ASC1 – Alaska Steelhead Fishing on the Kenai Peninsula
Alaska Steelhead Fishing on the Kenai Peninsula
Alaska is one of the top sport angling destinations in the world due to its salmon, halibut, and trout fishing opportunities. The vast landmass of Alaska is scattered with rivers, lakes and streams that offer unparalleled fishing. Our outfitter offers one of the best steelhead trips in Alaska and an unmatched experience fishing for truly wild Steelhead.
The beautiful fall weather on the Kenai Peninsula paired with the abundant number of steelhead making their annual run up the three different rivers we fish make this a premier destination for the beginner or advanced steelhead angler. The three rivers are all very diverse and offer different angling opportunities on each. Two of these rivers are walk and wade fisheries and the third which boasts the largest run of steelhead on the peninsula is much larger and fished from drift boat along with wading the many gravel bars and runs. This river which we can not say the name of in order to protect the fishery and keep it as pristine as possible can not blow out! The fear of many steelhead anglers when planning a trip is the possibility of heavy rains and a river that blows out while on your trip of a lifetime. This does not happen here!
Our outfitter also offers an array of non angler activities for your spouse or non fishing partner to enjoy the beauty of the Kenai Peninsula while you are spoiled with some of the best steelhead fishing Alaska has to offer!
Whether it be the high catch rate on wild steelhead, diverse angling opportunities, extremely low fishing pressure, or the abnormally gorgeous Fall weather, we are confident that you will agree that this is the premier steelhead destination for anglers of all ages and abilities.
$3,995 plus $119.85 Alaska Sales Tax
Non-Fishing Price: All inclusive w/ 5 days of Non-Angler activities w/ personal host is $3,995 plus $119.85 Alaska Sales Tax (Activities that include a helicopter or plane may exceed $3,995) Non Angler pricing for an all inclusive stay at the lodge but guest prefers to arrange their own activities is $1,995 plus $59.93 Alaska Sales Tax.
- License/Tag(s): $70
- Dept. Link: https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/
*Prices subject to change at any time without notice.
6 Nights Lodging
5 Full Days of Guided Fishing
2 Possible Half Days of Guide Assisted Fishing (depending on your travel plans)
All Meals and Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Ground Transportation to and from Kenai Airport
Fly Rods, Reels, Flies, and Terminal Tackle.
A trip to the Kenai Peninsula offers anglers the opportunity to fish three very different rivers for fall run steelhead. What are the names of those rivers you say? Well, you’re not going to find that out until you go see them for yourself! What we will say is that one river boasts the largest steelhead run on the Peninsula. These rivers are highly coveted by local anglers and guides and we intend to keep them as pristine and special as possible.
Difficulty: Never ever fly fisherman – Very Experienced Single Hand and Two-handed Anglers
Season(s): Fall (September 14 – November 1)
The Rods We Use:
10 foot, 7 or 8 weight single handed rods
11 foot, 6 or 7 weight switch rods
12.5 to 13.5 foot, 6 to 8 weight spey rods
– Steelhead (of course!)
– Silver Salmon, Dolly Varden
– Rainbow Trout
** Although we practice catch and release for Steelhead, Dollies and Rainbows, many of our clients choose to keep the Silver Salmon they catch to be processed and shipped home.
Catch Processing: If you catch a silver salmon that is fresh and want to keep it, we have a nearby company that will process it for you. Fish boxes for airline travel come in 25 lb boxes and we can add in halibut, crab etc if you want at an additional market price.
The 3 Rivers we fish
River #1: The smallest river of the three can only be accessed via foot. Although this river is the most susceptible to the elements, the Fall season seems to bring relatively stable conditions offering easy wading and smaller, more manageable fishing rigs. This river is truly a gem and we like to spend at least a couple days fishing this river. When conditions are right the fishing can be on fire! Most of the fishing on this river is done with small nymph rigs but if the water is right a switch rod can work well to swing a fly through the zone. Single hand rods can also work to swing a weighted fly on this river but the switch rods are a preferred method. Even though this river gets the smallest run of steelhead it will be unknown to you when you have a section of river all to yourself. The little angling pressure on this river allows you to target fish that haven’t been spooked by other anglers. You will love this intimacy and solitude this this small river offers.
Travel time to this river from the lodge and cabins is only 15 minutes, which guests find very convenient. Depending upon arrival time we can offer two half days of fishing on the front and back end of your stay, this is the most conducive river for a half day trip. Expect to fish this river 2-3 days during your stay.
