Kenai River

24 Fishing Charters

Kenai River Fishing Charters

Search top fishing charters in Kenai River

Top Kenai River Destinations

Kenai River: 24 fishing charters available

Jason’s Guide Service

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(37 reviews)
Cooper Landing
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $700

Outgoing Angling – Alaska

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(20 reviews)
Soldotna
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $500

Peninsula Sportfishing – Kenai River

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(89 reviews)
Soldotna
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $200

Kenai River Fishing Adventures

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(25 reviews)
Kenai
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $185

Peninsula Sportfishing – Kasilof River

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(11 reviews)
Soldotna
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $200

Chugach View Outfitters

Excellent
5.0 / 5
(1 review)
Cooper Landing
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $600

Lakeview Outfitters

Excellent
4.8 / 5
(15 reviews)
Cooper Landing
trips from $200

King of the River – Powerboat

Excellent
4.8 / 5
(119 reviews)
Kenai
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $185

ChasingTales Alaska

Excellent
4.8 / 5
(17 reviews)
Sterling
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $200

D's Fishing Company

Excellent
4.9 / 5
(35 reviews)
Soldotna
 Instant Confirmation
trips from $200

FAQs about Fishing Charters in Kenai River

The average price for a private 4 hour Kenai River fishing trip is $723, while an 8 hour private trip will cost you $999 based on prices on FishingBooker.com.

According to customer reviews, Jason’s Guide Service, Outgoing Angling – Alaska, and Peninsula Sportfishing – Kenai River are some of the most popular fishing charters in Kenai River. Full list of top fishing charters in Kenai River.

Jason’s Guide Service, Outgoing Angling – Alaska, and Peninsula Sportfishing – Kenai River all received great reviews from families who booked fishing trips in Kenai River.

The most popular fish species you can target are Coho Salmon, Rainbow Trout (Steelhead), and Sockeye Salmon. Top fishing techniques include light tackle, fly fishing, and spinning. River fishing, lake fishing, and backcountry fishing are commonly offered by local guides.

Each summer, anglers the world over spend the hottest months of the year on the Kenai River fishing for some of the largest Salmon and Trout they’ll ever see. The Kenai begins in Cooper Landing, flows west through Skilak Lake, and eventually empties into Cook Inlet—spanning little over 80 miles in total. While it’s not the largest river known to anglers, it is the most renowned and frequented fishing spot in Alaska. Lifelong pros and beginners alike cast a line here for record-breaking King (Chinook) Salmon, trophy Rainbow Trout, and color-changing Dolly Varden.

Located on the Kenai Peninsula and just a 2-hour drive from Anchorage, some parts of the river are relatively accessible by local standards. For those who are eager to escape the hustle and bustle, however, a journey downstream into the remote reaches of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge will do just the trick. Rest assured there’s a memorable catch no matter where the current takes you, and plenty of Kenai River fishing guides to help you reel it in. Whether you’re an avid angler or just an adventurous spirit, welcome to this little slice of heaven.

The Kenai River’s Top Catches

King (Chinook) Salmon

The lower Kenai River is Alaska’s premier fishing spot for King Salmon. For those who believe in going big or going home, there’s no better place to land the largest of the Pacific Salmon species. The waters running from Skilak Lake to Cook inlet have witnessed many IGFA line class records for this fish, with the local record still standing at 97 lbs 4 oz.

You can expect good to excellent King Salmon fishing on the Kenai starting in late May (if the legal season is open). By June, the lower part of the river is crowded with boats full of anglers who are eager to land the next record-breaking fish. Many navigate the deep, smooth-flowing water of the lower Kenai in drift boats or power boats, often backtrolling with spinning or conventional gear. Timing is everything when it comes to Kings, and once hooked, they take off like a freight train.

Red (Sockeye) Salmon

The Kenai River gets double runs of both King and Red (Sockeye) Salmon, which overlap in June. The earliest Reds arrive in the middle of the month, but the peak season for this species really gets underway from late July through August. While you can certainly fish for Kings and Reds at the same time, you won’t always find the best of these two species in the same places. The shallow, swift-flowing currents in the upper Kenai tend to produce better Red Salmon fishing. In years that end with an even number, this species is joined by hordes of Pink Salmon.

Reds are the least aggressive of local Salmon, but they are one of the most numerous and hard-fighting. This makes for an especially thrilling experience, since they are hard to hook and even harder to reel in! If this is your target fish, plan to hire a savvy guide and prepare to spend a few hours patiently waiting before you get a bite. Enticing a bite from these fish usually means swinging a fly directly in front of them multiple times. With millions of Red Salmon swimming through the Kenai each season, those who master the secret to catching them can hook as many as 50 in a day.

