually providing the best catch rates.
Remember, on the Little Susitna River you are allowed to use bait starting August 6, and catch-and-release fishing for coho salmon is prohibited once you retain a bag limit (2) of coho salmon on the Little Susitna River downstream of a ADF&G regulatory marker located at river mile 32.5. Also, Cottonwood Creek is a weekend-only fishery and fishing is only allowed between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Early August sees a small run of sockeye salmon at the Eklutna Power Plant tailrace, Jim Creek, and out at Cottonwood Creek. Expect the sockeye salmon run to end by the last week of August.
On even-numbered years, hundreds of thousands of pink salmon can be found in Northern Cook Inlet streams through the month of August. Good numbers of chum salmon also return in early to mid-August.
Rainbow Trout - Flowing Waters
Rainbow trout fishing should be great for the Parks Highway streams. This time of year rainbow trout tend to congregate behind spawning king salmon to feed on eggs. For fly fishing, try using those egg patterns that most resemble king salmon eggs and egg-sucking leeches. If you prefer spinning gear try using an orange or number 1 or 2 Vibrax™, or Mepps™ spinners. On all of these roadside streams, when fishing upstream of their Parks Highway bridges only single-hook, unbaited, artificial lures may be used. Remember, Montana Creek, Willow Creek and the North Fork of the Kashwitna River are catch-and-release only for rainbow trout and grayling.
Lake fishing in August is excellent, especially in early morning and late evening hours. There is a listing of stocked lakes in the regulation booklet. Remember the limit for rainbow trout in stocked lakes is 5 fish per day (of which only one may be over 20 inches).
Only 2 trout may be harvested in lakes having native trout populations. A stocked lake handout is available from Department of Fish and Game offices in Palmer and Anchorage to assist you in finding good angling opportunities.
Pike are generally found in shallow water areas. Water temperatures in these shallow areas tend to be fairly warm throughout the day. As the water warms, pike become lethargic and are usually off the bite. For better success, try fishing for pike early mornings or late evenings. Try top water weedless lures and flies in the heavily vegetated bays and sloughs.
In August, pike fishing continues to be good, and can be very good by the end of August, when temperatures cool down. For road accessible pike fishing try the Nancy Lake Canoe System lakes, or Memory, Long, and Prator lakes. River anglers can try the slow side sloughs of Willow Creek. For fly-in pike fishing try Hewitt, Whiskey, Figure Eight, Vern and Donkey, Alexander, Eightmile and Sucker lakes.
There is a slot limit in Alexander and Trapper lakes. Anglers can retain all pike less than 22 inches in length, pike between 22" and 30" may not be retained, and only one pike greater than 30 inches may be retained daily and be in possession. Anglers may not use bow and arrows and spears to harvest northern pike in Alexander and Trappers lakes. A handout describing the Pike Fisheries in the Mat-Su area is available at department offices in Anchorage and Palmer.