As Alaska’s fishing season winds down, anglers from across the state are enjoying the last few weeks of bounty. One big perk of fishing in the fall is that it’s a beautiful time of year to get outside and enjoy Alaska. The air is crisp and the trees have turned a vibrant yellow. There’s a sense of earnestness from the seeded fireweed and the termination dust on the mountains, hinting that winter is just around the corner and time for summer activities is quickly running out.
Fish running in the Alaska waters this time of year are a fly fisher’s dream: silver (coho) salmon, Dolly Varden and steelhead trout. Anglers can also still catch pink (chum) salmon as well as brook trout, grayling and cutthroat trout. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has an informative chart that makes it easy to tell which fish are running when and where.
Some fall fishing hot spots include Ship Creek in Anchorage, the Kenai River on the Kenai Peninsula, Bird Creek just south of Anchorage and Twentymile River even further south near Portage along the Seward Highway. The Nenana River and the Richardson Clear Water River in the Interior region are also great spots if you’re staying at the Westmark Fairbanks Hotel and would like to fish for silver salmon. Ship Creek is nearly a stone’s throw from the downtown Westmark Anchorage Hotel property, and a quick and easy destination for a day of fishing.
If you’re not equipped to actually go fishing, an engaging activity is watching salmon come home to spawn. A wildlife viewing area like the Potter Marsh boardwalk along the Seward Highway just outside of Anchorage offers views of the last salmon of the season swimming upstream to lay their eggs.
Finally, once you’ve brought the fish back home, how do you cook it? One of our favorite fall recipes is hearty and delicious salmon chowder. This recipe from The Alaska Life will warm you up on a chilly fall day. If you’d rather someone else prepare a delicious meal for you, try the current salmon offerings at any of the Westmark Hotel restaurants including Alaska salmon Caesar wraps, salmon cakes and even salmon tandoori, just to name a few.
However you experience fishing this season in Alaska, we wish you a freezer full of fish to keep you fed and happy through the winter ahead.