Silver (Coho) Salmon

When it comes to sheer fighting action, Silver (Coho) Salmon take the cake. These are the most aggressive and acrobatic of the Pacific species. In this respect, the Kenai River saves the best for last, bringing these showstoppers to the stage in August. The river’s peak season for Silver Salmon coincides with the peak season for Rainbow Trout, giving light tackle and fly anglers a chance to make the most of their day on the water. It’s common to navigate the upper Kenai in a drift boat or inflatable raft before stopping and wading into the current to cast. If you cast your line early in the morning, you can expect these fish to strike just about any bait on a good day.

Rainbow Trout

Amongst fly fishermen, Trout fishing on the Kenai River is almost as legendary as the local Salmon fishing. From mid August through fall, you can hook into some real trophies around here. The last several miles of the upper Kenai—known as The Canyon—boast some of the biggest Rainbows. Here, it’s common to cast from a drift boat, since the water below Skilak Lake is deeper and there’s less opportunity to make use of the shoreline. Trips to this part of the river are weather dependent.

You can expect most Kenai River fishing guides to provide spinning and fly fishing gear, but you’re typically welcome to bring your own, as well. A 7-10 weight rod is recommended, along with a large arbor reel spooled up with a good drag system. A weight forward floating line is ideal, and don’t be afraid to overline by a couple of sizes.

Dolly Varden

This member of the Char family is another source of light tackle action, typically weighing 1-5 lbs. You’ll find the look of this fish as pleasing as the fight it puts on. Spawning in fall, Dolly Varden change from a chrome-silver color with light pink spots to a deep green shade. Their fins and bellies turn orange and a stunning white stripe appears along the edge of their lower fins. Catching one of these beauties can be an unexpected highlight in any Kenai River fishing experience. Local fish typically measure 18-28”, with a few 30-inchers thrown in.

Dolly Varden are abundant at the same time of year as Rainbow Trout, and you will have great success fishing for them on the same tackle. If you’re relying on spinning gearing, bring a light rod with a reel holding about 200 yards of 10 lb test line.

Need to Know

Kenai River fishing guides typically provide everything you need, including tackle, bait, and anything else that may be appropriate such as flies and hip waders. Of course, you are welcome to bring your own gear if you prefer, just make sure you discuss this with your guide ahead of time so they can help you come prepared.

Whether you plan on hiring a guide or fishing alone, be sure to bring an Alaska fishing license (available online). A freshwater license is required for residents age 18 and above, and non-residents 16 or older. If you plan on catching and keeping King Salmon, you will also need to buy a special stamp.

Bear in mind that it’s not always legal to fish for Salmon in the Kenai River. Regulations vary depending on what section of the river you plan to fish and your target species. In general, King Salmon are open to harvest on the lower Kenai during most months, but you may not be able to fish for them in the upper Kenai. The fishing season on the upper Kenai is closed during May in some years.

Trout and Dolly Varden are open to harvest year-round (size and bag limits apply).

You can read more about regulations in specific areas of the river on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website.

Kenai River
Excellent
4.4 / 5
Based on 25041 reviews by FishingBooker anglers

January

Winters blues got you down? Head to Seward for the annual Polar Bear Jump! Put on your funniest costume and plunge into the bay to help raise money for the Alaska Division of the American Cancer Society.

February

Average temperatures barely tip the scale past 20°F in February. The Kenai hosts Dolly Varden and Trout, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a buddy who’s willing to hit the river with you at this time of year.

March

Average temperatures are creeping higher, finally hovering above 30°F. Many local anglers head to Homer for the Winter King Salmon Tournament for a chance to reel in massive saltwater Kings.

April

With the river’s main fishing season still one month away, you’ve got time to practice casting for Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden without rubbing elbows with tourists.

May

King Salmon are the first to arrive, with the first run beginning in mid-May. You can expect superb fishing for this species from the start—just make sure the legal season is open. 

June

The King Salmon run is in full swing, and the first run of Red (Sockeye) Salmon will be showing up around mid-month. Crowds of anglers from far and wide will start showing up this month. 

July

Fishing on the Kenai River is all about Kings and Reds at this time of year. The lower river will be crammed with drift boats and anglers eager to land the next record-breaking fish!

August

Just as King Salmon start to take their leave, Silvers (Coho) arrive in time to keep things interesting! By mid-August, many anglers on the river will be locals keen on landing Reds, Silvers, and the last of the Kings. 

September

If you’ve had your fill of Salmon fishing, this is the perfect time to set your sights on the Kenai River’s stellar Trout fishing. Dolly Varden are also entering their peak at this time.

October

For those who don’t shy away from a little nip in the air, fall can produce some excellent light tackle and fly fishing for Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout. You may even land a Steelhead. 

