• Captain Jim Voss & Sagy Cruise The Kenai River

  • Captain Kevin Chavira Releases Big Kenai King

  • Captain Kevin Chavira & Captain Creig Garrett Kenai River Sockeye Fishing

  • Captain Kevin Chavira & Captain Nick Garrett Sunrise On The Kenai River

  • Kath Nilsen & Allie Nilsen Battle Kenai River Sockeye Salmon

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Alaska Boat Rental & Fishing Guide Service

Alaska Boat Rental and Guide Service has some of the best Kenai River fishing guides and Kasilof River fishing guides on the river. Many of us have been fishing these rivers since we were kids. We fish all 82 miles of the Kenai River and all 17 miles of the Kasilof River for Trophy King Salmon, Silver Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, and Trophy Rainbow Trout. 

But  We Do A Lot More Than Just Boat Rentals & Guided Fishing!

Kevin and Daniel Release a beautiful Kenai River King Salmon
Anglers pose with a huge haul of sockeye

The Kenai Peninsula & Kenai River's Premiere Guide Service

We live to fish these rivers and we could not be more fortunate to have such an amazing choice of fishing opportunities right in our backyard. Whether it’s your first time to Alaska, you are a first-time angler, or you’re an experienced professional, we are the Kasilof and Kenai River Fishing Guide Service you’re looking for. We provide first-class guided fishing on the Kenai River, Kasilof River, Anchor River, Ninilchik River, and will even do instruction on how to surf cast for halibut and salmon from the Kenai Peninsula beaches. Depending upon the time of year and season, we target king salmon, silver salmon, sockeye salmon, rainbow trout and steelhead. 

We fish out of the towns of Soldotna, Kenai, Sterling, Kasilof, Anchor Point, Ninilchik, Cooper Landing, and Homer. 

Kasilof & Kenai River Fishing Guide Charters

The Kenai Peninsula is home to some of the most famous rivers and fishing waters in the entire state. This includes the Kenai River, Kasilof River, Russian River and more. It also includes the fertile saltwater grounds of Resurrection Bay in Seward, Prince William Sound in Whittier, and Kachemak Bay in Homer – The halibut capital of the world.

We fish for every species of fish found in the rivers and streams of the Kenai Peninsula. Starting in May we will begin to target the early run of King salmon. As the summer progresses we will continue to fish for king salmon as we also target sockeye salmon. Finally as the summer moves into the first of August we’ll start to target silver salmon and give a lot more of our attention to the rainbow trout, and steelhead. Each species is targeted at different times and uses different techniques based on years of experience learning what works best and understanding the behavior and biology of these fish. Check out the information below to learn more about where, when, and how to target each of the different species of fish and what will be available during your time in Alaska.f

King Salmon

Peak Dates: May 15 - July 31

Silver Salmon

Peak Dates: Aug 1 - Sept 30

Sockeye Salmon

Peak Dates: June 15 - Aug 20

Trout & Steelhead

Peak Dates: Aug 1- Sept 30

Kenai Peninsula & Kenai River Best Times To Fish

From May to October there is always something to fish for on the Kenai Peninsula. It’s one of the reasons why the Kenai Peninsula is the top Alaska destination year after year. And, if fishing is only part of your plans, the area offers a wide range of hiking, scenic wildlife tours, bear opportunities, and local entertainment events all summer long. 

We offer guided fishing for every species of sport fish available in our Alaskan waters. Which species we target depends on the dates we are fishing as each different species of fish its own unique peak times. Several species of fish have multiple runs throughout the spring, summer, and fall and will peak more than once. Rest assured, we know each of these fisheries extremely well and will help put you on the best fishing experience possible. Check out the information below to learn more about what to expect from May through October.

