Kasilof River Silver Salmon Guided Fishing

Fishing the Kasilof River any time of the year is a great experience. The Kasilof River is quieter than the Kenai with a large percentage of it part of the National Wildlife Refuge. It has only limited road access points and almost no trails for walking in somewhere to fish. And it gets even better when crowds of the summer dwindle even further and fall colors start to surround the river. Add to it an amazing run of Kasilof River silver salmon and things only get better.

Kasilof River Silver Salmon Fishing

Full Day

Aug 1 - Sept 30

Kasilof River Silver Combo Fishing

Full Day

Aug 1 - Aug 15 Sockeye/Silver

Kenai River Guide Creig Garrett With a Kenai River Silver Salmon

Kasilof River Silver Salmon Fishing

Aug 1 - Sept 30

Kasilof River silver salmon fishing is probably one of the most overlooked fishing opportunities in the state. In the early August time frame, the river is running at full capacity as the Kasilof River silver salmon start to make their way into the river. 

The Kasilof River couldn’t be more opposite from the powerboat traffic constantly running up and down the Kenai River. A large part of the Kasilof River flows through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge creating great opportunities to see an abundance of wildlife. All after the same thing we are, Kasilof River salmon.

Kasilof River Silver Salmon Fish Counts

Normally, we’d be showing you a graph here of the Kasilof River silver salmon fish counts and then getting into a discussion on when the best time to plan a fishing trip is for Kasilof River silver salmon. Unfortunately, for a long list of reasons, Kasilof River silver salmon are not counted. So, we have to plan how to fish this river the old-fashioned way – many years of experience. So, instead, we’ll show the you current record holder for silver salmon that was caught on Salmon River in Pulaski, New York on Sept 27, 1989. This world-record holder silver salmon tipped the scales at 33lbs 4 oz. That’s a big silver salmon!  

The Kasilof River has a single run of silver salmon that begin to enter the river around the first of August and will peak around the 3rd week of August. The Kasilof River silver salmon fishing is different from the Kenai River in that the Kenai river silver salmon fishing is actually two runs. The first runs peaks around August 20th and the second run will peak around Sept 20th. 

Silver Salmon World Record
Charlie Erickson and Tim Erickson With A Kenai River Silver Salmon

Kasilof River Silver Salmon Fishing - What To Bring

Once we hit the water on the Kasilof River we’re committed. We’re in a drift boat and we’re committed to the end. We’ll make stops along the way but we have no choice but to continue downstream to the pullout.  Both the upper Kasilof River fishings trips and lower Kasilof River fishing trips take between 6-8 hours. It’s important to come prepared.

  • Fishing license & king salmon stamp (for combo days)
  • Clothing appropriate for the day’s weather. This may need to include warmer clothes for the morning, and tshirt’s in the mid-afternoon, and rain pants and rain jacket by late afternoon. Seriously, Alaska weather can change dramatically throughout the course of the day so please do a careful review of the predicted weather and plan accordingly so you can be comfortable.
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat and Gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Lunch, Snacks, and Drinks. Adult beverages are allowed. 
  • A waterproof cell phone case is always a good idea. We don’t expect your phone to be dropped in the water, but rain is always a possibility
  • A great attitude!  No one wants to catch fish more than us! We’re in this together.

Kasilof River Silver Salmon Fishing - What To Expect During Your Day

There are two primary sections of the Kasilof River that we’ll fish. The upper section from Tustumena Lake to the Sterling Highway bridge and the lower section from the Sterling Highway bridge to the mouth of the river near Cook Inlet. 

Our day will begin around 6:30 AM when we put in and we’ll start fishing for Kasilof River silver salmon almost immediately. We’ll use bait wrapped Kwikfish, Egg’s behind spin-n-glow lures, back bouncing eggs, and even cast and retrieve spinners. All of these techniques are very effective with Kasilof River silver salmon.

You can expect that we’ll be professional, friendly, passionate, and great people to spend the day with. Whether you’ve fished all over the world or never fished at all, we’re always excited to share what we know and learn what you have to share. And you can expect 100% of our effort all day

Captain Kevin Chavira with a Kenai River Silver
Kasilof River Drift Boat

What Are The Chances Of Catching A Kasilof River Silver Salmon?

The Kasilof River silver salmon fishery has really been consistent year over year. There are plenty of reasons why this fishery probably remains consistent. Silver salmon start to enter the Kenai River as the sockeye fishing comes to an end. This means commercial nets are not catching silver salmon as bycatch. There are also just a lot fewer people that come up in August and September compared to June & July and this has a positive impact on the overall fishery.

The Kasilof River sockeye salmon run is definitely one of the best choices to fish during the August & September time frame. This is especially true if you are interested in steelhead. The chances of catching Kasilof River silver salmon during the month of August are excellent – and even more so near the middle of the month.

Kasilof River Silver Salmon Fishing - Do We Need A Guide?

We strongly suggest getting a guide for at least 1 day for Kasilof River silver salmon fishing. As we’ve mentioned a couple of times, there is just really limited road and trail access to the Kasilof River. And several of the public access points are not very good for fishing as they are primarily just used as a convenient place to launch and pull out the drift boat. 

By getting out with a guide for Kasilof River silvers salmon you’ll learn what to expect of the river, the different tackle & techniques we use to target silvers, and the best water to find them. To try and fish for Kasilof River silver salmon from the bank and without the help of a guide, we would recommend going to the Crooked Creek State Recreation area and walking to an area called “The Peoples Hole”.  Also, the Kasilof River state park near the mouth of the river is also an excellent place to cast spinner and eggs from the shore.

If you’re comfortable with a drift boat, Alaska Boat Rental & Guide Service has drift boats available. If not, getting a guide for a day is a great option. It’s also a good idea even if you have previous experience. We can help you understand the river, point out the right drifts, teach techniques and help prep you for your own days on the water and be far more productive. 

Nick Garret & Patrick Enslow With Kenai River Silver Salmon

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