Kenai Peninsula

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

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!

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