If you are interested in salmon fishing, make sure to check out our Alaska FishCounts page to get a complete understanding of the best time to fish in Alaska. If you are going to be fishing on the Kenai Peninsula you’ll find specific information on: 

 There is even an app you can download to get real-time fish counts, fishing locations, fishing information and more called Alaska FishTopia

May Fishing

River: Kings, Rainbow, Dolly Varden

Ocean: Halibut, Kings, Rockfish

June Fishing

River: Kings, Sockeye, Rainbow, Dolly

Ocean: Halibut, Kings, Rockfish

July Fishing

River: Kings, Rainbow, Dolly Varden

Ocean: Halibut, Kings, Silvers, Rockfish

August Fishing

Ocean: Halibut, Kings, Silvers Rockfish

River: Sockeye, Silver, Rainbow, Dolly

September fishing

River: Kings, Sockeye, Rainbow, Dolly

Ocean: Halibut, Kings, Silvers, Rockfish

October Fishing

River: Kings, Rainbow, Dolly Varden

Ocean: Halibut, Kings, Rockfish

About Our Kenai Peninsula, Kasilof & Kenai River Fishing Guide Service

We have some of the most accomplished fishing guides on the Kenai Peninsula. Kevin Chavira, Hunter Nash, Jim Voss, Nick Garret, & Creig Garrett have been fishing the Kenai River, Kasilof River, Russian River, and the entire Kenai Peninsula watershed for years. These are professional, courteous, sportsmen who are passionate about what they do and can’t wait to share it with you. At Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service we don’t hire “one and done seasonal guides.” We hire guides that exhibit a passion for outdoor sportsmanship, professional attitude, unwavering ethics, and a well-rounded education. 

Each one of them has been with us for years and we feel so fortunate that they’ll be with us for many years to come. Many are lifelong Alaskans whose families have been fishing these waters and living the Alaska life for generations. We’re extremely proud to have Nick’s son Creig joining us in 2021. While 2021 may have been his first year professionally guiding, Creig has been fishing the Kenai River with his dad since before he could walk.

Kasilof & Kenai River Fishing Guides - Meet Our Guide Staff

In The News

For visitors and residents alike, keeping up with the fishing quality is on everyone’s mind all summer long. With personable, articulate, experienced Kenai River fishing guides that are on the river every day, all summer long, Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service is often called upon by the Alaska TV news community to get their staff out on the water and experience the fishing conditions first hand. 

Fish All Fifty

Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service helps two young men achieve the goal of catching the state fish in all fifty state with each catching a Trophy Kenai River King Salmon

Silver Salmon Fishing

Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service puts news reporter, Patrick Enslow from Channel 2 Alaska’s News Source, on limits of Kenai River Silver Salmon

Flipping For Sockeye

Alaska’s News Source hit the Kenai River with head guide, Kevin Chavira, right before the late sockeye salmon run started and it didn’t disappoint.

End Of Year Report

Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service puts news reporter, Patrick Enslow from Channel 2 Alaska’s News Source, on limits of Kenai River Silver Salmon

When Is The Best Time To Fish The Kenai River?

When is the best time to fish the Kenai River? It turns out, that is a really complicated question! We’ll also mention the Kasilof River in the answer because these two rivers do a beautiful job of complimenting each other. 

Some facts and datapoints:

  • The Kasilof River has a run of both hatchery king salmon and wild king salmon (8,000 – 12,000 king salmon annually). Check out the Kasilof River king salmon fish counts for more details.
  • The Kasilof River has a really long run of sockeye salmon (500,000 – 1,00,000 sockeye salmon annually. Check out the Kasilof River sockeye salmon fish counts for more details.
  • The Kasilof River also gets a nice run of silver salmon and steelhead in the fall.
  • The Kenai River has a two runs of King Salmon that we call early-run king salmon and late-run king salmon. The early-run is between 4,000-6,000 king salmon and the late-run is between 15,000 and 30,000 king salmon annually, but has been closer to 15,000 the last few years. Check out the Kenai River king salmon fish counts for more details.
  • The Kenai River has a single run of sockeye salmon from July 1 – August 20, and this run is massive! It can be as high as 2.5 million sockeye salmon each summer. Check out the Kenai river sockeye salmon fish counts for more details
  • The Kenai River has two runs of silver salmon. The early-run Kenai River silver salmon peaks in mid-August and the late-run Kenai River silver salmon peaks in mid-September. While we don’t have precise numbers on the silver salmon reading about Kenai River silver salmon fish counts is still worthwhile.
  • All of these fish migrate up through Kachemak Bay and through Cook Inlet before making their way into the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers as well as other nearby rivers. It’s absolutely incredible how all of these fish have learned to spread out when they arrive in order to maximize the availability of habitat and resources. 

