Kasilof fishing is different than fishing the nearby, world-famous Kenai River. Neverthless, Kasilof is is an exciting and challenging fishery. Firstly, Kasilof is a drift-only river, motors are not allowed. This isn’t the only reason that Kasilof River is more quiet, it also sees less traffic than the Kenai. If combat fishing is not your style, you may find Kasilof to be the perfect spot. Secondly, the fish might be a bit smaller on average than those caught on the Kenai, but they are abundant. Kasilof has a particlarly good Sockeye run.

Kasilof fishing

© Nigel Fox

Fishing Season on the Kasilof

Kasilof River can indeed be fished in year round. During the winter months anglers can find Arctic char, Dolly Varden, steelhead and rainbow trout. In May the king salmon begin their early run and can be caught in the Kasilof throughout July. Sockeye make the next run beginning around June with silver salmon making their appearance in August.

Popular Kasilof River Species

  • King Salmon
    • The state fish of Alaska is the king or Chinook salmon. Kings are the largest of the pacific salmon family, typically weighing in between 10 and 50 pounds. King salmon are highly sought after for their trophy size, however, much of their population has been declining. In an effort to preserve and improve king populaitons,  ADF&G imposes conservation regulations and emergency orders that limit how many kings can be harvested around most of the state.
  • Sockeye Salmon
    • Sockeye salmon are one of the smaller species of Pacific salmon and are prized for their firm, brilliant orange-red flesh. Sockeye salmon are less aggressive than other species and are therefore more reluctant to take a lure.
  • Silver Salmon
    • Silvers are medium sized salmon. They are smaller than kings, but generally larger than sockeye. Of the salmon family, silvers are considered the most aggressive biters and for this reason, they are a favorite among anglers looking for a fight.
  • Rainbow Trout
    • On average rainbow trout are 14-24 inches long and 8-12 pounds, but in Alaska especially, they get much larger. The wild fight that rainbow trout give once hooked is part of what makes them so popular to fish
  • Dolly Varden
    • Dolly Varden are an incredibly diverse fish. Some spend their life in freshwater lakes and rivers while others migrate out to the ocean. Though they are similar and often confused with trout, Dolly Varden are a type of char. They are distinguishable by their distinctive light-colored spots.

Kasilof River Sport Fishing Regulations

Alaska Department of Fish and Game updates regulations each year. It is particularly important to always check the latest regulations and emergency orders before you head out for Kasilof fishing. Find the latest regulations from ADF&G.

More Kasilof River reading from Fish Alaska:

  • Kasilof River Kings

Kasilof River Kings This Spring

February 7, 2024|Comments Off on Kasilof River Kings This Spring

Kasilof River kings have a fierce fighting spirit and provide anglers with an exhilarating challenge on the water. Anglers flock to the Kenai Peninsula during the peak king salmon season, typically from May to Read More...

  • Kasilof

Kasilof River Reds

June 16, 2023|Comments Off on Kasilof River Reds

Kasilof River Fishing Story and photos by Nick Ohlrich Are you looking to find an alternative to the shoulder-to-shoulder “combat fishing” found on the Russian and Kenai Rivers in June and July? The Kasilof Read More...

  • Kasilof fishing report

Kasilof River King Fishing

May 6, 2020|Comments Off on Kasilof River King Fishing

Just 15 miles south of the world-famous Kenai River lays a hidden gem that may be a smaller river but has king-size stature.