- May to September
Eyak River is noted for its fly fishing for sockeye salmon and its big coho salmon. The coho fishery has gotten pretty popular lately, but you’ll forget about your neighbors when you have a fat 19-lb Eyak coho on the end of your line.
There is a boat ramp for accessing the lower river where most of the coho salmon are caught. The main holes are about a mile and a half downstream. It’s easiest to take a small motorboat, but canoeists in decent shape can float down and paddle back up. The Eyak River Trail provides downstream fishing access for hikers.
Sockeye salmon concentrate around the outlet of Eyak Lake, where there is a low dam. The area 200 yards upstream and downstream from the dam is for fly fishing only, June 1 to September 30. No additional weights can be added to the line, so most people use a fast sinking tip. In addition to the sinking tip, make sure you have plenty of backing line. More than one big, fresh sockeye has felt the hook and decided to get in the current and head back to the ocean. They can "take you to the bridge” a hundred yards downstream in a couple of seconds – and with the current there’s not a whole lot you can do except to run downstream after them and pray your line doesn't get spooled.
There are a few pink salmon in the summer, but it’s better to catch them near the ocean where they are fresher. Dolly Varden show up in May to ambush the juvenile salmon migrating to the ocean. Cutthroat trout can be found at the mouth of the lake and are sometimes caught by people fishing for sockeye.
For more information call the Cordova Ranger District at (907) 424-7661. Please check the current sport fishing regulations at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game web page.