River #2: The second of the three main rivers is a bit larger, but offers similar fishing opportunities as the first. Anglers of all abilities tend to do very well on this river because of the large number of steelhead in the run. Wading access is very limited on this river but the knowledge acquired by your guides from years of experience will get you into fish. During higher flows and tough wading conditions we have the ability to use inflatable kayaks instead of hiking and crossing the river. This is a fun and effective way to fish this river during high flows and cover the necessary water to get you into fish.
If water flows are low then you will hike and wade to get to the productive sections. If you are looking to out serious numbers of fish to the net then nymph rigs are the preferred method. If you want the challenge this river offers many opportunities to get your fish on the swing. Travel time is about 40 minutes and you can expect to fish this river 1-2 times during your stay.
River #3: The last of the rivers we fish is to many the most special and has the largest run of steelhead on the peninsula. Our outfitter is confident that there is not an angler on the planet that we cannot produce a steelhead for while fishing this river!
Unlike the other two rivers, this river is not susceptible to the elements. This is one of the most important reasons to book your steelhead trip with us in Alaska. This river is glacial fed flowing naturally from a lake. The glacial silt gives it a beautiful turquoise color and most importantly, it will not blow out which is the most concerning of all issues when booking any steelhead trip.
Access to this river is via drift boat or power drifter. Some fishing will be done from the boat while drifting through runs using nymph rigs. Once we reach the many wade fishing locations you can choose to continue to nymph for steelhead or pick up the spey rod and swing what is believed by many to be one of the best rivers to swing a fly in the world. We use many different shooting heads and sink tip combinations depending on water level or the run you are swinging.
This river is wide but shallow in most places so usually light flies and tips are key. Most fish are hooked in 2-3 feet of water and even less than a foot as the season gets into late October. Since this river is so shallow, it offers the beginner two-handed spey fisherman an almost guaranteed opportunity to hook their first steelhead on the swing. The experienced spey fisherman will find this river to be almost unbelievable and find themselves coming back each year.
Travel time to this river is only 15 minutes to the take out where you will meet your guide. You will then hop in with the guide to drive the dirt road upriver for approximately 15 more minutes to the put in. You can expect to fish this river 3 days during your stay. If you find boat fishing is more comfortable and enjoyable than wading we can arrange for you to fish this river more.
As proud as we are to provide world class fishing, we are just as proud to offer our guests world class lodging. This outfitter offers 5 star rated accommodations centrally located to all the rivers you will fish. The main lodge and four guest cabins are perched on the edge of a 200 ft. bluff overlooking Kachemak Bay, Cook Inlet, glaciers, and the famed active volcanoes Mt. Redoubt and Mt. Iliamna. The views are absolutely breathtaking morning, day and night.
There is nothing better than closing an incredible day of steelhead fishing by watching one of the most beautiful sunsets one can ever see! All while trading stories and pictures over drinks and hors d’oeuvres before dinner in the main lodge. Each cabin has its own fire pit that is restocked daily as well as outdoor seating to enjoy after dinner before you retire to the solitude of your cabin. All guest cabins consist of a fully equipped kitchen, living room with flat screen TV and convertible bed, gas fireplace, very comfortable queen bed in the master bedroom and finally, a bathroom complete with state of the art washer and dryer. No trip to Alaska is complete without wildlife sightings and with the occasional moose walking by the cabins, bald eagles flying next to the bluff, and seals and whales in the bay, you will not be disappointed. For the more adventurous guests that are willing to stay up late, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of the famous Aurora Borealis “Northern Lights”.
Meals are very important and in the morning before heading out you will find our chefs working hard to prepare you some good strong coffee and a hearty breakfast. Everyone then leaves stocked for the day with a custom-packed shore-side lunch, as well as plenty of snacks and drinks to keep you going. On the colder days, guides prepare coffee, hot cider and hot chocolate on the boats. Feel free to bring a flask as well…you’ve got to love a hot cider with a little splash of whiskey to warm you up! You can expect the dinners to be local and fresh, consisting of sushi, scallops, shrimp, halibut, salmon, king crab, clams, oysters, caribou, beef, just to name “a few”. We spare no expense on the finest Alaskan fare there is to offer and after a day of fishing for steelhead these dinners are even better! Chefs are always more than happy to accommodate specific dietary needs or even just a request for a specific craving!
Non Angler Activities
The Kenai Peninsula offers so much more than fishing. Please don’t hesitate to bring a loved one who wants to experience Alaska without a rod and reel in their hand! We will provide them with a vehicle and a host (when available) to accompany them to see the sights and partake in some of the many other activities one can enjoy.
