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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Kenai River Humpy

The Notorious Humpy

If I told you that on every even year for about a month-long period 100+ salmon are caught on my boat virtually every day, you’d probably shout “sign me up!” faster than a politician can make a promise on election day.  Well, it’s true.  Every even year when pink salmon, or “humpies” are running strong, we catch this aggressive and plentiful species of salmon on nearly every cast!  But believe it or not some anglers actually turn their noses up at, and even dread, humpy years.  Sure, they’re not as good-eating as sockeye salmon, and they don’t fight quite as hard as a silver salmon, but humpies have a lot of endearing qualities, and personally, I LOVE humpy years on the Kenai…. Here’s why:   When hooked in the lower stretches of...

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Alaska King Salmon Fishing

When is the Best Time to Visit Alaska?

"When is the best time to be there?"  This is probably the most common question I get from prospective visitors.  It seems like such a simple question, and one would likely expect a very simple answer… No such luck.  There are positives and negatives to every time of the year on the Kenai Peninsula, with dozens of factors to consider before finalizing your decision.  Below I have outlined what I believe are the 5 major factors to consider before you purchase those airline tickets to head north but click here before you try.   What Species of Fish Do You Want to Catch?  - The species that are available varies dramatically throughout the season.  If you’ve always dreamed of coming to Alaska and catching a King Salmon on the Kenai Peninsula, for example,...

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Never Leave Your Bugs at Home

On a recent fishing trip to the middle Kenai River, I was reminded of a lesson I learned many years ago.  This lesson though, is one that most Alaskan anglers have yet to learn for themselves.  Don’t ever leave your bugs at home! Alaska has a healthy reputation for being a bead and flesh fishery when it comes to trout, and for good reason.  One of the main reasons Alaskan trout grow to the ridiculous proportions that they do has very much to do with the all-you-can-eat protein buffet they receive every year in the form of salmon eggs and salmon flesh littering the river.  This food source is available for a good portion of the year as the different species and runs of salmon cycle through the river systems, leaving behind...

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