A large number of the American population considers autumn to be the best season of the year because of the crisp sweater weather, colorful foliage, and pumpkin-flavored treats. Up here on the Kenai Peninsula, fall signifies the peak silver salmon and rainbow trout fishing season. Autumn is the perfect time of the year to book a Kenai River fishing expedition because the summer crowds are dispersing, the trout are fattening up for winter, and the Chugach Mountains are being painted with a colorful natural paintbrush. There are four main fish species to catch each fall: silver salmon, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and Arctic grayling. The Kenai River Drifter’s Lodge offers discounted fishing packages every autumn, so act now before they’re gone!
Feisty Silver Salmon
Say hello to the best pound-for-pound fighters in the Kenai River. Silver salmon are feisty and unpredictable, making them one of toughest, most rewarding battles on Earth. Silvers start appearing in late July but aren’t targeted by anglers until August. Arguably the best month to reel in hearty 8-12 pound silvers is September, during their second run. The Kenai River Drifter’s Lodge has the best guides on the peninsula who will lead your group to premier spawning tributaries. We recommend using trolling plugs, casting spinners, bouncing eggs, and drifting flies – many anglers believe that silvers are attracted to pink spinners and flies, but other bright colors will also work.
Trophy Rainbow Trout
Nearly every Kenai River fishing team catches a trophy rainbow trout, averaging 18-26 inches. The Kenai River remains one of the best places on Earth to catch a 30+ inch rainbow. Patient anglers are rewarded every fall with monster rainbows who are bulking up for winter. Over the years it has become clear that salmon eggs are the best way to lure a rainbow, while salmon flesh also entices giant rainbows.
Spawning Dolly Varden
While anglers catch Dolly Vardens year-round, these colorful beauties school together in July through September. The Dolly Varden is a member of the Salmonidae family and is often mistaken for the Arctic char. “Dollies” have more spots while the Arctic char have moderately forked tails. Dollies are aggressive, so be prepared for a fierce battle. Small spinners, spoons, and salmon roe will coerce a bite.
Beautiful Arctic Grayling
There’s no guarantee you’ll catch an Arctic grayling on your autumn Kenai River fishing adventure, but they swarm in the teal blue water during September and October. Graylings are quite large in the Kenai, measuring at 15-20 inches (sometimes larger!). Fully grown graylings are exceptional gorgeous because of their massive fin. You’ll likely catch a beautiful grayling in a rocky outcrop with small jigs, light spinners, and flies.
Kenai River Fishing
Save hundreds of dollars at the Kenai River Drifter’s Lodge by booking an autumn fishing special package. Our all-inclusive fishing packages include unlimited fishing, riverfront cabins, meals, off-sight activities, and wildlife adventures. Dial 1-907-595-5555 to learn more about our autumn Kenai River fishing expeditions!