Exploring Fishing Hotspots Near Soldotna and Sterling: Hidden Gems on the Kenai Peninsula (2024 Edition)

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Exploring Fishing Hotspots Near Soldotna and Sterling: Hidden Gems on the Kenai Peninsula (2024 Edition)

The Soldotna and Sterling areas of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska offer a plethora of hidden gems and lesser-known fishing spots waiting to be explored. While popular destinations like the Kenai River and Kasilof River are well-known among anglers, there are several nearby locations that provide excellent fishing opportunities away from the crowds. In this guide, we’ll uncover some of the best fishing hotspots near Soldotna and Sterling, inviting anglers to venture off the beaten path and discover new adventures close to home.

  1. Hidden Lake:
    • Located just a short drive from Soldotna, Hidden Lake is a pristine alpine lake nestled in the Kenai Mountains. Accessible via a scenic hiking trail, Hidden Lake offers superb fishing for wild rainbow trout and arctic grayling. Anglers can enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding wilderness while casting for trout in the crystal-clear waters of Hidden Lake.
  2. Swanson River:
    • Flowing through the Sterling area, the Swanson River is a hidden gem known for its diverse fishery and secluded setting. Anglers can explore the meandering channels and backwaters of the Swanson River in search of salmon, trout, and char. Whether fishing from the bank or drifting in a kayak, the Swanson River provides an opportunity to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful day on the water.
  3. Scout Lake:
    • Situated near Sterling, Scout Lake is a popular fishing destination known for its scenic beauty and abundant fish populations. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout and is also home to native Dolly Varden and Arctic char. Anglers can fish from the shore or launch a small boat to explore the waters of Scout Lake, surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of the Kenai Peninsula.
  4. Johnson Lake:
    • Just a short drive from Soldotna, Johnson Lake offers excellent fishing opportunities for anglers of all skill levels. The lake is stocked with rainbow trout, providing ample opportunities for anglers to reel in their next trophy fish. With convenient access and stunning scenery, Johnson Lake is an ideal destination for a day of fishing close to town.
  5. Morgan’s Landing:
    • Located on the banks of the Kenai River near Soldotna, Morgan’s Landing is a lesser-known fishing spot that offers excellent access to the river. Anglers can fish from the shore or launch a boat to explore the productive waters of the Kenai River. With the chance to catch salmon, trout, and char, Morgan’s Landing provides a convenient and rewarding fishing experience for anglers in the Soldotna area.

Whether you’re a local angler looking to explore new fishing spots or a visitor to the Soldotna and Sterling areas, these hidden gems offer exciting opportunities to reel in your next big catch. Grab your gear, venture off the beaten path, and discover the hidden treasures awaiting you near Soldotna and Sterling on the Kenai Peninsula.


Kenai River Fish Species

Rainbow Trout

Kenai River rainbows can be well over 30 inches and up to 20lbs!

Dolly Varden Char

Dollies range of all sizes and can reach up to about 12 lbs.


Steelhead are very uniform in shape and average around 28 inches. These amazing, acrobatic fish are often a fly fisherman’s favorite to target.

King Salmon

The Kenai River is open to motorized boats, allowing us chase the bite, and stay on the fish!

Sockeye Salmon

Sockeye salmon (also called red salmon) are the most popular salmon to catch on the Kenai Peninsula.

Coho Salmon

Ranging anywhere from 5-20lbs, coho are acrobatic and are probably the most aggressive salmon out there.

Pink Salmon

Pinks are completely underrated, they are extremely aggressive to catch and come in by the millions!


Guided ocean fishing on the world-famous Kenai Peninsula