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Ask the Pro's: Fishing from Shore on the Kasilof River

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  • Hi, this is Zachary and I will be fishing from shore on the Kasilof River on May 19-21, 2023. Can you advise me on the tackle, techniques, etc, for King Salmon, which ADFG allows to fish on the Kasilof to the Sterling Highway bridge from the mouth of the river. Should I get a pair of waders to increase my catches as well? Where exactly do I fish on the shore, etc. Thank you,

  • Hey Zachary!

    That time of year is right at the very beginning of the King Salmon run on the Kasilof River. You will absolutely want a pair of waders to best access these fish. The most important thing; however, is to understand the fishing regulations, especially when it comes to King Salmon fishing. There are some days you can not keep wild fish, every day you can not remove these fish from the water unless you can legally retain them on that particular day. You can not "beach" fish there (aka drag them on the shore), there are often wildlife troopers and state park police on those shorelines most days.

    Easiest access to the Kasilof River (and some of the most productive water) is at Crooked Creek State Park, you can easily park and walk right down to the river. There you will see all manners of techniques for these fish. Be aware that the regulations can start off very strict due to Emergency Orders, so relying on a paper copy of the regulations is not sufficient. In some starts to the season, bait can be closed, multiple hooks (treble and double/single hooks) can be illegal and so on…You will see anglers "flossing" for kings. In most angler's opinions, this is unethical for King Salmon as they will actually bite lures, bait (if allowed) and also flies. I know it is a lot to take in, but opportunities to fish for King Salmon in Alaska has become more and more rare as the years have gone on. Low returns have caused many fisheries across the state to shut down completely.

    Have fun out there and we'll see you on the river!


    Dave Lisi - Owner/Guide for Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, LLC located in the small mountain town of Cooper Landing, Alaska where he is a year-round resident, guide, carpenter and trout bum. On any given day, you will most likely find Dave on the banks of the Kenai swinging for trout with his best friend and future wife, Jackie. Cooper Landing Fishing Guide, LLC was built in early 2017 with the goal of sharing the love and passion Dave and Jackie have for the Kenai Peninsula and the fish that live there.
  • Zach,

    Congrats on your upcoming trip to Alaska!

    The Kasilof is an awesome fishery but has limited bank access and having waders would greatly be beneficial to give you more real estate. The easiest and most used access is at the Crooked Creek campground. Here you will be able to wade up and down river and depending on flows have access to one of the islands. There will definitely be other folks out enjoying the fishing as well so that will give you some idea on where to fish. Folks will fish a variety of tactics from fly fishing, big plugs, and bait. Be sure to check the regs as well as if there are any additional emergency orders prior to your trip. Good luck!

    Cheers - Adam

    Adam Cuthriell - Part owner of FishHound Expeditions. His wife Kathryn Cuthriell and business partner Dave "Reps" Repta make up the rest of the company as well as their dogs Hatch, Rado, and Pike. They fish, live, and guide in Alaska year-round. When not guiding on the rivers they guide ice fishing on Alaska's numerous lakes. Originally from Colorado, he began guiding at the age of 19 while receiving a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. Adam is also a current state of Alaska EMT.
  • Hi Zachary.

    Your best bet for fishing the Kasilof River, on foot, would be from the Cooked Creek Campground. You can park in the day parking and walk down to access the river. You will definitely need waders, that is glacial river and you will have to stay below the normal highwater mark to access some of the river.

    Anything we can do or answer any questions, please let us know.

    Thanks - Mike

    Mike Brown - Owner of Mossy's Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska
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