The Kasilof River
Our Drift boats are perfect for the Kasilof River. The Kasilof River area is about 20 minutes’ drive from Soldotna on the Sterling Hiway towards Homer. The head waters of the Kasilof River flow from a large glacial lake known as Tustumena Lake. From Tustumena Lake the river flows approximately 20 miles before it drains into Upper Cook Inlet. The Kasilof River drainage area is the second largest in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, receiving water from an 830-square-mile area. Tustumena Lake—the largest on the Kenai Peninsula—has a surface area of 115 square miles and a maximum depth of 942 feet, deep enough to submerge a 50-story building. The lake is also turbid with glacial silt due to melt water from Tustumena Glacier, an extension of the Harding Ice Field.
Four species of salmon—sockeye, king, pink and Coho salmon—and rainbow trout, steelhead, char and whitefish spawn in the Kasilof River drainage. The river's king and sockeye salmon draw the greatest interest from salmon fishermen. And sockeye salmon—the species the sonar site produces estimates for—are by far the river’s most abundant.
Power boating is not allowed on the Kasilof River, so if you want to fish this river, it will need to be from the bank or in one of our drift boats. There are two drifts available: The upper Kasilof drift is from Tustumena Lake to the Sterling Highway bridge. To get there, follow Tustumena Lake Road to the end where you will find a boat ramp. The Lower Kasilof drift is from the Sterling Highway Bridge to the Kasilof River Lodge. You can launch at the Kasilof River State Recreation Site.
The Kasilof River is perfect for anglers or those wishing to sightsee who are looking to avoid the traffic one faces on the Kenai River!
Kasilof River Lodge Pull Out and Shuttle Service:
The Kasilof River Lodge offers a convenient shuttle service for all parts of the Kasilof River. They charge $25.00 for shuttle service on the lower drift (from the bridge to pullout), $35.00 for using the shuttle service for the upper drift (from the lake to the bridge or to the pullout at Kasilof River Lodge and Cabins). There is a $25.00 charge for using the drift boat retrieval pull-out at the Lodge. Punch-cards are available which are valid for 10 uses of the Kasilof River Shuttle Service at a 20% discount.
The shuttle service actually moves your vehicle and trailer. So essentially you put in wherever you like (either the bridge for the lower float, or the lake for the upper & lower float) and tell them where you want your truck and trailer to be relocated. If you are doing the upper float only you would have them leave it at the Sterling Bridge and if you are doing the lower float you would have them leave it at the Kasilof River Lodge. You just text their seasonal cell number the night before with the information required, and they will move your vehicle during your float. Call them at (907)-262-6348 or check their Kasilof River Lodge for all the details.