Kodiak Island, Alaska sits off the South Centeral Coast of Alaska and is home of the famous Kodiak brown bear, the largest bear in the world. Kodiak is Alaska’s largest fishing port for king crab and salmon.
Plan Your Trip During the Right Time – Reds or Silvers?
There are several species of salmon you can fish for along the road system on Kodiak Island. In June and early July you can target the Sockeye (Red) Salmon and King Salmon or in late August, September through mid-October the Coho (Silver) Salmon along with Chum Salmon and Pink Salmon.
There are plenty of rivers to fish on Kodiak along the road system. You can fish the Olds River, Buskin River, Saltery River (accessible by ATV), Pasagshak River, Roslyn River, American River, Salonie, Monashka, Pillar and Chiniak Creeks.
Note: I recommend Reel Extreme Alaska for an ATV trip to the Saltery River.
Salmon Fishing in June and July – Reds
We have found that Sockeye Salmon are not very predictable. It seems like we are always too early or too late. According to the fishing chart on the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game the Reds should be running in June and July. We went to Kodiak this past June (2018) to fish the road system and there were no fish in the rivers, none! The 2018 Sockeye season was called the worst run in 40 years.
Luckily, we were going fishing to Alpenview Wilderness Lodge Outcamp on the Ayakulik River , accessible by float plane, later in the week. We spent a few days fishing with Fish N Chips Charter for Halibut, Rockfish and Cod. We recommend talking to Andrew Airways for flyout adventures.
We suggest if you are targeting the Sockeye Salmon in June and July, fish the Buskin River, Saltery River, and PasagshakRiver.
Salmon Fishing in September – Silvers
We usually make an annual trip to Kodiak in the early part of September. This is our favorite time to go to Kodiak. It’s usually a little cool and rainy, but the fishing is amazing.
Note: Plan your fishing wardrobe accordingly…layers! Don’t forget your waders and rain coat.
The Siver Salmon start running in the rivers in August and September. The Silver Salmon are running along with Chum Salmon and Pink Salmon. Don’t let the locals tell you the pink salmon are not good. I’d keep a few if I were you. We kept some bright Pink Salmon out of the rivers one year, and they were great tasting. Just make sure they are still bright silver.
In all the road system rivers, we have also caught Dolly Varden. By September, they have started to turn bright colors and are fun catch. We have caught them up to 18″ in the Saltery River. You can keep Dolly Varden to eat, but you need to check regulations for limits.
Our Secret Fishing Spot – I Can’t Believe I am Sharing this Info!
We have fished or watched fisherman catch fish on most of the Rivers and Creeks and they all have potential; however, we prefer the Roslyn River. The Roslyn River is about an hour from Kodiak City Center. It is a low pressure area and we see only a few other fishermen out there. This is the area where we had a close encounter with a Kodiak Brown Bear. Read my blog post Fishing with the Bears, Alaska – Close Encounter.
Our other secret spot is the Chiniak Creek. It is a little farther out of town, but alot of fun with a large open area for several fishermen. We have caught lots of Pinks and Slivers along with Dolly Varden out of this creek. A short hike down stream takes you to the ocean and a beautiful beach where the creek enters the Gulf of Alaska. This area is a great picture opportunity. We have seen seals out in the ocean at the mouth of the creek.
Bears on the Road System – Be Bear Aware!
Upon arriving to Kodiak, we suggest you purchase bear spray and keep it with you all the time when fishing the road system. You cannot pack bear spray in your suitcase, it is not allowed by the airlines. We also carry a gun, 44 Mag., with us. It’s not a big deal to take on the airplane in your checked luggage.
Learn more about fishing with the bears on the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game Website.
Fish Limits on the Rivers
The harvest limits seem to change everytime we are there and they vary by river. Check online for limits before you fish. Last year we could only keep one Silver after the 15th of September.
Photo by: Jolene Black