Day trips to the quaint town of Homer
Day Fly-in Bear Watching Tours
Scenic boat tours
Stay on the property! Relax, read, snuggle by the fire, and most of all – enjoy the scenery.
Don't Forget Trip Insurance!
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Nearest Airport: Major Airport Anchorage, Kenai Commuter Flight
Outfitter Pickup: Airport Pick Up is Included in the price
Transportation During Trip: All Transportation is Included in the Price, All customers are provided with access to a vehicle during their stay
Depart from your preferred airport and arrive in Anchorage, AK. Prior to arriving, you will need to book your flight from Anchorage to Kenai, AK through a company by the name of Ravn Alaska. If you call Ravn, they are very helpful and will assist you with purchasing the proper flight based on your arrival time in Anchorage. These flights are affordable, typically around $85. The flight to Kenai is roughly 20 minutes and offers breathtaking scenery. A host will be there to greet you upon your arrival to the Kenai airport! While in Kenai, most guests choose to purchase their fishing license, make a quick stop at the liquor store and/or pick up anything they forgot to pack. You and your host will then make the scenic 40 minute drive to the lodge and cabins.
(Optional) Saturday arrival in Anchorage is for our guests that want to see Anchorage, have friends to visit, or have too far to travel in one day, thus making it easier to split up the travel over 2 days by staying in Anchorage on Saturday night. You are then able to take one of the first Sunday morning Ravn flights out of Anchorage to Kenai, enabling you to get a half-day of fishing in when you arrive!
Keep in mind that flights to Anchorage sometimes arrive early and if you can get to baggage claim and get your bags quickly, you may be able to make an earlier Ravn flight to Kenai – IF seating is available. Then you are possibly able to fish for a few hours when you arrive. If you would indeed like to try and get a little fishing in on Sunday afternoon, also try to get on the earliest flight available out of your airport to Anchorage.
Guests will enjoy five full days of guided fishing, relaxation and local Alaskan cuisine. Fishing itinerary will vary as it is dependent upon the guest’s expectations, weather, ability, and fishing conditions.
After breakfast, you will be driven back to the Kenai Airport by your host to catch your Ravn flight back to Anchorage. Please make Ravn flight arrangements to allow for plenty of time in Anchorage to make your return flight home. Or, if guests arrange for an evening flight out of Anchorage, our staff will be able to take you out for a half day of fishing before being transferred to the Kenai Airport.
Having been on multiple trips with Matt and Alex this is by far my favorite. I’m about to book for a third season, and could not be more excited. This trip provides it all. Great fishing, top notch accommodations, and the food that a 5 star restaurant would provide. This is a trip that doesn’t make you feel like a customer. You feel like you are part of the team, and like you’re fishing on your home river with friends. This is something I will do every single year no questions asked.– Raquel Spencer
When people ask me about my steelhead trip to Alaska, I usually am rendered speechless. Matt, the host, said “this trip will change your life” – I thought he was crazy. He was right. I have never been anywhere that has made such an impact on me. And I have never been sadder to leave somewhere. The sheer numbers of fish we caught was reason enough to go. But when you factor in everything else from the fun, EXTREMELY knowledgeable guides to the delicious food, it adds up to one of the best experiences of my life.-Brad Finn
This truly was the trip of a lifetime. I will NEVER forget catching my first steelhead – and tons more throughout the week. The scenery is unreal, the food was fantastic, and the camaraderie was so much fun. Coming back to the lodge and cabins after an epic day of fishing and sharing pictures and stories with everyone is a blast. I cannot wait to go back.
