14 Feb February Update
For us, at Alaska Drift Away Fishing we would like to recognize one of our favorite valentines (after our wives), Kenai Rainbow Trout. It’s true, we absolutely love fishing for them, learning more about them, taking photos….the list goes on and on. Since we are in the month of love it seems fitting that we dedicate the February blog to our love and stoke of Kenai Rainbow Trout.
The Kenai River is a world-renowned fishery hosting several species of salmon all of which run on the large side of the scale, are a ton of fun to catch and fill the freezer with, but the resident fish was the major draw to the guides of Drift Away. A trout crazed bunch of young 20 somethings spending every free minute hunting Kenai bows while constantly trying to learn more and more was the mantra in the days before we made the move to guiding. To this day we are still head over heels in love with everything trout, maybe a touch more refined and efficient, but constantly learning.
The excitement of tangling with a Kenai beast still provides the same adrenaline rush today as it did when we were neophytes. The constant evolution of the “cat and mouse” game between trout and angler is forever a battle of wits and strategy. Time is on our side as we have seen many of the same situations unfold over the years, but each year is drastically different. The Kenai, like all rivers, are constantly changing, water temps and levels are the quickest to move and will dictate fish movement, holding areas, and bite activity. Shifting gravel bars and log jams are also creating and erasing fish-holding spots year after year.
There have been plenty of times when “that one pattern from 6 years ago” or something to that nature, was the pattern of the day. When the normal starting line up from the previous day is not producing we start asking why and begin thinking back to similar situations over our career to help quickly navigate us to being on the fish again. More times than not that one old school pattern works for that day or maybe the next, then loses interest to our pink-sided friends and once again goes back into the vault of dozens of patterns and lies dormant.
When all the planets align the Kenai transforms into a fisherman’s Disney Land. Each year we see many days of absolutely ridiculous fishing. For those of you that have experienced the Kenai in full glory, it is a memory that will not soon fade, and one of the most incredible days you will have trout fishing ever.
What’s our favorite time of year to fish trout? The easy default in September, as this month is when several species of salmon are spawning and trout are active. But, July and August produce days that rival the fall in terms of quantity and quality. June is a fantastic time to swing streamers and feel the hard charge of drag destroying mid 20″ chrome firecrackers. Each month offers a different tactic and zone on the Kenai, but each day is just as fun as the next and we love hunting trout all season.
Fishing season will be here before we know it and our stoke is already starting to ramp up in anticipation. The first trout trip of the season is always filled with excitement as it kicks off another year of “cat and mouse” with our favorite fish, Kenai River Rainbow Trout!