Trout, Rainbow Trout, King Salmon, Silver Salmon, Grayling, Pacific Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Halibut
Destination Type
Fishing Style
Drift Boat, Dry Fly, Wading
June - September
Fishing Days
Why We Go
  • Take comfort in choosing a well-run operation with a long history of providing quality Alaska experiences
  • Fly fish the best of the world-renowned Kenai River
  • Enjoy an easy to reach facility with a diverse fishing program and additional eco-activities.
  • Guests have their pick of all-inclusive custom packages of any length

Kenai Riverside Lodge is a locally owned and operated Alaskan family business that promotes ethical angling and stewardship of Alaska’s resources. They are one of the few commercial outfitters permitted to operate guided fishing trips on the Upper Kenai River within the pristine Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, where clients frequently enjoy unparalleled fishing and awe-inspiring wildlife viewing opportunities. This destination is also a good place for families or groups with mixed interests, as additional activities such as hiking, rafting, dog sledding, glacier tours and more are available to guests.

Located on the banks of the majestic Kenai River sits the picturesque Kenai Riverside Lodge. The beautifully crafted main lodge and its surrounding cottages define the attributes of rustic Alaskan luxury. Surrounded by tall groves of fir, pine and spruce trees the lodge will serve as home base for excursions on the river. In a near perfect blend of rustic fishing camp and luxurious comfort, guests will be pleased to arrive at the lodge each night for home cooked meals, tall stories and quiet relaxation.

Whatever the fly fishing passion, drift boat based float trips down the Upper Kenai River or walk and wade adventures on some of the area’s smaller clear water streams, Kenai Riverside Fishing holds the expert tools, local knowledge and experience to exceed expectations and deliver a world-class fly fishing trip.

Fishing Program

Kenai Riverside Lodge specializes in guided drift boat-based fly fishing trips on the Upper Kenai River. The Upper Kenai is a non-motorized stretch of water that meanders a scenic 17-miles from Kenai Lake (in Cooper Landing) to Skilak Lake. Anglers will float up to four per boat along the 10-miles of premium fly water that flows through the most wild and remote portions of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, including the famed “Kenai Canyons”. This section of river is famous among anglers for its abundance and size of wild rainbow trout and Dolly Varden, along with its reputation for healthy runs of sockeye (red) and coho (silver) salmon. Most fishing will be done drifting from the boat, but anglers may also get out to swing flies for sockeye and large trout later in the season. This trip is highly recommended for the casual angler seeking a well-rounded fishing experience as well as the serious fly angler aiming to land the fish of a lifetime.


The Kenai Riverside Lodge sits on a wooded piece of property on the banks of the Upper Kenai River within the quaint mountain-town of Cooper Landing, Alaska. The facility centers around a log-style main lodge suited with a comfortable lounge/library, bar area, wood-fired stove and main dining room. The facility also includes an authentic Alaskan wood-fired log sauna, a newly remodeled riverside deck, natural history center/game room and covered fire pit. Guests stay in comfortable wood-planked cabins dotted amongst the forested lodge property. Each cabin consists of two full-size beds, private shower and bathroom, towels, toiletries and electric baseboard heaters. Cabins can be best described as Alaskan-luxury. Each cabin receives fresh towels and cleaning services daily by their housekeeping staff.

All meals are served in the main dining room of the lodge. Guests wake up to a hot and hearty breakfast buffet while they discuss the schedule for their day on the water with their guide. On the boat guests enjoy a made-to-order deli-style lunch complete with assorted snacks and hot and cold beverages. Dinners are casual and meals are served family-style. Dinner service includes appetizers, soup or salad, an entrée highlighting a variety of fresh Alaskan vegetables, meats and seafood accompanied by fresh breads, and followed by decadent desserts. There is no doubting that the chefs take great pride in preparing each and every meal.


Day 1: Arrive in Anchorage (not included). Meet a representative from the lodge and transfer from the airport to the lodge (included in package). Get settled in and prepare fishing gear for the next days of fishing.

Days 2-3: Two full days of guided fishing.

Day 4: Transfer to Anchorage and arrive by noon for the flight home or points beyond.

