Kasilof River

3 Fishing Charters

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Fishing in Kasilof River

Anglers looking for a quieter alternative to the Kenai River won’t want to miss out on a Kasilof River fishing adventure. This drift-only fishing haven offers up the opportunity to go against Alaska’s finest freshwater targets in a more peaceful environment. Leave the crowds behind and hook into your dream catch in this underrated paradise!

You have two opportunities to go after King (Chinook) Salmon in the Kasilof River. The first run happens in May and is followed by a second in July. To tide you over between the two runs, target delicious Red (Sockeye) Salmon in the upper Kasilof. This is a favorite for fly fishermen!

The Salmon season finishes off with a beautiful run of Silver (Coho) Salmon, starting in late August. Once they’ve left, it’s all about hooking into Rainbow Trout and massive Steelhead. Color-changing Dolly Varden joins in for the ride, keeping light tackle enthusiasts entertained well into October and November.

Fishing in Alaska deserves time and patience, and the more hours you spend on the water, the better. Trips lasting five hours and longer are recommended to get the most out of your experience. Multi-day trips are also popular, especially in the summertime. Just be sure to book your charter and lodging in advance to avoid disappointment. 

The Crooked Creek and Kasilof River State Recreation Sites are popular launch spots for charters. You can camp at both, which is great if you’re planning a multi-day trip. Take the Sterling highway on your way in and enjoy the beautiful vistas!

Rules & Regulations

The majority of charters in Alaska don’t provide fishing licenses. As a result, you’ll need to purchase your own freshwater license before your trip. Possession and bagging limits vary significantly depending on the time of year, so it’s best to do some research and head out with a guide.

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Kasilof River Fishing Seasons

January

It’s quiet on the Kasilof River, but there’s still plenty to do. Check out the Tustumena 200 – a sled dog race that brings in mushers from all over the world!

February

Keep your mind off the cold weather and head to nearby Soldotna for the annual Frozen RiverFest! It’s all about having a good time and indulging in food and drink with the locals. 

March

The weather’s warming up, but it’s not quite fishing season on the Kasilof River yet. Choose to explore areas of the Kenai Peninsula with access to saltwater and go against big Halibut instead!

April

Prime fishing season is almost upon us! In the meantime, test your angling skills against resident Rainbow Trout. In other areas on the Peninsula, you can hook into Rockfish and the last of the winter Halibut.

May

Things start to get exciting and by mid-month, the Kasilof is stocked with King Salmon. Unlike the Kenai River, you can use live bait here to further entice their bite. 50-pounders aren’t a rare occurrence here!

June

Catch the last of the spring Kings before Red Salmon arrives at the end of the month! Catching one of these delicious fish on a fly is a must in the drift-only Kasilof River.

July

And before you know it, the Kings are back! If you weren’t able to get out on the water during the first run, this your chance to make up for it. The fish may be smaller now, but it’s still rod-bending action from start to finish.

August

Hook Kings at the beginning of the month before shifting your focus to Silver Salmon later on. This is one of the last opportunities of the year to hook into these delicious fish!

September

Come fall, it’s all about the Steelhead run! The Kasilof river sees large numbers of the “silver bullet,” Just remember, it’s a catch and release fishery only.

October

The Steelhead run is still going strong! These silver fish don’t disappoint and put on a show by jumping out of the water. Dolly Varden joins the party too, keeping fishing exciting until the very last minute.

November

The majority of boats have been pulled out of the water, but if you can find somebody to take you out, the Steelhead and Dolly Varden fishing continues to be excellent!

December

The fishing season has to come a close, but there’s plenty of holiday cheer to go around in Alaska. Check out one of the many Christmas festivals and craft shows to get into the spirit!

Kasilof River Fishing Calendar

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Top Targeted Species in Kasilof River