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  1. #1

    Default Guide suggestions near Cooper Landing

    Hi All,

    I'm looking for guide suggestions for Kenai River/Cooper Landing area in late August.

    My girlfriend and I would like to do a day trip and would really like to catch a mixed bag of trout, char, and maybe salmon.

    Lots of highly rated guides on the google, and rates are all pretty much the same ~$275 for a full day.

    Can anyone here help me narrow it down?

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Guide suggestions near Cooper Landing

    I used Alaska Troutfitters a few years ago. The overall experience was good, and the guide himself was great (although I don't remember his name). Be aware, though, that on their float trips, what $275 buys you is a seat with up to 3 other arbitrary people in the front of a 20 ft drift boat. You stand shoulder to shoulder and sync your casting. I lucked out because one lady got sick near the put-in, and she and her husband bailed leaving me in a boat with just one other person. Hike-in fishing looks better, but I have no experience.

    And welcome to the forum!
    Zackdog lives.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Guide suggestions near Cooper Landing

    I was thinking the same thing as Trigg, $275 for 2 people alone on a full day float sounds off for the upper river. The Cooper Landing area has been closed down due to extreme conditions (smoke from the Swan Lake Fire I think) for weeks and they may well be fishing now. I've been hundreds of miles north of all that for most of June & July so far.

    Are you an accomplished fly fisher? Do you fish using nymphs or do you fish streamers? Have you ever fished from a drift boat or raft before on a swift flowing river? These are just a few qualifier questions that folks should ask themselves before hiring a boat here. If you don't have a preferred method of fishing for trout - char and salmon then a guide is going to rig you with beads and bobbers and have you chuck & duck fishing. If the goal is to catch a fish regardless then it'll do I guess. However, if you have a vision of what fly fishing in Alaska will be like and have readied yourselves for the experience then I'd just walk and wade with each wearing a Bear Spray just in case.

    If you are looking for action then look for someone who fishes out of either Lower Skilak Lake to Bing's Landing or a jet boat that powers up from Bing's toward the lake and will put you on some good gravel bars for Silvers and etc. By August some Silvers will be showing in the middle river I'd bet.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  6. #4

    Default Re: Guide suggestions near Cooper Landing

    Thank you both for the thoughtful replies.

    I should clarify, from my previous post, that the cost is around $275 per person (not total) for a full day.

    Trigg, I was looking at Troutfitters. I can't say the thought of synchronized roll-casting with strangers sounds like an appealing experience. Sounds like you had a decent time with it by luck, but hike-in is probably the way to go.

    Ard, I can tell you know the area well. I don't know if I can call myself an accomplished fly fisher, but I know enough to be dangerous (mostly to myself). I primarily fish Great Lakes tributaries for steelhead and the spring-fed creeks of the driftless region for browns. I wouldn't say I lean on a particular approach (i.e. nymphing or streamers). I guess I prefer to fish the surface if I can figure out the bugs of the day. I have not fished from a drift boat - they are very uncommon around here.

    The female, however, has very little experience. And in an effort to convince her to do this, I agreed we'd hire a guide. I guess this provides us some peace of mind as we're not familiar with the terrain (ehem bears..).

    I'll look into the area of Bing's and lower skilak for offerings. Thanks again and if you think of any other info send it my way!

    Looking forward to seeing this beautiful place.

    Cheers.

  7. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Guide suggestions near Cooper Landing

    Surface action could be scarce, I've only ever had one day where I blundered into a massive back stonefly hatch ant that was September of 2005. I'm talking millions of them and that brought some fat big Dolly Varden to the surface. My advice would be to ask the outfitter how many people will be in that boat before you are locked in. I have not fished with beads and floats weights but I have operated boats for people who were fishing beads on the Kenai River. It can be pretty wild with hooks and split shot swinging everywhere. I kept a very low profile and was never struck.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  9. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Guide suggestions near Cooper Landing

    This is your guy:
    About - CHASINGTALES
    Alex is awesome and I know him personally. Hell steer you 100% in the right direction.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Its all in the reflexes.

  10. #7

    Default Re: Guide suggestions near Cooper Landing

    Thanks for all the suggestions. We ended up going with Alaska Kenai Fishing for Fun as they had good reviews. Our guide, James, was a cool dude. We caught a few dollies and rainbows. Fishing was quite slow - James speculated it was due to the heavy smoke from the fires.

    We went with the drift trip rather than the guided wading trip as the girlfriend was more comfortable with it. We were the only ones in the boat, but if I had another chance, I would probably opt to wade.

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Guide suggestions near Cooper Landing

    I used to float the river from the lake down to Jim's regularly and always spent my whole day parked and wading. It takes years to learn where to be at which month of the year but that's why we use the guides. That first mile doesn't offer much for the wader but once you reach that spot where the Princess Lodge property meets the river it can be really good. Glad to hear you didn't get blanked, that can happen too boat or no boat.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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