We are a family business
We are a family business
Having fun on the Kenai River is our life's work.
We started our company in 2004 so we could make a home in our most favorite place in the world and earn a humble living doing the job we love the most. Living the life of a Cooper Landing fishing guide brought us the deep fulfillment we craved. There have been years of living in a tipi, living in a tent, living through winters with no indoor plumbing and poor insulation, and we have never been happier. It has been such a joy to put down our family roots on the banks of the Upper Kenai River, raise our daughters on the bounty that the wild land provides, and live a simple, quiet, uniquely Alaskan life.
We want you to have fun on the Kenai River, too!
We aren’t famous fly fishing ambassadors, or sponsored by any fancy companies; you won’t see us on the tv or in magazines, or spending much time on social media, either. We don’t do this job to get involved in politics or activism, or to be rich or insta-famous. The only logo you’ll see here is our own. It’s just us- a guy and a gal who fell in love fishing the Kenai River together, and our two Alaskan born-and-raised-kiddos. We love to fish, feel deep awe and respect for the Mighty Kenai River, and long to share the experience with others. We are tickled to be your favorite Cooper Landing based Kenai River family fishing guide service!
Why fish the Kenai River with us?
There are a lot of fantastic Kenai River guides that do what we do. We are great friends with many of them, and they are all characters! The where and what are exactly the same, but our clients choose to fish with us for the who and the why. We connect people with what matters most- the experience.
Meet the Pearson Family
Professional Fishing Guide
John is your enthusiastic and smiling guide! 2022 marks John’s 22nd season working his dream job as a Cooper Landing fishing guide, sharing with folks from all over the world the magic of fishing on the Kenai River, right in his own backyard. You will appreciate his skill, intimate knowledge of the river and the area’s history, ecology, and old-timer folklore, as well as his sense of humor and patience.
Reservations and Shuttles Galore
Heather wears many hats and is happy to help you with what you need! Heather enjoys sailing, gardening, photography, fishing, adventure travel, long walks on the beach, and sleeping on boats. Legend has it that she could back a trailer through the eye of a needle..
Fishing Guide in Training
Born to fish, what else can we say? Monica has mastered the spinning rod, is getting dialed in on the dry fly, learning to be an oarswoman, and is absolutely loving every minute! This summer she rowed the boat down the whole Upper Upper, rapids and all. Will she be the first lady Kenai River fishing guide homegrown right here in Cooper Landing?
Head Boat Scrubber
Cecilia is our littlest fisher lady. She has a wild heart and a deadly rod! She loves to give the fishies a nice, big kiss before she lets them go. She is both a summertime river fisher and ice fishing master. Cecilia likes taking care of our flock of ducks, three dogs, and one cat.
our company values
Nothing is more important than the bond of family and spending quality time with loved ones.
Honesty is the best policy. What you see is who we really are.
Braggin’ boards and selfies really aren’t our thing. A true gentleman does not fish-and-tell.
The day this isn’t our favorite job ever is the day we’ll quit. Do what you love and love what you do!
Life is short- dream big, live your dreams, and have fun!
Never stop learning because life never stops teaching.
Show it whenever possible- for or yourself, for others, for your surroundings. Listen and be kind.
Don’t forget to stop and look around every once and awhile. Breathe, pay attention, and stop to smell the roses.
We are in charge of our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. It is our job to do a good job!
We want all people to be able to go on our trips, regardless of age, ability, race, religion, political affiliation, gender, mate preference, marital status, or economic status. Everyone is welcome and we happily provide extra accommodations when needed.
What happens when two young dreamers make their way ‘North to the Future’ and meet in a small town Alaska tackle shop? A love story, a company, a family, and big plans for the future are born! We have been so blessed and are appreciative and grateful of the fact that we’ve had the helping hand of many wonderful Alaskan old-timers along the way. Many have since left this earth, but we thank them for all they have taught us, done for us, and been to us. We couldn’t be here where we are today without those wonderful people.
John moved to Cooper Landing in 2001.
John has been a fishing enthusiast since he was big enough to cast a rod. He grew up fly fishing the fine western mountain streams of Colorado, Montana, New Mexico & Wyoming for trout and hitting up some sturgeon fishing in Washington, as well as some good old pike fishing at a favorite family spot in South Dakota.
John started planning his trip to Alaska as part of his 5th grade class project with his best friend Adam. Then, after graduating high school, he and Adam packed up a truck and hit the road, leaving from their hometown of Fort Collins, Colorado. Upon crossing the bridge at Kenai Lake, John felt the tug of the Kenai River on his soul and an unmistakable feeling of home. Within a couple days, he had fished the river, made new friends, and landed his dream job as a Kenai River Fishing Guide for Howard Mulanax at Cooper Landing Floating & Fishing Company. Subsequently the next summer, he met his bride-to-be while buying some tackle.
Heather moved to Cooper Landing in 2002.
Heather grew up surfcasting for stripers off the coast of Virginia and North Carolina and fly fishing in the tiny mountain streams of Western VA. She was raised in a boatyard, spending weekends with her dad and brother enjoying lightly supervised salty days messing about boats, piers, barges, machine shops, fishing, catching crabs, and climbing an old crane at her grandparents’ home on Scott’s Creek. The love of flowing waters and the sea grew in her heart from a very young age.
