- May to September
Alaganik Slough has a big run of coho salmon as well as smaller runs of sockeye salmon, Dolly Varden, and cutthroat trout. Sockeye aren't particularly aggressive, but they’ll hit a fly or occasionally a small spinner if you drift one right past their noses. The Dolly Varden and cutthroat aren’t too choosy. Dolly Varden fishing can be quite good in the late spring when the salmon smolts are heading out to sea and the Dolly Varden are waiting to ambush them at the mouths of the creeks.
Coho salmon fishing is at its best in mid to late August when the fish come straight from the ocean on the high tides. The coho are aggressive. You can see them streak a half-dozen yards or more through the shallow water to nail a red and white spoon or a purple egg-sucking leech. And, of course, that’s only the beginning of the fun, because these ocean-fresh fish have a lot of fight in them.
Early in the coho season, most of the action is in the lower slough near the end of Alaganik Slough Road. There’s a boat ramp there and also a 1/2-mile trail that takes you to some of the upstream holes (take chest waders so you can cross the inlet streams if you’re there at high tide). Later in the season, coho can be found farther upstream in the holes along the Copper River Highway.
Eulachon, a type of smelt, spawn in the slough during the spring. They usually move up on the highest tide cycles of the month, and may be around for about a week. They’re notoriously unpredictable – some months they show up and sometimes they don’t. If you see big flocks of gulls or eagles, you know the eulachon are in.
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.