The Perfect Half Day
The ideal half day drift boat fishing trip is for families or those anglers just needing an opportunity to fish the World Famous Kenai River. The beautiful turquoise green waters and grand mountain scenery are sure to delight everyone. Parents with Kids will be delighted with our guide’s willingness to take the time to help the younger and older ones with their newly acquired fishing desires; all the while explaining the natural beauty and wildlife that surrounds you as you drift down the river. Experienced anglers and families with only enough time for a half day of fishing will be delighted they squeezed this trip into their busy Alaskan vacation.
Fishing for Arctic Char / Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout will be the reward that will make memories not soon to be forgotten. Red (Sockeye) and Silver (Coho) Salmon are available at certain times of the year. We start from the Kenai River Bridge and pass by Drifters Lodge, 400 yards down river as the Kenai River winds its’ way through the historic town of Cooper Landing, Chugach National Forest and ending at Sportsman’s (Russian River) take out. The drift is 7 miles of beautiful mountain scenery, wildlife viewing and Fishing. Your ears will be pleasured as The Upper Upper Kenai is a drift only (no motors allowed) section of the River. In order to preserve the fishery, it is mainly catch and release. We offer AM and PM trips daily, evening trips are available upon special request. Each drift boat has 4 available seats. Private boats for your group or family are available on request. All Professional Equipment is supplied (Simms Waders,G Loomis, Ross, Shimano, Sage, Temple Fork).
Duration: 4 hours – Leaves from Drifters Lodge
Quartz Creek ½ Day – Walk In Full Day Available July 25th – Aug 30th
This crystal clear, slow moving creek originates out of the Kenai range and gradually winds through Spruce forest before entering the massive glacial Kenai Lake. In August, this quiet stream becomes a Sockeye Salmon spawning war zone that attracts thousands of Arctic Char/Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout into the fray. Sight fishing for these worthy game fish among hundreds of spawning Sockeye Salmon is the name of the game. Be ready for that sleeper rainbow hiding close to a log jam. We begin fishing this creek July 25th and offer trips through August. This is an experienced fisherman’s paradise and a beginner would easily have a great learning experience as well. Bears are often seen when the salmon are present.
Russian River Walk In ( June 11) – Sept 30th Full & 1/2 Day Trips Available
The Russian River is a major tributary of the Upper Kenai. It originates out of two crystal clear mountain lakes and rapidly runs its short course through the Chugach National Forest eventually merging into the aqua blue waters of the Kenai River. The Russian is full of textbook pocket water, with plenty of boulders, riffles, and crystal clear pools. This river fishes well from its opening on June 11th through September and can provide some of the best dry-fly fishing on the peninsula. The Russian River receives two distinct runs of Sockeye Salmon providing insane amounts of flesh and eggs for the trout to gorge on through fall creating a fly fishing Mecca. Sockeye fishing from June 11th – June 30th and July 25th – August 10th and Silver Salmon from September 1 –September 31. Rainbow trout are resident fish and usually available. Bears are often seen when salmon are present.
Full Day Fishing Trips
We will advise you as to which trips are fishing the best.
You may still choose where you want to go
Refuge / Canyon Driftboat One Trip 2 Different Sections
- Trophy Rainbow Trout – Dolly Varden/Arctic Char Trout available June 11- October
- Upper Refuge only or Both Sections or Canyon only
- Red Salmon fishing available June 11th to June 30th and July 25th to August 10th
- Silver Salmon fishing available August 20th to October 15th
Upper Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
This section of the river is a limited entry area on the Kenai River. The first section starts at Sportsman’s Landing (the Russian River/Kenai river confluence) and finishes at Jim’s Landing. This is a five mile stretch of a braided river system. It is ideal for fly fishing and offers fantastic Trophy Rainbow trout and Arctic Char/Dolly Varden. Red and Silver Salmon Fishing can be fished when they are available. Usually June 11-July 1 for Sockeye and August 20-Sept 31 for Silvers. Duration 8- 9 hours.
Upper Kenai River Canyon Trip, The Canyon is the most beautiful and remote section of the Kenai River. The trip usually begins at Sportsman’s Landing and finishes at Skilak Lake. Then we motor 45 minutes across the lake to the take out. Duration 9 – 10+ hours. It is usually combined with the first section.
