July 2019 Fishing Report

Drift Away rainbow e1568317375128

July 2019 Fishing Report

July did not disappoint, red salmon, trout, halibut, and fly-outs all boosted many great days!  This is one of the busiest months on the Kenai Peninsula and for good reason.  July is the month when folks from all over the state and world come to our waters to fill the freezer and experience our great fishing and weather. The abundance and variety of species to target keep folks eagerly returning for more every year.

Kenai Red Salmon

This year’s red run was one for the ages!  By the end of July over 1 million Reds have entered the river, with 1.8 million being the ~total count as of August 19.  Fish and game raised the limit from 3 to 6 reds per day per person toward the end of July.  The run did start slow, but gradually increased in size as the month wore on,  By late week 3 into week 4 we had pretty consistent fishing sending folks home with delicious fillets.  A limit of 6 reds averaged over 20lbs of fillets!  Fish and Game does not always up the limit of reds each year, but it does happen with a fair amount of frequency.  Even if the limit stays at 3 a few limits will be more than plenty to take home with you and should last you the entire year.

Kenai Rainbow Trout

A strong return of reds made for great trout fishing.  As we said in the past, late July and early August can produce some of the best opportunities for numbers of fish and trophy trout.  This July was one of those.  Once the reds showed up in numbers anglers began lining the banks of the Kenai and started filling their freezers.  The upside to this is the carcasses and egg skeins get thrown back into the river.  The trout go into full stoke mode and gorge themselves on the easy and plentiful food source.   There is another side to this, when an abundance of reds are in river a mini glut will happen.  Too much food for trout makes the bite fluxes weird, but manageable.  Anglers that remain patient and persistent often get big and fat rewards.  The glut this July and early August did not last long and made for some incredibly fat trout.  We always look forward to this time of year for monster bows.


Limits were happening daily with the folks at J&J Charters out of Deep Creek and O’Fish’ial Charters out of Homer.  These two are the best in the business, depending on what you are looking for they can set you up with the trip of a lifetime.  Folks wanting to just target halibut and not spend a long time driving to the fishing grounds typically choose J&J out of Deep Creek.  If a multi-species trip and some extra driving doesn’t bother you O’Fish’ial charters can put you on rock fish, ling cod, and halibut in a day on the water.

Drift Away halibut

Halibut limits happening daily out of Homer

Fly-out Fishing

Anglers had great success on fly-outs targeting reds for most of the month as the end of July approached and faded into August anglers found great silver salmon action as well.  The two main areas targeted are Big Lake for reds and silvers, and the Kustitan for silvers.  The scenic flight over is worth the price of admission, folks often see moose and bears from the plane and while fishing from the boat.  Fly-outs are a great addition to your fishing package.