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Alaska Fishing Lodge
Kenai River, Alaska
King Salmon - Silver Salmon - Sockeye Salmon - Halibut - Rainbow Trout
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Alaska Fishing Charters and Seasons

Sportfish of Alaska
Sportfish of Alaska


The Kenai River is the best known and most-fished river in Alaska because it is one of the most productive areas in the state completely accessible by road. The Kenai provides anglers an 80 day window to catch Alaska's largest freshwater fish, the king salmon. The genetic make-up of the Kenai king salmon allows them to grow significantly larger than any other king salmon in the world.

MAY-JUNE - Early Run Kenai King Salmon

The first run of king salmon appear in catchable numbers in early May when the river is low and very clear. The size of this run is smaller than the second run but with fewer anglers & boats participating in this fishery the experience can be much more pleasant with less competition on the water. The low level of the river during this period tends to concentrate the fish in a few deep holes in the area, and each tide will bring another group of fish into the river. Backtrolling or back-bouncing is the preferred method used by our powerboat guides. The tranquility of the river during May and June provides our anglers the chance to view wildlife such as moose, caribou, bald eagles and waterfowl. This run usually peaks during the middle of June but remains strong in daily counts until the second run of kings begins to appear at the end of June.

JULY Late Run Kenai River King Salmon

Because this second run of Kenai kings occurs in the middle of summer, it is the most popular with anglers. Although there are two to three times more fish in this run than the early run there are also more anglers & boats so fishing pressure increases. This fishery allows the use of bait beginning July 1 (and sometimes earlier) so we use a variety of techniques and tackle to catch these monsters. Artificial lures, laced with sardine or salmon roe, back-trolled, back-bounced, or drifted are the methods our Kenai guides use. This run actually begins to arrive during the last week of June and continues stong right to the end of July when the king season closes. Numbers of kings can amount to several thousand per day during the peak of the run in mid-July. Fish in this run average a bit larger than the early run but many trophies as well as the current world record (97 pounds) have been taken during the May-June early run. Trophy hunters should remember that there are plenty of wallhangers taken from both runs.

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER - Kenai River Silver Salmon Fishing

Coho or silver salmon are the favorite fish of many anglers. They are hefty fish, with some exceeding 20 pounds. They are also very hard fighters on light and medium tackle and best of all, they are aggressive and readily strike lures and take baited hooks. Their arrival and presence in the river throughout the months of August and September make them the perfect fish to complement late season rainbow trout and Dolly Varden.  Late summer and fall is also the time when things begin to quiet down on the Kenai as fewer tourists are here so these power boat trips are very enjoyable. We use lures and bait fished from boats anchored in the local hot spots and focus on newly arriving fish fresh from saltwater.

Kasilof River King Salmon Fishing
MAY-JUNE - Kasilof River King Salmon Fishing
Located just 12 miles down the road from Soldotna is the glacier-fed Kasilof River which continues from Tustumena Lake to Cook Inlet. This river has a remarkable king salmon run that has become a favorite of many of our clients. Due to the shallow, rocky nature of this river our guides take you by drift boat. It is a peaceful adventure down a pristine river filled with lots of fishing action.
This king salmon run begins at the same time as the early king run on the Kenai River. From mid-May through June anglers are most successful fishing from our guided drift boats. Bait is also allowed in this fishery. Multiple hook-ups are frequent. Kids really enjoy it because most days see enough action to keep them thoroughly focused on catching fish. This is a great experience on Mondays when the Kenai River is closed to guided anglers.

JULY into Early AUGUST - Kenai Sockeye Salmon Fishing

Sockeye or "reds" as they are locally known, are considered Alaska's best-tasting salmon and are nearly everyone's "meat & potatoes" when it comes to stocking up for the winter or filling a fish box to take home. The season begins in June when the first run of Russian River reds begins in the mainstem of the upper Kenai River where they are easy to target. As the first run winds down, the next run of sockeye hit the Kenai River in mid-July. This run is huge with 600,000-1,000,000 reds entering the river during a four week period. Thousands of Alaskans and visiting anglers come here specifically to catch this one run of fish. They are incredible fighters on a flyrod or medium spin gear and will amaze you with their drag-burning runs and multiple jumps and somersaults during the fight. Bag limits for the mainstem of the Kenai are three reds per day and at an average of 8 pounds each it doesn't take long to fill your fish box. 

