Your Guide

Kenai River Fishing Guide

Jason Lesmeister

Jason Lesmeister moved to Alaska at the age of 21 to be a fishing and hunting guide. 30 years later he’s still there and is one of the busiest guides on the Kenai Peninsula.

In his own words: “I call Cooper Landing, AK home now. Not only is the Kenai Peninsula my office, it’s my playground as well. I don’t just work on the Kenai River, it’s my backyard. Being a year round professional guide and living in my guide area gives me an edge. Because guiding is my livelihood I believe in protecting our resources. I run an eco-friendly guide service and believe it is important to make as small a footprint as possible so we can enjoy our rivers and lakes forever. My beliefs in protecting our resources are put into practice daily on my guided trips. Jason’s Guide Service practices catch and release on all native rainbow trout and Dolly Varden while char and salmon can be caught for both sport and retention. When I’m not fishing for work (guiding), I’m fishing on my off time for pleasure and to keep my finger on the pulse for when I am working. I have a few simple philosophies about fishing and guiding. “Control the controllable’s” are words I live by. Because of my convictions, I will give you the best gear to fish with. On my guided trips you will be using Gore-Tex breathable waders. My rods, both fly and spinning, are G-Loomis. My fly reels are Lamson, my spinning reels are Shimano and I also use the best lines money can buy. Royal Wulff fly lines, Power Pro and Sunline’s FC Super Sniper fluorocarbon for spinning reels. I will not give anyone any gear that I wouldn’t fish with myself, and I like the best.

Having the best equipment doesn’t always make you the best fishermen, but it’s a lot more fun to fish the good stuff, and easier to learn on quality gear. I don’t think you should have to fish average equipment when on a guided trip, you deserve the best and my gear is the best.

All of my fishing trips are done out of a 19-foot Willie Drift Boat. The drift boat is a motor-less boat designed to fish on the drift. Fishing drift-only is a more peaceful and environmentally friendly way to fish.

Fishing on the drift gives you a quiet trip down the river where you flow with the currents fishing the long drift or working smaller features. The drift boat is designed to run in currents and is an ideal way to fish without spooking the fish, or creating bank damage from wakes.

We don’t emit any carbon pollutants into the water, or create any noise pollution. Fishing the Kenai River out of a drift boat is a great way to get lost in the drift waiting for that huge take to happen and the battle to begin.

Everyone who has ever dreamed of coming to Alaska has dreamed of that moment; only it’s better in a drift boat.”+——————

Kenai River Fishing Guide

Joe Pote

Discover the untamed beauty of Alaska’s Kenai River with Joe Pote.

With a lifelong love for fishing, Joe's roots trace back to Virginia, where he honed his skills in diverse waterways, from high mountain streams to the Chesapeake Bay. His teenage years marked a pivotal time when he embraced fly fishing, a passion ignited on Claytor and Anna Lakes near his home in Virginia. Transitioning from spinning gear, Joe mastered the art of fly fishing in mountain streams and chased rainbows, brookies, and brown trout.

Venturing further, Joe explored the New River and the James River, casting for massive muskies and smallmouth bass with his trusted Orvis fly rod. However, the allure of Alaska's Great Land called, compelling Joe to embark on a new adventure and pursue becoming a Professional Kenai River Fishing Guide.

Joe traveled to Alaska in the summer of 2021 to work in a fly shop and guide in Cooper Landing. In his off time, Joe would take exploratory walks along the serene streams and rivers of Cooper Landing with his fly rod. He joined Jason’s Guide Service in the Summer of 2023 and he has evolved into a skilled drift boat guide on the renowned Kenai River.

Armed with a degree in Environmental Resource Management from Virginia Tech, Joe exemplifies a commitment to preserving the natural resources he loves and respects. His dedication extends beyond personal enjoyment. He has a passion for sharing his knowledge and expertise with anglers of all skill levels.

Joe stands out as one of the premier guides on the Kenai River, recognized for his exceptional ability to catch fish, teach effective fishing techniques and have a good time doing it. Join him for an unforgettable experience, where you'll not only fish the Kenai River but also gain valuable insights into the art of angling with a fly rod or spinning gear. Embark on a thrilling and educational Alaskan fishing adventure with Joe Pote.

About The Waters We Fish

The Kenai River is a world class Rainbow trout fishery, with fish exceeding 36 inches and 20 pounds. Rainbow fishing on the Kenai River is good all year long with the prime months for huge trophy rainbow trout being from the third week of August through October. The Kenai River is broken down into three sections, the Upper, Middle and Lower Kenai River. Jason’s Guide Service fishes the Upper and Middle stretch of the Kenai River. The Upper Kenai starts on Alaska State Parks Land and traditions into Chugach State Forest, before you enter the KNWR, where Jason’s Guide Service has a competitive use permit which makes him one of a select few guides allowed to guide on that stretch of river. The average sized Rainbow trout on the Upper Kenai is between 16-22 inches, with the average size on the Middle Kenai River being 18-24 inches.
Jason’s Guide Service provides a Fair Chase fishing experience and is on the water guiding 100 plus days a year.  We have hot days and slow days depending on the fishery just like any other great body of water the Kenai river has its ups and downs for the bite. We control the controllable’s and provide you the best of everything because we can’t control mother nature. Jason’s Guide Service targets rainbow trout with fly and spin fishing gear.  Jason Lesmeister has mastered all the disciplines so that his Anglers can catch fish in all the conditions the river is in. Our motto is the most the biggest the fastest, we don’t discriminate when it comes to gear, we love fishing it all. One of the most popular fishing destinations in Alaska, the Kenai River deserves it’s reputation. Sockeye salmon, rainbow trout, dolly varden, silver salmon, and more are sought by anglers from all points on the globe. Navigating the Kenai River for a successful fishing trip is dictated by the expertise of the Kenai River guides.
Never rely on the experience of a novicewhen you can be guided on your Alaskan fishing adventures by the skillful and accomplished experts with years of experience on what can often be a complex fishery. Fishing the Kenai river should be an enjoyable experience that results in the kind of fishing action a resource like the Kenai river is capable of producing. Choose to encounter the best fishing the Kenai river has to offer by taking a guided trip with Jason’s Guide Service. Whether it’s Kenai River fly fishing or a using the latest spinning or casting gear you have options with Jason’s Guide Service.

Featured On National Geographic’s, ‘The Savage Line’

Lesmeister had the privilege of starring in ‘The Savage Line’ filmed and produced by National Geographic. “‘The Savage Line’ examines the lives of experienced outdoorsmen, Cory Valdes, Jason Lesmeister, Rob Hardy, and Puma Ghostwalker, who traverse the world’s most remote places and work to protect the lives of men and women working in the backyard of nature’s fiercest predators. Their job takes them deep into the wild, demanding strong survival skills and a deep understanding of animal behavior. Utilizing non-lethal techniques, The Savage Line experts must brave both extreme weather and dangerous animal encounters to keep the peace between man and beast.” – National Geographic