Where We Fish On The Kenai River

Where We Fish On The Kenai River

Where is Kenai River Guide Mark Glassmaker Fishing?

The answer is everywhere.

For those of you who have never taken an Alaska Kenai River Fishing trip, there are several different areas where we fish on the Kenai River that offer various opportunities at different times of the summer. This means that we can be on nearly any portion of the Kenai River’s 50 miles of water, depending on what’s happening with any particular run at any particular time. Typically in early May, we’ll be in one or two holes just upstream from Eagle Rock on the lower Kenai River. Low water conditions prohibit our powerboats from leaving a select section of the lower river until rain and glacier melt raise the river enough to clear gravel bars and prop-eating rock piles. By late May, our Kenai fishing guides typically begin pushing further up to fish on the Kenai River at the holes just below the Soldotna Bridge. Here lies another unpassable stretch until higher water leads the way. By early June we will be running up to Swiftwater where we will ride out the peak and duration of the early Alaska fishing run. Fast water (hence the name Swiftwater) and big pronounced boulder fields keep less experienced Kenai River fishing charters away from these parts. Large rocks, islands, and gravel bars all provide excellent holding water for passing Chinook and that means it’s time to get your Alaska Fishing On!

Kenai River Salmon Fishing

By mid-June, we will leave the peak of the Alaska King Salmon run temporarily, for the first days of the Alaska trout fishing season. We trade the heavy current of Swiftwater for the slow, tranquil flows below Skilak Lake. This is a tradition for us and these days will rival the finest trophy rainbow angling anywhere in the world, easy. Usually, the closest floating objects are loons or trumpeter swans and there are no roads or houses, just delicious Alaska rainbow trout. In early July our Kenai River fishing guides focus on the first returns of late-run king salmon. Kenai River charters in the middle and lower sections improve daily, and by mid-July the run is nearing its peak. From this point of July on we will stop back-trolling the middle river and begin drifting with the tides down low. This is when we see several thousand king salmon on nearly every tide and complete Alaska fishing chaos ensues. It really does get crazy and this is what Kenai River Fishing is famous for: BIG, BIG Alaska King salmon, and lots of them.

The Kenai is closed to guided Kenai river fishing charters on Sundays and Mondays in July, so we leave the front lines for the slightly less chaotic pursuit of Alaska sockeye salmon from upriver gravel bars. We migrate yearly to the same “magic” spots where the fish seem to pass by in the heaviest and most consistent numbers. Our line of bank anglers all swing in unison like a finely tuned machine as flurries of fish rattle through the lines. There’s one, there’s two, there’s three on at once and the stringer continues to grow!

As Alaska King salmon season ends with July’s last day, we reach a point of transition. If returning numbers of Alaska silvers warrant our pursuit, we keep Kenai river salmon fishing on the lower Kenai and offer freshly cured salmon roe to them around the high tide. If the timing is right we’ll be done almost too soon as we head home with an amazing catch! If the Alaska Cohos have not yet arrived, we’ll head back up to fish on the Kenai River for the Alaska sockeye and a sure catch.

Eventually, the bulk of the Alaska silver salmon will arrive and we will leave the sockeye for good. We then focus our Alaska fishing efforts on the perfect spinner waters below Skilak Lake. Gathering in the slow-moving pools, big groups of ocean bright fish await the passing flash of a tumbling spinner. The best action is always before noon and then it’s time for an effortless afternoon of Alaska rainbow trout fishing. When we fish on the Kenai River, our Kenai River fishing guides play out this idyllic routine well through September when the larger run of Alaska silver salmon enters the river. By early October we are resigned to some Alaska trout & steelhead fishing on the Anchor. It will be May before the boat floats again and the whole cycle starts all over. Now that you know exactly where our Kenai River fishing charters will be, we hope you’ll join us!