March 06, 2021 7 min read
Where: Kenai Peninsula of Alaska
When: Week 1: September Friday the 10th to Sunday the 19th.
Week 2: September Saturday the 18th to Monday the 27th.
What: Fly fishing adventure targeting Alaskan Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, Steelhead and Coho Salmon.
Cost: $3,995 per person per week
Trip price includes:
Trip price does not include:
Expected Itinerary: Guests will rotate between the Cooper Landing location and the Homer location. Each guest will fish 3 days in Cooper Landing with Alaska Troutfitters and 3 days for steelhead out of the Homer location plus a flex day in the middle of your trip and a half-day on your second day. Unexpected severe weather and water conditions may necessitate changes.
Day 1: Travel from Redmond Oregon (or other location) to Anchorage. Overnight in lodging of your choice. Generally, the hosts and most guests have used the Coast International Inn near the Airport. We are happy to make arrangements for you.
Day 2: All guests will be picked up at their hotel in the morning by a Fin and Fire host. Any last-minute items such as licenses and alcohol may be purchased in Anchorage that morning. It’s about a 2 hour scenic drive to Cooper Landing where half the group will be starting their stay or 4.5 hours to Homer for the group starting the trip in this location. After arriving in Cooper Landing or Homer you will pick a room in our VRBO home that will be where you will stay for the next several days. Our Vacation Rental Homes are spacious and comfortable and are among some of the nicer homes in the area. You will have a private room and plenty of room for your gear. Most homes have good Wi-Fi coverage and modern conveniences. After settling in for a bit we will get out and fish. You will likely have a half-day of walk-in fishing on this day.
Day 3 thru 9: 3 full days of guided fishing for Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden with Alaska Troutfitters on the Kenai River. We fish from the Troutfitters large and safe drift boats on the upper Kenai and jet boats or drift boats on the middle Kenai for some of the greatest trout found anywhere. Our guests in the last 3 years landed dozens of trout in the 3 to 6 pound class with a few reaching up to 10 pounds or more. This is primarily a nymphing game with Trout Beads below a strike indicator although we use other tactics such as swinging flesh flies at times. All guests will fish several different beats with amazing scenery and wildlife over their 3 days with the Troutfitters guides. Even the most novice angler will find success on these guided days while still having a realistic shot at trophy sized trout. Seasoned anglers should enjoy excellent numbers and size of fish.
Breakfast is continental style at the home with many options available to you. For lunch, you will make a bag lunch for yourself for your day on the boat (we provide coolers and ice), and hearty dinners will be made at the home by the host or we will go out to a great dinner at The Kingfisher Roadhouse or any other available option. Evenings in Cooper Landing are a great time to relax and relive the ones landed or the ones that got away.
In the middle of the trip (day 6) you will fish most of the day with your host where you choose. If the steelhead fishing is prime, you may elect to do so or if the walk-in fishing for rainbows is fishing well on the Kenai you may do that. There are also some small-stream options. This is a transfer day as each group will move to the new location so you will need to wrap up the fishing by mid-afternoon. You will drive to your new location that evening and we will eat dinner in Soldotna.
3 full days of walk and wade steelhead fish on small rivers.. Although the walking is not particularly difficult, you will be on your feet for much of the day and may need to make some river crossings to access choice runs. Covering water is an important aspect of steelhead fishing and success rates are tied to the ability to cover many pieces of water per day. We primarily use swung streamer techniques for the steelhead and your host will dial you in on your first day as well as teach you where to fish. You may also elect to fish Trout Beads with indicators, which is especially effective for anglers that would rather not move as much as the swing angler needs to.
These fish are HOT, chrome and acrobatic. Most of the steelhead are 24” to 32” with a few larger. We also catch some nice coho salmon some years. Week 1 guests are more likely to hook some coho salmon than Week 2 guests. Our guests have recorded some pretty impressive numbers of steelhead hooked and landed over the last few years but results vary from day to day and as conditions change. There are no "sure things" in steelheading anywhere, even Alaska.
Despite the smaller size of the watersheds, these rivers are prone to high water events which can severely hamper our ability to fish. If we are “rained out” we have several options which includes driving to Cooper Landing to fish small trout streams, relax at the home or sightsee in beautiful Homer. The day starts early as we get on the river at the crack of dawn. We often take some time off in the middle of the day for a long lunch and then hit the river in the evening, but you and your host will plan the day out as desired. We usually head to Homer for a late dinner at one of many excellent restaurants such as Fat Olives or Captain Patttie’s Fish House. You will also get a chance to hang out at the famous Salty Dawg Saloon in Homer at least once.
10th and final day: All guests will be driven back to Anchorage for departing flights. Departing flights must leave Anchorage after 1pm on September 19th for Week 1 guests or after 1pm on September 27th for Week 2 guests.
A 50% non-refundable deposit is due at the time of reservation. Final payment is due 90 days before departure date. For any trip scheduled within 90 days of departure, full payment is required. Cancellations will forfeit all payments.
Fin & Fire and our partners are not responsible for any loss of fishing days due to any reason including, but not limited to, illness, injuries, weather and travel delays. Fin & Fire reserves the right to alter the itinerary as deemed necessary, even if additional costs are passed onto the customer. Any expenditure caused by delays or occurrences beyond our control or our partners are the responsibility of the customer. Initial payment is acknowledgment that the customer has read and understands Fin & Fire’s policies.
We highly suggest travel insurance for your trip.
Covid-19 Policy: In the event that travel to your destination is prohibited or restricted due to Covid-19, customers may move their payments in full to a different Fin & Fire trip or postpone the trip to the next year. Alaska may require that you present a recent negative test result upon arrival. You are responsible for arranging the test and having a valid and presentable negative result.
Weather: Expect and prepare for a wide range of weather during your stay. Generally, the last 2 weeks of September are a mix of rain and sunny days with highs in the 40’s and 50’s. Occasionally mornings can be as cold as the 20’s. Be ready for rain as its pretty normal to see some heavy rain. Quality raingear is essential. These heavy rains can have negative fishing impacts although the Kenai River is less affected and rarely unfishable. In 2018 we saw only a couple hours of rain during our stay and the rivers were low and clear. In 2019 we missed about 2 days of fishing on the steelhead rivers due to off-colored water. Fishing was excellent before and after the dirty water event however. 2020 gave us low water conditions throughout the trip and very little rain until the end of the trip. We had one day that the steelhead streams were blown out. Every year is different and we are alongside you to help make the right choices.
Gear: When fishing the Kenai with Alaska Troutfitters, your guide will have rods and reels already rigged but you may use your own gear if you prefer. For the walk-in fishing you will need to be self-sufficient but your host will have back-ups available in case of breakage. At the minimum, all guests should have one 6wt. and one 7wt. outfit. Fin & Fire does have a few 6 or 7 wt. rod/reel rental packages available upon request for a small fee. Single hand rods are preferred but switch rods work well at times. Full length spey rods are not recommended for the types of waters we fish. All guests will need to have a couple dozen flies suggested by Fin and Fire and a basic assortment of Trout Beads, hooks, leader and other basic terminal tackle. We can set all of this up before the trip. We will forward a detailed packing and gear list upon booking or request.
For more information please contact Fin & Fire's Lead Host for this trip:
Fin & Fire contact (Lead Host): Paul Snowbeck
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