Sockeye Salmon Fishing Kenai River


Sockeye Salmon Fishing on the Kenai River

When? Typically...

1st run on the Kenai:  1st of June to early July, size of run can range from 28,000 to 65,000 fish.

2nd run on the Kenai:  Mid July to early/mid Aug.  Size of run can range from 750,000 to 1,500,000 fish.

Kasilof Run:  June, size of run can range from 300,000 to 500,000 fish.

How? In a boat or on a bank?

We use our boats to find a good bank.  Then we fish for reds typically in ankle to knee deep water.  Since the reds are swimming up river fairly close to the bank. 

Be prepared to fish around other fisherman.  Sockeye salmon are the most popular fish to catch on the Kenai Peninsula.  And when they are in, so are the people!

Having a guide with a boat will give you a much greater chance at securing your own piece of the river.


We recommend you bring Chest Waders or buy them here, you cannot control the water level and they will give you access to more places to fish.

Chest waders or hip boots can be supplied.

Limit? Starts out a 3 per person, can go up to 6 per person.

How much?  Call for our full day prices.

Here's a good question...How do you fish for reds?

First, find a good bank.  Your guide can take you to a nice gravel bar, or you can find a bank that is accessible to the public.  Red Salmon usually run up river in 4 to 6 feet of water.  They come through in waves, stacked on top of each other.  One minute you can’t get a bite and the next you can keep ‘em off your hook.  


The technique is simple, basically it’s like this.  Flip your line up stream at about 10 o’clock, let it bounce lightly on the bottom of the river, and at 2 o’clock give it a good rip.  If you don’t have a fish on, flip it back up stream at 10 o’clock and repeat process until you have your limit. 

Here’s how you want to set up your line.  You want to tie a fly on the end of your 20 pound test line, and about 4 + feet up the line put on just enough lead to bounce on the bottom with out getting hung up.  That’s the secret, don’t get hung up on the bottom.   (It’s a good idea to wear eye protection, actually it’s a must if you want to keep your eyes safe.)

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This fishing can be chaotic, frenzied fun when they are thick, and very frustrating when the person next to you keeps reelin’ them and you can’t even hit a fish.  But once you get your first fish on, it’s game on.  This fishing does have a learning curve but once you figure it out, it doesn’t take long to get a limit.