Kenai River Rainbow Trout,
JUNE 11 to NOVEMBER 30

Rainbow trout are by far my favorite species to fish for in freshwater. Rainbows are a great catch for all experience levels! They are well known for jumping and explosive runs. Adult fish are distinguished by a broad reddish stripe along the lateral line, from gills to the tail. fish live their entire life in freshwater gorging themselves on decaying salmon and their eggs. While most places rainbow trout are introduced, they are 100% wild in the Kenai River. Wild rainbows are catch and release only on the Kenai River. Kenai rainbows are some of the largest wild trout in Alaska, they grow very large because of the abundant food source created by the millions of salmon spawning on the river.  Kenai River rainbows can be over 30 inches and up to 20lbs! These fish have been observed spawning up to 11 years old.

I take up to 4ppl a day but if there are two of you I highly recommend hiring me for a private charter.  All you will need to bring is food, drinks, rain gear, a camera, and a fishing license. I will provide all the fishing gear but you’re more than welcome to bring your own. I prefer to fly fish as it can be the most effective technique for catching rainbows but conventional gear can be provided if requested.

With access to about 50 miles of fishable water, it’s important to be flexible to what boat launch we will be launching from. Most likely we will be launching from Bings Landing, in the town of Sterling. We will discuss boat launch location and time a day before the trip. I will send you a detailed map of the location discussed. Make sure to show up to the boat ramp early, and I will be waiting for you with the boat in the water. Be sure to ask for Ian McDonald if you’re having trouble finding me.

Fishing License

Rainbow Trout fishing trips on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Kenai Peninsula Rainbow Trout Quick Facts:

  • Peak Season is Sept through November.
  • We do not offer spring rainbow trips. Fish are busy enduring the end of the spawning cycle.
  • There are multiple watersheds we operate on.
  • Rainbow Trout fishing is catch and release.
  • There are multiple watersheds we operate on.
  • Both single hand and spey fishing techniques can be effective.


Kenai River Dolly Varden Char,
JUNE 11 to NOVEMBER 30

Dolly Varden (char) is anadromous and extremely abundant in the Kenai River. Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden have very similar migratory habits and can be caught in the same locations. Dolly Varden has very distinctive pink spots and can be caught up to the 10lb range. Primetime for Dolly Varden can be in the fall, during the salmon spawn, but are easily targeted from June-December. Dolly Varden is extremely important to the ecosystem. In the early 1900s, Alaska had bounties on Dolly Varden with the belief that they were eating all the salmon eggs. When the salmon are spawning, studies have shown they eat mostly the diseased eggs preventing disease and bacteria. Dollies are incredibly hard fighters and are known for being bulldogs, making them one of the main targets for sport fishermen.

I take up to 4ppl a day but if there are two of you I highly recommend hiring me for a private charter.  All you will need to bring is food, drinks, rain gear, a camera, and a fishing license. I will provide all the fishing gear but you’re more than welcome to bring your own. I prefer to fly fish as it can be the most effective technique for catching rainbows but conventional gear can be provided if requested.

With access to about 50 miles of fishable water, it’s important to be flexible to what boat launch we will be launching from. Most likely we will be launching from Bings Landing, in the town of Sterling. We will discuss boat launch location and time a day before the trip. I will send you a detailed map of the location discussed. Make sure to show up to the boat ramp early, and I will be waiting for you with the boat in the water. Be sure to ask for Ian McDonald if you’re having trouble finding me.

Dolly Varden fishing trips on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Kenai Peninsula Dolly Varden Quick Facts:

  • Peak Season is June through November.
  • We do not offer spring rainbow trips. Fish are busy enduring the end of the spawning cycle.
  • There are multiple watersheds we operate on.
  • Dolly Varden fishing is catch and release.
  • There are multiple watersheds we operate on.
  • Both single hand and spey fishing techniques can be effective.


Kenai River Steelhead,
AUGUST 20 to NOVEMBER 1

Steelhead fishing is an extra special bonus on the Kenai River. While fishing for Rainbows/Dolly Varden, Steelheads are caught occasionally.  Steelheads are a kind of ocean-going rainbow trout.  Steelheads typically migrate back to freshwater after 3 years in the saltwater. They are the only pacific salmon that will survive after spawning and head back to the ocean for potentially another spawning cycle. They look a lot like rainbow trout, but with a trained eye, the difference is distinguishable. Steelheads are very uniform in shape and average around 28 inches. These amazing, acrobatic fish are often a fly fisherman’s favorite to target.

Steelhead fly fishing trips on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Kenai Peninsula Steelhead Quick Facts:

  • Peak Season is Sept through November.
  • We do not offer spring steelhead trips. Fish are busy enduring the end of the spawning cycle.
  • There are multiple watersheds we operate on.
  • Steelhead fishing is catch and release.
  • There are multiple watersheds we operate on.
  • Both single hand and spey fishing techniques can be effective.