See Jimmie Jack's Sockeye Salmon technique for tips on how to catch this great fighter right off the banks of the Kenai River.

Mid JUNE - SEPTEMBER - Kenai River Trophy Rainbow Trout & Dolly Varden Fishing
Although the Kenai River is world-famous for its king salmon fishing, there are a great many anglers throughout the world who are also aware of the trophy class rainbow trout and Dolly Varden (char) fisheries it supports. The upper Kenai opens June 11 above Skilak Lake and has a remarkable catch and release trout fishery where in-river numbers have been estimated by the US Fish & Wildlife Service to reach as many as 2000 rainbows per mile; some exceeding 20 pounds. The lower Kenai River (below Skilak Lake) is also a magnificent trout and char fishery.
The fishing here is good all summer but as salmon begin to spawn in this area in late August the action picks up to a heated pace as big rainbows and dollies move in to feed on the abundant loose salmon eggs. We fish both drift boats and power boats in the middle section of the river depending on time of year and access. A great many of our clients enjoy fly fishing for rainbows and dollies but for those who prefer spin gear, that method can be just as effective and rewarding. 
MAY thru SEPTEMBER - COOK INLET Halibut Fishing & Seasonal Combos
One of the staples of Jimmie Jack's fishing adventures is halibut fishing. With fish ranging from 10 pounds to over 400, you never know exactly what you may have on the line at the next bite. The skippers you fish with operate from the beaches along Deep Creek near the community of Ninilchik. Much will depend on weather conditions or the time of the season and whether combination trips are available. During May and part of June many of the Ninilchik area captains offer our guests combo trips.....a chance to troll for near-shore migrating king salmon during part of the trip and then switch to halibut fishing for the remainder of the day. Anglers have a chance to catch kings headed for local streams in that area or possibly tie into one of the bigger Kenai kings that are passing through. It's an all-day adventure with plenty of rod-bending action and plenty of delicious halibut fillets to take back home at the end of the trip. The most enjoyable and most productive halibut fishing is during the two weeks each month when the tides are the smallest. The current year tide table is provided in our planning information so you will know when the best periods are, as well as when the best clam digging periods occur.
AUGUST Seward Combo Fishing (Salmon-Lingcod-Rockfish)
Full Day Multi-Species Fishing Trip leaves at 8:00am and returns at 6:00pm. You will experience a fully guided and outfitted "Multi-Species" fishing trip out of Seward, Alaska. Your Captain will put you on silver salmon, lingcod and rockfish.  This is fishing paradise!  Boat limits are common.  The limits:  3 Silver Salmon, 1 Lingcod, and 4 Rockfish.
JUNE - AUGUST - Fly-In Fishing
Alaska's Premier Fishing Experience
Flying into remote areas of Alaska for fishing and wildlife viewing has no equal. Enjoying the unspoiled wilderness, exceptional fishing far from the beaten path, and the magnificent scenery that surrounds you on this type of adventure will provide lifelong memories. With literally thousands of square miles reachable by floatplane for fishing excursions, the fly-in angler has the opportunity to enjoy what even many Alaskans have not yet experienced. One of our most popular fly-ins is on the west side of Cook Inlet where you can fish for sockeye salmon while enjoying the company of several brown bears intent on catching their next meal alongside you! This trip begins around the second week of June and continues to the end of July. Another of our popular choices is flying to a remote river to fish for fresh silver salmon entering from the Inlet. This activity begins in the latter half of July and runs through August or later. These coho are ocean-bright and full of fight providing a lot of fun as well as some great eating when you get home. Many other places are available to fly-in anglers depending on your group size and your preferences.

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