A crossroads in life presented itself after graduating from Virginia Tech with a degree in Biology and having worked for the VT Stream Team supporting research in stream ecology for a few years. Was it grad school or travel? Travel won and having read Michener’s Alaska a couple of years before while doing fieldwork in Costa Rica, Heather was inspired to venture north for the destination! Serendipity provided a job in Cooper Landing working at the Gwin’s Lodge store selling tackle. It wasn’t really a job in the field of stream ecology, but close enough! Pretty soon a handsome Cooper Landing fishing guide started coming in to shop…
We tied the knot!
We were married in August 2003, by the wonderful Native Alaskan Rev. Willie Johnson in Cooper Landing, rest his soul, at the Alaska Sourdough Wilderness Wedding Chapel. We had a small reception at the Cooper Landing Community Hall for cake and a toast, and then celebrated the rest of the afternoon float-n-fish-n the Mighty Kenai River! Of course a Cooper Landing fishing guide would think that all life’s important milestones should be celebrated with a Kenai River fishing trip. Luckily his bride thinks so, too!
We got down to business!
We founded our Kenai River Guide service in Cooper Landing in February of 2004. We named our company Kenai River Float-n-Fish as a nod to our mentor Howard and the formative years spent at Cooper Landing Floating & Fishing Co. We bought a used tipi from our friend Chief, a wall tent from Alaska Tent & Tarp, a shiny new drift boat from Fish Rite, and set up shop!
Babies are born!
We were blessed with the arrival of Monica in 2007 and Cecilia in 2012.
Adventures are being had!
We learned how to sail, took our family sailing, fishing, and adventuring in exciting corners of the world, took a four month-long road trip while living in a van (sometimes down by the river), traveled the US by train, drove through Canada a few times and have loved every second. What’s next? Stay tuned!
Below you will find some photos of the last sixteen years of us living the dream. We know you have many choices when it comes to hiring your Kenai River fishing guide, so we’d like you to see where your hard earned dollars go! Besides, when you support our business, you support our family directly, and we thank you for that. Living year-round in Cooper Landing sure is a lot of fun, and we are so grateful that we are able to do so. Thanks for supporting our small, local, family business!
Stop by and say hello.
We would love to give you a tour of our Sioux tipi that used to be home sweet home and our authentic Alaska wall tent.
We have a real live office in Cooper Landing.
The address of our shop is 18251 Sterling Highway, Cooper Landing, AK . 99572. Meet us here for your trip 15 minutes prior to your trip start time. No need to worry about paying to park at the crowded public boat ramp or driving your car for a shuttle. We’ve got you covered- parking at our office is free and we do all the driving. Need a pick up at your camp or lodge? No problem!
Campground & Cabins
Our campground & cabins are located about a mile down the road from our shop at 16826 Sterling Hwy. If you are coming from our shop (mile 48.5), the first driveway you see on the right at mile 49.9 is to Drift House. The second driveway is to the campground. Look for the tent and camper sign with an arrow for the campground driveway. The driveway for Drift Shack is before both of these, at mile 49.8.
Hours & Availability
We’re Open: Most days about 7 or 8. Some days as early as 4 or 5, but occasionally as late as 12 or 1.
We’re Closed: About 5:30 or 6. Occasionally about 4 or 5, but sometimes as late as 11 or 12.
Some days or afternoons we aren’t here at all, and lately we’ve been here just about all the time, except when we’re someplace else, but we should be here then, too.
Sunday is our day for family time, holy worship, and rest, so we generally take Sundays off.
During fishing season (June 11-October 31) we are open 24hrs Monday-Saturday. We are in and out, launching boats, running shuttles, gardening, and doing who knows what else is on our list to complete in all those hours of daylight. If we aren’t at the shop, please give us a call. We receive many calls during this time, so if we are on the other line leave a message and we’ll call you back ASAP.
During winter season (November-February) we do tend to hibernate a bit. We are either at our winter home office and will get back to you soon (but we are moving very slowly) or we are out gallivanting around the globe, likely off the grid, with a response as soon as feasible. Nevertheless, coffee consumption is at an all time high.
During the spring (March-fishing start) we are rip roaring ready to go. Call us as early or as late as you like!
Take Seward Hwy South for 87 miles. Exit at Sterling Hwy on right towards Homer/Kenai. Cross bridge at Kenai Lake after 11 miles on Sterling Hwy. Turn left at our sign 0.5 miles after bridge on left (south) side of hwy. We are across from Grizzly Ridge Gas station, driveway directly after the Lodge at Grizzly Ridge.
Driving time approx 2 hours
Take Sterling Hwy North for approx. 40 miles. At the Mile 53 bridge you will see the Cooper Landing town sign on your right. Continue on past Gwin’s Lodge and Kenai Cache at Mile 52. You will go around another set of “s” turns at Mile 49. At Mile 48.5 is our driveway. The road to our driveway is just after the Hutch B&B on your right. We do not have a sign coming from this direction. Just after our shop is the Lodge at Grizzly Ridge. If you get to the bridge, you passed it.
Driving time approx 1 hour from Soldotna, 2.5-3 hours from Homer.
Head North on Seward Hwy for 36 miles. Turn Left onto Sterling Hwy. Cross bridge at Kenai Lake after 11 miles on Sterling Hwy. Turn left at our sign 0.5 miles after bridge on left (south) side of hwy. We are across from Grizzly Ridge Gas station, driveway directly after The Lodge at Grizzly Ridge.
Driving time approx 1 hour
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