Full Day Fishing Trips

Full Day Fishing Trips2018-10-26T18:55:34+00:00

When booking a Full Day trip, we are happy to advise you on which section or river is fishing best depending on your expectations and desires for your full day fishing excursion. Ultimately, the choice is yours but you can expect a full and honest fishing report from your guide the day before which will help you make the best decision possible for your Full Day trip! 

Additionally, it is our lodge’s standard practice to catch and release all wild Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden and any other un-targeted catch. We love this river and want to be sure the big fish (and little) are still here for our future generations. We appreciate your support in our conservation focused decision to do our part in keeping the population up. 

Upper Kenai National Wildlife Refuge – Full Day Only – Drifts Available June 11-October 10th

​Duration: 8-9 hours – Departs from Drifter’s Lodge

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. This is a typical full day trip in June and July when the fishing is best in this section.

​Species Targeted

  • Trophy Rainbow Trout  & Dolly Varden/Arctic Char Trout  ​Available June 11- October 10th for Catch and Release fishing
  • Red Salmon Fishing (Sockeye) ​Available June 11th to June 30th and July 25th to August 10th 
  • Silver Salmon ​(Coho)  ​Available August 20th to October 15th

Upper Kenai River Canyon Trip – Kenai National Wildlife Refuge – Full Day Only – Drifts Available June 11th-October 10th

​Duration: 9-10 hours – Departs from Drifter’s Lodge

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. For scenery and fall time fishing, this is some of the best stretch of water on the Kenai. After drifting through the Canyon and occasionally fishing at the bottom, we motor about 45 minutes across the Skilak Lake to the take out. This can be a very long day but if fishing and wild scenery is what you are after, this could be the trip for you. Also, please note that when weather is bad, this may not be an option; the winds on Skilak have been known to turn the lake into an ocean so please be aware when booking that your safety is our first priority and we will not conduct the canyon section on extra windy or wavy days.

​Species Targeted

  • Trophy Rainbow Trout  & Dolly Varden/Arctic Char Trout  ​Available June 11- October 10th for Catch and Release fishing
  • Red Salmon Fishing (Sockeye) ​Available June 11th to June 30th and July 25th to August 10th 
  • Silver Salmon ​(Coho)  ​Available August 20th to October 15th

Kenai River – Middle Kenai River Refuge – Full Day Drift and Power Boats Available June 11th – October 10th

Duration: 8-9 hours – Departs from Drifter’s Lodge

This section of river begins its flow out of Skilak Lake in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge 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 if water levels are right. This is where some of the biggest Rainbow Trout in the world live. Maximum of four anglers per boat, private boat upgrades are available.

​Species Targeted

  • Trophy Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden/Arctic Char  – Available June 11th –  October 10th
  • Combo Trout / Red Salmon – Available July 15th – August 8th 
  • Combo Trout / Silver Salmon – Available August 10th – October  30th 
  • Salmon Only – Red Salmon – Available July 15th – August 8th
  • Salmon Only – Silver Salmon – Available August 10th – October 30th

​Kenai River – Lower Kenai River – Full Day Drift and Power Boats Available June – October 30th

Duration: 8-9 hours – Departs from Drifter’s Lodge

​Most fisher-people coming to Alaska have heard the lore of the Kenai River King Salmon. The King Salmon that travel up the Kenai River to spawn are some of the biggest in the world. In the past, Kenai River Kings have regularly averaged 30 to 60 pounds. Fishing the Lower Kenai River used to regularly reward the angler with the Ocean Fresh, World Famous Kenai River King Salmon. 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, a resident of Soldotna, Alaska. The gargantuan King was all but 5 feet in length and an incredible 37.5 inch around the middle.

Although it is 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 seven to fifteen miles in a drift boat.

To target Silver Salmon on the Lower Kenai, 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 continue entering the river throughout the fall.

​Species Targeted

  • Trophy Rainbow Trout / Silver Salmon Combo Power Boat  
  • Trout Only – Power Boat – Available Early June – September 31st –​Catch and release fishing
  • Trout – Silver Salmon Combo    August 15 – Sept 31st
  • Silver Salmon only   August 15 – October 30th

Kasilof River – Full Day Drift Boat
Available May 16th – October 10th

Duration: 8 hours – Trip Typically Departs From the Kasilof River Bridge

An awesome non-motorized, drift boat only King Salmon fishery which 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 a King Salmon can produce. Silver Salmon fishing can be very good with an earlier run than the Kenai River.

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.   Boats put in at the Kasilof River Bridge.

The Kasilof also offers some incredible early and late season Steelhead fishing opportunities. They call the Steelhead the Fish of 1000 casts and while that can be true, we also find that you can increase your odds with one of our guides and some patience! Steelhead are basically Rainbow Trout that go out to the ocean. They are fantastic fighters and can be caught on the fly.

If you find yourself in Alaska in the off season, this is a great trip to look into. Our guides are knowledgable and enthusiastic about steelhead and you can be sure you’ll have a great time.

​Species Targeted

  • King Salmon – May 16 – July 31 
  • Silver Salmon – August 1 – October
  • Steelhead – April – May, September – October

Drift Boat Fishing on the Upper Upper Kenai River

This fishing trip is the ideal half-day drift boat (non-motorized) fishing trip for families or those anglers who just need an opportunity to fish the World Famous Kenai River. This beautiful baby blue / 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, 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 that will not soon be forgotten.  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 as the Kenai River winds its way through the historic town of Cooper Landing, Chugach National Forest and ending at Sportsman’s takeout (Russian River). The drift is 7 miles of beautiful mountain scenery, wildlife viewing and Fishing. Your ears will be pleased as The Upper Upper Kenai is a drift only (no motors allowed) section of the River. In order to preserve the fishery we practice catch and release for all Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden. We offer daily AM and PM trips, evening trips are special request. Each drift boat has 4 available seats. Private boats for your group or family are available on request. All professional equipment is provided.

Russian River ½ Day Walk-In:  June 11 – Sept 30th***

The Russian River is a major tributary of the Upper Kenai River. The Russian River originates out of two crystal clear mountain lakes, rapidly running its short course through the Chugach National Forest and eventually merging into the aqua blue waters of the Kenai River. The Russian is a textbook pocket water trout fishery with plenty of boulders, riffles, and clear pools. This river fishes well from its opening on June 11th through the end of September and provides some of the best dry-fly fishing in Alaska for Rainbow Trout in July and early August. The chance to see one of Alaska’s Brown and Black Bears is highly increased whenever salmon are in the system.

The Russian River receives two distinct runs of Sockeye Salmon, providing insane amounts of flesh and eggs for the trout to gorge on throughout fall, creating a fly fishing Mecca.  Sockeye fishing ***  from June 11th – end of June and July 25th –mid August 10th; Silver Salmon from late August – end of September***

Rainbows and Dolly Varden are always available to target; Salmon are available at certain times during the season. All professional equipment is provided.

Quartz Creek ½ Day Walk-In: End of July-End of August

This crystal clear, slower moving creek originates out of the Chugach Mountain 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 into the fray. Sight and indicator fishing egg patterns for these worthy game fish, among hundreds of spawning Sockeye Salmon, is the name of the game. Be ready for that sleeper rainbow hiding in the log jam. We begin fishing this creek about July 25th and offer trips through August. This is an experienced fisherman’s paradise but a beginner would easily be able to handle it and it would be a great learning experience. Another great opportunity to spot bears when salmon are present. All professional equipment is provided.

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.

Trips Available

King Salmon only – Mid May – July 31st

Silver Salmon only- August 1st – September 31st

Yes, this is the same Drifters Lodge, but with an updated website.
+