Some anglers think that rain creates better conditions for fishing because some fish are more active under cloudy cover than in bright sunlight. That may or may not be true. But we do know that rain allows salmon to enter the creeks easier than in drought conditions because of the increased water flow. That’s kind of important because the creeks are where the spawning beds are.
There are hundreds of creeks and river systems where salmon go to spawn near Ketchikan: the Unuk, Chikamin, Naha, Keta and Blossom river systems to name a few. There are hatchery fish at Mountain Point, Ketchikan Creek and Neets Bay. On the Tongass Highway road system, Ward Cove, Ward Lake and Ward Creek offer easy access to Coho, Pink and Steelhead salmon fishing. These are the main reasons Ketchikan has been dubbed the Salmon Capital of the World.
King salmon (aka Chinook) show up in Ketchikan mid-May, peaking the last two weeks of June and the first week of July. The north end of Ketchikan also has a strong silver salmon run (aka Coho) peaking in September and ending sometime in October.
Locals often complain about the rain, but it is critical for the reproduction of the most sought-after species — making Ketchikan one of the best places to fish for salmon in the world.
Here’s a handy chart identifying peak fishing seasons in Ketchikan.