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Ask the Pro's: Fly Fishing Near Anchorage in September

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  • I will be in Anchorage on business the second week in Sept. I will only have a single day to myself and would like to rent a car for the day and fly fish for rainbows. I am looking for fishing recommendations that might be within a couple hour drive of the Anchorage with reasonably easy access. Places to rip streamers or mouse patterns a plus!

    Please help!

    - Dave

  • Hi Dave,

    Your timing is good for some good rainbow trout fly fishing. You have a couple options. You can drive north of Anchorage, through Wasilla, where you will have five, good walk-n-wade, streams. Willow, Little Willow, Sheep, Goose and Montana Creek. All of these are along the Parks Hwy and the highway goes over the top of all of them. One thing to note, it has been raining a ton here and currently these rivers are pretty tough to fish right now. If we can get a break in the weather for a few days to a week, they will get back in to shape.

    If you drive South a couple hours, you have Quartz Creek as well as great fishing on the Russian River and Upper Kenai River. Quartz and the Russian are easy walk-n-wades, the Kenai River is a big river but it has a ton of pull outs that you can access good gravel bars to fish.

    This time of year is going to be primarily an egg and flesh game but you can certainly entice a fish or two on streams. The northern streams are better mousing rivers but that becomes pretty slow this time of year with so many eggs and dying salmon in the rivers.

    If there is anything we can do to help, please let us know, we will do whatever we can to help you find some fun and success.


    Mike Brown - Owner of Mossy's Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Dave,

    Well done on making sure you can squeeze in a day of fishing on a work trip! Fishing the Alaska Parks Highway river systems is the closest fishing to Anchorage, about an hour and fifteen minutes. There are a handful of rivers that cross the Parks Highway and all provide great access to fish and solitude. Stripping streamers or drifting beads and flesh is typically the most productive however in the evening a mouse can work. Good luck on your trip and please feel free to contact my company FishHound Expeditions if you would like a guide for a wade or float trip. Enjoy!


    Adam 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.
  • Dave,

    September is an exceptional month for targeting rainbow trout, though it is not the best month for using a mouse pattern, they can still be caught this way. Fall fishing on the Kenai Peninsula can be some of the most productive fishing of the year…September is usually the time when most salmon are spawning or near the end of their spawning cycle, so trout will be feeding heavily on their eggs and eventually their flesh. Within 2 hours of Anchorage, of course fishing the Kenai River is a great option as well. The Kenai is world famous for the outstanding trout fishing (especially this time of year). Also, the Susitna River tributaries up north of Anchorage also provide great opportunities for walk-in fishing for trout. There are a series of small creeks and rivers that can easily be accessed on the road system if you should choose to go this route.

    Tight Lines!

    Dave Lisi - Owner/Guide for Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, LLC located in the small mountain town of Cooper Landing, Alaska where he is a year-round resident, guide, carpenter and trout bum. On any given day, you will most likely find Dave on the banks of the Kenai swinging for trout with his best friend and future wife, Jackie. Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, LLC was built in early 2017 with the goal of sharing the love and passion Dave and Jackie have for the Kenai Peninsula and the fish that live there.
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