Kasilof River Fishing

johnson1MarkandBrentThe Kasilof River is located 12 miles south of the Kenai and offers a wide range of exciting fishing opportunities.  Much like its sister river to the north, the Kasilof hosts wild runs of king, silver, sockeye and pink salmon in addition to hatchery returns of kings. It also supports wild populations of steelhead, dolly varden and rainbow trout.  Unlike the Kenai which has two lakes in its system, the Kasilof flows directly from Tustamena Lake, the largest lake on the Kenai Peninsula.  Numerous glaciers deposit their silty toils directly into the lake and the Kasilof remains a chalky green color for most of the summer.  The river is divided into two drift boat only drifts, one from its outlet at Tustamena Lake to the Sterling Highway and one from the Sterling Highway to one of two private take outs in the tide water section of the river.  The upper float is certainly more scenic and longer yet the better fishing typically occurs in the lower section where the salmon, especially the kings, are more concentrated and aggressive.

The Kasilof, like the Kenai, has two distinct runs of King Salmon.  The first run is comprised of a limited amount of early run Crooked Creek stock (a small tributary 12 miles up river from salt) and a hatchery return planted by ADF&G.  This combined run makes for some exciting early season Chinook action with peak fishing occurring between May 25 and June 15.  Catching these dime bright king salmon from a drift boat, all within close proximity to the ocean, is an awesome experience. We always highly recommend king fishing the Kasilof as it really is a very unique experience.

6-27-13sockeyeSockeye fishing on the Kasilof occurs slightly earlier than the Kenai.  The Kasilof sockeye arrive in earnest in mid to late June and typically reach peak run strength in the first week to ten days of July.  We typically pursue these great fighting fish in the upper reaches of the Kasilof below Tustamena Lake. This is a very scenic and uncrowded section of the river and combined with excellent fishing, this is one of our favorite floats.

August on the Kasilof brings both silvers salmon and eventually steelhead trout.  The silver run arrives in early to mid August and usually sees a week to ten days of very good fishing. This is back bouncing cured salmon eggs from the drift boat in small pocket water. September on the Kasilof bring less silvers and more newly arriving steelhead trout and targeting them in the section below Tustamena Lake is a great option in the fall.




Kenai Guides,
33350 Keystone Drive, Soldotna, AK 99669
Phone: (1800) 622-1177
Website: kenai-guides.com
Email: mgfish@gci.net

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