About the Kenai River

Kenai RiverUpper Kenai River

The turquoise waters of the Kenai River begin as its first flows out of Kenai Lake and steadily runs seventeen miles downstream through the Chugach National Forest and the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge before entering into another massive glacial lake called Skilak.  One of the many characteristics that makes the upper Kenai River very special is that no motors are allowed and it is designated a drift only river corridor. Its entire length is the spawning ground for millions of pacific salmon that call this beautiful water home. This area is also known for some of the best trout fishing in the world.  The upper Kenai River has sections that are perfect for all levels of fishermen, from the beginner to the expert. all can experience Alaska fishing at its finest.

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Canyon

The last 6 miles of the upper Kenai descend into what is known as the Kenai Canyon. It boasts some of the most beautiful scenery found on the Kenai River and fun class II-III rapids.  The Kenai Canyon has a tendency to be less crowded due to special use permits required for guiding, it’s remoteness and the logistics required to access this pristine section of river.  After passing through the exhilarating canyon, the river slows down through the miracle mile, becoming an anglers paradise.  At the end of the day you’ll get to enjoy the glacial views and dramatic scenery as you cruise out across Skilak Lake.  Please note that due to glacial winds on Skilak Lake, canyon trips maybe rescheduled to a full day fishing trip or delayed due to the uncontrollable weather on Skilak Lake.  Inclement weather on the lake may require canyon trip participants to take a gentle 1.5 mile guided hike up the Hidden Creek trail to get out, so make sure to bring comfortable hiking shoes or boots for this activity.

Russian River

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 River 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 (red) salmon along with a late fall Coho (silver) salmon run. All these salmon species provide insane amounts of flesh and eggs for the trout to gorge on in the fall creating a fly fishing mecca in this area.