In November a lot will change on the Kenai River. With the leaves changing and the river dropping a lot of the trout will start to concentrate closer to Skilak Lake. With the winter on the way, this is when the hardcore trout fisherman comes out! If you’re looking to swing flies, I highly recommend coming in November. Make sure to be flexible when it comes to techniques as conditions do change quickly. With the millions of salmon that have spawned in the river, this is when the trout really start putting on some weight. In November, the silver salmon start spawning. If you’re willing to fish with frozen gear and cold hands, I highly recommend fishing in November! Catching 10-pound rainbow trout is common and when conditions are right, it can be very possible to hook or land one daily! I highly recommend hiring me for a private charter with no more than 3 people in the boat. Fewer anglers can often make for a more personable trip and can result in better fishing.
Rainbow trout are by far my favorite species to fish for in freshwater. They are well known for jumping and explosive runs. These fish live their entire life in freshwater gorging themselves on decaying salmon and their eggs. Wild rainbows are catch and release only on the Kenai River. Kenai rainbows are some of the largest wild trout in Alaska and the world. They grow very large because of the abundant food source created by the millions of salmon spawning on the river. Kenai River rainbows can grow well over 30 inches and get up to 20lbs! If you’re looking to learn how to fly fish, I highly recommend fishing for Kenai River rainbow trout!
For gear I will be providing fly rods and I will be rigged and ready for the day. The Kenai is a great opportunity for all experience levels. I highly encourage beginners to learn how to fly fish because it can be the most successful technique. The weather in Alaska is unpredictable. Make sure to dress warm, wear layers, a hat, sunglasses and waterproof boots if possible. Please bring your own drinks and your fishing license. You will not need any special tags for trout fishing, just a regular license.
Dolly Varden (char) are 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 have very distinctive pink spots and can be caught up to the 10lb range. Prime time for Dolly Varden fishing is in the fall, during the salmon spawn, but these fish are easily targeted from June-December. Dolly Varden are 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, modern studies have shown that Dollies eat mostly the diseased eggs. Dollies actually help prevent disease, bacteria and bad genetics in the salmon runs. Dollies are incredibly hard fighters and are known for being bulldogs, making them one of the main targets for sport fisherman.
For gear I will be providing fly rods and I will be rigged and ready for the day. The Kenai is a great opportunity for all experience levels. I highly encourage beginners to learn how to fly fish because it can be the most successful technique. The weather in Alaska is unpredictable. Make sure to dress warm, wear layers, a hat, sunglasses and waterproof boots if possible. Please bring your own drinks and your fishing license. You will not need any special tags for Dolly fishing, just a regular license.
FAQ: How to get to the Kenai Peninsula
Once you arrive in Anchorage, you can rent a car and drive the scenic Seward Highway South for about 2.5 hours to Soldotna. You can also fly straight into Soldotna on a small plane from Anchorage, but you will still need a rental vehicle to get to the boat launches. Please keep in mind that the traffic will be slow on Alaskan highways in the summer because of the short construction season and heavy tourism traffic, you may want to add an hour or two to your expected drive time.
With long hours of fishing and early morning starts, I highly recommend finding a place to stay overnight while visiting the Kenai Peninsula. I recommend Aspen Hotel Soldotna. Booking.com , Airbnb and VRBO can also be great tools for finding available options on the Kenai Peninsula. I am more than happy to help you find a place to stay, so feel free to give me a call at any time. Please be sure to book far in advance as prime summer dates book up fast!