Kenai Report 6-25-2011 Print

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