Fishing Information in the Kenai River and Cook Inlet


How long a drive is Anchorage to the famous Kenai River area? Under normal driving conditions it should take about 2 ½ to 3 hours.

Should I rent a car in Anchorage or fly into Kenai? It depends on how much time and money you have!  It will cost you somewhere in the price range of $175-$200. (round trip) to fly to Kenai from Anchorage , but the trip is usually only 20-30 minutes. The rental car selection is greater in Anchorage and the  drive down is beautiful.

Do I need to purchase my groceries in Anchorage before heading down to fish on the famous Kenai River ? We have several large chain grocery stores in both the Kenai and Soldotna area.

How easy is it to buy a fishing license for fishing on the Kenai River ? Most convenient stores, gas stations, tackle stores, and grocery stores offer fishing licenses for sale.

What is a king stamp? Why do I need one to fish on the Kenai River ? Everyone who fishes on the Kenai River between May and July 31st must have a king stamp in their possession. A king stamp is what gives you the right to fish for king salmon.  You are only allowed two king salmon per season from the Kenai River over28 inches long.

What should I expect weather-wise when fishing on the Kenai River ? Expect any and everything!  If you don’t like the weather give it a couple of hours and it could easily change. Come prepared for cold & rainy weather and you may be pleasantly surprised with hot sunny weather.  You never know…so bring your rain gear (which can be purchased locally), your winter coat and your sun block. We encourage everyone to dress in layers…just in case it stays cold all day. We want you to be warm and comfortable.

After I catch a salmon what do I do with it to get it back home? In the Kenai River area there are numerous fish processing stores.  They will process your fish packaging it to your specified needs. They can store it for you until you are ready to head home and if you want they will even ship it home for you. There are plenty of options available.  Typically they cut it into your family size portions, vacuum seal it, put it in a box that is approved for the Airlines, and freeze it.  A price per pound ranges from $1.25 thru 1.65.

Are there any grocery stores in the Kenai – Soldotna area? Yes…2 stores in Soldotna and 2 in Kenai plus numerous convenient stores.

How far is Kenai from Soldotna? About 11 miles.

Can you buy a fishing license for just one day? You can buy a fishing license for one day, three days, one week, two week etc…It is up to you…just don’t forget the King Stamp if you will be fishing for king salmon. ( season ends July 31st )

What kind of clothes should I pack for a week of fishing on the Kenai River ? The people in the Kenai River area dress very casually. Jeans and sweatshirts are always good. Bring your winter coat, hat and gloves. Nothing fancy needed!  You might see some one shopping in hip boots.

Do I need to come with hip waders to fish on the Kenai River with my guide? Hip waders aren’t necessary unless you plan on doing some Kenai River bank fishing then they may come in handy. When you are on a guided charter trip you may want to bring a pair of knee high rubber boots, but getting your feet wet isn’t a normal situation.  Think warm, you want your feet to be warm.

Do I need to bring my own fishing pole and gear to catch a salmon? When going fishing with Hooky Charters you don’t need to bring any gear…we supply everything you need to catch your fish.

If I am going trout fishing to catch a huge rainbow trout do I need my own fly-rod? Hooky Charters will supply all the gear you need, however, some people prefer to bring their own favorite fly rod. It is up to you.

How many king salmon can I catch a day? On the famous Kenai River you are allowed to catch 1 king per day and 2 per season over 28 inches long.

What is the limit on rainbow trout?  You can keep one over 16 inches.  It is mainly catch and release, after a great photo of course.

How big do the rainbow trout get? If you watch our video clip on the website you will see some rainbow that are up to 30 ½ inches long. We are talking trophy size rainbow trout…some are even bigger.

What is the biggest king salmon anyone has ever landed on the Kenai River ? The record for the biggest king salmon ever caught on the Kenai River is 97 pounds. The biggest one caught by a Hooky Charters client is 82 pounds. A lady from Mississippi pulled in this killer size king in the morning on a July fishing trip.

What kind of eating establishments do you have in the Kenai – Soldotna area? We have lots of choices for eating out in the Kenai River area. We have different fast food establishments plus numerous restaurants to choose from. The Burger Bus in Kenai has a fantastic Halibut burger.

What other kinds of activities can be found on the Kenai Peninsula ? Of course fishing is number one; however, you can enjoy learning about the native culture and the habitat of the area.  A good place to start is at the visitors’ centers in both Kenai and Soldotna. You can rent bikes and tour the area up close and personal. You can also rent canoes and paddle down the Swanson River or the Moose River . There are plenty of lakes to picnic by. There are plenty of parks and many of them are located next to the famous Kenai River . Kenai has the Challenger Learning Center where you can go and participate in different “space mission” activities. This is a great adventure for the children in your family.  You can also watch the commercial fishing boats coming and going from the mouth of the Kenai River .  On the flats, located off of the Bridge Access Rd. you can watch for all kinds of wildlife. Also not far from the Kenai Airport you can often see Caribou and Moose munching away in the early morning and late evening hours. Homer (2 hour drive south of Soldotna) has the Pratt Museum which is awesome! The Homer Spit is a fun place to visit and shop. In Homer you can take a tour to watch for whales or visit the famous Salty Dog Saloon.  The Seward area (2 hour drive) is a delight to visit as well. In the Seward area you can visit the Sea Life Center or take a tour of the Kenai Fjords.  You can go on a dog sled ride or hike on Exit Glacier. On the way to Anchorage you can stop at the Portage Glacier and see a glacier up close.