Upper Middle Kenai River (2 starting points) Driftboat 9-13 Miles
Different times of year the fish are in different places
- Trophy Trout only – Trophy Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden/Arctic Char
- Combo Trout Salmon
- Salmon only – Red Salmon or Silver Salmon
This section of river begins its flow out of Skilak Lake and slowly winds downstream before it enters a gorge called Naptowne Rapids. The Middle is a very wide section of river with tons of classic submerged river structure and massive salmon spawning areas. Trout average 15-18 inches and fish in the 26-30 plus inch class are a possibility most times of the year. More Rainbow Trout in the 10-20 pound class (that’s right, pounds) have been caught and released, in this section of river over the last 10 years, than any other river in the world. Drifter’s Lodge guides know all the fishing tactics and techniques for the monster rainbows that inhabit and migrate into this section of river. Fishing is normally done from a boat, but wade fishing opportunities can present themselves. This is where some of the biggest Rainbow Trout in the world live. Maximum of four anglers per boat, private boat upgrades are available. Trip duration: 8 hrs +
- Trout only From June 11 – Oct 10 Trophy Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden and Arctic Char
- Combo Trout / Red Salmon From July 15 – Aug 8 Red Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden and Arctic Char
- Combo Trout / Silver Salmon From August 10 – Oct 30 Silver Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden and Arctic Char
Lower Kenai River
- King Salmon – Trout Fishing – Silver Salmon Power Boat
- King Salmon only
- ½ Day King Salmon Power Boat Fishing Mid May – July 31
- Full Day King Salmon Power Boat Fishing Mid May – July 31
- Drift Boat
- Trout only June – Sept 15 Rainbow Trout Dolly Varden /Arctic Char
- Trout – Silver Salmon Combo August 15 – Sept 31 Silver Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden /Arctic Char
- Silver Salmon only August 15 – October
King Salmon Guests wishing to have a full day King Salmon fishing trip the opportunity is in the morning at 5:45 am on the Kenai River. Kenai River King Salmon average 30 to 60 pounds. Fishing the Lower Kenai River can award the angler with the Ocean Fresh World Famous Kenai River King Salmon. Kenai River King Salmon are the largest in the world. In 2008 there were a few Kings over 80 lbs Caught. The World Record King Salmon was a 97 pound 4 ounce brute hoisted out of the Kenai River. Caught on May 17th 1985 by Les Anderson, he lived right there in Soldotna, Alaska. The gargantuan King was all but 5 feet in length and an incredible 37.5 inch around the middle. Unfortunately the Kenai has been experiencing a period of low King Salmon returns. Because of this Drifter’s Lodge has chosen not to target these amazing fish on the Kenai. Instead we would highly recommend pursuing these truly amazing fish on the Kasilof river. Please see details below.
Trout fishing drift boat fishing on the Lower Kenai River, although best known for the World Record King Salmon this Section of River is awesome for Rainbows. The Rainbows feast on the abundance of food being washed down river. There is very little pressure for Rainbows on this section and fishing can be very good at times. The drift is anywhere from 7 miles to 15 miles in a drift boat.
Silver Salmon you can choose power or drift boat for your fishing experience. Silvers are mighty fighting machines that will please any foodie on the BBQ. Ocean fresh Silver Salmon caught low on the Kenai River keep entering the river through out the fall.
Kasilof River – 8 mile drift
- King Salmon May 16 – July 31
- Silver Salmon August 1 – October
An awesome non-motorized, drift boat only King Salmon fishery and is perfect for families and anglers who prefer a quieter, laid-back scene. Fish average 15-18 pounds with trophy fish in the 30 plus pound class hitting the net regularly. This is a hatchery enhanced river typically offering more chances to catch fish than the Lower Kenai. We deploy the same tactics and techniques used on the Kenai, with some fly-fishing opportunities available depending on water flow and time of year. This fishery jumps off May 16th and continues through the end of July with peak times being June 1st – June 15th and July 15th to End of July. Get ready for that heart-stopping takedown that only King Salmon can produce. Silver Salmon fishing is very good earlier than on the Kenai.
Starting point is 64 miles from Drifters Lodge driving thru Soldotna over the Kenai River Bridge and then 14 more miles to the Kasilof River Bridge. Starting point is the Kasilof River Bridge
King Salmon Early/Mid May – July 31
Silver Salmon August 1 – September