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Rockin Randy

Fishing out of Anchorage

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My wife and I are planning atrip to Alaska. We willbe arriving in Anchorage a few days early so I can do some fishing. I would like some info on river fishing. We can rent a car. Will be coming the 29th or 30th of May 2009. Thanks for any help!

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Randy-The king runs usually just start around the last week in May and quality will vary depending on conditions. There are some opportunities in town but for the best fishing get out of town ASAP. As far as driving goes, plan on heading south down the kenai penninsula and there should be king fishing somewhere along the way (seward, soldatna, homer).Or you can head north up towards talkeetna and fish up by deshka ,susitna,or willow. The fish counts are usually published in the paper or you can find them online so go where the best reports are. Combat fishing is inevitable anyplace you can access from roads, so if you want to get some elbow room plan on hiring a driftboat inland, or charterboat on the ocean. Otherwise fight the crowds and have some fun with it, if the fish are running there wil be plenty antics to watch and you'll probably learn a thing watching/talking to the guys w/ fish on. Get some big gear and have fun!

redhooks

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Randy....I live in Eagle River about 12 miles north of Anchorage. Late May can be a pretty touchy time with the kings as it is the early part of the season. I have caught them as early as the 8th of May in the Kasilof down on the Kenai peninsula but there are not big numbers of fish in the rivers then. The trolling can be productive off Deep Creek with a guide. Of course the Kenai is 2 1/2 hour drive from Anchorage.

Your other option is heading north to the Matsu Valley...towards Willow and Talkeetna. Also the Little Susitna is usually producing kings by then also. The end of May is my favorite time for targeting big spring rainbows and early kings...this one was caught on May 21 this year about 70 miles up the Big Susitna River:

Kashkinghoriz-1.jpg

This is not a well known spot, though is hardly "secret"...from about May 20th thru the first week in June it fishes great for kings...from shore. Putting in about 40 hours fishing time over two weeks last year I hooked into 15 kings there....some bigger than the one pictured. Would be happy to take you to this area myself that time of the year.

I could recommend guides for both the Kenai River, or the Little Susitna, or other Big Susitna tribs....BTW the rainbow fishing in the Valley is excellent then.

[email protected]

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Seward would not be worth the drive just for fishing. I haven't fished too much for kings in a while but either the valley of the kenai peninsula would probably be your best bets.

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I'd highly recommend getting down to the Soldotna area to fish the river. Cooper Lantern is a great place but not sure if they will be up that far at that time. Do a search for Soldotna and you should be able to find a fishing guide if that's what you want.

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I've never had a problem fishing the willow. Tons of people, just don't use braid and tangle with tons of people and you'll be fine. It's nice because it is close. If there are fish in the river i've never gotten skunked. Like stated earlier, keep track of the run reports.

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Randy,

All of these guys can give you more info than me, as I have only been to AK once. We toured the Kenai Penninsula and fished at Cooper Landing and out of Homer. Hiring a charter boat and going after Halibut out of Homer was the best thing we did. The most important thing I learned, if you get in to a situation of combat fishing havea big long rod, a reel that will hold 20#+ line and bring or buy chest waders. I was determined that I was going to use a Walleye rod and 8# test line. Whenever I walked up to the confluence of the Kenai and Russian Rivers and saw what combat fishing really was, I quickly realized that the Walleye rod with 8# line was the wrong set up. I saw a lot of beautiful Sockeye Salmon caught, none by me. When I go back to AK some day I'll fish the Kenai in a float boat with a guide for sure. I'll pass on the combat fishing, although everyone should do it once. I'l go out for Halibut from Homer again. I'll go on a Glacier cruise out of Homer. I'll take the train up to the Talkeetna area but would never stay in a Princess Lodge again. As the others said, there are lots of opportunities for guided fishing up towards Talkeetna. Have a great trip!

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I fish in Alaska every 2-3 summers as I have a brother-in-law in Fairbanks now and his son (our nephew) in the general area of the Willow and Susitna rivers others have mentioned.

We focus on kings and usually fish the Willow the first or second weekend it is open which I might be wrong but is somewhere around mid-June. (hip boots some years but chest waders needed sometimes) When I've arrived early we usually hit the Little Su with his boat and have caught some kings as well. He always tells us we are late for the Susitna so with the dates you mentioned I would think that would be a really good bet. Not sure about shore fishing though as we use his boat to get to the area. Kind of different fishing there as well as we could use eggs versus the artificials on the Willow.

Combat fishing is definitely intimidating (it actually took me probably 20 minutes to muster up the courage after midnight to step into a spot on the Willow the first time) but once you are in you are fine. Just follow the basic rules that everybody has established so you avoid tangling everybody up and get your lure out of the water if somebody has a fish on and you'll be fine. Stay friendly and admit to being a rookie and others will help or at least tolerate. You'll find more friendly fishermen/women than the opposite.

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