Being out on the water the last few days we have continued to have luck with fishing Trout and Dollies as well as catching some of the early second run of Sockeye that is trickling in. We have seen 49,8979 Sockeye come into the drainage so far which as of now is 7,000 more then this time last year. Traditionally we tend to see a distinct shut off of Sockeye Salmon between the first and the second run, but not this year. Anglers have had the luck of being out there “between runs” with decent success! Last year we saw a little over 1,500,000 Sockeye come into the Kenai River during the second run and with luck we will hopefully see those numbers again. So now is the time to give us a call and we’ll get you out there swinging for some Sockeye!
Happy Independence Day! Please take a moment to reflect on all the men and women with whom have sacrificed their lives for us to be where we are today. These are brave souls who deserve great respect as do their loved ones who make the ultimate choice to be there through the hard times as supporting loving friends and family. Our love and respect go out to you. We show our appreciation in what small way we can by offering today and everyday a 10% military discount as a way to simply say thank you!
Fishing has been productive for us for this time of year. We are continuing to see a small steady pulse of Sockeye trickling in which it is a welcome addition to fishing in the first 2 weeks of July. Fish and Game is tracking them as the start of the second run and as of now they have seen 11,862 fish pass by the weir. The weather has been overcast with isolated rain showers and the river continues to drop and we are currently seeing a level of 11 1/2″. Fishing for Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden continues to produce for us and with a combination trip of swinging for a few Sockeye and doing some Trout and Dolly fishing we’ve been having nice days out on the water.
With the access that the Kenai provides it is a great river to take your friends and family out on. Please be aware that the river has changed since the flood last fall and being the powerful river that it is it deserves your respect. We have seen more boats flipped and pinned on sweepers then we have seen in years past. If you are a do it yourself-er out there please just take the necessary safety precautions to make this an enjoyable safe trip for yourself and your party. You may have plenty of experience on this river, but she has rearranged on us and is a different creature then she was this time last year. Ask around, use the local knowledge base and please be safe. And above and beyond, everyone please wear a lifejacket!!!
Trout fishing continues to be productive for us out there. Both beads and flesh are producing well, things are pretty fresh in the water so think about that when choosing your colors. We are still seeing overcast skies with little rain so the water is now down to 12 1/2″ and running nice and clean for the Kenai. There are still a few Sockeye trickling past the weir and in the system so if you take some time you still may be able to catch one. Crowds are down right now and it’s just a nice time to get out on the river and enjoy Cooper Landing’s backyard!
Though you may be able to go out and swing for a few remaining Sockeye Salmon, we have primarily seen the first run come through and now come to an end. This places us back onto the river turning our focus back once again to fly fishing for Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden. We have been out there the last few days fishing for these species and though not like it can be in the fall, we’ve still had some beautiful days on the water catching and releasing some beauties!
With the Sockeye run having been in the waters and many down here catching and filleting ron the river recently we are having success picking up those Rainbows and Dollies on some nice juicy flesh flies. It’s a time fun time to get back out there and start feeling out where these fish are again after the Kenai River had it’s 50 year flood last fall and our focus being mainly on Sockeye for the past few weeks.
Current water levels on the Kenai are sitting at 13″
We are starting to see the first run Russian River Sockeye slowing up a bit on us. With enough dedication we are still coming off the river with some fresh Sockeye just not in the numbers we were able to catch previously. There have still been a few thousand passing by the weir in the last few days, but it appears the run is coming to an end. We are seeing the water levels dropping with it now reading 14″. With our current weather cooling off a bit and the sun moving behind the clouds we should see this trend continue.
Thought the Sockeye fishing may be slowing up we have still had some great days on the water. The Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden fishing has been picking up nicely so we are seeing the ability to have a nice day out in our scenic surroundings fishing for a mixed bag of fish. From harvesting a few Salmon to catching and releasing some beautiful Rainbow Trout, it’s a great way to spend the day!
Good news out there for everyone looking to get some fresh Sockeye Salmon in their freezer, Alaska Fish and Game has increased the bag and possession limits for anglers. A full description of the order is below, please take a moment to read, but in layman’s terms they increased the bag limit from 3 per person to 6 per person.
We have seen more sockeye coming past the weir bringing the count to almost 26,000 salmon and the water levels have been dropping as well and are now at 17″.
With the water levels starting to drop, the sockeye numbers still climbing, the weather cooling off a bit and the limit increasing it’s been a great time to get out on the river and chase some Sockeye. We’ve had good success out there the last few days and of course we can’t predict it, but we anticipate the fishing is going to continue looking good for us out there!!
Beginning at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, June 22, the daily bag limit will increase to six (6) sockeye salmon and the possession limit will increase to twelve (12) sockeye salmon in the Upper Kenai River, upstream from Skilak Lake to ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards upstream of the public boat launch at Sportsman’s Landing and the Russian River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G marker located approximately 600 yards downstream from the Russian River Falls.
The early-run sockeye salmon escapement past the weir at Lower Russian Lake has exceeded 23,700 fish. The Department projects the end-of-run escapement will exceed the escapement goal of 22,000 – 42,000 early-run sockeye salmon. It is therefore appropriate to increase limits to permit anglers the additional opportunity to harvest Russian River sockeye salmon.
Anglers are reminded that they may possess only the limit allowed for the waters they are actively fishing. If a Russian River angler has more than three sockeye salmon in possession, then that angler may not fish in waters with a possession limit of three.
Anglers are also reminded to remove fish carcasses whole, or gutted/gilled from the Russian River clear water, or take fish to the mainstem Kenai River cleaning tables located at the confluence and ferry crossing to fillet and chop-up filleted sockeye salmon carcasses into small pieces and throw the pieces into deep, flowing waters. Please keep all personal belongings, including stringers of fish closely attended. Please respect the riverbank restoration projects and stay on the established pathways in the Sanctuary Area, campground areas, and Russian River Ferry area.
We had a good day out there on the river today with both trips going down the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Canyon where they were fly-fishing for both Sockeye Salmon and Rainbow Trout. The Sockeye seem to moving through in their usual pods so they are there one minute and gone the next but we are still catching them with a little patience and perseverance.
The current count of Sockeye Salmon past the sonar on the Lower Kenai is reading 21,530 with the water levels at 19 3/4″
Alaska Fish and Game issued 2 important Emergency Orders and Regulation Reminders. One being that they closed King Salmon Fishing on the Kenai today and the other being that they opened the Russian River Sanctuary yesterday. Please look further down for a copied text of the 2 orders.
June 19, 2013
Emergency Orders and regulation reminders
• Emergency Orders are in effect for the following areas:
• In the Kenai River: This emergency order closes the Kenai River to sport fishing for king salmon from the mouth upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake and in the Moose River from its confluence with the Kenai River upstream to the northernmost edge of the Sterling Highway bridge beginning at 12:01 a.m., Thursday. June 20, 2013 through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, June 30, 2013. Sport fishing for king salmon will remain closed from 12:01 a.m., Monday, July 1, 2013 through 11:59 p.m., Sunday, July 14, 2013 in waters of the Kenai River drainage form an ADF&G regulatory marker located approximately 300 yards downstream from the mouth of Slikok Creek upstream to the outlet of Skilak Lake, and in the Moose River from its confluence with the Kenai River upstream to the northernmost edge of the Sterling Highway bridge. This closure prohibits all sport fishing for king salmon, including catch-and-release fishing. King salmon may not be retained or possessed; king salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.
• In the Russian River: This emergency order opens the Russian River Sanctuary Area to fishing for sockeye salmon at 8:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 19.