We can’t move on into the New Year until we take a moment and reflect back on this last year and give credit where credit is due.
November 21st we lost a legend, Darwin Peterson, the original founder of Kenai River Fly Fishing. He and his wife of almost 52 years traveled up from Montana in 1987 and found their home in our little town of Cooper Landing where they continued to live and raise their two sons. They bought property near the Russian River and built the first tackle shop in town which they faithfully ran for 16 years before “retiring” up to their house overlooking Kenai Lake. Anyone who has ever crossed paths with Darwin and Geneese will know that they have made this town a richer place with their presence. Through many a poker game, a warm meal or a visit over coffee they have welcomed many people into their lives and provided a family for many of the guides who wandered into Cooper and decided to call it home. Being fortunate enough to be part of that family, we would just like to say a big thank you on behalf of all of us. Darwin will truly be missed. His unique sense of humor and legendary stories will forever live on amongst all of his friends and family.
We felt honored when given the opportunity to continue managing the business, the roots run deep and are very powerful. We will continue giving the respect and hard work that was always given by Darwin and Geneese making it the successful family business it is today. Thank you.
Darwin Peterson Founder of Kenai River Fly Fishing
It’s well into winter up here now, the boats are flipped and life revolves around stoking the fire. The fishing is on hold for us at the moment, that is until the lakes freeze and then you might catch us out there enjoying the company of a few friends over a few holes drilled in the ice. But for now it’s a time to settle in and enjoy the slow relaxing days of winter around the great state of Alaska, and specifically our beautiful home of Cooper Landing. Also a time to catch up and share some great times had over the last summer out on the Kenai River. Families are gathering and we just want to take a moment to wish everyone a great holiday season!!! Thank you to everyone who came up this summer and enjoyed the river/fishing with us! It was a wonderful season and we all had a great time with returning clients as well as new that we had the pleasure of meet!
It’s never too early to start planning a trip to our neck of the woods so please enjoy the pictures and if your travels are going to bring you to Alaska this summer we are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding our great state!
Sockeye (red) salmon well into it’s spawn
Doubles Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden
And last but certainly not least, this fall brought a keeper. The newest guide of Kenai River Fly Fishing; Bayne Harpe.
What can we say, it’s fall, the colors are quickly changing, it’s beautiful out and the fish, they are treating us well! Even though we saw quite a bit of rain come in the last week and we were approaching flood levels again, the fishing has continued to be productive all the way through. We saw the upper/upper turn off a little for a day or two but the Refuge and Canyon have been holding tough for us. There is still a considerable amount of water in the Middle and the Lower but with temps in the low 40’s at night and the termination of the rain we have already seen the peak and we are seeing the water levels dropping quickly.
As per what we hope to see, the Rainbow Trout and Dollie Varden fishing has been amazing. It’s certainly the time to be out there and we can only hope that it continues if not improves!
Okay, that was just greedy.
Long time client Earl finally earns his big fish!! Guess patience is a virtue. Nice work buddy!
The usual bag o’ tricks is working, we are seeing the sockeye and the Kings in their spawn so cater to that. That being said, you find some time on your hands in the quickly lengthening Alaskan evening, might want to put some time into tying up a few extra leaders because you are bound to loose your share out there.
Please feel free to give us a call if you need a water level report. She’s a powerful river that Kenai and we’ve seen a lot of people in some risky situations this year. We are happy to give you an update and talk to you about what is happening down here. Stay safe out there and have a great time!
As it turns out it’s August! We’ve all made it through another big July push and the weather makes it feel like fall is breathing down our necks. With that being said, bring on the Trout fishing!!!
We are still seeing a surprising strong run of Sockeye coming up the river and though you may need to be patient and pick and choose which ones you are keeping, it’s still been worth the time and effort to be out there. There are still quite a few chromers in the Upper Kenai River. We are currently up to 1,339,876 second run Sockeye in the drainage and are seeing a pretty consistent ~ 8-9,000 nosing up daily.
The Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden fishing has been picking up nicely as they set up waiting for the Sockeye spawn to turn on. We’ve had some amazing days out on the water lately fishing a “mixed bag” of both Sockeye and Rainbow Trout/Dolly Varden. It’s a nice time to be out on the water with the number of people slowing down, you can feel the ease of fall setting in.
The second run of Sockeye Salmon are now in numbers of over a million strong in the Kenai River. If fresh Alaskan Salmon is something that you’ve been craving, now is the time to get out there after it. The run is already making a huge push up into the drainage and pushing towards those spawning ground, word is the large majority has already moved up past the lower Kenai.
We are seeing the masses coming into the Middle and the Upper Kenai. Cooper Landing is the place to be right now between the beautiful scenery surrounding you, the gorgeous weather Alaska has been kind enough to offer this summer and the plentiful supply of Sockeye that we are seeing up here. It’s a great time to come out and play!