Ask the Pro's: DIY Walk & Wade Fly-Fishing
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My girlfriend and her family are from Anchorage, and we have had the pleasure of visiting once or twice a year over the past five years or so, typically timed with the runs of kings and reds. This year we're coming at the end of June and staying through the Fourth of July, and I'd like to explore on my own and do some DIY fly fishing for trout (I typically just hit the salmon with the gf's step dad -- who is an awesome dude).
I fly fish most weekends of the year, typically in places like Colorado, New Mexico, and even Oklahoma – typically for trout, though I've also hit the warm water species in local lakes quite a bit. That's not to say I'm the best fly fisherman in the world (not by a long shot), but only to explain that I manage on my own alright.
I've got a couple days set aside for fishing on my own, and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing a couple spots you might suggest someone check out for trout. I'm torn between checking out the Willow area vs. going South of Anchorage to the Kenai peninsula and/or Kenai/Russian River. I just need to know where to park, where to wade in (no boat/belly boat/or pontoon), and where you might recommend someone go explore for some of the prettier fishing spots that are also decent fishing. Not asking for anyone's honey hole.
I know that's a lot, but anything you're willing to share at all would be greatly appreciated. I'll stop into whatever shops you all work with in the Anchorage area (or if you're on the way to one of the spots) to buy some flies and repay ya for the wisdom/good will. And yes, I assure you I will comply with all regs and also be god stewards of the resources of your beautiful state. I'm all catch and release on trout, anyway. Thanks so much for your time!
Congrats on your upcoming trip to AK.! DIY is a great way to experience fishing up here and the 2 options you listed are both great options. End of June trout fishin is some of the best in my opinion. The Kenai River is an incredible fishery and has lots of easily identifiable spots to pull over and fish from the bank and wade. The Russian River is also a great option. There are lots of signs on how to get there and you can hike up as far as you want. Wherever you see salmon you will find trout below them. The Alaska Parks Highway system is also a great option. There are about 5 -7 different rivers that cross the highway. You can park there and then walk up or down. There are also several state parks at the mouth of some of these rivers that has parking and good access.
In Anchorage there is an awesome fly shop named Mossy's Fly Shop. In Wasilla there is also an amazing fly shop named 3 Rivers Fly & Tackle. These are 2 incredible shops with very helpful people. Hiring a guide for a half or full day option on the front of your trip is also a good idea. This way you could see the different rigs and setups we fish such as bead rigs. As the casting is the same but how and what we fish can be a little different the lower 48. Good luck on your trip!
Cheers - AdamAdam Cuthriell - Part owner of FishHound Expeditions. His wife Kathryn Cuthriell and business partner Dave "Reps" Repta make up the rest of the company as well as their dogs Hatch, Rado, and Pike. They fish, live, and guide in Alaska year-round. When not guiding on the rivers they guide ice fishing on Alaska's numerous lakes. Originally from Colorado, he began guiding at the age of 19 while receiving a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. Adam is also a current state of Alaska EMT.
I would definitely recommend checking out the fishing on the Alaska Parks Highway streams, Willow, Little Willow, Sheep, Goose and Montana Creek. All easily accessible in one area. The highway goes over the top of every one of them, so you have access at those points for sure. If you look them up on Google earth, you can see the road system around each one and find all the parking areas to access them, mostly on the up river side of the parks.
All of these streams are good walk & wade streams and have beautiful Rainbow Trout and Arctic Grayling. Steams, Dries, nymphs and mouse patterns will all be working during the time frame you are planning.
Anything we can do to help, just let us know.
Thanks - MikeMike Brown - Owner of Mossy's Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska
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