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Ask the Pro's: Late September Fishing Options Within 2 Hours of Anchorage

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  • I am going to be in Anchorage for the last week of September and I don't have enough time to take any multiple day long fishing trips during that time period. I was hoping to escape for a few half days of fly-fishing in the general Anchorage area (2 hour radius of the city). My main focus is on rainbows, dollys, and grayling. Any suggestions for destinations that might offer solid fishing during that timeframe?

    Thanks for your help!


  • Phil,

    Hello and congratulations on your upcoming trip to our amazing state.

    The areas that are closest to Anchorage area are the Alaska Parks Highway river systems. There are about 5 different rivers an hour to an hour and a half north of town.

    They offer clear water and great access. There are Rainbow Trout, Arctic Grayling, and some lingering salmon.

    Your other option would be the fishing the Kenai River. It is about 2 1/2-3 hours south of Anchorage. It has good fishing but substantial more people.

    Please feel free to contact my company, Fishhound Expeditions, with any additional questions or to book a wade or float trip. Thanks and good luck!

    Cheers - Adam

    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.
  • Hi Phil,

    You have a couple options. For fishing day trips near Anchorage you can drive north of Anchorage, through Wasilla, where you will have five, good Alaska walk & wade fishing, 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. Fly wise; egg patterns, flesh and sculpins will all be working.

    If you drive South a couple hours, you have fishing on the Russian River and Upper Kenai River. The Russian is an easy walk-n-wade, the Kenai is a big river but it has a ton of pull outs that you can access good gravel bars to fish. The Upper Kenai is dropping pretty quick right now. If this continues, it will create a lot more walk and wade-able water. Fly wise will be the same as up north.

    The Northern streams will provide Rainbows, a few dollies and Grayling. The southern streams will provide Rainbows, Dollies and Silver salmon if you choose.

    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.

    Thanks - Mike

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

    Welcome to Alaska and late September can and usually is a great time to trout fish here. Within a 2 hours of Anchorage, the world-famous Kenai River is home to trophy-class rainbow trout. Though it is not very easy to access the Kenai on foot, there are some good do-it-yourself opportunities. If you should choose a guided fishing trip, you will have a much better shot at multiple fish, as well as getting to some of the best holding areas for big fish…My company, Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, guides on the Kenai River and there are many good Kenai River fishing guides to choose from.

    Another option within 2 hours of Anchorage are the tributaries to the Susitna River. There are a series of small rivers and creeks that flow in the the Susitna River that offer great walk-in opportunities. Access is quite easy via the many state run parking areas. Generally, fish will be feeding on a variety of things this time of year - namely salmon eggs, salmon flesh, leeches, fry, sculpins, etc... It is a fun time to target big, healthy rainbows!

    Best of luck!

    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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