You have many choices for a full day fishing trip.
We will advise you as to which trips are fishing the best. The decision is ultimately yours.
Upper Upper Kenai River, Cooper Landing
Drift Boat Fishing on the Upper Upper Kenai River: Fish the first 7 stunning miles of the Kenai River. This fishing trip is great for anyone who wants to experience the breathtaking scenic upper stretch of the Kenai River. Fishing for Arctic Char / Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout will be the reward. The full day trip allows you to drift fish from the boat and also fish out of the boat on the river’s gravel bars and eddies. Red Salmon (Sockeye) and Silver Salmon (Coho) are available at certain times of the year.
We start from the Kenai River Bridge and pass by Drifter’s Lodge, 400 yards down river. The Kenai River winds its way through the historic town of Cooper Landing in the Chugach National Forest and your trip will end at Sportsman’s takeout (Russian River). The drift is seven miles of beautiful mountain scenery, wildlife viewing and fishing. The Upper Upper Kenai is a drift only (no motors allowed) section of the River, which enhances your ability to take in the sights and sounds of the surrounding natural environment. In order to preserve the fishery, we practice catch and release.
This stunning baby blue, sometimes turquoise green water surrounded by grand mountain scenery will delight any onlooker. Parents with kids will be delighted with our guides’ willingness to take the time to help the younger ones with their newly acquired fishing desires. Your guide will also describe the habitat, history and wildlife that surrounds you as you drift down the river.
Each drift boat has 4 available seats. Private boats for your group or family are available on request. All professional equipment is provided.
Trip Details: 7-8 hours. Leaves from Drifters Lodge. Please dress warm and although Drifters Lodge rain-gear is available if you have your own it may be more comfortable. Also, please bring anything you want to eat or drink while you are out fishing.
Upper Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
This section of the Kenai River is a limited entry area and is operated by guides under a permit from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The first section starts at Sportsman’s (the Russian River) and finishes at Jim’s Landing. This is a five mile stretch of a braided river system, ideal for fly fishing and offering fantastic Trophy Rainbow trout and Arctic Char/Dolly Varden. You will be fishing from both the drift boat and gravel bars on your full day fishing adventure in the refuge. Red and Silver Salmon can be fished when available. All professional equipment provided.
Trip Details: The trip duration is 8 hours. Trip departs from Drifters Lodge. Please dress warm and bring rain-gear. Also, please bring anything you want to eat or drink while you are out fishing.
Upper Kenai National Wildlife Refuge & Canyon
The canyon trip is the second part of the refuge and can be added to the Refuge trip upon request. The upper Kenai River Canyon trip is an awesome section of class one and two rapids. The canyon is the most beautiful and remote section of the Kenai River. The canyon section is 5 miles. Be sure to bring your camera for this one, the scenery is incredible and the fishing is great. The trip begins at Sportsman’s and finishes at Skilak Lake. We then motor 45 minutes (about 9 miles) across the lake to the take out. Trip duration is 7-8 hours. It is usually combined with the first section and is also operated by a guide under a permit from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.
Trip Details: Trip departs from Drifters Lodge. Please dress warm and bring rain-gear. Also, please bring anything you want to eat or drink while you are out fishing.
Middle Kenai River
The Middle Kenai River is one of the best and most prolific fisheries Alaska has to offer. This section of the Kenai River is over 40 miles long and provides anglers with fantastic opportunities to catch world class trophy fish. Our guides are on the water every day to ensure they are on the bite and will take you to the sections that will present you with the best opportunities to catch that fish of a lifetime. The following is a breakdown of the different sections we fish on the middle Kenai River.
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Middle Kenai River
This section of the Kenai River begins its flow out of Skilak Lake and slowly winds downstream before it enters a gorge called Nap Town Rapids. This section of the Kenai is very wide with tons of classic submerged river structures and it is home to one of the biggest King, Sockeye, Pink, and Silver Salmon spawning grounds on the Kenai. With all of this food it is also home to some of the largest Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden on the planet. Trout size usually average between 16-18inches, but you can spot fish in the 25-30+ inch class regularly. More Rainbow Trout in the 12-18pound class (that’s right, pounds!) have been caught and released in this section of the river over the last 10 years during late August-Late October, than any other river in the world!