The reason why the Kasilof River and Kenai River should be discussed together is because the Kasilof River salmon arrive just a couple weeks earlier than the Kenai River. So if we are willing to fish on whichever river is the best at the time it really creates a lot of opportunity for a great and long fishing season.

With all that in mind lets take a look at each river, and species of fish and we’ll provide the overall dates each river can be fished and when the absolute peak is for each of them.

Kasilof & Kenai River King Salmon Best Fishing Dates

 Available DatesPeak Dates
Kenai River Early-Run5/15 – 6/306/3 – 6/16
Kenai River Late-Run7/1 – 7/317/11 – 7/31
Kasilof River Early-Run5/15 – 6/306/1 – 6/19
Kasilof River Late-Run7/1 – 7/317/11 – 7/31

Russian, Kasilof & Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Best Fishing Dates

 Available DatesPeak Dates
Kenai River Late-Run7/1 – 8/207/15 – 8/16
Kasilof River6/15 – 8/206/27 – 8/9
Russian River Early-Run6/11 – 7/146/14 – 7/8
Russian River Late-Run7/15 – 9/87/28 – 8/24

Russian, Kasilof & Kenai River Silver Salmon Best Fishing Dates

 Available DatesPeak Dates
Kenai River Early-Run8/1 – 8/318/8 – 8/23
Kenai River Late-Run9/1 – 10/319/10 – 9/25
Kasilof River8/1 – 8/318/8 – 8/23
Russian River8/1 – 9/88/18 – 9/3

With an understanding of these dates and peak fishing times we can craft a great plan months in advance. However, each year is different than the last and we are constantly tracking fishing conditions each day and making adjustments to those plans to give you the best chance at catching and landing big fish. 

Regardless of what date you may fish with us in Alaska, our Kenai River fishing guides work extremely hard to give you a great day on our rivers. We always reach out about 48 hours prior to your trip with us to give you an update on how the fishing has been and to see if we should make any changes to give you the best experience possible. Keeping an eye on the fish counts through the Alaska FishTopia app is a great way to stay engaged with current fishing conditions and to gauge the strength of the runs.

Let's Go Fishing With Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service!

Why The Kenai River?

  • It’s home to 4 species of salmon and has some of the largest salmon numbers in the world
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Current world-record holder for king salmon & sockeye salmon
  • 82 miles flowing through national forest, state parks, and national wildlife refuge

Why Soldotna?

  • Soldotna is right in the center of the Kenai Peninsula and an easy, breath-taking drive from Anchorage
  • Easy day access to everything including Homer, Seward, Cooper Landing, Sterling, Girdwood, and Whittier
  • It’s right in the heart of the best fishing on the Kenai River, and provides incredibly easy access to every major river on the Kenai Peninsula: Kenai River, Kasilof River, Russian River, Anchor River, Ninilchik River, Resurrection Bay, Prince William Sound, and Kachemak Bay – The Halibut Capital Of The World
  • Access to the best restaurants and services on the Peninsula: Sportsman’s Warehouse, Walmart, Home Depot. Restaurants include: St. Elias Brewing Company, Kenai River Brewing Company, Louie’s Steak & Seafood, Pizza Boys, & Mykel’s. 

Why The Kenai Peninsula?

