The Kenai River is host to some of the best Rainbow Trout fishing on planet Earth.
With millions and millions of salmon returning to spawn each year, the Kenai produces an incredible food source for its native, wild trout that can not be described in human terms. Let’s just say that Kenai River rainbows are not on the Weight Watchers program. Alaska Troutfitters specializes in the pursuit of these “Fatties” and give anglers the chance to experience this truly world-class fishery first hand. From drift boat float fishing on the Kenai River, to professionally guided hike-in fishing trips on smaller tributaries and streams; Alaska Troutfitters has got Kenai Peninsula Rainbow Trout dialed. We divide the Kenai River trout fishing into four different sections of river. Each is unique with its own style of fishing, river structure, and scenery.
Kenai River Trips
This is where it all begins. The mighty Kenai begins its first flows out of Kenai Lake and steadily runs seventeen miles downstream through the drift only Kenai National Wildlife Refuge before entering into another massive glacial lake called Skilak. Its entire length is a massive spawning ground for the millions of pacific salmon that call this special river home. It is also home to some of the best fly-fishing for trout in the world, and is the perfect section of river for the beginner or expert to experience Alaska trout fishing for the first time. Surrounded by the massive peaks of the Kenai Mountains, the upper Kenai is a breath-taking display of Alaskan beauty. With its many braids, back channels, and gravel bars, the upper Kenai offers many unique ambush points for Rainbow Trout and Char on the fly. Fish average 12-16 inches with trophy fish in the 26-28 plus inch class caught regularly. The fishing begins in this section of river on June 11th and continues through the end of October. We fish and float this limited guided section of river with our custom 20 foot Willie drift boats with a maximum of four anglers per boat.
Full day (8-hours)
This is the last 3 miles of the upper Kenai's descent into Skilak Lake, and is also the most wild and remote section of the Kenai. This is an awesome addition to our full day Upper Kenai River trips. The canyon section offers anglers the chance at hooking some of the upper Kenai's more magnum rainbows and char, as well as providing scenery that will take your breath away. From whitewater canyon runs to the smooth, braided sections of river just above the lake, this section of river is truly legendary. At the end of the day, kick back and enjoy the glacial views as you cruise out across Skilak Lake. Please note that Canyon trips may be delayed or cancelled due to the uncontrollable weather on Skilak Lake.
Full day only (8 hours)
This section of river begins its flow out of Skilak Lake and slowly winds downstream before it enters a gorge called Naptown Rapids. The Middle is a very wide and deep section of river with tons of classic submerged river structure and massive salmon spawning areas. Fish average 18 inches and fish in the 26-30 plus inch class are seen almost daily. More Rainbow Trout in the 12-18 pound class (that's right, pounds) have been caught and released in this section of river over the last 10 years than any river in the world. Alaska Troutfitters guides pioneered fly-fishing tactics and techniques for the monster rainbows that inhabit and migrate into this section of river. This is primarily a boat fishery and is highly recommended for experienced anglers searching for their fish of a lifetime. This is where some of the biggest and baddest Rainbow Trout in the world come to party, are you ready? Maximum of four anglers per boat. (Please note that Middle Kenai River trips may be delayed or cancelled due to the uncontrollable weather on Skilak Lake.)
Full day only (8-hours)
Hike in fishing
Alaska Troutfitters offers guided hike-in fishing on several of the Kenai Peninsula's smaller mountain streams and rivers for Rainbow Trout, Arctic Char, and Steelhead. If hiking up and down rivers sight fishing for trout and char, or swinging articulated leeches for chrome Steelhead right out of the salt gets your casting arm twitching, this is the trip for you.
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 a textbook pocket water trout fishery 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 in Alaska for Rainbow Trout in July and early August. The Russian River receives two distinct runs of Sockeye Salmon providing insane amounts of flesh and eggs for the trout to gorge on in the fall creating a fly fishing Mecca.
Limited to two anglers per guide
Half Day (4 hours) - Full Day (8 hours)
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 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 July 25th and offer trips through August. This is a wonderful hike-in trip for beginners and mellow hikers.
Limited to two anglers per guide
Full Day Only (8 hours)
These ancient, tea colored streams of the lower Kenai Peninsula are home to one of God's most magnificent creations, the Steelhead Trout. These wild, fall run chromers begin entering streams in good numbers around September 15th and fishing continues through October. Fish average 8-10 pounds with 15 pound plus fish being tailed yearly. We fish a variety of flies and techniques for these bad boys depending on water conditions and time of year. Steelhead fishing is some of the most rewarding forms of fly-fishing there is. Imagine swinging your fly through the meat of the pool. This is going to be the one, you know it, you feel it. The morning sun begins to warm your cold, numb fingers, but you don't even notice. You're focused. You mend your line through the yellow and red leaves floating downstream and begin to swing your fly out of the depths when you feel it. That micro-second when your line pauses for that sixth sense strike and there he is, the chromer immediately blows downstream out of the pool, headed back for the ocean. The fish bucks down but eventually succumbs to your fly rod. Sitting in the water at your feet is 12 pounds of chrome bright steelhead. The fish is staring you down right in the eye as you remove the hook from its corner jaw. You grasp his tail and release him back into the cold, October water. You pick the sea lice off of your wool glove and begin shaking, but not from the cold. You feel it? We feel it too.