Alaska ’s most famous salmon-fishing area is near the junction of the Russian and Kenai Rivers. At Mile 55 of the Sterling Highway, the Russian River Ferry is a cable-guided, current-powered ferry ($8 adults, $4 children) that shuttles anglers across the Kenai River to the sockeye-rich opposite bank.
Come in July to learn the true meaning of “combat fishing” as hundreds of folks fight for space, hooking both sockeye salmon and fellow anglers in the process. You’ll need hip waders, and you can only use flies, not lures. Local fishing shops have the correct flies and often rent out poles and boots.
Nonfishers are bemused by the oddity of such crowds, but for anglers the salmon fishing is the attraction, since many folks get their limit despite the hordes. A real fly-fishing angler wouldn’t be caught dead here, but this is all about catching fish, not enjoying a wilderness or purist experience.
Limited roadside parking is available around the ferry, or you can pay $9 to park in the big lot.