We’re quickly approaching one of the most anticipated fishing seasons of the year: the springtime Kasilof River king salmon run, which starts in mid-May. Not only do thousands of massive king salmon (also known as “Chinook”) swarm into the wide, serene Kasilof River every spring to spawn, but this world-famous river is also home to a thriving steelhead trout population. Full-day Kasilof River drift trips are a drive away from Kenai River Drifters Lodge’s cozy Cooper Landing cabins as our boats put in at the Kasilof River Bridge along Sterling Highway. Please read further to learn more about one of our most popular salmon fishing trips!

The Kasilof River Experience

As mentioned earlier, this full-day drift starts at the Kasilof River Bridge, which is a scenic 59-mile drive from Kenai River Drifters Lodge. The king salmon season begins in mid-May, but many anglers arrive earlier in the season to patiently wait for bites from sizable steelhead trout. Most trips last eight hours as you’ll drift along the tranquil Kasilof River on a non-motorized boat. This world-class king salmon fishery is ideal for families and anglers searching for a quiet, calming day in the lush Alaskan wilderness. There’s nothing quite like netting or hooking a massive 30-pound king salmon in the steel blue waters of the Kasilof River!

King Salmon (Starting Mid-May)

King salmon fishing in Alaska, regardless of which body of water you choose, is incredibly unpredictable, but the fish typically average approximately 15-18 pounds in the Kasilof River. But, of course, that doesn’t mean that our guests haven’t battled and caught 30-plus pounders! There are several relaxing opportunities to try your hand at some Kasilof River fly fishing, depending on the water flow. Remember to bone up on this year’s Kenai Peninsula king salmon regulations before booking a trip with Kenai River Drifters Lodge. Regulations change yearly (and sometimes seasonally), so it’s important to keep your ear to the ground on limits.

Steelhead Trout (April Through May)

Anglers often return to our cozy Cooper Landing cabins after an exciting journey along the rushing Kasilof River gushing about the surprisingly fantastic steelhead trout fishing. Steelhead trout are notorious for being a “fish of 1,000 casts” because of how difficult they are to lure, but the Kasilof River is home to a thriving steelhead population. With our experienced fishing guides, a little patience, and the right techniques, you’ll likely be returning to our Cooper Landing cabins with a steelhead story of a lifetime.

Steelhead trout are rainbow trout that migrate to the ocean and then return to spawn. Feisty steelhead trout provide quite the battle, which is half the fun. Time and availability are running out for a once-in-a-lifetime fishing expedition to the Kenai Peninsula. Browse through our Cooper Landing cabins and guided fishing trips online, or give us a call at 1-907-595-5555 to book a trip today!