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Fishing the Kenai River & Russian River

Sport fishing is the engine that drives the Kenai Peninsula. Cooper Landing sits on the confluence of two world-class salmon fishing rivers; the Kenai River and the Russian River. Gwin's Lodge is the closest establishment to the river confluence! 

 

Here at Gwin's Lodge, we have a tackle shop to buy supplies, get your fishing licence and rent waders, nets, hip boots, rods, reels, and even coolers. We provide fish freezer space free-of-charge for our guests. Additionally, we are a free drop-off location for Trapper's Creek Smokehouse.

The amazing turquoise waters of the Kenai and the crystal clear Russian River are also home to Dolly Varden, Rainbow Trout, and various other species of fish.

The term 'Combat Fishing' originated here. When fishing is hot and there are many people (and bears) on the river, it can take some 'combat' to get some elbow-room at popular fishing spots. HERE you can see a video from Alaska Dispatch News on Combat Fishing. 

Salmon Fishing

June through September is the salmon season in Cooper Landing, with several distinct runs of different salmon species. These date ranges are approximate, please refer to the Fish & Game regulations prior to fishing.

Sockeye or Red Salmon is what many people come to Cooper Landing to fish. Typically 4-8 lbs, they start out silver in color and develop green heads and red bodies during spawning. 

 

Sockeyes come up the Kenai River in two distinct runs: the first run, primarily Russian River-bound, begins arriving in mid to late May and continues through June. The late run, which typically begins entering the mouth of the Kenai River in early July, historically peaks the third week of that month.

We can book you a great Sockeye Fishing Guide for your stay

Fisherman holding Coho Salmon
kid and man with coho salmon
man holding coho salmon
man holding coho salmon

In August, it's Silver or Coho Salmon's turn to spawn. At 8-12 lbs, these fish are known for putting up a good fight. They come up the Kenai River from the ocean and split at the confluence, some going up the Kenai River, others going up the Russian River. Spawning silvers develop green-black heads and dark maroon bodies.

We can book you a great Silver Fishing Guide for your stay

King or Chinook Salmon are the larger salmon. They typically reach 40-60 pounds. Mid-May to the end of July is King Salmon season. Fishing for Kings requires a king salmon stamp in addition to your fishing license. Please check current King regulations of where King fishing is permitted.

We can book you a great King Fishing Guide for your stay

Additional River Fishing

In addition to salmon fishing, the Kenai Peninsula rivers are also great places to try for other species of fish like Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden. From late August to October are the best times to catch trophy-sized trout, but nearly all year you can come to perfect your form casting for these beauties.

We can book you a great catch and release Trout Guide for your stay

man holding fish

Halibut Fishing

Gwin's Lodge is also close to halibut charter operations out of Seward, Homer, or Ninilchik. On Halibut Charters you can also catch King Salmon, Cod, or even Rock Fish. Halibut fishing falls under federal regulations.

We can book you a great halibut charter for your stay

group of guests with caught fish