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Ask the Pro's: Sockeye & King Salmon Fishing Late June

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  • Hi and greetings from Hongkong. We love your post! I am looking for some pointers to where target King and Sockeye in late June - mid July in South Central Alaska? We are looking for wading / shore fishing options. We are a German family, having lived in Asia for over 15years. My two boys (15/19) and I are keen fly fishermen. We are going to be in Alaska on 6/26 for a three week RV trip. We will go straight up to Denali for a couple of days and had then planned to take Highway 8 to make our way down to Kenai peninsula….but all that is flexible. Any suggestions where outside of Kenai we could target Salmon along the way? Much appreciated!

    Jan-Eric

  • Jan-Eric,

    Congrats to you and your family on taking an RV trip throughout our incredible state! Sadly, Kings have been closed due to poor return numbers throughout most of south-central Alaska. The only places they can be targeted are primarily hatchery runs. Kings can be targeted for harvest on Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage and the Kasilof River on the Kenai Peninsula. They can be targeted on the Little Susitna river but are catch and release. Sockeye runs are still good on the Kenai Peninsula and you are coming at a good time to target them. While you are traveling to and from Denali there is incredible trout fishing along the Alaska Parks Highway river systems as well. Good luck and tighlines on your Alaskan adventure!

    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 Jan-Eric,

    Your only King fishing option will be on the Kasilof River, all other roadside fisheries for Kings have already been closed for the season. Poor King returns have caused all the closures. The Kasilof at this remains open for hatchery fish only (No adipose fin). You will be able to fish sockeye on the Kasilof and Kenai River. Basing out of Soldotna, would put you in the middle of all that.

    - Mike

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

    If you want Kings, you may have to be flexible and monitor the situation once you get here as the king runs have been inconsistent in the last number of years. In recent years, South Central Alaska has had to close king fishing down due to low returns. My best advice is to monitor the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Sportfishing reports for the regions that you would like to fish. If you look at reports from last year you can get an idea as to what to possibly expect this year.

    If it were me, I would strongly consider fishing on the Gulkana River. Runs there have been much more predictable and stronger than in other areas of the state. It also gets less pressure and has excellent red salmon fishing. There are numerous places where you can park an RV and fish from shore.

    Hope this helps - George

    George Rogers - Owner & Fishing Guide with Denali Angler. I’m an Alaska registered fishing guide and I’ve fly fished the Denali area since first moving to Alaska in 1992. For much of the year, I’m a science teacher, but my summers are spent fly fishing, hiking, rafting and picking blueberries with my wife and two sons in the little town of Cantwell.
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