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Kenai River
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
39 reviews
Excellent
30
Very good
4
Average
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Terrible
2

Kenai Drift Anglers
Soldotna, AK54 contributions
Apr 2020
The Kenai River is seriously the most beautiful place of the Kenai Peninsula. As a Kenai River fishing guide and call this area home I highly recommend checking out the Kenai River. It's 80+ miles of pristine glacier water is a sight to see. Many parks and areas to recreate along with great places to fish. Cooper landing is the headwater of the Kenai River and allows for beautiful scenery. Down to Soldotna, provides incredible fishing depending on what time of year it is. If you're planning to take a trip to the Kenai River, it will be worth it. As always, if you have questions please feel free to ask.
Written April 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JohnSly
Fishers, Indiana, United States5 contributions
Sep 2012 • Friends
We had a chance last year to go to Kenai Alaska and fish for silver salmon last Sept and already planing our next trip back this June. Our guide and Owner of FishOn Charters Gary Kernan went above and beyond the call of duty. It rained 24/7 the entire 5 days and never did he nor my group stop fishing.
Written February 23, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris E
Douglasville, GA132 contributions
Sep 2014 • Family
Growing up in Alaska, I spent more time on the Kenai river than any other river in the state. My father and I rafted the Kenai from the upper part of the river and drifted all the way down through Kenai Canyon (class 4 whitewater) that dumps out into Skilak Lake dozens of times. The rafting is amazing and some of the most scenic drifting you can do in the world. The canyon (lower part of the river) offers class 4 whitewater, which is amazing for a rush and fun time. We have also hiked the Hidden Creek Trail down to the mouth of the river for the excellent Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden fishing. Avoid the Russian River, which is the definition of "combat fishing," where hundred of people line up elbow-to-elbow to fight for a few fish while getting their lines tangled. The fishing on the river has degraded over the last few decades because of the massively increased volume of people fishing the river, but you can still catch decent fish in more remote parts of the river, which is why floating the river is so valuable. Make sure if you're hiking into remote parts of the river, that you're armed and keep your eye out for bear. Many tour companies operate for both guided fishing trips and river tours. They cost, but the scenery is worth it if you aren't familiar with rafting. A must see if you come to Alaska.
Written September 24, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

philhascranes
wisconsin1 contribution
Aug 2012 • Couples
If you are looking for a fun fishing experience for adults, this is not your boat. If you are a mom with 3 kids looking for someone to do everything, King of the River is your guide.
Dean your guide does all the work…I mean all the work, hook, fight, and land the fish. Part of the fun might be helping a friend net a fish, not onboard King of the River. If you attempt to touch or do anything on board be prepared for a stern lecture.
Fishing for Silvers we learned that two is the limit, well if one person in your party catches his or her limit you are done fishing for the day. I mean done.
“Catch and Release” is something that is not allowed or even considered on the King Of the River boat. We never came to really take home any fish, we live out of state. We just wanted the joy of fishing, the fun of fishing…we got the rules of fishing
Written August 31, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

johng-spfld
6 contributions
Aug 2018
The river the cabins and the people were all wonderful. The politics or the government regulators sure fowled up a nice trip. While the commercial fisheries caught the sockeye before they reached the Kenai river and stopped the numbers from reaching acceptable numbers for reproduction, they shut down the sportfishing for Sockeye!! That left us with months of planning, thousands of dollars per person and all of our travel time wasted!!
The days the nets were not in the water 55 thousand plus Sockeye would enter the river, with nets in the water only 5 to 11 thousand would enter. We were told when they hit 700,000 they would open the fishing to sportsman, but the wouldn't give the fish a chance to reach those numbers.
Good luck to everyone trying to make a living off us tourist in the Kenai Peninsula when the sport fishing is shut down!
Written August 18, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

she1987
9 contributions
Aug 2014
My boyfriend and I came up to Kenai for a day the second week of August and booked a chartered fishing trip with King of the River.
Upon arriving at the pick up spot, the boat was late. Not a problem since he made up the time at the end.
We said hi while getting on the boat and the guide didn't say hi back so we thought that was strange until we realized that he was deaf.
He gives you a sheet explaining his story.
This story is not mentioned on the website.

Dean was able to lip read but we had to really pronunciate an simplify what we were saying. And there were many questions we didn't even bother asking because of the difficulty.
Unfortunately I was looking forward to an experience where someone would be able to tell us about the area, about the different species of fish and when is the best time to fish for them, etc etc etc...