Rates & Details

2023 Rates: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 6 night/5 day package: $4,950
  • 5 night/4 day package: $4,050
  • 4 night/3 day package: $3,125
  • 3 night/2 day package: $2,175

Included: Round trip transfer to lodge from Anchorage, lodge meals and accommodations, guided fishing, all fishing equipment, flies, chest waders & wading boots, deli-style lunch, assorted snacks, hot and cold beverages

Not Included: Warm layers, rain gear, sunglasses, fish processing, fishing license, gratuities, and taxes

Species: Rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, king salmon, silver salmon, sockeye salmon

Season: June 11 to October 15

Capacity: 30

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? This is a promising destination for those wanting a quality program that is easy to reach and also a convenient add-on to other Alaska vacation plans. The fall trout fishing on the upper Kenai is a fantastic option for hardcore anglers. It’s also a great option for families with mixed interests as there are many activities other than fishing that can be coordinated.

Where is the lodge? The lodge is located in the community of Cooper Landing on a beautiful piece of riverside property. It’s about a two-hour drive southeast of Anchorage.

How do I get there? Guests can choose to be picked up at the Anchorage airport or rent a car to make the scenic drive to the lodge themselves.

When should I go? For the most productive trout and silver salmon fishing, scheduling a trip after August 15 will be best. For those preferring to fish for sockeye and even king salmon, June and July are the months to go.

How will I fish? The guides operate large drift boats that will take up to four guests. Most trout fishing is done while floating and drifting flies. Some wading can occur when fishing for sockeye and when swinging flies for large trout, especially late in the season.

Is there wade fishing? There may be some wading, but anglers should expect to fish out of the boat for much of the fishing.

Where will I fish? The upper Kenai canyon and the middle Kenai River is where guests will fish. There also are options for offshore ocean fishing and conventional trolling for silver salmon in Resurrection Bay. There are several day floats to choose from on the upper and middle Kenai River. Most guests prefer to stay in the upper river as its permit system limits commercial access.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? Anglers may launch right from the lodge or can take about an hour drive. If they wish to pursue some saltwater options, anglers should expect to be in the vehicle for a few hours of that day.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? The main target is rainbow trout, but Dolly Varden are also prevalent. King, Sockeye and Silver salmon return to the Kenai River at various times of the season.

How many fish will I catch? During normal conditions in the prime part of the egg drop, anglers can expect to land a dozen or so trout and more Dolly Varden. Salmon fishing can vary greatly with kings being rare, sockeye fairly abundant and silver salmon numbers decent but not what one would expect in western Alaska.

Will I see other anglers? This can be a busy place with both visiting and local anglers taking advantage of the productive fishing.

What are the guides like? The guides are a mix of very experienced and newer guides. The company is very professional and has high standards for the staff.

What are the physical demands? There are no physical demands required for this destination.

Are there any special skills required? There are no special skills required for this destination.

Does the lodge provide equipment? The lodge can provide everything anglers need.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? Having a 9-foot 6-weight rod with a floating line is ideal.

What are the top flies? Streamers and dry flies for trout early in the season and beads(eggs) and flesh patterns later. For more information on specific flies please contact Fly Water Travel’s Alaska Destination Manager.

What are the options if water and weather conditions become challenging? The lodge is very comfortable and has the ability to coordinate many eco-activities if fishing is not in the cards.

What is a typical day like? The lodge and the guides like to get started early. Each evening the guide will inform guests of the meeting time. It will vary greatly depending on what species is being targeted and where anglers might be heading that day. The dining area is open early and stays open late to accommodate each guest’s specific timing.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere and style of the lodge? The lodge grounds are scenic and fun to explore. The vibe is very friendly and casual. The main lodge is open throughout the day and night and guests are free to come and go as they please.

Is there an on-site owner, manager or other point-person at the lodge? There are many staff members on-site and all are friendly, service oriented and ready to help make guests’ stay enjoyable.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? There is a large dining hall where all guests eat. The meals are made to order and of high quality.

What is the alcohol policy? The lodge has a bar and guests are welcome to relax there with their beverage of choice.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? Guests will stay in cabins with ensuite bathrooms, most of which are double occupancy with some able to accommodate a family of four.

Are single accommodations available? If so, is there an up-charge? Single accommodations are not available.

Is there internet and/or cell service? There is cell service at the lodge and the internet works well.

Are there other activities? The lodge can coordinate activities like rafting, hiking, flight seeing, glacier tours, dog sledding and many other fantastic activities. There are additional charges for certain activities, so it is recommended that guests plan their preferred itinerary in advance.

Are there any other expenses? There are additional activities that can add to the trip costs. The lodge takes credit cards if needed.

Are there any health concerns, dangers or annoyances? There are some inherent dangers with boats and wildlife, but overall this is a very safe, well run facility that takes great pride in the services offered.

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