Kenai River Trout Fishing

Kenai River Trout Fishing

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Publish Date:
April 2, 2024
Hunting and Fishing
Video License
Standard License
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The Kenai River is one of the most popular sport fisheries in the world, and for good reason. It is home to the world record King Salmon as well as the Alaska State record Pink Salmon. Over two million Sockeye Salmon ran up the river this year, and thousands of Silver Salmon followed closely behind. The Kenai is such a great salmon fishery that it’s trout fishing is often overlooked.

Rainbow Trout in the Kenai River regularly reach lengths of 30 inches and can be nearly as fat as they are long. The secret ingredient to growing these giant trout is the biomass that is brought in when salmon run the river. Salmon run the river to spawn, each female carrying several thousand of a trout's favorite food, eggs. The salmon are either caught or spawn out and die. In either case, they leave flesh and bones in the river to be torn up by trout. The remains that the trout don’t eat, feed tiny crustaceans that the trout will feast on when the salmon resource dries up.

In the video below, my brother and I explore the river searching for a true Kenai River monster. Andy is a fishing guide based on the south shore of Lake Superior. He is no stranger to big trout, and has forgotten more knowledge about trout than most people will ever learn.

We grinded through bad weather and poor fishing for three days. Andy was determined to catch the big one on his fly rod. He fished with a five weight fly rod rigged with a plastic bead under a small rubber float. He watched that little float so intently and for so long, it probably scorched a scar on the back of his eyeballs.

On the fourth day everything changed. It felt as if a switch went off and trout were everywhere. At a certain point we caught 10 trout in 10 consecutive casts. As the day turned to night, we verbally agreed “one more fish”. The river went quiet and 20 minutes went by without a bite. Just as we were losing hope, Andy’s fly rod loaded up and he hooked into the biggest resident Rainbow Trout he has ever caught. The fish tipped the scales at 8 pounds and was so full of salmon eggs that they spewed out of its mouth as he lifted it up.

This was one of those experiences that are only granted to those who are willing to put in the time and suffer the elements. If you fish enough, every once in a while the stars line up, and the universe rewards you. This was Andy’s day.

My name is Benjamin Stevens. I am a wildlife artist based in Kenai Alaska. I have a passion for the outdoors, especially fly fishing and bow hunting. I make films to share my passion with my loved ones and also to promote my artwork.

My art can be found here
And also in galleries throughout Alaska

My Instagram is

You can contact me at
[email protected]