Anchorage (and surrounding area) fun -- suggestions wanted!
Nice community you've got here! I'm a Massachusetts resident in Anchorage doing some research at UAA until August 5th. A freshwater fishing enthusiast back home, I bought my annual license (no king stamp, however) more or less right off the plane but have been too busy the past few weeks to get out.
Could anyone provide some recommendations for some good fishing spots within Anchorage or within a reasonable bike ride outside of the city? I'd be willing to ride as far south as Girdwood or as far north as Eagle River, but it would be nice to have a good idea of some decent and close spots for some quick after-work fun without the travel commitment.
I'd like to pick up a few salmon (variety doesn't matter), but it seems like I'll be leaving before most of the prime runs. I'd be fine with some nice rainbows.
I'm fishing a 6' spinning setup and have a decent range of tackle from spoons to spinners and jigs. What pound test line does everyone recommend? I have a preference towards ultralight setups but will obviously go heavier if it makes more sense.
Thanks and take care!
Realistically, there aren't a whole lot of options within the range you mentioned. Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage may be your best bet. Folks are picking up kings down there right now, but the fishing is usually spotty at best. Still, you could ride down there and watch for a while to see what people are doing and how it works. Ship Creek will become a better option for you in late July when the silver salmon start returning. It should be possible for you to pick up a few down there in your last few days by casting vibrax or other similar spinners or spoons. As for line weight, figure 20 pound test if you're targeting kings, and that should work fine for silvers as well.
As for other options, I know that folks target silvers in Campbell Creek, but that is generally an August fishery (and a very limited one at that due to a small run and lots of private property). In mid to late July pinks and perhaps a few silvers will start returning to Bird Creek (10 miles short of Girdwood) and Glacier Creek (in Girdwood). Spinners and spoons are the order of the day in those streams as well.
Really, your best bet would be to make some connections and jump in someone's car for a longer run to better fisheries 2-4 hours out of town. You can catch fish in Anchorage, but it'll be less reliable and with generally bigger crowds.
If you don't mind hiking a bit Eagle River has Dolly Varden, try at where Meadow Creek (5 min walk) or the South fork 2mile hike on nice trail enter into the main river. any small spinners or wet flies you would use for trout should be good.
later in June there are some more opportunites as Campbell Creek and other spots start opening up. Symphony Lake is a popular spot for grayling... Opens June 30 but is about a 5mi hike in.
any of the anchorage lakes are fishable for stocked trout. Fire Lake in Eagle River has Pike. and several of the base lakes are open to the public you just need an extra permit from the military.
Mid Jul the Silvers will start showing at Ship, Eklutna and a number of other streams.