He had a friend on the boat with him, also deaf, so it was just my boyfriend and I talking to each other.
His friend ended up catching 2 silver salmon within the first 15 minutes and for the next 5ish hours, my boyfriend and I were only catching pinks.

The fish catching process was also a bit challenging because many times Dean would tell us what to do after something happened or during so we weren't prepared and didn't know what we were doing.
I almost felt like he was getting annoyed with me when the fish would wiggle loose.

I think during the peak of the fishing season he has a deck hand that explains everything but just wanted to write a review about my experience as it seems to differ drastically from the other reviews.
If I had to do it again, I would probably try out a different company.
Written September 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Charles E
Sterling, AK105 contributions
Jun 2014 • Friends
I am actually hesitant to add a review on this river, I was born and raised on it and its popularity may be its death. It is truly magnificent. From Salmon fishing to trout, guided trips or not. You are guaranteed to catch your fill of what ever suits your fancy as long as you know which end of a pole to hold on to. The drift guide service is the best exposure to the environment. The guided power boats are great to but you do not get out of the boat and fish from the bank. Boat guides focus on the King or Chinook Salmon which can not be landed from the bank or easily landed in a drift boat. Red Salmon or Coho are primarily caught from the bank and the most prolific of the salmon species. Silver Salmon or Coho, can be landed either way but my favorite for Silvers is in teh salt water these salmon are the true fishermans dream. They really like to fight and in the open water like the Cook Inlet they have lots of room to run and jump. They really put on a show.. Pink Salmon or Humpy's as they're called are best caught as soon as they enter the river or at sea. The flavor turns very fishy very fast in fresh water. The Kenai is great for just drifting in a raft to. If your not into fishing or taking a break the scenery is spectacular and you will undoubtedly see moose and maybe even a bear or two. I strongly suggest going with a guide if your new to the area. I urge you to be prepared for inclimate weather regardless of how sunny it is when you leave your home or hotel. This River starts in the Chugach Range Mountains and runs through the Kenai Wildlife Refuge to the beautiful Cook Inlet. It passes through canyons and lakes and is an awesome adventure. One of Alaska's true highlights. If you want a guide service I strongly recommend Jimmie Jack's guide and Lodge.
Written June 10, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Stacy B
Parker, CO515 contributions
Aug 2013 • Family
We went up to the Kenai River in August of 2013. We were staying at the Great Alaska Adventure Lodge in Sterling (right on the Kenai and Moose Rivers).

Our guides were incredible, we were at our fishing points by 6am each morning and with coaching and excellent research prior to our trip, our guides were able to put us in the right place at the right time. We limited out on Coho (Silvers) every day.

We fished the Kenai and Skilak lake where the glacial waters are a beautiful turquoise blue. We were privileged to see bears hanging out in berry bushes and playing in the river as well as Moose grazing in pastures. We can't count how many eagles we were able to see but it was at least a handful each day with a spectacular lesson on how to catch a silver salmon without fishing gear.

This is and should be a MUST see, bucket list, whatever you want to call it, but Alaska is breathtaking!
Written October 20, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RussianBallerina
80 contributions
Jul 2019 • Couples
First, I cannot say enough about the importance of a great guide...OK, but when it's 90 degrees daily and the silt from the glaciers turns the water gray and creates flood-stage water levels, even the best guides are challenged. So, having lived this experience, here's my advice: 1. Fish as early as possible. Bc of the long days, you can be on the water by 5:30 am. 2. Wear four layers (I did): a short sleeve fitted shirt, a long sleeved shirt, and heavy pullover, and a water-proof jacket with a hood. It's cold at 5:30 but it was 88 by noon. We also wore zip off pants. 3. Take lots of sunscreen. 4. Be gracious to your guides. This is a new world for them, too. 5. Fish only 1/2 day. The heat will tire you. Plus there's so much to see on your boat ride back. 6. Take more water than you think you'll need.

Thanks to our guides, we caught fish all three days, but it was challenging for us and frustrating to the guides who kept explaining to us that this heat and rushing grey water were not the norm.
Written July 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jim S
Sydney, Australia126 contributions
Aug 2015
The salmon just flow on the Kenai, you don't have to spend a lot of money on a guide unless you are just using it to rent a boat. Just go into Soldotna or any of the state parks and sometimes you will stand beside people up to your waist in clear beautiful clean water and catch salmon with a piece of yarn. It just doesn't get any better from a fishing standpoint if you want Salmon. For Halibut, big fish, go 50 miles south and pay $200 to get on a boat and catch fish you just dreamed about.
Written August 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Kenai River (Alaska) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

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