My recent trip to Alaska was eye-opening in so many reasons. Not the least of which was the multitude of fly fishing opportunities that I witnessed in Alaska!
If you enjoy nature and the great outdoors, beautiful scenery, and wildlife galore, take it from me — a trip to Alaska may be exactly what you’re looking for. My vacation there this past July and August struck a chord on all those levels for me.
Thinking of traveling to Alaska to fish the Kenai River, an area known for its superb salmon fishing?
Following are some helpful tips for planning a Soldotna Alaska fishing trip, plus camping recommendations too.
Alaska offers many different angling opportunities. The Kenai is arguably Alaska’s most famous fishing river and best known for its runs of giant King Salmon (Chinook). While the Kings draw many anglers to the Lower Kenai, fly-fishers typically focus on the Upper Kenai and the numerous rainbow trout. Fish over 5 pounds are common. Larger rainbows to 20 pounds or more are landed yearly. In addition to the rainbows, Dolly Varden are plentiful with many caught weighing 4 to 6 pounds. Sockeye (Red) Salmon arrive in huge numbers in mid June and from mid July through August. During large runs, the Sockeye (Reds) have returned to the Kenai in numbers exceeding 1 million fish. Silver (Coho) Salmon join the fray from early August into the winter season. Many consider Silvers to be the best of the salmon species to target with a fly. —Mystic Waters Fly Fishing
Soldotna Alaska Fishing & Camping Tips
The town of Soldotna — home to a world record king salmon weighing 97 pounds — makes a great base camp for fishing and exploring the area.
Besides casting your line for king, sockeye, pink and silver salmon, you can also go clamming and hiking.
When you’re ready to relax, head to one of the area campgrounds. You’ll find choices ranging from private to city and state recreation campgrounds offering tent and RV campsites.
The Soldotna area (a.k.a. Alaska’s Kenai River City) can be reached by driving via the Sterling Highway out of Anchorage for about 70 miles.
Scheduled bus service is available from Anchorage to Soldotna via Homer Stage Line.
You can also fly into the Kenai Airport, then rent a car to drive the last 10 miles to Soldotna.
Planning Your Trip
You’ll need an Alaska state fishing license to fish or go clamming in Soldotna. Purchase your license online before you arrive in the area, or buy one at sporting good stores in Soldotna. Pick up a tide chart, too, so you know when to expect low tides (especially great for clamming, if you’re interested in doing that).
Dress in layers for the ever-changing weather, and bring raingear. Carry bear spray since both grizzly and black bears call the area home.
Make sure to keep all coolers, food, cookware, and cosmetics inside your vehicle when not in use.
Several privately-owned campgrounds offer campsites.
At Klondike RV Park, you’ll find campsites with electric, water and sewer hookups in 25-foot wide sites. The campground offers spaces for RVs up to 50 feet in length. A short walk takes you to a river bank where you can fish for salmon.
Edgewater Lodge & RV Resort, located on the banks of the Kenai River, caters to RVers. You’ll find spots along the river where you can rely on full hookups and amenities including a shower house with restrooms, a laundry facility and a fish cleaning table. Enjoy hiking on the trails that take you around the resort and along the Kenai River.
Recreation Area Campground
Grab a campsite at Clam Gulch State Recreation Area, then head to the sandy beach to hunt for razor clams. Dig for the clams during low tide. Don’t forget to look up at the scenery surrounding you, including the spectacular Aleutian Mountain Range.
The campground sits on a bluff overlooking Cook Inlet. Amenities include water, toilets, and a fish cleaning table, but no hookups.
City Park Camping
Centennial Park in Soldotna offers 176 campsites with some along the river. Each site has a picnic table, fire pit and plenty of trees to give you privacy between the sites. You’ll find restrooms and potable water.
The park sells firewood and ice. Grab your fishing pole, and head to the 650 feet of boardwalk and river-access points along the way to fish in the Kenai River. Or, launch your boat at one of the two available ramps.
More Soldotna Alaska Fishing Tips
- Fly Fishing The Russian River, A Tributary Of The Upper Kenai
- Cozy Cabins & RV Campgrounds in Soldotna, Alaska
- Fishing World Records Are Meant To Be Broken
- Alaska Fly Fishing Trip Packages
- Soldotna Alaska Campgrounds & RV Parks