Alaska Rainbow Trout Fishing
Alaska can brag about many of the incredible segments of its natural resources, but we should all be extremely grateful that it is one of the few states that can boast both wild rainbow trout and char. The Kenai River is arguably the best river in the state for producing huge trout and char as well as having a healthy sustainable population of these trophy fish. The Kenai River is a very user-friendly watershed as long as you have the knowledge and know-how to find and catch these fish. The guides at Jason’s Guide Service spend countless hours and days targeting these fish to ensure their fingers are on-the-pulse. We fish rainbow trout and Dolly Varden char with both fly and spinning gear using many different techniques.
The Upper Kenai River starts in Cooper Landing Alaska and is an 18-mile stretch of river that is an awesome fishery with breathtaking views.
The Upper Kenai is a drift-fish only stretch of river which means no fishing with a motor boat. Jason’s Guide Service is one of only19 guide operations that has a competitive-use permit for the Upper Kenai River Refuge. We fish the entire Upper Kenai River which is comprised of three sections the locals call the Upper Upper, the Refuge and The Canyon. We pick what stretches of river to fish based on what’s happening on the river the day or days you are fishing. If you have a preference we are always happy to accommodate. The Kenai is a diverse fishery that can be complex in its daily changes due to many factors including run off, glacial melt, weather, and bio mass to name just a few. We consider all these factors when we plan your day on the water.
The Middle Kenai River starts in Sterling, Alaska and flows down to Soldotna. When you go under the Soldotna bridge it turns into the lower Kenai River and dumps into Cook Inlet in the town of Kenai. The upper part of the Middle Kenai River is in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (KNWR) and is home to some of the biggest rainbow trout and Dolly Varden char on the planet. The Middle Kenai River starts at the confluence of Skilak Lake and has incredibly beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. When you drift out of the KNWR you will start drifting by private lands and residential areas that continue all the way to the mouth. The lower part of the Middle Kenai starts at Bings landing and flows to Centennial Park where we take out. I call this Stretch of river “The Thunder Box” because it is big water with big risk and big reward fishing. This area holds lots of fish at times and is also a travel corridor, transition area, where fish come and go all year long. One day it’s hot and one day it’s not.
The guides at Jason’s Guide Service are versatile anglers and love to fish using a variety of equipment and approaches. We incorporate many styles and techniques of fishing when we target the trout and char on the Kenai River no matter what stretch we fish. When fly fishing, we use 9.6 to 10.6-foot fly rods because they help us achieve the perfect drift. When we are fly fishing on the Kenai River, we are usually utilizing indicators and running a dead drift presentation. We also like to cast dry flies, and occasionally swing streamers. When we fish with spinning gear, we back troll plugs, side drift, drift fish from the boat, and float fish. The bottom line is conditions dictate the gear and presentation. We don’t have a preference for what gear we use when guiding, we just want you to be happy, comfortable, and have a good time.
The fact that all the rainbow trout and Dolly Varden char are wild fish that are native to the Kenai River watershed means it is a catch-and-release fishery. Don’t be too intimidated to try fly fishing if you’ve never done it because it is fun, can be productive, and our guides are pros. We love to teach you how to fish. It is our job to patiently teach you and make it a fun experience. We live for the opportunity to give anglers a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the water doing something they have only dreamed of—until they book a trip with us. If you’re looking for a guided rainbow trout fishing trip on the Kenai River, we’re ready to help. Let’s get started!