Drifters’ Lodge guides are on the water every day and know all the fishing tactics and techniques for the monster Rainbow Trout that inhabit and migrate into this section of river. This section is primarily fished from the boat, however during the Sockeye Salmon runs and during the late fall; there are opportunities for bank fishing.
Trip Details: 7-8 hours. This trip will typically meet at the lodge, but may require you to meet the guide at the river. There are several departure spots for this trip, and your guide will explain the options to you and allow you to choose. Please dress warm and bring rain-gear. Also, please bring anything you want to eat or drink while you are out fishing.
Lower Middle Kenai River
Upon leaving the beautiful and remote Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, you will find yourself floating down the more settled section of the Kenai River. Enjoy the beautiful riverside homes and wide slow flowing baby blue water as you fish the bounty the Kenai River has to offer.
Depending on the time of year we can take you fishing for the mighty King Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Silver Salmon, or Trophy Rainbow Trout!
King Salmon are legendary in both their size and fight (Some battles lasting over an hour!) and begin entering the Kenai River early to mid-May and continue through the end of July. The largest of the five Pacific Salmon species, King Salmon are powerhouses, guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping! Limits on the Kenai River for King Salmon are 1 per person per day.
Sockeye Salmon begin showing up in this section of the Kenai River in catchable numbers around Mid-July. These power surging fish are the ones you see in the television programs jumping up waterfalls. When targeting Sockeye Salmon, your expert guide will row you down to a honey hole on the bank for an extraordinary day of fly swinging (fishing). Runs during this time usually average between 30,000 -230,000 fish daily so, at times fishing can be crazy but they are fish and plentiful one minute gone the next!
Silver Salmon begin showing up in this section of river around Aug 15th and can be exhilarating to hook into. These mighty fighting machines will please any angler and are great on the BBQ! We offer Combo Trophy Trout / Silver Salmon.
Trophy Rainbow Trout can also be found throughout this section of the river. With over a million Salmon spawning and dying here annually, there is an unlimited food supply for the trout which translates into some of the largest and most extraordinary trout fishing anywhere in the world. Our world class guides will put you right over these monsters for an experience unlike anything you have ever been through!
Trip Details: Trip duration is 7- 8 hours. This trip may require you to meet the guide at the river. There are several departure spots for this trip, and with your guide, you will decide the best trip for you. Please dress warm and bring rain-gear. Also, please bring anything you want to eat or drink while you are out fishing.
Kasilof River – Kasilof, Alaska
This amazing non-motorized, drift boat only, King Salmon fishery is perfect for all anglers and offers guest a quieter more laid back scene than the Kenai River. King Salmon on this river average 15-18lbs with fish 30+ pounds hitting the net regularly. The Kasilof River is a hatchery enhanced river typically offering more shots at King Salmon than on the Kenai River. We deploy the same tactics and techniques used on the Kenai River, with some fly-fishing opportunities available, depending on water flow and time of the year. The Kasilof River fishery jumps mid-May and continues through the end of July. Get ready for the heart-stopping takedown that only King Salmon can produce. In August Silver Salmon begin to arrive offering anglers an opportunity to experience a very quiet, productive fishery.
The starting point on the Kasilof River is 64 miles from Kenai River Drifters Lodge. You will be driving through Soldotna (about 50 miles) over the Kenai River Bridge, then 14 more miles to the Kasilof River Bridge, where we will be waiting for you.
Trip Details: 7-8 Hours. You will meet your guide at the Kasilof River Bridge, 64 miles from the Lodge. Please dress warm and bring rain-gear. Also, please bring anything you want to eat or drink while you are out fishing.
King Salmon only – Mid May – July 31st
Silver Salmon only- August 1st – September 31st