How to Fish the Kenai

How to Fish the Kenai
The Kenai Peninsula in south central Alaska is world famous for abundant catches of the most popular species of salmon--coho, sockeye and king salmon--and freakishly large rainbow trout. Try these tips for fishing the Kenai Peninsula, where you can also revel in one of the most beautiful natural areas in the world.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Medium-action rod and reel for salmon fishing
  • Bait and tackle
  • --or--
  • Fly-fishing rod and reel
  • Dry flies in assorted colors and styles, mainly pale pink and chartreuse (yellow-green)
Step 1
Try drift-fishing the Kenai Peninsula from the shoreline by casting silver, chrome or white spoons with treble hooks upstream and allowing the lure to drift past your position and bounce along the riverbed. Keep your rod tip pointed at the line as it drifts past your spot.
Step 2
Bait a 4/0 hook with two or three salmon eggs (if legal during your visit) for salmon fishing from the banks or a boat.
Step 3
Weight the line with a 1/2-oz. sinker and cast the salmon eggs into the leading edge of pools and slow-moving water where trout and salmon gather to rest during the day. Try to drop your bait on the edge of the pool where the water flows in, so your bait is the first thing the fish encounter upon swimming into the pool.
Step 4
Use a float in fast-moving water to keep salmon eggs and other natural baits about 2 inches off the bottom in the strike zone where salmon feed.
Step 5
Cast flies in pink or chartreuse colors to trout and salmon in the spring when the fish are top-feeding.

Tips & Warnings

You'll need a fishing license to go after salmon and trout in the Kenai.
Take time to familiarize yourself with Kenai fishing regulations, which can vary with the time of year and prevailing conditions. Current regulations are posted in the link below under the Resources section.
Spool your reel with as much line as it can hold without risking a tangle. King salmon in the Kenai are notorious for peeling line off a screaming fishing reel during their long runs. You may need to move down the bank or run along upstream just to keep one of these brutes from breaking off.

Article Written By James Clark

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.

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