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!
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.
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!
We are sitting at just a few hundred shy of a million Sockeye Salmon in the Kenai River as of yesterday. Add what will have been counted by the end of today and we are looking at not only over a million Sockeye in the drainage but also at some good odds out there! The middle has been productive and with the bag limit at 6 per person/day and the upper, though not teeming with the numbers that are soon to come the Upper Kenai has also been very productive. From Skilak into the upper Kenai we are still looking at limits of 3 per person/day so please be aware of the differences in regulation while out there. If getting out on the river and catching yourself some fresh Alaskan Sockeye Salmon is what you desire, now is the time to do it!
Glen from Texas enjoying his day on the Kenai River with a days catch of Sockeye Salmon caught on a fly rod.
It’s still just a fine time to be out there fishing on the river for a mixed bag of species. What better way to spend a day then playing on the water spending a little time here and there fishing for multiple species of fish enjoying what has been one of the nicest summers we have seen in Alaska in years?!
Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden fishing has continued to be productive with plenty of carcass floating around in the water from folks properly filleting their Salmon and disposing of the remains in the water. Using flesh has continued to be the mainstay, what a tasty treat to these fish.
Sockeye Salmon are still coming into the river, though the number have slowed a bit in the last few days we still expect to see a great run this year. On the 11th we saw a push of 33,702 hit the river and as of yesterday another 20,000 have come in as well. This have brought the grand total up to 127,765 which is about 30,000 more then we had seen this time last year. And remember, this is just the beginning!! When you are talking a total of around 1.5 million, we have a ways to go. It has been a nice treat to be out there this year with the constant trickle of Sockeye Salmon coming though though giving us the ability to fish a little of everything.
Weather is predicted to be nice and sunny for us for the rest of the week, it’s time to get out and enjoy it while it’s here. Come join us on the river and marvel in the beauty of our backyard.
(Yes, we know we’re spoiled)
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.