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Alaska: Kenai River Fishing

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Posted by David S on
Alaska Kenai River

The Kenai River stretches from Kenai Lake to the Pacific Ocean where it dumps into Cook Inlet. The river is laid out in switchback bends across the flood plains of the Kenai peninsula. The river offers 82 miles of freshwater habitat for many species of Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden Trout, and Steelhead. The Kenai River is one of the most popular places to fish in Alaska. Alaska is wild, and by that we mean bears. Bears love fishing just as much as you do. Never go fishing alone. In fact, for fisherman who have never fished the Kenai River, we suggest choosing an Alaska Fishing Lodge, or using an Alaska Fishing Guide. The benefits are that the pros know where the best spots to fish are, they often have the best equipment, they always know the best techniques to catch fish regardless of the time of year, and they will help to keep you safe. 

Kenai Salmon Fishing in Alaska

King Salmon: King Salmon begin their river migration usually at the beginning of May. Expect fishing to be challenging from the beginning of May until mid May when the King Salmon run begins to increase. By the beginning of June, the King Salmon season has begun to peak. The peak season lasts through the end of July. Fishing should be intense from June-July. If this is your first time fishing in Alaska, try an Alaska guided fishing tour. Pete's Fishing Guide Service and Lodge sits right on the Kenai River. 

Sockeye Salmon: The Sockeye Salmon begin to enter the Kanai River during the first part of June. They reach peak run by the middle of June. Their peak season lasts until the middle of August when the season closes. 

Silver Salmon: Silver Salmon enter the river in mid July. Expect fishing to be slow until the beginning of August when the Silver Salmon season hits its peak. Silver Salmon peak season runs through the end of October. September and October can be sketchy in terms of the weather, but the fishing should be good.  Smokin Joe's Lodge is located slightly upriver from Cooks Inlet. Master Guide Joe Hager offers an excellent lodge and fish camp. 

Rainbow Trout: The Rainbow Trout season opens June 1. This is a fly fisherman's paradise. For the month of June Rainbow Trout fishing should be good. The season peaks at the beginning of July and last through October. Redoubt Mountain Lodge sits in the middle of Lake Clark Park & Wilderness Preserve. Slightly off the main Kenai River, expect excellent fishing including King Salmon and Rainbow Trout. This Alaska Fishing Lodge is pricey, but well worth it for any Kenai Salmon Fishing trip. 

Halibut: The Halibut season opens May 1 and it opens in the peak of the season. The peak Halibut season usually lasts from May through the third week of August. Those months are the best time to fish for Halibut. From the end of August through the end of September the Halibut season begins to drop off. The fishing for September should still remain good until October when the season is nearly over. October Halibut fishing should be slow and challenging. 

Fishing in Alaska: Saltwater/Freshwater Combo's

The Kenai River and Cook Inlet offer an amazing opportunity to really combine a variety of fishing into a single trip. At the beginning of May Saltwater fishing is peaking with the Pacific Halibut season in full swing. The King Salmon run is also starting and those massive fish just entering the river. This means that Cook Inlet is full of King Salmon while the river is just starting to become populated with these giant fish. June and July offer Peak King Salmon fishing, peak Pacific Halibut fishing, peak Rainbow Trout fishing and peak Sockeye Salmon fishing. The best week of the year for fishing in Alaska is the last week of July. When King, Sockeye, Silver, Pacific Halibut and Rainbow trout all peak. Alaska Fishing Charter is based out of Kenai and is a family owned business with experts at local saltwater fishing. An alternative would be Alaskan Fishing Adventures. Owner Tim Berg offers both charters and lodging. 

Getting There:

The town of Kenai has a municipal airport. The airport is serviced by Era Aviation, Grant Aviation, and Lake and Pen Air airlines. Many of the lodges along the river are accessible only by air or boat. Major Airlines fly into Anchorage. Highway 1 also runs from Anchorage to Soldotna and then local roads can take you to Kenai. It is much easier to fly from one spot to the next. For a Complete list of Fishing Lodges, Charters, and Guides Visit My Alaskan Fishing Trip

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