Notes on Species & Season
Opening day for fishing on the Upper Kenai River is June 11th each year.
King Salmon are what made the Kenai famous. However, you need to be aware of the current condition of Chinook stocks both statewide and on the Kenai. Kenai River king salmon and other king salmon stocks throughout Cook Inlet are experiencing a period of low productivity and, since 2008, below average run strength. That trend is anticipated to continue during the 2018 season. In the spirit of good stewardship and of conservation of this resource, we no longer guide for or recommend fishing for king salmon.
Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden are managed as catch-and-release fisheries on the Upper Kenai. While it is legal to harvest one of each species per person per day under 16", we encourage catch-and-release only.
The first run of Sockeye Salmon comes up the mainstem Kenai and makes a break for the Russian River in mid-June. Where we guide, on the "Upper Upper", is upstream of this area and we cannot target the Russian River run. This run can be fished downstream of the Russian River on the Kenai in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. This is an extremely restricted area for commercial operations, but give us a call and we'd be happy to let you know the best guides to fish with for that area.
Coho Salmon don't get upstream to the Upper Kenai for any good fishing until late August at the earliest, into September, with the best fishing in October. If you would like to fish for Silvers in August, please give us a call and we can recommend some guides on the Lower Kenai that can help you out.