Alaska sockeye or red salmon, pound for pound, are the hardest fighting salmon in the world. Fresh from the salt water, these beautiful Alaska Salmon are like silver torpedoes and they offer very consistent and exciting fishing action. Kenai River Sockeye average between 8-12 lbs. and 5-8 lbs. in most other locations. Since they swim close to the shore on their journey upriver, sockeye salmon are most commonly caught from the bank. Several million sockeye salmon return to the Kenai River and surrounding Cook Inlet rivers every summer, and excellent fishing is often the result.
The Kenai River sockeye salmon sport fishery is the largest in Alaska. These hard fighting fish run close to shore and are largely caught from the bank. The sockeye is considered by many to be the finest table fare of all the Alaska salmon. The Kenai sees an annual in-river sockeye salmon return of between 750,000 and 1.5 million fish. This run typically peaks sometime between July 10-25.
The Kasilof River has an average annually return of 300,000 to 400,000 fish with the run beginning in early June and peaking in the first two weeks of July. Much like the sockeye on the Kenai, Kasilof river reds run close to shore so most of the fishing is done from the bank. Since the Kasilof is a drift boat only river, we often float from the outlet of Tustamena Lake through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, stopping at select gravel bars along the way.
Fly out sockeye salmon fishing is one of our most popular remote fishing adventures and we frequent several locations both on the West Side of Cook Inlet as well as the Bristol Bay watershed. One of the most affordable yet also spectacular fly out fishing trips for sockeye is to Big River Lake. This glacial lake on the West Side of Cook Inlet supports multiple returns of red salmon as well as excellent bear viewing opportunities. For those that are looking for an all-day exclusive fly out adventure, the Gibralter River on Lake Illiamna is an excellent choice.