Soldotna Park, in downtown Soldotna, offers all Kenai River species — but most people are here for the sockeye. That means it can get crowded during peak sockeye season, but it’s also a good place to learn how to fish for sockeye. The combination of easy accessibility, hard-packed gravel and a shallow grade make the fishing enjoyable.
This spot, just north of Sterling, is primarily a boat launch, but it also offers excellent sockeye fishing. It’s located at the end of Bing’s Landing Road: There’s a parking lot, but when the fishing is hot, you can expect to park alongside the road, up to half a mile away from the boat launch site. (Another reason you might park on the road: The lot near the boat launch has a fee.)
This spot is particularly good for anyone who’s mobility impaired, since you access the river by a flat, metal boardwalk — and the actual fishing area is also from the boardwalk. This makes Moose Meadows one of a very few places where anglers can fish for sockeye without having to be in the water — you can do excellent even from a wheel chair.
Located down Beaver Loop Road, just outside of Kenai, Cunningham Park is a great, easy-access location for sockeye and silver salmon. The shoreline here is a mix of gravel and mud, with the mud being more prevalent below the tidal zone. That said, this spot is very tidal dependent, so you’ll have to continually adjust your bait setup as the water rises or falls.
This spot in Sterling — at milepost 82.3 at the Isaak Walton Campground — is where the Moose River meets the Kenai River, and the two rivers’ differing paces are drastic. The Moose River is very slow and wide, with almost no current — so much so that it feels more like a lake. The Kenai River, on the other hand, flows fairly swiftly in comparison, and the confluence can play strange tricks on your tackle.
The trail is half a mile long and takes you through a mature birch forest that is carpeted with devil’s club and watermelon berry plants. It’s an easy walking, ideal for small children, and ends at a small camping area on a slight bluff that overlooks Bishop’s Beach and Bishop Creek.