Mark Wackler, Author at Alaska Fishology - Kenai River Salmon Fishing Guide
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Author:Mark Wackler

6 More Things to Bring to AK

There are literally hundreds of “What to Pack When Traveling to Alaska” articles out there, and basically all of them list the same items – a camera, sun screen, layered clothing, binoculars… the list goes on.  But there are several things that virtually always get left off the list, and these items are potential game changers that have the ability to transform your trip from a good one to a great one!   If you’re traveling to Alaska for a fishing vacation, you don’t want to leave these things behind:   Breathable Chest Waders – It’s not by mistake that this item comes first on the list. It’s exceptionally difficult to enjoy yourself when you’re wet & cold, and in Alaska you just never know what you’re going to get.  Breathable chest waders are...

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Spotlight: Lower Kenai River

It’s easy to fall in love with the lower Kenai.  Even though there are 3 separate stretches of this mighty waterway, there are visitors that have traveled here for years and still only seen the lower 10-15 miles of the river.  The reason for this is that it’s SO productive!  While I most definitely believe there is a huge advantage to staying versatile, if I had to pick just just one stretch of the Kenai it would be tough not to choose the lower section.     The early season on the Kenai begins in May and June with the first run of King Salmon.  This run is on the up-swing in a big way, and last season provided the best early run King fishing we have seen in a decade!  The river...

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Spotlight: The Middle Kenai River

Here at Fishology I must admit that we have a serious crush on the middle section of the Kenai River!  We probably spend more days in this beautiful 15 mile stretch of river than anywhere else throughout the season, and there are many reasons for that.  The “middle” Kenai begins at the outlet of Skilak Lake, and ends somewhere between the Naptown Rapids in Sterling and the Soldotna Bridge, depending upon who you ask.  “The middle” has gained a lot of attention and popularity over the last 20 years or so, and use has increased steadily, mostly due to the fact that the fishing here is some of the best on Earth. The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge owns the upper section of the middle Kenai.  The first several miles below Skilak...

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Spotlight: The Upper Kenai River

The Kenai River has a long history of fishing tradition, and long before crowds of people descended upon the lower river to chase salmon, there was a salmon and trout fishery on the Upper Kenai River around Cooper Landing.  When you mention the Upper Kenai River nowadays, folks undoubtedly begin imagining the incredible Trout fishery, the abundant Sockeye runs, and a few may even remember that it also has a fantastic Silver Salmon fishery.     Perhaps the biggest allure when it comes to fishing the Upper Kenai River is the setting.  Giant snow-capped mountains surround you in every direction, the aqua-green waters are both unique and beautiful, and it’s not uncommon to spot moose, bear, eagle, and lots of other wildlife.     This is the only drift-boat-only stretch of the Kenai River by regulation,...

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Spotlight: Upper Kasilof River

There's no question that the Upper Kasilof is the least utilized stretch of boat-able water on the central Kenai Peninsula.  The question is why?  I still haven’t figured that out myself, and at the risk of advertising this “secret” stretch of water, I can’t help but promote all the great things it has to offer… incredible scenery, seclusion, the peaceful nature of drift boat fishing, great wildlife opportunities, and some darn good fishing!            The Upper Kasilof River starts at Tustumena Lake, the largest lake on the Kenai Peninsula at 73,437 acres.  Public access is at the end of Tustumena Lake Road, which is one of the major reasons the upper river is underutilized in my estimation.  The road is almost 10 miles long once you turn off the highway, and...

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Spotlight: Lower Kasilof River

It seems appropriate to start our spotlight series on one of the very first fisheries we tackle in the spring/summer season, the lower Kasilof!  This is the first post in our spotlight series, so stay tuned for more posts featuring more of your favorite fisheries in the near future! Close your eyes and imagine a river with a prolific run of hatchery King Salmon, the second biggest Sockeye salmon run on the Kenai Peninsula, a 2nd run of King Salmon with fish rivaling the largest salmon in the world, a great Silver Salmon run in the early fall, and the northernmost Steelhead fishery in North America...

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How Not To Be A Jerk On The Kenai

The Kenai River is a popular place to fish, for many reasons.  There are times of the year in which the traffic is heavy, both on shore as well as boats.  Heavy traffic lends itself to many opportunities for conflict, but if people follow a handful of simple rules, most of those conflicts can be avoided.   1. Don’t “Low Hole” Everyone knows the feeling of hitting your lines perfectly, expecting a bite at any second, only to have another boat run right up behind you only stopping once they’re basically on top of your gear… frustrating right?  Maybe you were going to get a bite, maybe not, but low-holing is uncool nonetheless.  Low-holing can happen when back-trolling, back-bouncing, drifting, and even while wading.  Just be considerate of others and remember that a...

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5 Reasons that Fall is my Favorite Time on the Kenai

Less people – It’s no secret that the Kenai Peninsula can get crowded during the summer months. The potential of a World Record King Salmon combined with a massive run of tasty Sockeye Salmon attracts anglers from all over the world during the busy month of July.  Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why it’s a popular time of the year, but many folks living in or traveling to Alaska are looking for a bit more of the true “Alaska experience” than they often get during the high season.  The fall is a much more serene environment here on the Kenai with less crowds on the highways, shorter lines in the stores, and less anglers on the river! Active fishing – I enjoy catching fish any way/place/technique/time that I can,...

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kenai king salmon fishing

Fishology Fishing Report & Update

We're hitting our stride here in the meat of the early season, and as a result of the chaos, we're way overdue for a newsletter… so here it is!   Fishing Report The early season King Salmon fishery has been quite the surprise to everyone so far, and we've really enjoyed the best early run we've seen in quite a few years. The Kasilof has produced very consistently with a very high proportion of keeper hatchery fish, and the Kenai is seeing enough kings that ADF&G has decided to liberalize the regulations to allow some retention. We'll continue to stay conservative and release all Kenai Kings, but boy is it encouraging to see a better first run return! As the king salmon run returns to normal, we urge all anglers to avoid the...

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Kenai Kings – Landing a True Giant

There are only a few places in the world that an angler can have realistic chance at getting bit by a truly giant salmon. Even in these very special places opportunities are rare, so when that extraordinary chance presents itself, you want to make it count. I'm not talking about your everyday nice catch.  I'm talking about true giants - salmon that can only be found in a couple places on Earth, salmon that test even the best gear and tackle out there, salmon that stretch out over 50 inches long! Even though they are becoming increasingly rare, the Kenai River is still the best bet for an angler to bump into a massive king salmon. I've done battle with quite a few monsters in the past, and learned my...

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