– Chris Rothan
“I’ve been on the steelhead trip 2 years in a row and I plan on going back this year. The steelhead fishing is incredible! I’ve never been anywhere that you could consistently catch several steelhead every day. I’ve never been skunked on any day there which is typical for steelhead fishing. The staff are top notch. The guides are fun and experienced and the lodging staff cater to your every need. The meals are fantastic and the lodging is so much better than your typical fish camp. I can’t say enough about this trip, it’s quite affordable and I plan on going back for many years.”– Howie Haynie
“Dear whoever is thinking about fishing with this team of great people. I have tarpon, redfish, billfished, salmon fished and have the pictures to prove that I have been in the the top 5 percent for those trips. These guys gave me the holy grail of fishing. One cannot believe that people can create a situation where humans and nature mate and we can love that day so in our dreams we can smile about it every night. Can’t wait to make it back. I had such a great time, as close to heaven as I have ever been “– Chris Spiekerman
“Matt Sprecher does it again!From the lodging,to the food,to the exceptional guides. It is certainly a trip for all abilities and would recommend for anyone looking to fall in love with Alaska and the magnificent steelhead. Thanks again!”– Lou Bravo
” In every way, this trip exceeded my expectations! I knew from the end of the first day that this ‘once in a lifetime’ trip will probably become an annual trip. The fishing, scenery, accommodations and staff were second to none. Our Alaskan guide was super knowledgable and was probably the most patient instructor I’ve ever had fly fishing. This trip is not just for ‘experienced’ fly fishers as I learned plenty and never felt like I was out of my league. Catching chrome bright steelhead is a total life changer and has consumed my thoughts since my flight home from Alaska. Already planning my trip for next year.”-Matt Notterman
“My brother-in-law and I just went on the Alaska trip in late September. The fishing was simply amazing. I can’t believe we caught that many steelhead. All six days of fishing were great. I liked that we got to fish four different rivers – this mixed things up and kept things interesting. Changing from drifting one river, to cruising another with the power boat, to hiking the other rivers really kept things fresh. The two Alaskan guides were excellent and had great knowledge of every river we fished. The chef/host Billy is such a great guy. He took excellent care of us, made sure everybody had what they needed, and made sure all fishing logistics were set every day. His food was off the charts and he did a super job meeting my special dietary needs. The cabins are well appointed and very comfortable, and the location (between all four rivers) and views absolutely cannot be beat.”– Eli Weiskamp
Suggested Gear List
- Light to heavy layers (No Cotton). Your lightest thermal tops and bottoms is most commonly worn. Basically, if you booked the last 2 weeks in Sept or the 1st week in Oct, lighter layers will work great. If you booked the last 3 weeks of Oct bring heavier layers in addition to the lighter layers to cover all your bases. You will also need a light mid layer jacket (fleece, primaloft, synthetic down, wool, etc…) as well as a heavier mid layer jacket (down, synthetic down, wool, etc…). Your clothing is important and you know yourself so use you best judgment when packing.
- A good rain jacket is a must, so make sure your current jacket doesn’t leak.
- Waders and Boots. It is imperative that you have waders that don’t leak. If you have or are having problems with your current waders you will need to buy a new pair or make very sure they are not leaking before you depart. Also, if you buy new boots make sure you break them in because we do a good amount of hiking on the small rivers. If you have new boots make sure to bring moleskin in case of blisters.
- A pair of boots to wear around the lodge and cabins and a pair of slippers is always nice too. We all where Muck boots but they tend to be over-kill for the lodge and cabins the majority of the time.
- Billed Hat for sun and eye protection.
- A stocking cap never hurts as well as gloves for the weeks in Oct to be safe. Bring fingerless gloves if you tend to fish in gloves when its cold.
- Comfortable pants to wear under your waders.
- Medium to thick socks are preferred.
- Polarized Sunglasses. If you have low light sunglasses in addition to your everyday pair, bring both.
- Ibuprofen, pain meds, etc…
- Camera, battery charger, computer so you are able to download pics throughout the week or extra SD cards. Gopro if you have one and cord to recharge.
- Cell phone, charger and a water proof case if you have one
- Hand sanitizer and wipes for mother natures restroom.
- Cash for gratuities for your guides and chef. $400-$600 will be enough.
- Water Bottle
- Small Backpack or big waist or sling pack (preferably water resistant or water proof)
- Basic Fishing Tools. Hemostats, nippers, split shot (BB – 3/0)
- Fluorocarbon line: 10lb, 12lb, 15lb and 20lb. We prefer Sunline FC Sniper or Pline. Tippet you would use for Trout is not the proper flouro material needed for Steelhead because it needs to be stiffer and more abrasion resistant. (optional)
- 9ft 0x, 1x and 2x Salmon/Steelhead leaders (2 of each is plenty)
- Large and XL Thingamabobbers (3 packs of each size. Buy some Black if you can)
- Standard Spey flies for swinging in Pink, Black, Orange as well as your favorite Black Trout streamers for the smaller rivers. New patterns are always welcome. (optional)
- Size 10, 12 and 14 mil Trout Beads in Tangerine and Light Roe
- Owner hooks, Mosquito, in size 4 and 6 (optional)
- 9-10ft 7 or 8 weight Single Handed rods with reels and floating line to match. (optional)
- 11ft 7 or 8 weight Switch rods with reels and floating line (RIO Switch line ONLY) to match. (optional)
- 12’6 – 13’6 7 or 8 weight Spey rods with reels and line (Skagit or Scandi preferably) to match. (optional)
- An assortment of sinking tips (5 is typically how they are sold). We use very light tips so make sure you have an intermediate tip and heavier from there. (optional)