Steelhead, Silver Salmon, Pacific Salmon
Destination Type
Fishing Style
Drift Boat, Spey, Wading
September - November
Fishing Days
5 - 6
Why We Go
  • Fish four diverse systems for incredibly consistent runs of Steelhead
  • Explore rivers by boat and on foot well suited to both Spey and nymph angling techniques
  • Experience a glacially fed river immune to poor conditions
  • Dine on excellent meals in a comfortable, high end lodge
  • Fish with knowledgeable and friendly guides who cater to beginner and advanced anglers alike

For anglers interested in a diverse fall steelhead venue, consider the Alaska Steelhead Company. Located on an impressive perch overlooking the Cook Inlet, guests can fish as many as four steelhead systems. These rivers offer both walk and wade fishing as well as full-day floats where anglers can target wild steelhead in the 6- to 12-pound class with both swung-fly and indicator techniques. Additionally, this easy-to-reach, high value, and high catch-rate venue features some of the nicest accommodations in the state featuring well appointed and comfortable rooms in a complex near the main lodge complete with lounge, game room and dining area.

Fishing Program

The Alaska Steelhead Co. offers a combination of daily float trips and walk and wade days on as many as four rivers emptying into Cook Inlet. Anglers will access three of the four rivers either by kayak, drift boat, or power drifter, and one of the four rivers can only be accessed on foot. The fishing can be a mix of swinging flies or dead-drift indicator tactics based on the angler’s preference and the river being accessed. The guides fish either two or three guests per day and are experienced, hard-working, and eager to share their knowledge of these steelhead systems. This is a great destination for experienced or beginning steelhead anglers as the wading is easy and most fish are taken in shallow lies. The steelhead on these systems are all wild and the fishing tends to be very consistent with most days producing multiple hookups. These fish start their migration to freshwater in September and bright fish continue entering rivers well into the winter months. The fall steelhead arrive sexually immature and, as with all steelhead, they will only spawn the following spring. The packages are offered starting mid-September and end on the first of November.


Guests of the Alaska Steelhead Co. are treated to luxurious accommodations and gourmet meals. Guests stay in one of three spacious duplex cabins. Each double-occupancy room is appointed with two king-sized beds, satellite TV, a propane fireplace, and ensuite bathroom. Rooms have a small mini bar with refrigerator and plenty of closet space. Large sliding glass doors open to a spacious deck with lounge chairs offering an incredible view of Cook Inlet and the snowcapped Aleutian Range across the bay. The impressive main lodge is connected to the cabins by an elevated wooden walkway. The main lodge offers a lounge filled with couches facing a large stone wood-burning fireplace and bar where appetizers are served each evening. Mixers and an ice machine are available, so guests are free to bring along their favorite spirits. The game room also has a wood-burning fireplace with billiards, poker table, and a jukebox. Their upstairs library offers a quiet space to read and relax, and an adjacent workout room is available for guests’ use with exercise bikes, treadmill, and free weights.

In the dining room, all guests sit at a large round table, which keeps the fishing stories flowing. Meals are of the highest quality and the chef often serves local seafood, steak or other protein dishes with thoughtfully prepared salads and side dishes. Breakfast is served family-style, with eggs, pancakes, bacon and sausage. Yogurt, granola and fruit are available for those that prefer a lighter start. A bagged lunch is packed each day by the guides and consists of a sandwich and snacks.


Day 1: Arrive Kenai airport midafternoon. A representative of Alaska Steelhead Co. will meet guests and will make the transfer to the lodge.

Day 2 – 6: Five full days of guided fishing.

Day 7: After breakfast, transfer back to Kenai airport for the flight to Anchorage and connect to flight home.

Rates & Details

2023 Rate: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 6 night/5 day package (1 heli-day): $6,895 plus tax

Included: Transfer between Kenai Airport and the lodge, accommodations, meals, guided fishing, rods/reels, flies and/or terminal tackle.

Not Included: Round trip airfare to Anchorage and Kenai, accommodations and meals in Anchorage, alcohol, waders/boots, fishing license, staff and guide gratuities.

Species: Steelhead, silver salmon, Dolly Vardon

Season: Mid-September to November 1

Capacity: 12 anglers

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? This is an excellent trip for anglers of all skill levels or age. This is a great venue to introduce someone to steelhead angling, as the catch rates are high, and the guides are great instructors. Guests that prefer to swing Spey rods will enjoy the main river, which is large, easily waded, and productive. Three smaller rivers can be great for swinging with switch or single hand rods. Indicator tactics can also be employed if guests prefer. The main river is a float trip, so a mix of fishing out of the boat and wading can be accommodated. The three small rivers require some hiking and fished while wading. Do expect to see some other anglers, but overall, the angling pressure here is light and the guides prefer not fish near others. The public here is very respectful and the outfitter does have access that other anglers do not.

Where is the lodge? The lodge is in the small community of Ninilchik. It is perched on a bluff overlooking Cook Inlet with fantastic views of the Aleutian range and four active volcanoes. The mouth of one of the steelhead rivers sits just below the lodge property.

