Kenai Peninsula

Kenai River Report 07-28-11 PDF Print E-mail

Kenai River Report 07/28/11


The word is out.  Hundreds of thousands of second run sockeye have been entering the river for the past ten days.  Sockeye fishing has been good to excellent throughout the whole river.  Our friend, Johnny of Kenai Float-n-Fish, says that it is time to get your sockeye on.  He believes that the fishing is going to continue to be good for the next week or two. Choose a good gravel bar and if the fish are not there at that moment, wait ten minutes.  The sockeye will come.  You may have to be selective to get chromers.

The river is still running fairly low and clear. Because of the water conditions, trout fishing has been a little tricky. The trout are very buggy so far this year.  Dries and nymphs have been a fun and popular technique.  Smolt, leeches and sculpin have been producing too.  Having the ability to change things up has proven to be the key in getting some of these weary trout to bite.

Johnny says he hasn’t seen many big red kings roaming around the upper river, which is usually the indicator to start throwing beads.  Although with all of the sockeye showing up, beads and flesh are starting to be more productive. Try fishing flesh or eggs down towards the bottom of gravel bars and below the Russian.  Lots of flesh and carcasses are getting the attention of some very hungry trout.  Try fishing bright, fresher looking flesh patterns in a variety of sizes, from micro to large.  Also try beads in brighter, fresher colors in sizes 6-10mm.  Please remember to follow the regulations when it comes to hook sizes, weights and bead pegging.

A special congratulation goes out to Johnny and Heather.

Tight Lines,

The AFFG Boys

Kenai Report 7-1-11 PDF Print E-mail

The mighty Kenai is up a little from last week, but still running low for this time of year.  With the water being low, it is running very clear.  This equals spooky fish.  Dry fishing on the upper has been fantastic. Our friend Johnny from Kenai Float-N-Fish says the upper has a Montana feel to it.  He says the fish can see everything! And he means everything.  For fishing dries and nymphs, try fishing various mayfly patterns and go light on the tippet.  GO Slow and take your time and be prepared to see all the fish that you missed dart by the boat when rowing through the tail-outs.

When the water is low and clear, the predatory trout will seek deeper water and structure to hide in during the day.  Then they will come out at night and early mornings to feed. Swinging leeches can still produce some nice fish. Try this technique early in the mornings, before the fish have been fished to by a bunch of other anglers.  Go smaller and try patterns such as Sculpzillas in #8 or New School Muddlers in #10.

The first run sockeye still have not materialized in the main stem, making for a lot of casting for a few fish.  The Russian is fishing well though, so those of you looking to get some fresh sockeye fillets, look at the Russian or wait for the second run that should start showing up in a few weeks.

We hope everyone has a fantastic 4th of July and that there are a lot of fish presenting themselves on the end of your line.  Be safe and have fun this holiday weekend.

Brad and Mike

Kenai Report 6-25-2011 PDF Print E-mail

Just when we think we can forget about last winter, it comes back and bites again.   Due to a lack of snow pack from a winter that saw less snowfall than usual, the Kenai River is running low and clear. The average river flow for this time of year is around 6,000 cubic feet per second (c.f.s.), but this year the Kenai is only running at 3,700 c.f.s.  What does this mean for the trout and salmon fishing? It means get ready to deploy different techniques if you want to get into the fish.

Due to the low, clear water, the trout have been keying in on dries and nymphs on the upper.  This is a good thing. If you keep an eye out for fish coming to the surface, you will have a shot at landing a Kenai slab on a dry.

With the relative lack of sockeye, flesh flies have not been as effective. There are still a few places where flesh is working readily, especially in the deeper troughs. But in general, more carcasses are going to have to hit the water before the flesh bite turns back on.

Swinging leeches is still producing some nice fish on the upper and in the middle.  Look for runs that have drop offs where trout can lie and ambush their prey. Due to the low water, try fishing smaller sculpins and leeches like #8 Sculpzillas in Olive or Black.

Sockeye numbers are below average so far.  Good numbers of fish are in the Russian, but the main stem Kenai run is still thin.  Some of the inside chatter suggests that the fish are in Skilak Lake and are waiting for the river to come up before they push up.  Those of you looking to take home some of these good eating reds need to be on the water early in the day, as that has been the best time for catching lately.

Have a great week of fishing,

Brad and Mike

Kenai Report 6-17-11 PDF Print E-mail

The Kenai trout opener started off with a bang, with many hungry fish falling victim to swung leeches and sculpin.  A fellow Juneauite was there for the action and had quite a time with some very nice fish!alt

Our friends at AK Troutfitters, report that the fishing is only getting better.  With good numbers of returning sockeye, the harvest has begun.  Now nice red chunks of fresh flesh and roe are tumbling down the river. Because of this, flesh and egg patterns are starting to kick in. Try these below the Russian and a few runs on the upper.

For the dry fly enthusiast, this weekend could be good with the nice weather.  Try some of the old standbys like Elk Hair Caddis and Parachute Adams or try some of the fun newer patterns like Never-Sink-Caddis or Parachute BWO’s.

Tight lines and have a great weekend of fishing!

Brad and Mike

Kenai Report-Preseason 06-10-11 PDF Print E-mail

The count down has begun.  All of you anxious fly anglers that have been counting the days, hours, minutes and for some of you fish nuts, even the seconds, the wait is almost over.  Race on down and as they say at the beginning of the cage match.” It’s Time!”   Put on the gloves, the waders and sunglasses and get your swing on!

Our friends at Troutfitters send reports of sockeye at the mouth and up in the Russian.  A good run is predicted which only leads to good trout fishing.   For the rainbow opener, try swinging leeches and sculpins off of the bars.  This technique can be a deadly way to pick up some hot early season trout.  When floating from bar to bar and in the back channels, try dead drifting small flesh patterns.  And yes for you “bead heads” out there, beads can be a good way to start. Even though there’s no spawning salmon, trout tend to have the egg thing engrained into their heads.

For all you guys and gals looking to rip lip and fill the cooler with bright, fresh, red sockeye fillets, its time to hit the “A” run.  Check the usual spots and bars as the fish continue to show up in hoards.  For patterns to try check out Montana Brassies and the Sockeye Fly in orange or green.

The Kenai has some pretty strict regulations.  To see the ADF&G regs, click here.

Have a great weekend and catch lots! We’ll have an updated report for you early next week.

Tight Lines,

Brad and Mike

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