Kenai Peninsula

Kenai Report 10-9-10 PDF Print E-mail

fall dolly kenai.jpgFall has arrived on the Kenai and the fishing is still going strong. The river had been ultra-low in late September but rain in the headwaters brought the water levels way up. Even with this increased flow the clarity was quite good. This higher water ended up washing thousands of carcasses off the bank and into the river. It is a virtual flesh-fest right now. This in turn woke up Mr. Dolly in his full spawning colors. In some areas washed out flesh on the swing was the ticket. MOAL Rhoids, Barely Legals in Flesh Washed and S&B's in Flesh were all producers.

In other spots there was so much flesh rolling down the river that it was hard to get a grab on a flesh fly. If this is the case, switch over to 8mm or 10mm beads in Mottled Orange, Mottled Tangerine or Guide Model Beads #2 in Tangerine or Orange Clear. 

The Middle River had been fishing hot but a ton of silt from Skilak Lake got flushed into the river and clarity dropped way down. Grabs decreased proportionally. Until it clears fishing will be tough on the middle. The Killey River is pumping mud so anything below this trib is pretty much unfishable. 

Silver are still pushing in and can be found in the slower back eddies and pools. Try a Pink Hareball Leech or Black Starlite Leech with Green Head. 

It's not over yet! Get out and give it a last shot.

Kenai Report 9-6-10 PDF Print E-mail

The Upper Kenai River and Canyon are in full Fall swing. Reds in every state of the spawn are in this section of the river and more are moving up from Skilak Lake on a daily basis. As you might guess, it is a bead show. With some reds already dying off, others dropping fresh eggs, and still more getting ready to spawn, a wide variety of bead colors in 6mm and 8mm are working. Dead egg imitations such as Washed Pink as well as fresh egg colors are all producing. There are carcass piles here and there and a swung flesh fly can work around these heaps of dead protein.

The Middle Kenai is improving for trout fishing. The last of the crimson king salmon torpedos are barely hanging on and  a 10mm bead fished behind them can work. The sockeye are finally putting eggs down and this will really kick the fishery into gear.

Silver fishing is sporadic. They are mixed in with the sockeye and foul-hooking goat roap is a distinct possibility. Choose your targets with care or be prepared to lose some flies.

Quartz Creek has slowed way down and the Russian River is on and off. Those willing to hike up the Russian quite a ways are having some good days on beads and flesh.

Finally, keep your eyes peeled for the brown fuzzies. Now that the reds are paired up and in shallow water the brown bears are on the river in force. 

See you out there!

Kenai Report 8-18-10 PDF Print E-mail
Kenai Peninsula | Page 1

The Upper Kenai is starting to ramp up for the fall trout madness. Plenty of sockeye are in the river but the egg drop has not started in earnest, yet. Hopefully in a week or so the spawn will be going in full force and the best fishing of the year will be upon us. If you put a gun to our head, August 25 would be a best guess for when the sockeye spawn should really take off.

Currently anglers are fishing large (10mm) beads behind spawning kings. These big bruiser are out in the middle of the river so a boat is a must for effectively reaching them. Use plenty of lead to get your offering down deep.

Swinging leeches, flesh, and sculpins in the area of holding sockeye is also a good tactic. There are trout milling around waiting for the egg drop and they will often grab a streamer if it is in the neighborhood.

Silver fishing is still fairly slow. There are a slew of pink salmon in the river this year and they are inhaling any pink colored fly that goes by. These eager grabbers make it hard to get your fly in front of a silver. More coho should be on the way and in the river soon.

Finally, good trout and Dolly fishing can be had in Quartz Creek and the Russian River. Try beads in Quartz and nymphs or small streamers in the Russian. These are both good options if you don't have a boat or are looking for a change of pace.

See you out there!

A big thanks to Keith at Worldwide in Anchorage for this week's Kenai report.

Kenai Report 6-30-10 PDF Print E-mail

kenai bow resize.jpg

The Upper Kenai River opened this week with prime water conditions, and big Rainbows were in battle formations ready to pull anglers' chains after a long winter. The first run of Sockeye have arrived on the Upper Kenai heading for the Legendary Russian River, a main tributary of the Upper Kenai River. Magnum Trout and Char are using these five to seven pound chromers as meat shields to navigate up the river into the Combat Zone where hundreds of pounds of Sockeye carcass, guts, and egg sacs are being thrown back into the river by mobs of blood thirsty, frenzied salmon anglers below the confluence of the Russian and Kenai Rivers. Trout anglers dead drifting micro flesh flies and 8mm beads in the deeper runs and drops below the Salmon Apocalypse are getting their rotator cuffs stretched to the max.


The Kenai River Canyon is also producing some mega results in the Boils and deep cliff runs for some big native red stripers and transitional Chrome out of Skilak Lake. Again, flesh and egg patterns are standard connectors, however do not hesitate to swing some big leeches in the mix. The River delta into Skilak is especially kicking down on the swing, but be prepared to get embarrassed when that ultra rainbow pulls a figure- eight 360 swirl maneuver and wraps your neckpiece with fly line.


The middle Kenai River is throwing down some epic leech fishing for Rainbows from the outlet down to the Killey River Tributary. Trout anglers swinging deep with big 4-6 inch Loop Leeches in Black, Brown, and Olive are getting crushed on the swing. Massive schools of smolt are boiling out of Skilak Lake and the setting is straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” with Arctic terns and Loons swarming on the feed. Below the Killey River, articulated flesh flies in white, grey, and cream are lighting it up in the “dirty water” below this trib. I would highly recommend upgrading your tippets to the 12lb class in this stretch of water as the Rainbows here are completely on another level and hand out free lessons like you have never seen.

More Reports to follow




Kenai Report 6-23-10 PDF Print E-mail

Billy has been out on the river non-stop of late, so we talked to Duane at Troutfitters on the Kenai to get the lowdown.

Sockeye are starting off slow this year in the Russian River although a big slug of fish just passed the weir on June 22. It is hard to say if this is going to be a low number year for the early run sockeye or if they are just a little late (like they were in 2008) and the numbers will jump up as a big surge pushes in. If you are heading to the Russian/Kenai confluence to target sockeye, be prepared to spend some time getting your fish.

Trout fishing in both the Upper and Middle Kenai has been pretty good. Even though there are not big carcass piles at the Russian, flesh patterns are still getting the job done. Articulated Lady Flesh , Dirty Socks , and other washed out flesh colors are go-to flies. If you are fishing the MIddle, trout are looking for last year's flesh getting stirred up in Skilak Lake and washed down the river. Try Articulated Lady Flesh or other long, slim profile flesh patterns. Swinging leeches has also been productive.

Egg patterns are pretty much a year round tactic on the Kenai. On the Upper 6mm and 8mm fresh bead colors are effective. These are imitating eggs coming out of sockeye that were caught and cleaned on the Russian. You can also try dead egg colors in 6mm to imitate eggs left over from the spring trout spawn. Washed Pink , Peach Fuzz , and Apricot Swirl are all good bets.

Finally, the window to fish dries has just fired up on the Upper Kenai and the Russian River. Caddis hatches have been reported so don't miss out on the chance to catch a really nice trout on a dry!

More Kenai Fish Reports to come soon. 

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