Kasilof River King Salmon,
MAY 20 to JULY 31

Kasilof River king salmon (also known as chinook salmon) are an anadromous species and the largest species of Pacific salmon. Kings are the first available fish, starting around May 16th with the run ending at the end of July. The first run fish are mostly hatchery fish and get up to about 30 lbs. King fishing is mostly done with conventional gear from a boat. The limit is usually 2 hatchery fish per person. The second run of kings enter the river throughout the month of July with some of them reaching up to 80lbs! Make sure to ask me about the current rules and regulations, as they tend to change frequently.

Kasilof River is located about 15 miles south of Soldotna. This river is a drift boat fishery and is well known for its beautiful scenery. It is very important to be prepared for an early morning, but most importantly be flexible. We will go over the boat launch location and start time a day or two before the trip. For a full day we will be fishing for 8-9 hours. For a half-day charter it will be 4-5 hours. Be sure to show up early to pay for parking. Once you paid for parking, walk down the hill towards the water, look for boat number 382 and ask for Ian McDonald.  All you will need is drinks, rain gear, a camera, sunglasses, and fishing license. I can provide breakfast burritos and lunch. You will not need waders, but rubber boots are recommended. Make sure to purchase a king salmon stamp in addition to your license.

If you plan on taking fish home, be sure to have a cooler in your car. For purchasing ice, there is a gas station nearby and I will direct you to one of the many fish processors in. Here is a link to the available fish processors to get an idea on pricing:


Kasilof River Boat Launch


Kasilof River Sockeye Salmon,
Mid June-Mid August

Sockeye Salmon (also called reds) is an anadromous species of salmon found in the northern pacific ocean and rivers flowing into it. Sockeye salmon are well known for their bright red hue while in their spawning faze.  In the Kasilof River, Sockeye are not far behind the kings, but are the second salmon to arrive.  The Kasilof sockeye range from 2lbs-8lbs and average smaller than Kenai fish.   

The optimal escapement goal for Kasilof River Sockeye is 140,000370,000 fish. With a few of them showing up in late May, the majority of the run starts around mid June. The majority of the run floods the river in July and tapers off around mid August. To check for updated sockeye counts, click on the below.

Kasilof Sockeye Count

Kasilof River is located about 15 miles south of Soldotna. This river is a drift boat fishery, and we’ll know for its beautiful scenery. It is very important to be prepared for an early morning, but most importantly be flexible. We will go over boat launch location, start time, and any new regulations a day or two before the trip. Most likely the limit will be 3 per person but be prepared for a change in the regulations. I provide all the fishing equipment needed. Sockeye fishing will most likely be done on the shore line with a fly rod but I’m more than happy to supply conventional gear if requested.

For a full day we will be fishing for 8-9 hours. For a half day charter it will be 4-5 hours. Be sure to show up early to pay for parking. Once you payed for parking, walk down the hill towards the water, look for boat number 382, and ask for Ian McDonald.  All you will need to bring is food, drinks, rain gear, camera, waders, and fishing license. I am more than happy to supply hip boots. Make sure to give me boot sizes well before the trip so I can prepare.

Kasilof Bridge Boat Launch

If you plan on taking fish home, be sure to have a cooler in your car. For purchasing ice, there is a gas station nearby, and I will direct you to one of the many fish processors. Here is a link to the available fish processors to get an idea on pricing.



Kasilof River Coho Salmon,
AUGUST 1 to OCTOBER 30

Coho (also known as silver salmon) is an anadromous species and one of the 5 pacific salmon. Coho salmon are by far my favorite salmon to catch.  In addition to them being great table fare, they are a blast to catch on both fly and spin gear. Ranging anywhere from 5-20lbs, coho are acrobatic and are probably the most aggressive salmon out there. We usually start seeing coho in catchable numbers early to mid August and ends in October.

Kasilof River is located about 15 miles south of Soldotna. This river is a drift boat fishery, and we’ll know for its beautiful scenery. It is very important to be prepared for an early morning, but most importantly be flexible. We will go over boat launch location, start time, and any new regulations a day or two before the trip. Click on the link below for detailed directions to the Kasilof River boat launch.

Kasilof River Boat Launch 

If you plan on taking fish home, be sure to have a cooler in your car. For purchasing ice, there is a gas station nearby, and I will direct you to one of the many fish processors. Here is a link to the available fish processors to get an idea on pricing.



Kenai River King Salmon,
MAY 20 to JULY 31

Kenai River king salmon (also known as chinook salmon) is an anadromous species and the largest species of Pacific salmon. King salmon start entering the Kenai River around the last week of May and run through the end of July. The first run starts ends at the end of June. The optimal escapement goal being 3,9006,600 fish. The second run is the largest and runs through the month of July. With the optimal escapement goal being 15,00030,000. For additional information on accurate king counts, please click on the link below. These Kenai River kings are know for being some of the largest in the world. The world record king salmon was caught by Les Anderson on May 17th, 1985 and weighed 97.25lbs! For the full story on Les Andersons catch, click on the link below. Make sure to ask me about the current rules and regulations for kings, as they tend to change frequently.

