We are all happy to be back on the water and enjoying the beautiful Alaskan summer. The joke is the minute the river opens summer ends and it starts raining, but not this year!
Skilak Lake crossing.
The Sockeye Salmon are starting to come in, not in high numbers quite yet, but there are out there and we’ve been catching. It also means that there are just that many more that will be showing up here in the next few weeks.
Father and son spending the day together. Bringing home the Sockeye Salmon!
The Rainbow Trout fishing has been producing as well with plenty of action for everyone.
Mike Evans with Karen and her beautiful Rainbow Trout!
Between the Sockeye Salmon coming in and the Trout fishing, it’s a great time to be out on the water. Come on down, enjoy the sun and let’s get after it!
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 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.
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.
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″
And the season has begun!!! After the longest winter on record all of us in Alaska are very grateful to see what has been an absolutely amazing summer so far. We have been averaging days in the high 70’s into the 80’s which hasn’t happened in many (many) years and you don’t hear any complaints here! As far as the fly fishing season on the Kenai River has been going, we too are being graciously granted a great first run of Sockeye Salmon as well as some nice Rainbow Trout fishing. Current counts of Sockeye past the weir on the Lower Kenai are 9,167 which is over 7,500 more then we were seeing this time last year. We are seeing them come into the Upper Kenai were we are targeting them and are having great success. The water is running quite high at 19 1/2″ so the Sockeye are charging up. With the great weather and fishing being what it is, it’s a great time to get out on the water.