Kenai River Dolly Varden Char,

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.
  • Dolly Varden fishing is catch and release.
  • There are multiple watersheds we operate on.
  • Both single hand and spey fishing techniques can be effective.