Area Sport Fishing Reports
October through November Season
Anglers may find a few late season coho salmon in the lower Kenai River during the month of November; however, fishing for coho salmon closes upstream of Bing’s Landing November 1. Be prepared for cold (sometimes freezing) temperatures and rain or snowy conditions.
Below Bing’s Landing, anglers can use bait and treble/multiple hooks from November 1 through the end of the month. Be sure to check the Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet carefully!
All other salmon fisheries on the Kenai River are closed this time of year. Depending on weather and river conditions, anglers may also find a few late season coho salmon in the Kasilof or Swanson rivers.
Rainbow and Steelhead Trout and Dolly Varden - Flowing Waters
Fishing for these resident fish can be excellent, if weather and water conditions allow. A clear crisp day, something to knock the ice from your s, and a Glo-Bug or Iliamna Pinkie spell excellent flowing water action for rainbow trout and Dolly Varden.
Some flowing waters are closed to sport fishing from September 15 through October 31, in order to provide spawning Dolly Varden protection. Dolly Varden fishing is open the entire year on the mainstem Kenai and Kasilof rivers. The Russian River is also open this time of year to fishing for Dolly Varden and rainbow trout.
Usually by late November the ice thickens enough for safe travel (6 inches plus for foot traffic, 12 inches plus for vehicle). Once there is enough ice, fishing for stocked rainbow trout, Arctic char, and stocked landlocked Chinook or coho salmon is excellent. Travel on the ice is at your own risk. Remember ice thickness fluctuates and can vary depending on the lake and location and timing of the year. ADF&G does not monitor ice thickness. For ice and snowpack conditions on state or federal lands, call Alaska State Parks in Soldotna at (907) 262-5581 or the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge at (907) 262-7021.
Ice conditions on Kenai, Skilak, Tustumena and sometimes Hidden lakes, are potentially hazardous. These large lakes do not freeze evenly, and wind and waves often push the ice around so that one three-foot-thick section of ice might be one step away from a section of ice that is only three inches thick.
There are 25 lakes throughout the northern Kenai Peninsula area that are stocked with rainbow trout, Arctic char, and landlocked Chinook or coho salmon. Fishing is usually excellent in these lakes in September. Try using small spinners, flies, or, where legal, fresh shrimp or preserved salmon roe. Publications describing these lakes are available online and at ADF&G offices in Anchorage, Soldotna, and Homer. Make sure to check the ADF&G fish stocking and the ADF&G Alaska Lakes Database (ALDAT) webpages for up-to-date lake stocking information.