  •  Simply put, the Kenai Peninsula is known as “Alaska’s Playground” for a reason
  • The sheer number of streams, rivers, hikes, glaciers and other activities are unmatched anywhere in the entire state. 
  • There is something for everyone. Fishing isn’t the only activity. There are amazing glaciers to hike, mountains to hike for all different fitness levels, shopping on the Homer Spit and beers at the world-famous Salty Dawg saloon, moose around every corner it seems along with bear viewing, and countless other wildlife viewing opportunities

Our Commitment To Our Rivers, To Our State, & To You

 

At Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service, we are well-known for having some of the best Kenai River fishing guides in the state. You’ll find each member of our staff beaming from ear to ear every day because we believe just being able to be a Kenai River fishing guide is a special privilege. It’s like having your dream job. Being the best doesn’t just mean catching fish. It means bringing a level of sportsmanship, professionalism, patience, and most importantly, kindness to everyone – in addition to catching fish! Our guides donate a large number of fishing trips every year to helping those in need. We donate trips to help preserve the river, habitat restoration, and our protection of our fishery. Each guide on our staff knows that they don’t have to ask for permission to donate a trip to a cause they care about and that impacts our state, rivers, and ecosystem. They have full autonomy to make those commitments without ever asking permission. 

If you’ve never visited the Kenai Peninsula before you’re in for something truly remarkable. We have yet to see someone whose heart this place doesn’t touch. Alaska is special all by itself, and then the Kenai Peninsula and its prolific wildlife stand out even further. Our fishing trips are usually a lot more than just catching fish. We’ll share with you everything we know about how this amazing ecosystem works. Alaska’s salmon migration is likely the largest annual migration of protein on earth. This migration sustains habitat while feeding whales, halibut, bears, eagles, trout, beavers, tremendous amounts of water-fowl. We have a responsibility to protect it and the best way we know how to do that is to share how special it is with you – right in the middle of it.

We hope you’ll join us. We offer a wide range of trips from 1/2-day, full-day, and many of our guests fish every day of their vacation with us. We’ll target king salmon, sockeye salmon, silver salmon, rainbow trout. Many days we are able to target several different species in the same day. It all depends on the particular date you’ll be fishing with us. Each day is customized based on your goals, how the previous days of fishing has been, and historical experience. We’ve never had to cancel a river trip due to weather. 

Our trips and guides do fill up every summer so we encourage you to book as early as you can. Even when we’re full we’ll do our best to make room in our schedules for you if we can.

 

A Few Notes About Planning Your Trip

Peak season is generally described as June 15 – August 30th. Within those dates there is even “peak-peak”, from July 15 – August 15, where the area is at it’s absolute capacity. We would encourage you not to worry too much about those horror stories of combat fishing. While combat fishing definitely exists, having access to a boat means we’re usually able to find some far less crowded areas. It is 82 miles of river and much of it can only be accessed by a boat – so there’s that! However, you do need to be worried about other limited resources such as lodging and rental cars. There’s really only 3 things you need to secure as early as possible after you have committed to coming to Alaska and bought your plane ticket: Lodging, rental car, fishing guides. Everything else can usually be handled later.

Lodging, Rental Car, and Fishing Guide's all need to be booked very early in an Alaska Vacation Plan

Lodging

  • If you find you’re struggling with lodging and need some help give us a call. We have access to some properties that aren’t widely promoted and can check on their availability for you. Many have private river access.

Rental Car

  • Rental cars can also be in extremely short supply. Please book as early as possible. Many of our customers have had great success the last couple of years getting their cars with Turo

Fishing Guides

  • Fishing charters absolutely book up every summer so this is the other area you’ll want to book early.
  • Please reach out and book your guided fishing as early as you can as well.  
  • You’ll want to take your catch home and most people have questions about that so take a look at our dedicated page on shipping your catch.

Self-Guided Fishing & Equipment Rental

Do you have the skills and experience to do self-guided fishing adventures. If so, Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service has you covered. We have a wide variety of Kenai River Powerboats, Drift boats for the Kasilof River and Kenai River, Ocean Boats for halibut fishing, stand-up paddle boards, Kayaks, Waders & Boots, Rods & Reels, nets and more. We even have mountain bikes for your mountain biking adventures. Check out our wide selection of rental boats and equipment rentals perfect for self-guided excursions.

Boat Rentals
Power Boats, Drift Boats & Ocean

Chest Waders & Boots Rental

Equipment Rentals
Waders, Rods/Reels, Paddle Boards, Mountain Bikes

Check Out The Latest Kenai Peninsula Fish Counts Courtesy Of Alaska FishTopia