Kenai River King Count

World record link

If you plan on fishing for king salmon on the Kenai River you will be fishing the lower Kenai. The lower Kenai is closest to the town of Soldotna. Depending on the tides and how the fishing has been, I will go over what boat launch we will be meeting at in the morning. The regulations on the Kenai state that we can only fish (from a boat) from 6am-6pm. With fishing being best in the morning, most likely we will be departing at the discussed boat launch at 5:30am. Make sure to give yourself enough time so we don’t miss the morning bite! All you will need to bring is: food, drinks, rain gear, camera, and fishing license. You will not need waders, but rubber boots are recommended. Make sure to purchase a king salmon stamp in addition to your license.

If you plan on taking fish home, be sure to have a cooler in your car. For purchasing ice, there is a gas station nearby, and I will direct you to one of the many fish processors. Here is a link to the available fish processors to get an idea on pricing.



Kenai River Sockeye Salmon,
JUNE 11 to AUGUST 15

Sockeye Salmon (also called reds) is an anadromous species of salmon found in the northern pacific ocean and rivers flowing into it. Sockeye salmon are well known for their bright red hue while in their spawning faze.  In the Kenai River, Sockeye are not far behind the kings, but are the second salmon to arrive. There are two very distinctive runs in the Kenai River. The first run ends up spawning in the Russian River in Cooper Landing. The Second run is the largest of the two runs. The late run enters the river early July and ends around mid August. The sustainable Escapement Goal for second run Sockeye is 750,0001,300,000 fish.

First Run Rushian River Sockeye Count

Second Run Sockeye Count

If the plan is to fish for sockeye salmon, then we will be fishing from Skilak down.  With access to about 50 miles of fishable water, it’s important to be flexible to what boat launch we will be launching from. We will go over boat launch location, start time, and any new regulations a day or two before the trip. I will provide detailed maps to what boat launch I’ve decided on.  When you arrive to the boat ramp I will be in the water getting gear ready. You can find me by walking down the ramp and asking for Ian McDonald. Most likely the limit will be 3 per person but be prepared for a change in the regulations. I provide all the fishing equipment needed. Sockeye fishing will most likely be done on the shore line with a fly rod but I’m more than happy to supply conventional gear, if requested. For a full day we will be fishing for 8-9 hours. For a half day charter it will be 4-5 hours. Be sure to show up early to pay for parking. All you will need to bring is food, drinks, rain gear, camera, waders, and fishing license. I am more than happy to supply hip boots. Make sure to give me boot sizes well before the trip so I can prepare.

If you plan on taking fish home, be sure to have a cooler in your car. For purchasing ice, there is a gas station nearby, and I will direct you to one of the many fish processors. Here is a link to the available fish processors to get an idea on pricing.



Kenai River Coho Salmon,
AUGUST 1 to OCTOBER 30

Coho (also known as silver salmon) is an anadromous species and one of the 5 pacific salmon. Coho salmon are by far my favorite salmon to catch.  In addition to them being great table fare, they are a blast to catch on both fly and spin gear. Ranging anywhere from 5-20lbs, coho are acrobatic and are probably the most aggressive salmon out there. We usually start seeing coho in catchable numbers early to mid August and ends in October.

If the plan is to fish for coho salmon, then we will be fishing from Skilak down.  With access to about 50 miles of fishable water, it’s important to be flexible to what boat launch we will be launching from. We will go over boat launch location, start time, and any new regulations a day or two before the trip. I will provide detailed maps to what boat launch I’ve decided on.  When you arrive to the boat ramp I will be in the water getting gear ready. You can find me by walking down the ramp and asking for Ian McDonald. In August the limit is usually 2 per person and in September its 3 per person.

If you plan on taking fish home, be sure to have a cooler in your car. For purchasing ice, there is a gas station nearby, and I will direct you to one of the many fish processors. Here is a link to the available fish processors to get an idea on pricing.



Kenai River Pink Salmon,
Early August-End of August

On the Kenai River, pink salmon enter in catchable numbers on the even years.  Pinks are completely underrated, they are extremely aggressive to catch and come in by the millions! Ranging from 2-12lbs Pink Salmon are great fish for kids to catch, and when fresh can be a decent table fare! If you’re looking for nonstop action, pink salmon should be on your radar! Pink salmon limits are typically 6 per person and limits can be very easy to obtain.

If the plan is to fish for pink salmon, then we will be fishing from Skilak Lake down. With access to about 50 miles of fishable water, it’s important to be flexible to what boat launch we will be launching from. We will go over boat launch location, start time, and any new regulations a day or two before the trip. I will provide detailed maps to what boat launch I’ve decided on. When you arrive to the boat ramp I will be in the water getting gear ready. You can find me by walking down the ramp and asking for Ian McDonald.

If you plan on taking fish home, be sure to have a cooler in your car. For purchasing ice, there is a gas station nearby, and I will direct you to one of the many fish processors. Here is a link to the available fish processors to get an idea on pricing.