Alaska Fly Out Fishing: Big River Lake / Wolverine Creek

  • Destination: Big River Lake / Wolverine Creek
  • Location: West Side Cook Inlet
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Trip Duration: 6-8 hours
  • Target Species: Sockeye SalmonSilver Salmon
  • Run Timing: Sockeye: June 1 – July 25. Silvers: July 25 – Sept. 15
  • Description: Big River Lake is located on the West Side of Cook Inlet nestled against
    Approach to Big River Lake.

    A floatplane makes an approach on the Big River Lake drainage and Lake Clark Pass.

    rugged coastal mountains and the entrance to Lake Clark Pass. A glacially turbid body of water, Big River Lake is relatively small and primarily fed by surrounding glaciers, snowmelt and tannin upwelling. It feeds Big River, which makes a relatively wide but shallow and silty 13-mile run to nearby Cook Inlet. Wolverine Creek is a small, clear-flowing tributary stemming from Wolverine Lake and falls less than 2 miles through a boulder-strewn valley where it dumps into Redoubt Bay and Big River Lake. Wolverine Creek and the East Fork of Big River receive the primary runs of Big River Sockeye. Where Wolverine Creek flows into the lake, it pushes the cloudy, glacial water back and creates a sizable pocket of clear water. This reveals thousands of fresh Alaska sockeye schooling in the shallows.  Fishing is typically very productive and anglers regularly retain their three fish limit and release many others. You are allowed to continue fishing once you keep your limit. We normally use light spinning rods.

    Sow and cub.This clear pool at the outlet of Wolverine Creek is known as Redoubt Bay and is frequented daily by numerous Alaska Brown Bears. They attempt (with varied success) to catch fish from the Lake but are most successful when the fish are running the rocky, shallow creek making them easier to catch. The Alaska Brown bears are very tolerant of nearby boats and anglers, content to pursue the fish, feed and move on. Since we do not fish when the Alaska Brown bears are in close proximity, Alaska Brown bear viewing and photography is always a regular component of this trip.In late July and August, Alaska Fishing in Big River Lake largely transitions from Alaska Sockeye Salmon to newly arriving Alaska Silver salmon. Alaska Fly Out Fishing for Alaska Silvers occurs in many other sections of the Lake away from Redoubt Bay and Wolverine Creek. There are a number of shallow bays and flats surrounding the Lake that attract large schools of fresh Coho. Big River silvers become extremely aggressive in these larger groups and regularly take salmon eggs suspended from a bobber, spinners or a variety of flies. Multiple fish days are very common. This Alaska fly out fishing destination regularly produces some of the best Alaska fishing for silvers available anywhere in the state. The limit is three silver salmon per person and you are not allowed to fish after retaining your limit.

Coho on wog
A Big River Lake coho taken on a top water wog.