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!
What can we say, it’s that time! Trout fishing is game on, the weather is finally giving us a break and we are seeing Silvers in the Upper as well. This is what we have all been waiting for, the glory days of fall. We are all busy out on the river and loving every minute of it!
Great day at the office.
Guide Mike Harpe with a happy client and his Silver caught on the fly.
The crowds have wained, it was hard to believe it was Saturday at Sportsman’s Boat Launch today. The Salmon madness has come to an abrupt stop, the weather has been kind, and it’s an all around nice time to be on the water.
Gene Bern on his first day out catches a nice Dolly Varden
We’ve been seeing some great dry fly hatches going on as well as the usual flesh and beads have been working their magic for fly fishing for both Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden. The small creeks are a great alternative for some wade fishing as well. Out on the big river it is quickly becoming everyones favorite time of year to be out fishing for the Trout and Dollies and right now on the Upper Kenai there are also a sprinkle of Silver Salmon starting to show in the eddies. If this is your main target it sounds like below Skilak as well as going out on the salt out of Seward is the way to go.
It’s fall, it’s time to sit back and relax and take your time out there. Happy fishing!
Tony and his son enjoyed a day together out on the water.
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.
Great Sockeye Salmon caught by Bret Curry on a fly rod.
I love to fish… It’s a passion, hobby, habit and if I’m rigorously honest…an addiction! Each trip to the water brings the wonderment and uncertainty of catch. Each angling moment provides a rewarding spiritual connectivity to something larger than life. Could be a “hunter & gatherer” component in my DNA. May be because fishing is my primary safe harbor from the daily grind and rat race. Whatever the case, I’m so blessed to have opportunities to fish dozens of days per year…and mainly with a fly rod.
I recently added a new geographical location to my fly-fishing experiences. This time in Alaska! If you are an individual with fly-fishing in your blood you have got to experience a grappling sockeye salmon who’s mission is to spawn…not to be caught. If the thought of angling a pit-bull on the end of your fly-line gets your juices flowing, then give Jen a call at Kenai River Fly Fishing.
After hours of pre-trip online research and local referrals my choice was KRFF. And boy did I make the right decision. Jen paired me up with T.J., Master and Professional Guide. Simply put, T.J. is the man! And a consummate host! Clearly an accomplished fisherman himself, he put me onto the fish in no time. His refinement tips were courteously delivered and produced results. He’s a master with the drift-boat and very safety-conscience. Not only did we net several sockeyes, we landed Rainbow and Dolly Varden as well.
Sockeyes on a stringer
An often-used word in Cajun country is “lagniappe” which means a little something extra. And how Alaska provides those bonuses. We saw bear, moose and eagles galore. T.J.’s keen eye and sharing the experience was icing on the cake.
So if you are bug-eyed from perusing the Internet for the right guide service, simply give KRFF a call. Oh yea, be sure to include the “canyon” float into your schedule, you won’t be sorry.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Patience and perseverance pays off for this group as they hold up the days catch
TJ safely guiding them across Skilak Lake, beautiful way to end a great trip.
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″