November

Most Kenai River fishing guides will stop guiding in winter, as average temperatures dip below 30°F. Savvy anglers who aren’t afraid to go it alone can still have a successful day on the water.

December

If there’s one thing locals on the Kenai know how to do, it’s ringing in the holiday season! The Holiday Weekend in Seward is just one way to kick off the season with craft shows, tree lighting, and more.

Kenai River Fishing Calendar

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Make sure to book during one of the salmon runs. The guide was great but the but the fishing was hard.
Excellent
4.7 / 5
Make sure to book during one of the salmon runs. The guide was great but the but the fishing was hard.
Ira  S.
Ira S. Rockwall, TX
Buy your license at Fred Meyer...very easy. If you catch a king salmon you will not be able to fish for the rest of the trip, but you can enjoy the boat ride.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Buy your license at Fred Meyer...very easy. If you catch a king salmon you will not be able to fish for the rest of the trip, but you can enjoy the boat ride.
Dennis  R.
Dennis R. Vancouver, WA
If you really want to catch fish. You need at least a few days. with 1 day ,do not complain about no fish result (target is King salmon.)
Excellent
4.7 / 5
If you really want to catch fish. You need at least a few days. with 1 day ,do not complain about no fish result (target is King salmon.)
Yoshi  S.
Yoshi S. Fort Payne, AL
Fishing in June is great because we got there before the big tourist season and didn’t have to fight the croweds.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Fishing in June is great because we got there before the big tourist season and didn’t have to fight the croweds.
Travis  B.
Travis B. Homer, AK
book your fishing a bit earlier in the year than we did but don't be afraid of whenever you go. I would probably book more than one day if I were to do this again down the road. Be nice to go after some King Salmon.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
book your fishing a bit earlier in the year than we did but don't be afraid of whenever you go. I would probably book more than one day if I were to do this again down the road. Be nice to go after some King Salmon.
Kenneth  J.
Kenneth J. WILIAMSBG Township, ME
Check the Alaskan wildlife site to see which fish are running or if they have closed the season for certain fish.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Check the Alaskan wildlife site to see which fish are running or if they have closed the season for certain fish.
Dustin  J.
Dustin J. Herndon, VA
Amazing experience. Better in many ways than the Kenai. Weather can be unpredictable. Bring gear!
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Amazing experience. Better in many ways than the Kenai. Weather can be unpredictable. Bring gear!
Steven  M.  M.
Steven M. M. Philomath, Oregon
Visit the launch area at Centennial Park 11:00am to noon to see and speak to the anglers returning from the early morning half day trips on the Kenai.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Visit the launch area at Centennial Park 11:00am to noon to see and speak to the anglers returning from the early morning half day trips on the Kenai.
Tim  M.
Tim M. Reno, Nevada
Dress warm, and exspect a scenic, beautiful float that you will not forget.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Dress warm, and exspect a scenic, beautiful float that you will not forget.
FishingBooker Member
FishingBooker Member United States
Find a good guide, do some research, a good guide will make a good trip or a bad trip, find your guide they can tell u how to plan your trip.
Excellent
5.0 / 5
Find a good guide, do some research, a good guide will make a good trip or a bad trip, find your guide they can tell u how to plan your trip.
Brian  W.
Brian W. Park City, Utah

