Alaska Boat Rental and Guide Service offers a wide variety of guided fishing on the Kenai River, Kasilof River, Cook Inlet Salt-water, and even guided fly-out fishing along with bear viewing at several different lakes and streams.

Kenai River Guided Fishing, Saltwater Guided Halibut Fishing, & Fly In Bear Viewing and Guided Fishing Trips

Kenai River Salmon Fishing

King Salmon
Silver Salmon
Sockeye Salmon
Combo Salmon Fishing

Kasilof River Salmon Fishing

King Salmon
Silver Salmon
Sockeye Salmon
Combo Salmon Fishing

Saltwater Halibut Fishing

Trophy Halibut
Rockfish
Lingcod
Multispecies Fishing

Fly In Bear Viewing Fishing

Sockeye Salmon
Silver Salmon
Lake Trout & Arctic Char

Kenai River King Salmon

Kenai River King Salmon Fishing

May 15 - July 31

Starting around May 15 the first King Salmon start to enter the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. It’s an amazing time because there’s still snow on the ground, but the days are warming and the river is beginning to swell. 

Most of the early run king salmon, from May 15 – June 30, of the Kenai River, are targeting tributaries of the Kenai. The two main tributaries are the Killey River and Funny River. The Killey River’s confluence with the Kenai River is just a few miles downstream of Skilak Lake at river mile 42  and the Funny River confluence is located around river mile 32. Juveniles will spend the first year in the rivers migrating closer and closer to the ocean as they get bigger.

Late run Kenai River King salmon, July 1 – Aug 15, spawn primarily in the main parts of the Kenai River. It’s estimated that between 20%-40% of the late-run king salmon span between river mile 10 and river mile 21.

Kasilof River King Salmon Fishing

May 15 - July 31

Starting around May 15 the first King Salmon start also start to enter the Kasilof River. The Kasilof is fed by Tustamena Lake, the 8th largest lake in Alaska. Like the Kenai River, the Kasilof River has two distinct runs of king salmon, hundreds of thousands of sockeye salmon, and a fall silver salmon run. This is all in addition to the year-round resident rainbow trout, dolly varden, and steelhead.

The Kasilof River king salmon run is comprised of both hatchery and wild king salmon. The crooked creek hatchery was established in the 1970s and currently releases around 140,000 king salmon each year. 

The Kasilof River is not nearly as developed as the Kenai River and has a limited number of road access points. Also as a drift boat fishery, the peacefulness of this river and its undeveloped nature make it a beautiful alternative to the Kenai that we encourage all our guests to experience.

Tustamena Lake - Kasilof River
Charlie And His Son Tim With A Kenai River Silver Salmon

Kenai River Silver Salmon Fishing

Aug 1 - Sep 30

We target silver salmon in exactly the same manner as we target Kings, using bait-wrapped Kwikfish and eggs on Spin-n-Glo lures, or back-bouncing eggs but we can also add some new techniques for targeting silvers. As we explain on our Kenai River king salmon fishing page, king salmon tend to move in the deepest parts of the river so this is where we will troll for kings. The silver salmon are usually not quite as deep as the king salmon and therefore we will move our boat closer to the bank’s edge where the water is a little less swift and a little less deep. We’re looking for slightly slower moving water, medium depth, and where we can get good action on the Kwikfish after anchoring up, which is something we can’t do while targeting kings. It makes for a very relaxed day of fishing. 

Since anchoring is now allowed, we will anchor with a quick release & buoy that will allow us to come off of anchor if it is a particularly big silver salmon and we would like the flexibility of fighting it with the help of the boat. Many times this is unnecessary but it is very nice to have the option.

One thing we can do differently with silvers than we can do with the kings is targeting them by casting spinners which is a really great way to stay involved and active while fishing.

Kasilof River Silver Salmon Fishing

Aug 1 - Sep 30

Silver Salmon fishing on the Kenai Peninsula is one of the best fishing trips around, and fishing for silver salmon on the Kasilof River may be the best of the best. 
 
Kasilof River silver salmon fishing is done exclusively from within the drift boat. We’ll maneuver the boat into some of the slower moving water and set anchor while we run plugs and bait out the back and cast spinners. With the summer crowds dwindling, fall colors on the trees, and the quiet of a river without motors, the Kasilof River silver salmon trips we do are some of the most peaceful around. So peaceful in fact seeing moose crossing the river and other wildlife is a common sighting.
 
Our Kasilof River silver salmon trips are done in August and September. Mostly we’ll fish the lower section of this river in August putting in at the Sterling Highway Bridge and taking about 2 miles from the outlet of the river into Cook Inlet. Once we get to late August and September we’ll start to fish the upper section of the river as well. 
 
