Frequently Asked Questions About Guided fishing in Alaska
Where is Kenai/Soldotna, Alaska?
Kenai and Soldotna are located about 2 & 1/2 hrs south of Anchorage, Alaska. They are located along the banks of the Kenai River and basically separated by a sign, Kenai being at the mouth and Soldotna located about 15 miles upstream.
How big is the area?
The greater Kenai/Soldotna area is home to about 30,000 year-round residents between the two towns, Sterling, and outlying areas.
What should I bring?
Every day you should come prepared, dressed in warm layers, rain gear, a fishing license, and any food or drink you want during the day.
Should I tip my guide?
By all means, your guides and deckhands are in the service industry. They work hard to provide you the guest an unforgettable day on the water. While guides are often paid on a daily basis, much like a waiter/waitress, they rely on tips to supplement their income. Many deckhands are paid on a tip only basis, whereas they are given a percentage of the tips each day. Just as you would at a restaurant 15-20% of your trip total is common place per person per day. Tip your guide each day and not just at the end of the trip, let them know you appreciate how hard they are working for you. You break their equipment, compensate them for it. While we all know accidents happen, gear is expensive and it all comes out of our guides bottom line at the end of the day.
What type of weather should I expect?
A low of mid to high 40’s and a high of mid-’60s are typical temperature ranges for most of the summer. Often it will either be 50 and rainy or 65 and sunny. During the shoulder season, we can see lows in the ’30s, dressing warm in layers is the easiest way to prepare for anything mother nature throws at us and predicting that is more difficult than picking the winning lottery numbers once a month.
What type of boots/shoes should I wear?
A classic hiking boot is just fine to wear on the boat, oftentimes you can even get away with tennis-type shoes. You will see virtually every Alaskan wearing their classic tennis shoes, otherwise, known as Xtra Tuff boots. These are calf-high rubber boots made with a specific sole designed for wet weather and work on boats. While boots of this type are perfect for fishing and wearing around town, they are not mandatory.
How do I obtain a fishing license?
You can pick up your fishing license and King Salmon stamp at virtually every gas station or grocery store from Anchorage to Homer. Very easily obtained or you can visit and print out prior to your arrival via the Alaska fish and game portal at http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=home.main Please make sure you sign your license before arriving on the boat. New last year is an app version from the department, look up Alaska fish and Game in your app store and get your free app, you can have everything at your finger tips and on your phone at all times.
What type of license do I need?
For each day of fishing, one must have a valid resident or non-resident license for that day. If you are chasing King Salmon as part of your trip you must also have a King Salmon stamp valid for that day. License and stamps are sold per day, 3 days, week, or year-round. Based on the amount of time you are fishing, this will determine which license you will need.
How do I take my catch home?
At the end of the day, your guide will fillet your catch for you. From there you can take it back to your lodging and cook fresh on the bbq or to one of the many local processors who will vacuum pack, flash freeze, and box it up for you at the end of your trip. If fishing multiple days they will store your fish for you and add to it each day. Most people will then take a box, of up to 50lbs per box, with them on the plane back home and pay the extra baggage fee. You may also arrange with the processor to have your catch shipped home on a specific date of your choosing, common for those who embark on other adventures after spending time with us on the Kenai.
How do we know where and when to meet?
Meeting times and destinations change often, I advise everyone to call or text the number given a day or two in advance of their departure date to confirm. The fish will dictate where and when we fish, so staying flexible will give everyone the best opportunity to stay on top of the best fishing. All boat ramps/meeting places are easy to find, typically google maps will take you right there without incident.
How do you pronounce Kenai or Kasilof?
I hear the two pronounced a hundred different ways or more each season. Kenai is pronounced Keen Eye and Kasilof is pronounced Ka C Lof "like loft” Ka C lof.
Why does everyone call it the lower 48?
Alaskans are very proud to be Alaskans, we live in an isolated state separated from our relatives and friends down south by Canada. Therefore the contiguous states of the union south of us here in the far North are commonly referred to as “the lower 48”. We also take great pride in the fact that we are larger in landmass than Texas, which has always been a classic joke/jab to our friends in the lone star state.
What is the elevation?
Kenai sits at the mouth of the Kenai River along Cook Inlet which places us at sea level or Zero. The mountains around us, as steep as they appear. are mostly all under 3,000’. The Volcanoes you will see across the inlet are the highest of the surrounding peaks and come in around 10-12,000’ above sea level.
What are winters like?
I grew up in SE Idaho and honestly winters there were often worse or just as “bad” as they are here. While we experience winter-like weather longer than a typical lower 48 states we really do not have it all that bad. Being close to the ocean keeps most temperatures somewhat modest. While we can experience lows in the negative 20 range or so most of our weather hovers in the mid-teen to high 20’s with around 40 inches of annual snow a year.