Gulkana River, Alaska Fishing Information
Gulkana River, Alaska Fishing Information
The Gulkana River is accessed via the Richardson Highway, just north of the town of Glennallen. The Gulkana is known for its excellent grayling fishing and also has respectible runs of both Alaska King (chinook) salmon and the world famous Copper Red (sockeye) salmon. Rainbow trout are also present in the Gulkana River.
There are 83 miles of Gulkana River between Paxon Lake and the Richardson Highway bridge. Roads and trails departing the Richardson Highway provide access to portions of the river. Floating the 50 mile stretch from Paxon Lake to Sourdough is the best way to access the upper section of river, but there are also two trails about 7 miles long that provide access to this section as well. Near Mile Marker 169, the Meirs Lake, Middle Fork trail takes off and leads to the confluence of the Middle Fork. Near Mile Marker 161, the Haggard Creek trail leads to the Canyon Rapids section of the Gulkana. Easier access via the road system is on the lower part of the river at the following areas: Richardson Highway bridge, near mile marker 127; Pull out near mile marker 129 with a trail leading a little over a mile to the river; Sailers Pit access road that leads 1 mile to the river just past mile marker 129; just before mile marker 137, a gravel road leads a little over 1/4 mile to the river; one-half mile short of mile marker 140, there is a pull out with a trail that leads approximately one-half mile to the river; Sourdough campground road is accessed off the Richardson Highway mid-way between mile markers 147 and 148. Jet boats access the river from this campground and mainly travel upriver in salmon season.
Accomodations Rating: RV Parks or Primative. Options include RV camping in one of the for fee RV parks, or roughing it in one of the pull-outs along side the road.
Access: Easy to Difficult. Access is easy at the bridge crossings as well as in the areas where the river is accessible via roads. Hike in access along the lower river is relatively easy to moderate. Hike in access to the upper river is difficult.
Crowds: Light to Moderate.
Gulkana River, ALASKA FISH AND FISHING RATINGS:
King Salmon (Chinook) Fishing Rating: Decent - Good. The Gulkana is the most popular Copper River tributary for kings. Fishing Technique for king salmon on the Gulkana River is traditional drift fishing salmon roe either with or without a corky. Small black flies are another effective technique when the river is running clear.
Red Salmon (Sockeye) Fishing Rating: Decent. The Gulkana River sockeye run presents reasonable fishing opportunity, but the river is wide and not as swift as the more popular sockeye fisheries. To have good success, it is necessary to find pockets of sockeye holding in swift current. Despite the size of the sockeye return, not many fishermen target sockeye on the Gulkana. Fishing Techniques for sockeye salmon on the Gulkana River include: drifting yarn flies, other sockeye salmon flies, or even bare red, green, or blue colored hooks.
Rainbow Trout Fishing Rating: Decent. Rainbows fishing in the Gulkana is best from mid-summer to early Fall.
Grayling Fishing Rating: Really Good. Grayling fishing on the Gulkana River is some of the best roadside accessible in the state! Fishing is best from mid-summer to early Fall.
Note: The Gulkana River is not featured in our Alaska Roadside King Salmon Fishing DVD because it is in a different drainage. We do want to share the information on our website however, because the Copper River tributaries and the Valdez area offers anglers seeking roadside accessible fishing additional opportunities.
Our Parks Highway Alaska Roadside King Salmon Fishing from Anchorage to Denali DVD/Ultimate Guide will SAVE YOU TIME - We share over ten years worth of exploration of the available king salmon fishing between Anchorage and Denali National Park! It will PUT YOU on MORE FISH - you will see Alaska's Parks Highway king catching potential at many of the popular and little known fishing holes! HELP YOU DECIDE WHERE TO FISH - Based on the type of experience you would like to have in terms of crowds, setting, and the fish catching potential. YOU WILL SEE THE BEST TECHNIQUES FOR KING CATCHING - at each of the creeks and rivers. WE SHOW YOU THE BEST FISHING HOLES along the Parks Highway - while it is good to know which creeks and rivers are good for catching kings, there is nothing better than knowing exactly where the most fish hold and get caught for each of these rivers and creeks. HELP YOU TO DETERMINE WHAT DATES TO FISH - based on where you want to fish and the overall experience you desire.
This Alaska fishing video and ultimate Guide are ENJOYABLE TO WATCH for anyone who wants to see the king salmon fishing potential along the Parks Highway and for anyone actually planning a trip to Alaska, or currently living in Alaska who would like to have the most detailed information available on king salmon fishing the 240 mile stretch of highway between Anchorage in Denali National Park - this is the PREMIER RESOURCE FOR DO IT YOURSELF FISHERMEN!
FOR DETAILED INFORMATION AND THE EXACT LOCATIONS OF THE BEST FISHING HOLES, ACCESS, AND TECHNIQUES: