When to Come

June through September, the Kenai River is a fisherman’s dream. The upper Kenai and lower Kenai offer a range of species and a variety of fishing types and techniques that ensure you’ll have a great time, anytime.  

The Kenai River is subject to Alaska Fish and Game regulations, and these regulations are subject to change at any time during the season. One of the reasons we have such a beautiful, unspoiled fishing habitat is through careful management. We follow and uphold all AKF&G regulations and will apprise you of significant changes when you arrive. 

For our king salmon fans, there are two runs each summer. Mid-June, and mid to late July. The river is closed for kings in August. King fishing also requires an additional “king stamp” on your license (available at our Riverside Lodge office). 

Sockeye (red) salmon runs happen twice per season as well; the first run is in mid-June and historically produces a good number of nice-sized fish. The second run from mid-July to early August is typically a bit longer and more abundant, but also busier and more crowded. At either time, you’ll catch some beautiful fish that taste great and make a great freezer-filler! 

Coho (silver) salmon are late season favorite on the Kenai, running strong in August with a peak in the middle of the month. These fish are hard fighting, good-sized and super tasty. Resurrection Bay is another fishery we are able to use for silver salmon at other times during the summer; check with your sales associate on whether a “Res Bay Silver Day” fits into your choice dates! 

Rainbow trout are a ‘don’t miss’ live action, fly-fishing thrill in the late season, and a great option from mid-June throughout the summer. Take advantage of quieter days, and the peaceful way of fly-fishing and maybe you’ll land a trophy-sized rainbow. They feed voraciously on salmon roe left behind by spawning salmon and by September, they are big, fat and fun! Rainbow trout are catch and release only. 

Dolly Varden, one of the Kenai’s “coolest” fish are available from mid-June through the end of September. They too feed on the spawning salmon roe, and grow in activity and size as the months go by. You’ll love catching one of these beautiful fish on the fly.