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Alaska: Denali and Kenai Peninsula

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  • Alaska: Denali and Kenai Peninsula

    I am visiting Alaska from August 7-16 and will aim to do some fishing while backpacking and traveling in the state. We are going to be backpacking Denali for 3 nights and hope to find some streams with clear water that can produce some grayling. While I have read that there are few places to fish in the park other than Wonder Lake, I am open to all suggestions for tackle and locations.
    We will be on the Kenai Peninsula around Seward for 3 nights as well and I realize this provides better fishing. I want to do some river fishing for trout and/or salmon but I am not sure where to go. I had rather not be in a spot where there are tons of people if possible. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    I'm sure that others on this board have far more Alaska experience than me, but one of the go-to guide services on the Kenai is Alaska Troutfitters ( If I were going back up there, I'd give them a call first. Fishing on the Kenai Peninsula is extremely seasonal, with the difference of a few weeks putting you into separate runs for different fish. Whether you'll want to be on the Kenai itself or some of the smaller waters there will depend on what's running at that time.

    "I fish all the time when I'm at home, so when I get a chance to go on a vacation, I make sure to get in plenty of fishing." -- Thomas McGuane


    • #3
      On your way to or from the park, stop at Little Willow Creek and Deception Creek which are both right on or off the Parks Hwy about 15-20 miles out of Wasilla. Both will have lots of humpies and maybe a few early silvers. Deception has some huge bows. The Kenai will be wall to wall people. Unless you really want to see the Kenai, you will have better fishing and solitude off the Parks Hwy. For a real treat, follow Little Willow across Hatcher Pass and down into Palmer. Beautiful scenery that time of year. Moose Creek out of Palmer has some nice bows in it too. All of the streams I mentioned are clear water streams.
      Fishing is not a hobby, it's a way of life.


      • #4
        I second Howink's recommendation of troutfitters, they really know their stuff of the Kenai. You'll see a decent amount of people down there but the trout fishing is starting to take off around that time of year and you have an honest chance at a 30" football. Stock up on beads, flesh flies and egg sucking leeches.

        As for creeks with less folks, Quartz creek is pretty good, and a little known fact is that Dave's creek is good that time of year too as it is close to the road and no one really goes past the culvert near the campground. Crescent Lakes and creeks are good as well for grayling, the further up the better.
        moo beams


        • #5
          I forgot to add that the later the better for trout on the Kenai. The parks highway streams will be fishing pretty good from now until October. Our salmon runs this year have been pretty terrible (except on the Kasiloff) so the fishing may be a little off this year.

          Good luck.
          moo beams


          • #6

            Thanks you guys for all the info. Keep it coming! I had rather not take a guide if it all possible as our trip is already fairly expensive even with us camping. I would love to land a 30" bow as that would make my trip! I will have to get a good map so I can locate these streams that you guys are referring to. Thanks again!


            • #7

              Try the Russian River above the campground where it joins the Kenai. I went last year and this was a day after our first drift trip on the Kenai, when we asked the guides where to fish the next day. Hopefully you can be there the first day of legal bead season, which is the day we spent on the Russian.

              This was our best day of fishing on our entire trip. We caught exclusively rainbows up to 20", total of about thirty in 2 1/2 hours! You can have a 100 fish day IF you are there the first day of bead season. The trout will be slotting in behind spawning red salmon, eating their eggs. The Russian is a beautiful river, easy to wade, and full of big trout. Just watch out for the bears, which are plentiful!

              Frankly, I mush preferred the wade fishing on the Russian to the drift boat on the Kenai, but we caught lots of fish there also.

              Make sure you get in on the silver salmon runs, which begin the last of August, I think. We caught several 28-30" silvers on 8 weight rods, which was a real thrill.

              E mail me contact info at if you want more info. Wish I was going with you!


              • #8
                What fishbum said.

                That fish in my avatar was caught doing just that.

                The river itself.

                We were targeting the rainbows in August. Every once in a while the darn red salmon would get in the way and you would hook one. Kind of interesting when you are griping about hooking up with an eight pound fish. Here you can see the reds piling up below the falls. Drifter should be there...tomorrow.
                Last edited by THE EG; 07-18-08, 08:39 AM.
                If this were rocket science most of us wouldn't be doing it. - Terry Creech


                • #9
                  Agree on Alaska troutfitters.

                  They are in Cooper Landing. Great guides and service. Also, north of Anchorage in Wasilla is the Three Rivers Fly shop. If you go through there, stop in. The guy there is very helpful and will show you a few places to try on the way north.


                  • #10

                    EG, I would love to land a fish like that and I dont think I would mind catching some salmon either. I am just going to go out there to catch whatever is biting as I expect to catch my biggest trout up there as well as my first salmon. The Russian River looks like a beautiful place to fish and it was nice to see you looked like the only one is sight distance.


                    • #11
                      Hike in from Coopers Landing to Crescent Lake. The grayling fishing is probably the best in the state.


                      • #12

                        I will fish with Troutfitters the week after your visit. Aug 23/24. IMHO go with the guide if you can. It's only money. You will not regret it.


                        • #13
                          We just had a huge surge of reds (25,000+) coming in yesterday so it looks like the fishing ought to be pretty darn good when yall come up.
                          moo beams


                          • #14
                            I heard it has been a wet summer and the migrations are late in the Bristol Bay and Kuskoquim regions of west AK. I leave on the 13th for eight days on the Kanektok.

                            Any comments? What is a good site for AK reports?


                            • #15
                              Nuggetlegs, thanks for the info. Maybe I can land just one of those 25k reds. What type of lure do you use for those and what lb test line do you recommend?
                              I was also wondering about an Alaska fishing forum.
                              Last edited by SuwaneeDawg; 07-21-08, 01:15 PM.