ALASKA FISHING GUIDE FAQS
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SEAN SMART

Experienced and local Alaska fishing guide

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All Answers Correct At The Time Of Posting (July 5, 2020).
But Alaska Fishing Restrictions And Regulations Are Always Subject To Change.

King salmon in Alaska run anywhere from mid-May. Until the season closes at the end of July. Typically I will start on about May 16th, because that is when bait opens up on the Kasilof River. Depending on restrictions we start off with bait or without bait. On the Kenai River. Typically, it is always without bait.

Well the 2 rivers I fish, the Kenai River and the Kasilof River, have different regulations. Typically I do the majority of my fishing on the Kasilof. Because during the month of May and June. We have a hatchery run of fish that comes in and I am allowed to keep 2 per day. One wild and one hatchery. Or two hatchery. You can only keep wild Kings, Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and Saturday’s. Then beginning in July the Kasilof goes to one fish per day, wild or hatchery. On the Kenai River, it is always one fish per day. When retention is allowed.

Although there are multiple places you could fish in Alaska. Some of the most road-accessible destinations are the Kenai and the Kasilof Rivers. The Kasilof is drifting only and the Kenai is a powerboat fishery. So depending on what you want to do and how many fish you want to keep. Depends on where we go.

Although there are multiple destinations all over the state, including flyout trips. Some of the best fishing is right here on the Kenai River. There are multiple places you can fish. You can fish on the upper Kenai River which is drift only. Out of a drift boat. Or you can fish on the middle-lower Kenai. Which is predominantly a powerboat fishery.

Once the Kenai River opens up on June 11th. I can fish for rainbow trout all summer, through the fall. But typically in the fall (starting late August, September and even into October) is the absolute best time to fish for trout. The reason being all the salmon spawning out here in the river, and all their little eggs are floating down the river. All the Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden trout go crazy for these. They will engorge themselves and try to pack on enough weight to survive the really harsh cold winter. When they run back up to the lake and live under the ice.

Well, honestly I could fish all the way until December if I really wanted to. The question is are you gonna come out with me? Because it’s already snowed and it’s cold. But typically the about the latest I go is late October. That’s when weather is still tolerable and there’s still a lot of fish that are biting.

Well there are multiple ways and depending on what section of the Kenai you’re fishing, depends on kind of how we fish. One of the best ways is to use a fly rod, and we use what we call a strike indicator. Using a presentation that closely resembles rotten salmon flesh floating down the river. From the salmon that are starting the spawn and die, or just any leftover salmon carcasses that are floating down. Or we use what we call beads which is an egg imitation imitating various colors of salmon eggs that could be floating down the river. Can fish that on the fly rod or I can fish it on the spinning rod. Depending on what your skill level.

Alaska has many locations. Kenai River and Kasilof Rivers yield the highest number of salmon on the Kenai Peninsula. They are also the most road accessible.

The absolute best time to salmon fish would have to be the month of July. You can salmon fish as early as May and as late as October.

Yes. Silver salmon are available from the end of August through most of October.

Most anglers flip line in shallow water while swinging a fly with either a fly rod or a spinning rod.

Salmon run from the month of May until October.

You fish for sockeye on the Kenai River or the Kasilof River.

The limit of silver salmon on the Kenai River is two in August and three during the month of September.

Normal limits of sockeye salmon are three per day. Alaska Department of Fish and Game will increase the bag limit if the river exceeds escapement goals.

A full day of salmon fishing is $270 per person. A half day of fishing is $185

There are five different species of salmon in Alaska. Chum (Dog) Salmon, Pink (Humpy) Salmon, Sockeye (Red) Salmon, Silver (Coho) Salmon and King (Chinook) Salmon

Steelhead are actually spread across Alaska. You can catch steelhead from Southeast Alaska, Kodiak Island, the Aleutian Islands and the Kenai Peninsula. The Kasilof River is a great choice when looking for guided steelhead fishing.

Steelhead are genetically the same as rainbow trout. Steelhead are similar to salmon, which are anadromous, meaning they are born in fresh water, swim to the ocean, then return back to their home water where they were born. Rainbow trout are resident fish to the river they are found in. They stay in the rivers and lakes year round. Both steelhead and rainbow trout spawn repeatedly, year after year, with a low mortality rate.

Fly fishing is one of the most popular methods. Spinning rods work well for anglers that do not fly fish. Flys and beads imitating salmon eggs are the common set-ups for trout on the Kenai River.

Spring time as well as fall. On the Kenai Peninsula the best time to fish for steelhead is September and October.

The best method to fish for steelhead is fly fishing. Steelhead can be caught on swung flys as well as indicator fishing with a single hand rod. Casting a Spey rod to catch them on the swing can be the most rewarding experience.

Many places can produce good fish at different times. The Kenai Peninsula is the most road accessible with walk-in and drifting options available.

You can fly fish for Dolly Varden using flys or beads that imitate salmon eggs. Spinning rods can also be used using the same tackle.

Early mornings are the best start times for most fishing trips. Some trips are very early so your guide can secure a good spot on the river bank or from the boat anchored in the river.

Yes. The Kenai and Kasilof Rivers will have silver salmon available, as well as large rainbow trout.

Yes. Fishing for trout and silver salmon will typically be slightly slower than September. But don’t be mistaken, silver salmon limits can be reached, as well as landing a trophy rainbow trout.

A great attitude, patience, proper clothing for the elements, and a fishing license.

You can fly fish all over Alaska. The Kenai and Kasilof Rivers are great places to fly fish as they are road accessible and provide great chances for success.

Trout fishing, salmon fishing, halibut fishing, salt-water fishing, lake fishing, creek fishing, ice fishing, Spey fishing

Kinda, check our post about this.

The Kenai River is open for fishing starting from June 11th until May 1st. Every year it is closed from May 1st-June 11th while the trout spawn.

The Kenai River starts at Kenai Lake, which is located in Cooper Landing.

Yes. On a full-day fishing trip a guide can teach you the basics and get you into some fish if you have the patience.

It is always better to book a full-day trip when salmon fishing. Half-day trips are usually better for trout and not salmon fishing. Salmon fishing can turn on and off during the day. A full-day trip will allow you a better chance at your limit of fish.

Short answer is yes. Half-day trips are only four hours total so your chance at a limit of fish is greatly reduced, compared with a full-day trip

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