Kenai River Guide Creig Garrett With a Kenai River Silver Salmon
Kenai River Sockeye Salmon

Kenai River Sockeye Salmon Fishing

July 1 - Aug 20

Sockeye salmon are some of the most sought-after fish in Alaska and the world. The Kenai River boasts one of the largest runs of sockeye salmon in terms of both sheer volume and physical size. These are some of the hardest-fighting fish anywhere. And when you’re in the middle of the run limits come easy. Kenai River sockeye average 8-12 lbs on the Kenai River but are a bit smaller elsewhere in the state. We’re going to teach you how to target these fish so you can do it on your own but also give you some insight into tips and tricks we use as well on our guided trips.

Starting around July 1st each year, these salmon will come up the river by the millions. Along with the tens of millions of pink salmon on even-numbered years, silver salmon in the fall, and King Salmon throughout the summer, Alaska’s annual summer migration may be the largest protein migration on earth. And with it comes an abundance of wildlife – eagles, bears, halibut, seals, whales – all following this enormous migration of protein. And let’s not forget humans! The Kenai River sockeye run is one of the most popular fisheries in the state.

It’s easy to understand why. Long summer days, often t-shirt wearing warm temperatures, a beautiful river, and large powerful sockeye on the end of your fishing rod makes for a great experience.

Kasilof River Sockeye Salmon Fishing

June 15 - Aug 15

Like the mighty Kenai River 12 miles to the North, The Kasilof River has an impressive run of sockeye salmon as well. Starting at the outlet of Tustamena lake, the 8th largest lake in Alaska, the Kasilof flows 17 miles before reaching the saltwater of Cook Inlet.

Four species of salmon—sockeye, king, pink and coho salmon—and rainbow trout, steelhead, char, and whitefish spawn in the Kasilof River drainage. The river’s king and sockeye salmon draw the greatest interest from salmon fishermen. And sockeye salmon—the species the sonar site produces estimates for—are by far the river’s most abundant.

Our Kasilof River sockeye salmon fishing trips are done exclusively in a drift boat due. Depending up the time of the year we will either fish the upper section or lower section of the river. Starting in mid-June we can do combo fishing trips for King Salmon and Sockeye Salmon.

There are very few areas accessible by car but once we put in and drift down there are numerous gravel bars to stop and get out and target the sockeye. With no motor traffic on the river, it’s incredibly peaceful and sightings of moose and other wildlife are extremely common.

Bob Nilsen Kenai River Silver Salmon
Big River Lakes Bear Viewing and Sockeye Salmon & Silver Salmon Fishing

Big River Lakes Fly In Fishing & Bear Viewing

June 10 - Aug 20

Every year the bear viewing and fishing trips our guests do are some of the most popular trips we offer. The Big River Lakes and Wolverine Creek trip puts you very close to the bears and allows watching them from the safety of the boat.

The Wolverine Creek/Big River Lake fly-out trip is one of the most popular of our fly-in trips because year over year the bear population never disappoints and the fishing for sockeye salmon and silver salmon is very consistent.

The entirety of the trip is 6-7 hours and the flight time is around 30 minutes. The plane departs from a nearby lake in Soldotna and lands at big river lakes after flying over Cook Inlet with stunning views of Mt. Redoubt, Mt. Iliamna, and countless glaciers.

All the required gear is provided for you and you just need to bring your fishing license, food, snacks, drinks, and appropriate clothes for the day’s weather.

Crescent Lake Fly In Fishing & Bear Viewing

July 15 - Sept 30

In addition to Big River Lakes, Crescent Lake is also a fantastic destination for bear viewing and salmon fishing. Crescent Lake, is located about 40 miles south of Big River Lakes in the Chigmit Mountains. Each summer tens of thousands of Sockeye and silver salmon run up the Crescent River each summer. The lake is home to both brown and black bears and is a very popular bear viewing and fishing destination. 

Brown bears and black bears constantly patrol the shoreline in search of fish during the salmon runs making for fantastic photo opportunities and to observe the behavior of the bears and the cubs. The shoreline is incredibly dense with vegetation so we do most of our Crescent Lake bear viewing from the boat. 

Crescent Lake Bear Viewing is approximately a 35-minute flight from the seaplane base in Soldotna. This trip passes nearly right over the top of Mt. Redoubt and provides spectacular views of Lake Clark National Park and Preserve.

Follow the link below to see the phenomenal video that the national park service did on the bears, fishing, and habitat of Crescent Lake.

Crescent Lake Bear Viewing & Fishing
Brooks Falls Bears

Brooks Falls Bear Viewing

June 25 - Aug 1

Brooks Falls is iconic for bear viewing opportunities and is located in the stunning Katmai National Park. These bears follow the annual salmon migration putting on hundreds of pounds of weight throughout the summer. This trip is only available from June 25th to August 1st as these bears will migrate to other rivers and streams after the sockeye salmon run has completed. 

As the salmon start to arrive in late June so do the bears. Sometimes more than 2 dozen bears can all be seen splashing in the water and fighting for the best position on the falls to catch the salmon jumping out of the water trying to get up the falls to the spawning grounds. 

Kenai & Kasilof River Fishing Guides - Meet Our Guide Staff