Kenai River Fishing Guide
Kenai River Drifter's Lodge

Our Lodge

Have you dreamed of being a fishing guide on the world famous Kenai River?

Trophy Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, Sockeye Salmon, King Salmon, Silver Salmon, and Arctic Grayling


Kenai River Fishing Guide

Kenai River Drifter's Lodge
Cooper Landing, Alaska
No experience required
Start Date:
Starts in 7 months. (Apr 20, 2023)

Bring your exceptional work ethic and people skills to the Kenai River, where you can nurture a love of the sport of fishing in guests of all walks of life. On a fishing trip, the guide is responsible for clients’ safety and enjoyment in addition to teaching fishing techniques and catching fish. It’s one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs out there!

We hold our guides to a high standard, and we offer the training and support needed to get you started.

As a fishing guide, you will meet awesome people throughout the season and play a key role in making guests’ most cherished Alaskan memories. We look for fishing guides who are interested in guiding for at least 2-3 years. The job requires a high level of training, and there are startup costs for the guide that make the job less attractive as a one-season pursuit. We fish for rainbow trout, dolly varden, sockeye salmon, silver salmon, king salmon, and arctic grayling.

Basic Job requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years old with a clean driving record
  • Enroll and pass the Kenai River Guide Academy. Course is offered annually through the community college. Registration is in November of the year before and the course takes place in the spring of the guiding season.
  • Participate in early season training program run by Drifters Lodge (May 1- June 11)
  • Be available to work from April 20-Sept 30 (college schedules can be accommodated)
  • Be willing and able to take on initial gear and licensing costs.
  • Become certified in CPR and First Aid.
  • Coast Guard License not required, but HIGHLY desirable.
  • Run trips in compliance with ALL rules and regulations set by the state and federal governing agencies as well as safety rules set by Drifters Lodge.
  • Be able to lift 80lbs, stand for 8 hours at a time or row a drift boat for up to 8 hours at a time.
  • Be able to work directly under a supervisor

Additional Skills/Qualities required:

  • Diverse fishing background including fly and traditional techniques, with at least a basic knowledge in freshwater trout techniques, knots, river safety, fly tying, casting
  • Some boat experience preferred
  • Excellent people skills (patient, personable, comfortable meeting and talking to new people every day)
  • Extremely hard-working
  • Respect and appreciation for nature.

Job duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Run trips in compliance with ALL rules and regulations set by the state and federal governing agencies as well as safety rules set by Drifters Lodge.
  • Take one full-day boat or hike-in trip or two half-day trips per day, 6 days a week. A typical day involves 8 hours on the river plus a couple of hours of trip/gear prep and driving back and forth from the boat ramp. There might be an opportunity for “doubles,” or, additional trips beyond a full day during a few busy weeks of the summer. Doubles are optional and provide extra pay.
  • Work closely with the office staff and other guides to coordinate fishing trips, including a Pre-Trip meeting or phone call the night before each trip with the clients. If the guest is on the property, a face-to-face meeting is required.
  • Expect and prepare for a variety of fishing trips and locations, schedule changes, and last-minute bookings.
  • Be willing to take an occasional rafting trip or crossover duties such as helping with a garbage run.
  • Thoroughly prepare all gear and have all your rods rigged before each trip.
  • Be willing to work during very early hours. Some trips can start as early 3 am.
  • Work outside in all weather conditions.
  • Be courteous on the river and follow unspoken river etiquette among guides.
  • If you receive a fishing or guiding-related citation, you must report it to a supervisor immediately.
  • Maintain a professional appearance and attitude at all times.
  • Drive clients to and from their fishing trip. Often 2-3 times per week.
  • Perform basic upkeep and maintenance to your assigned boat, motor, trailer, rods, reels, and truck. This may include changing oil, fixing trailer lights, and reporting all maintenance issues to a supervisor.
  • Keep your boat and truck exceptionally clean – must scrub out the boat daily. Wash and vacuum the truck at least weekly.
  • Participate in early and late-season lodge projects requiring manual labor. May include chopping wood, painting, making basic cabin repairs, shoveling, planting, weeding, mowing, and vehicle maintenance.
  • Perform your share of communal lodge duties such as cleaning the wader room, and running shuttles.
  • Be courteous to your coworkers at all times and be respectful of the communal living areas we share.

Job Perks:

  • Training and mentorship from a group of the best guides on the Kenai River
  • Opportunity to climb the ladder at a premier fishing lodge on the Kenai River
  • Use of a vehicle and your assigned boat/equipment on your day off
  • Room and board at the lodge available for 450/per month
  • Dinners provided nightly by the lodge chef
  • FAM deals for local workers on tourist activities like glacier cruises, ATVs, and flightseeing
  • Access to Pro deals on fishing gear and apparel
  • Enjoy incredible fishing and outdoor activities all season, right outside your back door
  • Catch salmon on your off time and send fish to your family or friends as gifts

How to Apply

Please email your resume, cover letter, and 3 work references to

Don't be afraid to showcase your personality in your cover letter!

Contact Info