Kenai Alaska Salmon Fishing
Countless travelers visit Alaska each and every year to see the amazing sites, watch the whales, take a dog sled ride, walk the beaches, and of course: GO FISHING. Whether fishing is the main reason for your vacation, or you are just adding in a half day guided fishing adventure for fun, then keep reading and we’ll help shed light on how best to plan the fishing portion of your Alaskan vacation on the Kenai Peninsula.
Guided Salmon Fishing in Alaska
Even if you are an expert fishermen, hiring a fishing guide for the day is the single best chance you have at catching the lunker of a lifetime. Guides have boats, access, and real time intel on the salmon runs from day to day. It is what they do, and many of them do it very well. Not all guides are created equal, so make sure to check out their reviews online at Trip Advisor and/or Google. Rivers and lakes that have direct access to the road see the most traffic. Examples include the world famous Kenai River, Kasilof River, and the Russian River. Their runs are legendary and will certainly keep you fishing and burning the midnight oil. Access to the remote regions across from the Kenai Peninsula, offer an amazing opportunity to get away from the crowds and see the real Alaska. Adventure Outfitters Alaska offers unique float plane adventures which will certainly be the highlight of your vacation. Fill coolers with fillets and your memory cards with the stunning scenery and incredible bear viewing. And if that’s not enough, book a saltwater combo trip for both salmon and halibut in Homer or Seward.
Self Guided Fishing in Alaska
Self guided fishing in Alaska is totally doable, you just have to know where to go and how to get it done. Salmon aren’t like other freshwater fish. They don’t behave the same, they don’t feed the same, and they don’t react the same as their freshwater cousins. So if you are going to find real success on your own up here in the Last Frontier, make sure to do your homework and get to know your quarry before traveling. I have been guiding salmon fishermen for almost 20 years and there seems to be 3 distinct groups of folks who come up to brave the Alaskan rivers on their own.
The Weekend Warrior
First is the weekend warrior, the folks who like the idea of fishing and catching fish, but don’t spend a lot of time back home doing it. This is not a criticism, just a general stereotype. These folks can find tremendous success when the runs are peaking and fish line up around every bend. Many of them buy a couple of cheap, Walmart specials and then head out with whatever the guy sold to them. The Weekend Warrior can increase their chances of success by doing a few key things. First, do a little research on the species you plan on attacking. Find out where they are running and what’s the best way to catch them. This will no doubt help you when at Walmart or Sportsman’s Warehouse buying gear. Secondly, watch others around you to see what is working. Don’t be afraid to ask those who seem to know what they are doing. It could just be a matter of weight or hook size. The Kenai Peninsula is the perfect place for the Weekend Warriors to come out in force and fill their coolers with fresh salmon fillets.
The Meat Slayers
These folks are a special breed of fishermen. They love to fish…..but more importantly, they love to catch. The sport isn’t just fighting the fish and enjoying the scenery, its about filling as many coolers as possible to bring home and feast upon. Under a bridge like a hungry fishing troll, or in the middle of town, as long as they’re catching fish to bring home, they're happy. The world famous sockeye salmon run on the Kenai Peninsula brings Meat Slayers out by the hundreds. They tend to be a fun group to fish with at the many public fishing spots in Soldotna, Kenai, and Kasilof. Do some homework on the sockeye and how we fish them. Its unlike any other fishing I’ve ever done. The term is called “lining” or “flossing”. Look it up if your new to the game, it could be an article all to itself. At any rate, Meat Slayers can easily book a flyout salmon fishing trip during their stay and enjoy limiting out on a boat load of salmon from across the Cook Inlet too. Start filling your fish boxes today with Adventure Outfitters Alaska.
The Pure fisherman is probably my favorite genre of fisherman, since I too, fall into this category. Most folks have polluted this term (often referred to as Purist) to mean the snobby fly fisherman who would never dilute his great self to fish with bait or any other method for that matter. To me, a pure fisherman, is one who truly loves to just fish. Catching is always the goal, but never the measure of success in the long run. It doesn’t matter if they’re specialty is back yard largemouth, speckled trout in the mangroves, or bluegills off the family dock, because the pure fisherman is content, just to be fishing. I choose to fly fish whenever possible (and only get slightly annoyed when my spin fishing partners double my numbers of fish) but in the end; I just love to fish.
If you are a pure fisherman of any variety, you will fall in love with the Kenai Peninsula. You can hike to mountain lakes and catch grayling, rent a raft and float the mighty upper Kenai, roll cast dry flies to waiting bows, dunk 3 lb weights to 200 feet for a barn door halibut, and a hundred other fishing trips if you want to keep coming back! So start doing your homework and get planning, summer is right around the corner.
