The Kenai River is world famous for BIG salmon

We will do our best to help you catch the biggest fish or your life on Alaska’s Kenai River — the KING of rivers!
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Kenai River Alaska king salmon guided fishing trips

with Big Dipper Guide Service

Bigger is better in the world of king salmon fishing and Kenai River guided trophy king salmon trips. Fish the Kenai River with Big Dipper Guide Service just once and you’ll become a quick believer in this truth. Anglers from around the globe come to the Kenai River in Alaska in hopes of catching a wall-hanger. Not just a typical 50-pound prize  a really big brute pushing 60, 70, 80 or 90-pounds.

Don’t believe it? Check out the facts and records from Alaska’s Kenai River.

Six out of 11 IGFA line class record chinook came from the Kenai River  the largest, the current world record weighed 97 pounds 4 ounces! If you catch a Kenai king while fishing with Big Dipper Guide Service chances are pretty high it will top 50 pounds. For years king salmon have averaged into the 40 to 50-pound range. So what makes Kenai River Kings so big ? Good genes and an ample supply of big fish to keep the run strong and healthy.

Several years ago the Alaska Department of Fish and Game enforced strict policies to prevent commercial fishers from  accidentally catching and keeping kings while targeting sockeye. They also limited times of commercial activity and used GPS units to measure a no net zone along the shoreline where kings typically travel on their way to the river. Additionally they installed better counting devices on the Kenai to measure the strength of the run. All of these efforts mean stronger and healthier trophy Chinook salmon runs on the Kenai River.

Two runs of Chinook return to the Kenai River  the first begins in May and peaks in mid June. These fish are big, but not like their second run behemoth cousins that enter the river in Mid June. The action on the king of kings lasts through mid July but lasts until the close of season July 31st. Back trolling large egg clusters, plugs or spinners from boats works best, especially with the help of a guide. Hiring a seasoned guide like Joe Johnson is the key to success more so on the Kenai than anywhere else because he knows every trick it takes to hook and land a world-class trophy Kenai king salmon. Guided trips with Big Dipper Guide Service are super affordable for anyone’s budget and well worth the small investment.

With lots of daylight during prime time, anglers usually opt to visit the Russian River, a tributary of the Kenai when not fishing with a guide. From June through July thousands of sockeye fill the Kenai and Russian Rivers with unbelievable numbers of fish. When the fish are in these rivers it’s a shoulder-to-shoulder fishery, but loads of fun.  Generous six fish limits require anglers to come prepared with an adequate-sized cooler and sharp fillet knife. Combat casting flies works best for these fish and anything less than 17-pound test line will just frustrate you. Jumbo rainbow trout, reaching double digits sizes call the Kenai River home too, and will tempt and tease anglers into the Alaskan night of never-ending sunshine.  These fish are catch and release only but still provide top-notch fun. Coho fishing is great too, from August through September.

The Kasilof  River can be awesome too, especially when wild and hatchery-enhanced kings ranging in size from 25 to 32-pounds enter the river. You had to be dead not to catch fish on the Kasilof last year, remarked a local do-it-yourself-angler.  Anglers also found decent numbers of steelhead in May.  If you grow tired of the Kenai or Kasilof, try Lake Creek for kings in May and June. If these rivers don’t hold your attention try your luck at halibut fishing in famed Cook Inlet. When it comes to halibut fishing you won’t need luck, just good bait or lures and lots of strong superbraid line.

Halibut fishing from either Ninilchik or Homer simply can’t be beat. Big Dipper Guide Service can book your trip for you. These flat fighters range in size from 20 to 100-pounds and reach weights over 300. Dozens of charter boats in either locale offer ½ day, full day or multi-day charters.  If you want really big  buts shop around and spend a few more dollars for the boats that travel farther from port. Either way, you’ll likely catch your two-fish limit so leave room in your cooler.

Reaching the Kenai River region is an easy drive from Anchorage.   This means making car rental reservations well in advance of your trip. Having a car will allow multiple getaways to numerous lakes, rivers, nearby glaciers, or a day trip or two for halibut on the coast.

About Big Dipper Guide Service

aboutImagine a day on a brand-new, spacious watercraft. You’ve got our top of the line G-Loomis rod and Shimano reel at hand. The beauty of the last frontier begins to soak into your soul. You might catch a moose swimming across the river, a bald eagle soaring overhead, or even the possibility of a grizzly scouring the shore for a scrap of salmon during our famous run of Kings. Whether you hit your limit or not, Bigger Dipper Guide Service will always strive to make sure the arrival on the dock at the end of the trip ends in laughs, smiles and a slight bit of sadness that the day had to end so soon. Your Guide for the day will be Joe Johnson. Joe’s love for fishing started over 30 years ago fishing for Walleye in his home state of Minnesota. After catching King Salmon on the Kenai River, he knew he wanted to share this experience with others. Call us at 877-KENAI KING or sign up online.

“Big Dipper Guide Service provides one of the best Kenai River fishing experiences.”

explains John L. Beath, editor of Go Fish Magazine. “Joe is one of the best guides on the Kenai River.”

Trip Details

Your Guided Kenai River Salmon Fishing Trip Details

Your Kenai River guided salmon trip departs from Centennial Park in Soldotna. Big Dipper Guide Service anglers meet at 5:30 am for morning trips and return back to the launch 9 hours later.

We recommend the full day guided Kenai River trophy king salmon trip to increase your odds of catching your limit and too give you the very best chance to catch a Kenai River Alaska trophy King salmon. Afternoon half day guided Kenai River salmon fishing trips meet at Centennial Park at 12 pm.

  • Alaskan Fishing License with King Stamp
  • Warm clothes and boots, including rain gear

  • Lunch and cold beverage.

    Don't worry, we will provide the hot coffee to start the day
  • Camera

  • Zest for legendary Kenai River trophy king salmon

At the end of your guided Kenai River fishing adventure your guide will prepare your king salmon for a photo session. We will also clean and fillet your fish for you.
(Vacuum seal information available)

Directions to Soltdotna Alaska & the Kenai River:

A three hour drive south of Anchorage. Take the Seward Highway south  to the Sterling Highway (toward Homer) to Soldotna. Cross the Centennial Bridge and turn right on Kalifornsky and an immediate right into Centennial Park. You’ll find us at the boat launch.

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Call us at 877-KENAI KING


Guide Services

Big Dipper Guide Service provides professionally guided fishing trips on the Kenai River.

Folks travel from the all over the world to fish Alaskan waters and the King Salmon wears the crown for the most sought after of these Alaskan Treasures. Eight of the top ten King Salmon in the world have been caught right here in our Kenai River. If you want the biggest of the big, come spend a day with Big Dipper Guide Service on the mighty Kenai. The runs of these beautiful fish peak in June and July. Fish are commonly caught in a range of 25-60 pounds with the world record, caught on the Kenai, nearing 100lbs.

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Kenai River King Salmon Guided Trips — Catch Trophy-Sized Alaska King Salmon With Us!


Kenai River King Salmon fishing is most productive when fished as a full day. We will fish half-days, but everyone has a better chance of landing a Kenai King on a full day trip. Book early, because our season is short (June and July) many dates become filled long in advance.
Full Day Fishing
  • $295 (9 hours)
Half Day - Morning
  • $200
Half Day - Afternoon
  • $200

All prices add 6% local tax


50% deposit due upon booking. Total balance due 60 days before departure.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations in writing outside of 60 days before departure will receive a full refund, less 10% of the trip cost. Cancellations in writing inside of 60 days will receive a refund of 50% of the trip cost.


Comments or questions are welcome


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