Secret Waters Guide Service
Secret Waters Guide Service
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(16 reviews)
Capt Kurtis was a fantastic guide for our fishing trip on the Kenai River. We both had the thrill of “fish on” and got a Silver salmon keeper. The Rainbow trout was safely landed and returned. What an experience!
Beth  S.
Beth S. Crystal River, FL
Secret Waters Guide Service
Secret Waters Guide Service
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(16 reviews)
We had a great time fishing with Kurtis. He kept us in the fish zone and our trip flew by. Can’t wait to fish again with him someday, we’ll be back!
Benjamin  D.
Benjamin D. Sanborn, ND
King of the River – Powerboat
King of the River – Powerboat
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(119 reviews)
Dean was a awesome guide vary professional and made sure we was able to get on some fish will definitely use him In the future
Kenneth  C.
Kenneth C. Onalaska, TX
ChasingTales Alaska
ChasingTales Alaska
Fishing charter in Sterling
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(17 reviews)
Weather didn’t fully cooperate but even in the cold rain, we had a great time. William was a wonderful Captain and Jackson the furry black lab was a great guide. He enjoyed watching the fish get reeled in. William was patient teaching us how to fly fish and was fun to spend an afternoon with. Great Alaskan adventure. We’ll be back! Great communications as well.
Kay  C.
Kay C. Fuquay-Varina, NC
Five Dogs Fishing
Five Dogs Fishing
Fishing charter in Cooper Landing
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(7 reviews)
I would highly recommend this guide service to everyone. We had the best time!!
Rory  M.
Rory M. Spearfish, SD
King of the River – Powerboat
King of the River – Powerboat
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(119 reviews)
Don’t hesitate to book Dean. We had an amazing day on the water! Would book this experience again!
Rory  M.
Rory M. Spearfish, SD
Peninsula Sportfishing – Kenai River
Peninsula Sportfishing – Kenai River
Fishing charter in Soldotna
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(89 reviews)
The fish may have not been cooperating but Capt Jared didn’t give up. I caught my first salmon in the last few minuted of the day - all thanks to efforts of our guide. What a great way to celebrate my 61st birthday! Both the boat and equipment were very well maintained and I would definitely recommend this excursion to anyone!
Beth  S.
Beth S. Crystal River, FL
King of the River – Powerboat
King of the River – Powerboat
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(119 reviews)
We had an absolute blast on the boat with Eric! Great day fishing and my wife pulled in her first ever silvers! Planning many more trips with Eric!
Cambry  C.
Cambry C. Seattle, Washington
Five Dogs Fishing
Five Dogs Fishing
Fishing charter in Cooper Landing
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(7 reviews)
So thankful that we had Dallen. My dad is slow going and my uncle is a cranky know it all and Dallen was super patient and kind. He was knowledgeable and safe. We had an amazing time even though I can't cast to save my life🤓
Kim  S.
Kim S. Anchor Point, Alaska
King of the River – Powerboat
King of the River – Powerboat
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(119 reviews)
Dean is the top. He is super professional. His boat is top notch, clean, and well organized. With Dean it seemed everything just ran so smooth. Even though looking around I didn't see many fish being caught, our group caught nice fish. If you are going out on the river and need a guide, go with King of the River. If he has any openings.
Daniel  R.
Daniel R. Andover, MN
King of the River – Powerboat
King of the River – Powerboat
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(119 reviews)
We had a blast, the captain and deck hand were very helpful and patient with us. Caught fish and made memories!
Jed  K.
Jed K. Alva, FL
Secret Waters Guide Service
Secret Waters Guide Service
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(16 reviews)
Kurtis is the man! Quick response with booking, great communication, great variety in tackle, great fishing location, and super helpful. Will definitely book again in the future. Highly recommend!
Cambry  C.
Cambry C. Seattle, Washington
D's Fishing Company
D's Fishing Company
Fishing charter in Soldotna
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(35 reviews)
Outstanding guide. He know the Kenai river and where the fish will be. Most importantly, he communicates with other guides to assess the conditions and where the fish are moving. We will be fishing with DUSTIN AGAIN.
Dean  Y.
Dean Y. Renton, WA
King of the River – Powerboat
King of the River – Powerboat
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
4.7 / 5
(119 reviews)
We had a great time with Capt. Dean & Wade. Both were friendly, knowledgeable and did their best to get some fish on. Slow day out there but didn’t leave empty handed. Would certainly fish with them again!
Jason  E.
Jason E. Meridian, ID
Secret Waters Guide Service
Secret Waters Guide Service
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(16 reviews)
Was a great day and experience on the water. Was able to hook up and land my biggest salmon to date with a great guide and good people to share the boat with.
Daniel  C.
Daniel C. Turnerville, WY
Lakeview Outfitters
Lakeview Outfitters
Fishing charter in Cooper Landing
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(15 reviews)
Such great fishing experience added al lot to my Alaska visit which will stay in my mind for ever.Great captain and supportive. Thanks
Ahmed  A.  H.
Ahmed A. H. Sugar Land, TX
King of the River – Powerboat
King of the River – Powerboat
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(119 reviews)
The weather wasn't nice. The fish were slow to bite, but we caught our limit in our planned duration and had a good experience.
Rob  M.
Rob M. Cary, NC
Lakeview Outfitters
Lakeview Outfitters
Fishing charter in Cooper Landing
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(15 reviews)
Silver run wasn’t hot, but guide put us on lots of dolly vardin and trout. He was very patient and explained everything to us very well.
Robert  R.
Robert R. Elizabeth, CO
Wild Kenai Adventures
Wild Kenai Adventures
Fishing charter in Kenai
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(9 reviews)
I had really fun experience. Even though I took an unfortunate and cold swim, my guide Corey made sure I was tended to. He offered me his coat and a heater, as I refused to go back until my time was up 😂 I even managed to catch a nice sized salmon! 10/10 would recommend!
Heidi  P.
Heidi P. Minneapolis, MN
Five Dogs Fishing
Five Dogs Fishing
Fishing charter in Cooper Landing
Excellent
5.0 / 5
(7 reviews)
We had never held a fly fishing rod before, but Dallin was patient and a good teacher. Really had a great time on the Kenai River.
Jackie  A.
Jackie A. United States