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Fly fishing for Rainbow Trout

Native Rainbow Trout on the Kenai River have been in the river system since the beginning of time.  Every hook up with a Rainbow Trout is awesome!  Rainbow Trout Bite hard,  jump and run making them a fly fisherman’s dream when visiting the town of Cooper Landing.  Within the Upper Kenai River National Wildlife Refuge the average size Rainbow trout is 16 – 18 inches with fish from 20 – 24 inches caught almost everyday fly fishing on the Upper Kenai River.  The biggest Rainbow Trout hold.  Within the Canyon walls is where we spend most of our time connecting with these fish with no crowds and surrounded by mother nature.  We find many fish over 25 inches throughout the summer of fly fishing!


The most common technique to fly fish for Rainbow Trout on the Upper Kenai River is dead drifting beads and flesh fly’s under a strike indicator.  Windows of opportunity throughout the season allow for swinging streamers, throwing dry fly’s and even mice!  Check our Technique Peak for Rainbow’s”.


While fly fishing with a strike indicator we use 6 weight 10 foot fly rods.  For dry fly fishing a 4-5 weight fly rod will give you great presentation and nice action.  Dry fly fishing will tend to attract smaller fish but if you find yourself in the right place at the right time the biggest fish in the river will come up to sip a bug off the surface.  My personal favorite late season is swinging fly’s for Rainbow trout.  I would recommend a 6 weight fly rod,  5 weight switch rod or 4 weight micro Spey!  You can use all fly fishing techniques on the Upper Kenai River when the conditions are right.  If you would like to dial in your techniques take a look at our fly fishing school.

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