Every season is special on the Kenai Peninsula!
Whether you're targeting world-class rainbow trout and dolly varden or salmon, the kenai and kasilof rivers offer many year-round and diverse opportunities.
By far the most popular river in Alaska, the Kenai River supports upwards of 34 different fish species. Most notably, the Kenai River is home to major runs of 4 pacific salmon species: Chinook Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Pink Salmon and Coho Salmon as well as trophy sized Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden which can reach over 30" in length!
The Kenai River is home to the world record Chinook Salmon weighing in at over 97 lbs. Chinooks on the Kenai River can weigh upwards of 50-85lbs. Much of the popularity of the Kenai River comes from the pursuit of world-record proportioned Chinook Salmon.
THE UPPER KENAI RIVER
Starting at river mile 82 and ending at river mile 65, Cooper Landing is the home to Kenai Lake and the Upper Kenai River. Kenai Lake is large, glacially-fed and is 22 miles in length.
The Upper Kenai is a "Drift Only"section of river and is approximately 17 miles in length. Along with its tributaries, the Upper Kenai River provides important spawning and rearing habitat for Chinook, Coho and Sockeye Salmon and resident species such as Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden.
Public Access and popular meeting points along the Sterling Highway include:
Highway Mile 48.4 - The Cooper Landing State Recreation Site and Boat Launch
Highway Mile 51- Cooper Creek Campground
Highway Mile 52.5 - Russian River Campground
Highway Mile 55 - Sportsman Landing and Russian River Ferry
Highway Mile 58- Jim's Landing
Due to higher summer water flows, the Upper Kenai River can be tough to access on foot. We use 20' drift boats specifically designed to navigate the swift and cold waters of the Kenai River. Most fishing will be fly fishing utilizing a very easy "indicator nymphing" technique. Fly fishing with this technique is very easy to learn and a lot of fun!
MIDDLE KENAI RIVER
The Middle Kenai River stretches from the outlet of Skilak Lake to the bridge in Soldotna (River Mile 50-21). The Middle Kenai River is known for its "Jurassic" Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden. These legendary fish gorge themselves on the bounty of salmon eggs and salmon flesh as many salmon spawn and die in the middle river. Extremely healthy runs of Sockeye Salmon and Coho Salmon rely on the Middle Kenai River for spawning and habitat for their young.
Highway Mile 79 - Bing's Landing State Recreation Site and Boat Launch
City of Soldotna - Swiftwater Park, Campground and Boat Launch
Highway Mile 81 - Izaak Walton State Recreation Site, Campground and Boat Launch
Known as the "little brother of the Kenai," the Kasilof River is a large, glacially fed river that runs for approximately 15 miles from the outlet at Tustumena Lake to the upper Cook Inlet. Most angling is done with the aid of a drift boat; however, bank angling for salmon is common. The Kasilof has a tremendous run of Sockeye Salmon and is known for the size of late-run Chinooks. The early run Chinooks are largely hatchery fish, but are often plentiful.