Fly fishing gear

Searching for silver in Bird Creek

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — Salmon fishing season is starting to wind down statewide, but you can still find chrome in tributaries to the Turnagain Arm.

It’s no secret that fishing is a big draw for tourists visiting Alaska, but this trip to Bird Creek made it obvious.

“Staying in Girdwood, and just renting a house there, renting a car, just enjoying all the beauty that’s here and I thought I’d try fishing for a day or two and see what happens” said Dennis Poper, a tourist from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Poper rented his rod and gear from The Bait Shack in downtown Anchorage and got some free advice on the side. Poper was doing what we tried to do, drifting dried salmon roe under a float in hopes of attracting a coho salmon.

It was just a tactic implemented on the creek. People were throwing spinners and fly fishing, and someone was even trying floss. Many different fishing methods were all hunting for the same result, landing a coho salmon.

Finally, snagging a chrome coho is an experience that could turn even a tourist into an Alaskan.

“Culture and nature, I mean look at this place,” Kelly Kulongowski said.

“It’s mostly the culture,” her husband Aaron Kulongowski said. “The East Coast is not the same as Alaska, and Alaska is not the same as anywhere else we’ve been. This is where our hearts are”

The Kulongowskis hope to move to Alaska soon, and instead of looking for a single piece of silver to take home, they hope to fill their freezer.

We were just looking for one, and after a few hours of fishing without catching someone finally landed a buck on a fly. It was about 40 minutes before high tide, the exact time you need to fish if you want to be successful on Bird Creek.

Check the tide tables before heading to Bird Creek and plan to hard fish an hour before and after high tide. Also, remember to be extra careful on the banks of the creek as the water is high and fast with all the rain in south-central Alaska this summer.

Copyright 2022 KTUU. All rights reserved.