June & July 2018 Fishing Report

June & July 2018 Fishing Report

Mother Nature calmed down considerably in July. June’s volatile weather swings mellowed out and offered anglers good fishing on the river and salt water. As a whole we were pleased with the outcome of July, the Red run numbers were low, but with the exception of a few days, we found pretty solid fishing. Trout fishing was solid, and the folks of J&J Smart Charters and Official Charters had clients filling Halibut limits daily.

Red Salmon

The biologists predicted a small return of Red (Sockeye) Salmon to the Cook Inlet and Copper River, they were spot on. As I write this in early August our numbers of Red Salmon in the Kenai are over 700K, which is just shy of an escapement goal of 750K, more than likely we will see more fish enter the river to some degree in next week or two.

Most of July produced pretty good Sockeye fishing, many limits were caught. We had a few days with slow fishing, but as whole, we were very happy with the consistent action despite the numbers of fish that were entering the river on a daily basis.

We look forward to what next year brings, thankfully there is no correlation between runs on a yearly basis, meaning just because this year was slow has no bearing on what will happen next year. We are always optimistic about the upcoming year.

A successful day Red Salmon Fishing with Alaska Drift Away Fishing.

Rainbow trout

Early July fished quite well, the lack of pressure kept the resident bows eager to party with the patterns that we presented. This phenomenon is rare as June typically fishes great, but due to the conditions discussed in last month’s blog early July was sweet.

As we slipped into mid-month the fishing did not pick up, as usual, the low numbers of Reds entering the river were definitely felt in the trout world. Kenai Rainbows rely heavily on anglers filleting Reds and throwing the carcasses and egg skeins back into the river, which is what can make late July one of the best times of year to fish trout.

The small daily numbers of Reds entering the river kept many bank anglers interests low and not fishing, those that did line the shores of the Kenai found tough fishing and long periods of not catching while swinging lead and hooks for the much-anticipated freezer filler salmon. This translated into inconsistent food for trout keeping the bows pretty spread out and mostly grumpy making finding fish and consistent fishing tough. Our hearts go out to the Kenai bows as June and July did not offer a ton of food for our friends, however, in a short while pinks and kings will start spawning and fatten our pink-sided buddies soon!

Rainbow Trout Kenai River Fishing 2019

king salmon

Due to the repeated small returns of native-run King Salmon the guides of Alaska Drift Away Fishing are continuing to not fish for these amazing fish. It was an easy decision, but we truly miss hunting these legendary beasts.


May – September the captains of J&J Smart Charters and Official Charters are putting folks on limits of Halibut! These two outfits offer great fishing and diversity to your fishing package! No fishing trip is complete without putting some halibut in the freezer.