Alaska: Fishing the Beautiful Waters of Kenai Lake
Considered by many to be Alaska’s most famous fishing river, Kenai Lake is known for its exquisite beauty, picturesque surroundings, and diverse freshwater fishing opportunities. Tucked away in the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, Kenai Lake is 22 miles long and more than 540 feet deep. Within the calm, blue-green waters you can find an abundance of different species of fish. Also a favorite of kayakers and rafters, there are a number of lodging options along the shores. Whether you chose to fish with a group of friends or hire a fishing guide, it will be a fishing trip you never forget.
Species of Fish
Best known for its giant King Salmon (Chinook), Kenai Lake was home to the world’s largest King. Weighing in at slightly more than 97 pounds, it was caught in 1985. While there are still an ample number of Kings in the lake, particularly during the winter, plenty of other species call this lake home. There are an abundance of coho salmon, silver salmon, lake trout, and rainbow trout. It is common to catch rainbows over 5 pounds; plenty are caught each year that are well over 20 pounds. Four to six pound Dolly Varden trout are also frequently caught.
Whether you prefer to fish from the banks, wade in for fly-fishing, or head out via a motorboat (some restrictions are in place), there is enough fish for everyone in Kenai Lake Alaska. Keep in mind that locals say some of the best fishing takes place along the mouths of the streams late at night.
If you head to Kenai Lake during the winter, be aware that the lake conditions vary greatly from one year to another. Always check with locals or the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to determine if ice fishing is safe.
If you need a break from Kenai Lake fishing, there are a number of other things to do. The lake provides a great place to hone your rafting and kayaking skills. The trails along the lake are perfect for mountain biking and horseback riding. From the beginning of December until the end of April, the trails are ideal for snowmobiling. In addition, Kenai Lake is only a few miles from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Spanning more than 2 million acres of Alaskan wilderness, the refuge is home to everything from brown and black bears to coyotes, lynx, moose, bald eagles, wolves, and more.
While there are a number of campgrounds to choose from if you are visiting Alaska with the intention of truly living off the land for a short period of time, there are also places to stay, including Arden's Kenai Lake Escape, a full service lodge. Kenai Princess Wilderness Lodge and Renfro’s Lakeside Cozy Cabins are also great options.
If you are planning to fish Lake Kenai for the first time or it has been a while since your last visit, you may benefit from scheduling a guided fishing trip. There is simply no easier way to find the best fishing spots the lake has to offer. If you are a fan of fly-fishing, Alaska River Adventures may be a great choice. If you prefer heading down the lake in a drift boat, Kenai River Float N Fish may be perfect for you. There a number of guided trips to choose from, so you shouldn’t have much trouble finding one that meets your needs and budget.
If you are planning a fishing expedition to Alaska, the pristine, fish filled waters of Kenai Lake are definitely worth visiting.