Middle Kenai River
The Middle Kenai River is the section that flows out of the outlet of Skilak Lake through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge westward toward the town of Sterling. The river widens out here with less of a gradient than the Upper section. The bigger the water, the bigger the fish, and you could definitely run into the trout of a lifetime on this stretch of water. This stretch of the Kenai River is unquestionably a favorite of our seasoned Alaskan anglers that enjoy chasing after extra spicy rainbow trout.
We offer full day trips only in the fall for the Middle Kenai River targeting Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden using fly and spinning rods and light tackle. This section is not drift only, but true to the soul of drift only fishing, we do not run a motor. This 11 mile drift starts with approximately 1 hour of rowing time across Skilak Lake, followed by a full day of exciting angling. The trip concludes at Bing’s Landing State Recreation Site in Sterling, AK, approx. 35 road miles from Cooper Landing.
Skilak Lake acts as a transition zone from the Kenai Mountains to the Kenai lowlands. The upper stretch of the Middle Kenai is part of the Kenai National Wildlife refuge, and consequently provides great opportunity for wildlife viewing; loons, swans and other waterfowl are abundant. Downstream of this area the river meanders through private property and provides an interesting change of scenery from the wild Upper Kenai.
We fish the Middle Kenai primarily in the fall, when it is the optimum time to go chasing after fattened up, sockeye spawn fed rainbows that lurk in the depths of these waters. We recommend this trip to our more experienced anglers, or as a second or third day of fishing in a package for our beginning anglers. You will for sure want to be on top of your game for these special fish!
Middle Kenai Links
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