Our Guides

Our guides are more than just guides - they're our most important asset. They love what they do and return to work with us year after year. What do these years of experience mean for you? You'll fish with confidence as our guides navigate the Kenai to their favorite spots and share their special tips and tricks for reeling in a hard-fighting silver or trophy king.

Dave Maternowski, Lead Fishing Guide

Dave grew up in Wisconsin and received a degree from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse in Geography and Environmental Studies. There, in western Wisconsin along the banks of the Mississippi River and in small, spring-fed streams he honed the fishing skills he developed growing up. He first came to Alaska in 2014 to work for Alaska Wildland Adventures and returned the following season as an Upper Kenai guide. Whether you consider yourself an expert or a beginner, Dave will tailor your fishing experience to suit your needs. In the off season Dave lives and works in Girdwood, Alaska.

Rob Klink, Fishing Guide

Rob joined the team as our first Apprentice Fishing Guide in 2016 and has returned to share his love for the Kenai again as a Fishing Guide. Having spent much of his youth fishing and exploring the lakes and rivers of eastern Minnesota, Rob is an avid angler and outdoorsman who never wastes an opportunity to get a line in the water. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a BA in Biology, Rob followed his heart to the wild places of Alaska. He continues to love sharing days on the Kenai with anglers of all backgrounds, interests, and experiences.

George Malacuso, Fishing Guide

George first came to work for Alaska Wildland Adventures in 1987 and has returned every season since for an amazing record of 30 years of guiding. He is now a powerboat guide for us on the “Lower” Kenai River and in Resurrection Bay. Needless to say, George knows these waters like the back of his hand.


Russ Hughes, Fishing Guide

Russ has been a sportfishing guide with Kenai Riverside Fishing Program since 1994. While he has spent considerable time behind the oars in a driftboat over the last 15 years, he now primarily pursues king salmon and silver salmon as a powerboat guide on the “Lower” Kenai and in Resurrection Bay. Even on his days off, you're likely to find Russ out on the river. In between guiding, Russ puts in at least 15 days of personal fishing on the Kenai River and nearby waterways.

Support Staff

Darla VanLeuven, Administrator

Darla VanLeuven originally came to Alaska in 2010 to support her husband in his lifelong dream of living, hunting and fishing in this great state. Little did she know she would fall in love with Alaska just as much as her husband did. Now, joined by their son Tanner, it is quite the family affair! When Darla is not helping guests coordinate their dream fishing vacation, she enjoys hiking, trail running and fishing with her wonderful family.

John Harbison, Fishing Logistics Assistant

John was raised in the hills of East Tennessee, spending most of his time on the rivers and streams of the Blue Ridge Mountains. After receiving his Bachelors in Sport Management and Recreation at the University of Tennessee, Alaska came calling. He's been with AWA since 2015, as our Fish Logistics Assistant, and continues that role today. If you don't see him running around camp, he's most likely exploring another part of this wild state he now calls home.