Contact Adventure Outfitters Alaska today and book your fishing trip with us! We'd love to rip some lips with you this summer.
Where to Fish for Salmon in Alaska
The state of Alaska is massive. Super-imposed onto the lower 48, it stretches nearly from coast to coast. Alaska has its own time zone for crying out loud. So when your ask yourself, where should I go to fish in Alaska? The answer isn’t always that simple. There are over 3 million lakes and more rivers than there are names. Rest assured, there’s a destination fishing trip in Alaska for every kind of fishing enthusiast.
With the largest salmon runs on earth, the remote and wild Bristol Bay is top on any hard core angler’s list. Huge runs of all five species of Pacific salmon flood into the major river systems of the area. The Nushagak, Naknek, Kvichak, Alagnak, and many others, explode with life come July and August. Remote fishing lodges are the only way to really fish this area. Your week long stay will surely give you unbridled access to some of the greatest salmon fishing in North America. These trips are for the dedicated fishermen who want to wake up early and hit it hard all day, every day. The cost of these trips is usually very high and the logistics, quite a bit more complicated. Expect several extra flights to get there and a lot of fees to get your fish back home.
The famous Inside Passage is one of Alaska’s most prized possessions. Stunning ocean vistas, pods of orcas, humpbacks, and calving glaciers seem to be everywhere. This destination fishing location is great for those who crave ocean fishing. Troll for kings, drop some heavy weight for trophy halibut, and try your luck with the delicious, yellow eye snapper. Vacations based from Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and other small coastal towns can be awesome.
The world famous Kenai Peninsula is without question, the hub of most sport fishing for salmon in the state. Easy road access from Anchorage keeps the costs much lower and allows you to experience almost every aspect of Alaskan life. Enjoy scenic towns like Homer, Seward, and Cooper Landing. Experience incredible fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing, hiking, biking and more. The diversity of things to do makes this a wonderland for travelers. You can access saltwater fishing adventures, salmon fishing, trout fishing, and all with the flexibility of having your own transportation to explore.
The mighty Kenai River has runs of salmon that are counted by the millions. The annual, summer run of sockeye are definitely the highlight, but you can also hunt for the king of a lifetime, or a monster silver at summer’s end. With unbridled access to the outdoors, and countless places to fish, visitors can easily get their fill. There is something for everyone on the Kenai Peninsula.
One of the very best ways to see Alaska, is from above. Bush flights, and guided tours bring you into the remote corners of the state so you can experience a real adventure. Flying into one of the many lakes and rivers across the Cook Inlet by floatplane is a great way to beat the crowds, see amazing wildlife, and experience unbelievable fishing. It will no doubt be the crescendo of your Alaskan vacation. Come see the bears, catch some fish, cruise the glaciers from above, and let Adventure Outfitters be your guide.
We are conveniently located 10 miles north of Kenai, Alaska. Our 6 hour, half day trips are the perfect way to see the real Alaska. Family friendly and affordable, our fishing trips will surely change your desktop! Call and book your trip today.
Owner, Adventure Outfitters Alaska
When is Salmon Season in Alaska?
The long dark winters of Alaska all become worth it once the summer salmon season finally reaches the last frontier. But when is the salmon season exactly? When do all the different species of salmon migrate? And where do you go to fish salmon once you get here? These are all great questions to ask before planning your Alaskan fishing trip. Keep reading and we’ll help to make sense of one of the planet’s most complex and incredible life story: The Pacific Salmon.
Salmon in Alaska
There are 5 species of pacific salmon, and they all live here in Alaska. The Sockeye (Red salmon), the Silver Salmon (Coho), the King Salmon (Chinook), the Pink (humpy salmon), and the Chum (Dog salmon). Even though they all grow up and use Alaskan rivers to spawn, not every river has all 5 species. Some rivers may have only one of the five that swim up it each summer to spawn. Regardless of species, all Pacific salmon live their lives in the ocean and then come into the freshwater rivers of Alaska to spawn and then die.
The migration of salmon during the Alaskan summer, is a masterful symphony of nature. Each species has its own time to leave the ocean’s depths and “run” into our many rivers. Once in freshwater, they spread out and begin to locate the place of their birth. To make this all the more complicated, each river is unique in when this orchestra begins.
Where to Fish Salmon in Alaska
In order to make sense of this complex web of fin and tail, lets focus our efforts on the epicenter of most salmon fishing in Alaska, the famous Kenai Peninsula. Although run times still vary from river to river, we can pin down a few general patterns that will help you maximize your fishing adventures.