How do I get there? To get to Alaska Steelhead Co. guests will need to fly to Anchorage then connect to Kenai. The flight to Kenai is only 20 minutes. Guests are met at the Kenai airport by a lodge representative and transferred one hour to the lodge and cabins. Most flights to Anchorage arrive in the afternoon so most guests can travel in one day to the lodge. If guests would like to schedule a half day of guided fishing upon arrival, they will need to fly into Anchorage a day prior, overnight and catch an AM flight to Kenai. A lodge representative is always available to transport guests to the lodge. Departure flights from Kenai to Anchorage should be in the morning before 11AM if guests choose not to fish the departure day. If guests would like schedule a half day of fishing on the departure day its best to book a 3PM flight out of Kenai and a late flight out of Anchorage, after 6pm.

When should I go? On odd number years, 9/14 – 11/1. On even number years, 9/8 – 11/1.

How will I fish? Swinging with a switch or Spey rods. Indicator fishing with a switch or single-handed rod.

Is there wade fishing? Yes, most of the fishing can be done while wading, but mixing some angling out of the boat on the main river can be productive as well. Days can be adjusted based of angler ability and preference.

Where will I fish? The guides access four main steelhead rivers and one trout river on the Kenai peninsula.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? From five minutes to about 45 minutes depending on the river. The lodge is centrally located and ideally suited to access these rivers.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? Wild steelhead and possibly Dolly Varden and rainbow trout

How many fish will I catch? Anglers should hook multiple steelhead a day, three to five is about average. Of course, preferred tactics and skill level can have numbers fluctuating but overall, the catch rates for steelhead here are higher than we see in other regions

Will I see other anglers? On the main river a busy day would have three to four other boats angling the waters the outfitter drifts. Early in the season and with nice weather you may see other wade anglers on the smaller rivers. The last few weeks of October offer the most solitude. The outfitter prefers to provide a quality experience void of competition with other anglers. They have nearly a decade of experience on these systems and know where to be and when.

What are the guides like? The guides are experienced and show a high level of professionalism. They are fun, down to earth and a pleasure to spend the day with. All have eight or more years guiding and many more years fishing for steelhead and Atlantic salmon. All are good Spey instructors, boat handlers and familiar with indicator tactics.

What are the physical demands? Hiking longer distances and paddling inflatable kayaks, both of which are optional.

Are there any special skills required? No

Does the lodge provide equipment? All flies, tackle, and fishing equipment are included in the package. Its best to bring your own waders and rubber soled boots, but a limited supply is available with advanced notice.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? An 11-foot 7-weight switch rod, 13-foot 7-weight Spey and 10-foot 7-weight single handed rod will cover the rivers here.

What are the top flies? Intruders, Mini-Intruders, Hoh Bo Spey, Popsicle, Prom Dress, Pick Your Pocket, Leeches, and some sculpin patterns. The guides tie a lot of their own flies that have proven to be productive and are willing to share.

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? The main river cannot blow out and is always an option. The smaller rivers could increase in flow and color, but they do drop quickly.

What is a typical day like? The outfitter will inform each guest of their guide, which river they will fish and the next mornings departure time each evening. Breakfast is on by 6AM and continues until all anglers depart for the day. Lunch is packed for the day on the river. The fishing days are full days leaving in the dark and returning in the dark most evenings. Appetizers are set out upon return with dinner following around 7PM.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge? Very down to earth and fun. The lodge is very comfortable, spacious, and well appointed. There is a game room with jukebox, pool table and poker table. The large common area has couches and wet bar. There is a workout space and library and large decks outside overlook cook inlet. There are multiple fireplaces, even out on the deck, for a warm and comfortable relaxing atmosphere.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? Yes, Matt is your outfitter and point man during the stay. There is always another member of the staff on site and the property owner is frequently available.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? All meals are eaten in the dining area of the main lodge. The large round table accommodates all guests and allows for fun conversations. There is a fireplace in the dining area which creates a warm space. Meals here are of high quality and made with fresh, never frozen local ingredients. The chefs are professionally trained and shop every single day. Breakfast is made to order with eggs, pancakes, bacon, or sausage most mornings. Yogurt, granola, fruits, and cereal are also available to those that want a lighter start. Lunch consists of a sandwich with fruit and snacks that are meant to keep you fueled throughout the day. Appetizers are set out as guests return from fishing, followed by a three-course dinner service. For dinner seafood is frequently the main course, but beef, chicken or pork dishes may be served depending on what is fresh and available to the chef that day. All dietary restrictions are accommodated.

What is the alcohol policy? Alcohol is not included but guests are free to bring any alcohol they would like. The outfitter is happy to stop at the liquor store after the airport pickup or arrange a trip midweek to refuel. There is plenty of ice and various mixers on site.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? Guests stay in double occupancy rooms in duplex cabins. The cabins are incredibly spacious. There are king beds, a table with chairs, propane fireplaces, mini-bar, and small refrigerator in each. There is plenty of dresser and closet space along with sliding glass doors that lead out to a deck overlooking cook inlet and the snow-capped mountains.

Is there internet and/or cell service? Yes, as well as satellite TV. Cell service if not great on the rivers but at the lodge its decent.

Are there other activities? Day trips to the quaint town of Homer. Guests can also arrange flight seeing, boat tours and whale watching. If interested on some DIY activities, clam digging, hiking and beach walks or just stay on the luxurious ocean front property and relax.

Are there any other expenses? Fishing licenses are $70 for 7 days for non-resident anglers.

Do I need a visa? No

Are there any health concerns, dangers, or annoyances? While in Alaska guests need to be aware that brown bears may be around. Moose are also in the area and should be respected, the guides and staff are well versed in how to fish around these wild animals.

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