15 Jan Happy New Year!
We hope that everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday season! For us at Drift Away the 2015 season is here, repeat guest are making bookings as well as new faces. Now is the time to lock in peak dates for your target species this summer. But, before we delve into the New Year, lets take time to recap 2014.
1st Run Kasilof King Salmon
Last year was one of the best returns of 1st run Kasilof Kings in years! Single hook and no bait was a great deterrent to many anglers, fortunately, we knew better. Hooking several Kings a day with hardly any boats on the water was a dream come true. We are hoping that this year mirrors last year!
Only hatchery fish may be kept, natural fish need to be released. Don’t let the prospect of not being able to keep a King sway you from targeting these awesome fish. Feeling the power of a King is worth the experience whether you can keep it or not.
Late May – the third week of June is the window to target these guys.
Red Salmon (Sockeye)
The Kenai and Kasilof both receive runs of Reds. With the decline of late run Kings the past few years, many guests are targeting Reds as another solid option.
We have found that most guests prefer catching Reds to Kings! Red fishing is extremely more hands on, more action, and typically a limit of Reds will outweigh a King in terms of meat retention.
The 2014 Red run was record breaking on the Kasilof, and above average on the Kenai. Limits were a common occurrence, while smiles happened daily. As with all fishing some days are more productive than others, but any day spent of the river is a great day!
Mid June – the first week of August is the time to fill the freezer with Red Salmon.
2014 produced an average run of Silvers during the 1st run on the Kenai and Kasilof (August). The general consensus was these fish were big! 12+ lb Silvers were not uncommon! The huge volume of Pink Salmon that invaded the river during this time also brought challenges to enticing the finicky Silver. Tactics and techniques needed to switch in order to keep hooks out of Pinks and primarily in Silvers. As always a little creativity proved to be the best bait to fill limits.
Throwing spinners and flies out produced back trolling. With all the pinks in the river back trolling became a Pinkathon, non-stop pink action, producing only few Silvers. While spinners and fly gear produced an extremely high Silver to Pink ratio, they’re also exciting ways to target Silvers.
Seeing a Silver follow a fly or spinner than inhaling it next to the boat will get anyone’s heart pumping.
Peak 1st run Silvers is approximately August 10th – August 20th ish.
What a season! Quality fishing from mid June – Oct, and one of the best falls in years. Our Rainbow Trout season runs June 11 – early October due to the length of the season we will break it down by the month for better clarity.
June – We saw another solid June fishery this year, streamers, beads, and flesh all had their place. Hard charging chrome Bows dominated the deep feeding pools, it wasn’t uncommon to see 90’ of fly line disappear on a turbo 22” fish! Typically these fish will fight harder than their larger friends, but we never mind hooking into a big Kenai Chrome Bow to diversify the day.
July – The 2nd run of Red Salmon began early (9th ish), producing an early supply of food for hungry Trout. The crux during July fishing was the water temp, it was warm, really warm. 51-53 degrees is a normal high temp on the Kenai in July, high 50’s even hitting 60 became the new norm for a bit. The fish slowly adjusted to the warm water, but most large Trout were pretty lethargic most of the day creating a small big fish bite window. We quickly honed in on this time and capitalized, fat mid – high 20” Trout kept us occupied. As the temps warmed up the big fish bite would turn into nice fish for the rest of the day with an occasional beefy feeder as well.
August – The first week of August fished quite well, fat hungry Trout still gorging on Red Salmon was the consistent theme. Mid-August slowed down as the Red food source dwindled and only a few Kings spawning.
The third week of August was when it all happened….. The planets aligned and a near perfect fall began. The Pink spawn was consistently underway, water temps and levels were acceptable, and the Trout were very excited about all of it.
Encounters with 10+lb Bows became a daily occurrence.
September thru 1st week of October – The Kenai shifted into full party mode during the first week of September and kept going into early October. As mentioned near perfect conditions kept the fish active and gorging, 25” fish would have girths in access of 18”! By early October countless 10lb Trout were boated and several in the 15lb range.
We would see the bite slow on days with a dramatic change in water temp/level or a combo of both. Fortunately there were not many of these days, and the fish adjusted quickly to any change.
The last five weeks of our season (end of August – early October) was one for the ages! For those of you that were there, well, you saw what the Kenai can offer. If you are thinking about Trout fishing on the Kenai, do it! Experience a completely different style of Trout fishing with big results!