Summer’s first full month marks the beginning of the salmon migration. Kings and early sockeye are the first species to enter our rivers. Although run of king salmon have declined in today’s fisheries, there are still a few hidden gems to explore, both on the road system, and from the float plane. The fishing only gets better as the month of June progresses. Each high tide brings fish in and the run counts continue to climb. Expect fewer locations to choose from that have these early runs of fish. Big River Lakes is our go to location for early season sockeye and the world famous Nushagak River is a fan favorite for kings.
With the onset of warmer weather, the Kenai Peninsula’s salmon fishing begins to really heat up. More salmon enter Alaskan rivers in July than any other month. Even the runs of King salmon don’t mature until July on the mighty Kenai River. Huge runs of sockeye build as the month progresses along with Chum and Pink salmon (pink salmon only run on even numbered years). July is magical in Alaska. Wildlife from every valley, descend on salmon streams and take full advantage of the bounty. This is also the busiest tourist month for the Kenai Peninsula so plan on booking your fishing trips and hotels early.
Although August marks the final month of the Alaskan summer, there is still plenty of fishing to be had. By now, the kings have dumped their eggs and given their bodies back to the river, in the exact same stretch of water that they were born in, some 5-7 years ago. With sockeye in full spawning regalia, the rivers seem alive with fish. From the headwaters to the ocean, there are salmon of one species or another in some various stage of their final weeks. Silvers are the last species to enter the rivers, so even though the sockeye are all but too old to eat, there’s fresh fish even in summer’s waning moments.
Even though September sure doesn’t seem like summer in Alaska, it still has some salmon fishing left for the hard core anglers. Late run fish and the final tides of the silver run still can be had throughout the first few weeks of autumn. The cold mornings and yellow birch trees let you know that the cycle of birth and death has come to a close on the Last Frontier’s salmon runs. The salmon fishing season in Alaska is complex and dynamic, so be flexible and enjoy just being a part of an age-old symphony.
Come explore Alaska, and let Adventure Outfitters be your guide. The amazing float planes allow us to fish several different, remote locations. We live and breathe salmon fishing on the Kenai Peninsula and beyond. So if you’re looking for a fishing adventure this summer, rest assured, Adventure Outfitters has a spot that will be the best option for any given week.
Check out our Alaska fishing locations page and feel free to contact us if you are thinking about booking a fishing trip!
Salmon Fishing in Alaska
When fishermen dream, it often takes place in Alaska. Huge fish, searing runs, broken drags, and wild fish dance through the night. Unfortunately, you awake and face the same old problems. Where to go? How to make a great fishing trip fit your budget? Where to start? Planning your dream Alaskan fishing trip doesn’t have to be such a chore. Let Adventure Outfitters show you the way!
Where is the best place for salmon fishing in Alaska?
The first question to answer in your planning process is location. There are so many incredible places to fish in Alaska, its hard to know where to begin. Your first choice is whether to stay at a remote lodge or somewhere on the road system. Remote lodges have incredible fishing but also incredibly high rates. You can expect $1000+/pp/per day. The road system offers much more reasonable prices for guided fishing and you can do a lot of different things with the flexibility of having your own transportation. If you’re staying on the road system, the Kenai Peninsula is by far the best choice for all around amazing fishing.
What kind of fishing can I expect?
Many people spend at least 2 days fishing for king or sockeye salmon on the famous Kenai River or the Kasilof River during their stay. These guided and self guided trips are a great way to gain access to local fisheries. The float plane adventure is sure to be a great option for all fishing parties. We offer incredible guided salmon fishing that includes phenomenal flight seeing, wildlife viewing, incredible scenery, and unmatched rod bending action. And don’t forget the halibut fishing. Charters are available in both Seward and Homer. By the time you’ve experienced all that, your coolers should be full, and it will be about time to go home.
How much does guided salmon fishing cost in Alaska?
Most guided adventures on the road system for sockeye, and halibut run about $250-300 pp. The float plane adventures average about $450 pp. Most fishing trips for salmon are half day trips from 5-6 hours. Halibut trips vary from half to full day charters and even over nighters on the boat are available so you can catch a double limit!
What do I need to bring for my trip?
Our trips are fully guided and outfitted. Just bring rain gear, a sack lunch, and a great attitude! We provided easy to use spinning gear for every angler and can even bring flyrods for those who are interested.
Salmon fishing in Alaska is one of the most exciting freshwater fisheries on Earth. Come experience the thrill on one of our many fly out adventures. Give us a call today!
I have loved the outdoors ever since I can remember. Building AOA has been a great journey for me and my family. Come see the real Alaska and let us be your guide.