Fly Fishing Kenai River, Alaska

The first week of September started off with a bang, our biggest fish of the season came during this time. This can be attributed to the beginning of the Red Salmon spawn and the end of the King Salmon spawn. Water levels were still way above average keeping Rainbows in small pockets, but those pockets were awesome.

At this point we were fishing 20 miles of river! Trout were keying in on egg patterns, fresh, old, and sizes 7mm – 12mm were all fair game. Talk about an information overload!

Typically with a “Sockeye year” the majority of productive water consists in the first five miles below Skilak Lake. One advantage of high water during this time was spreading out the food source, resulting in spreading out the fish. Consolidated food equals consolidated fish, naturally making catching Rainbow Trout easier. This is good right? In some cases yes, but on the World Famous Kenai River this means consolidated angling pressure. So long story short the high water made it possible for the creative angler to avoid congested angling pressure to some degree.


For the second half of September our efforts became concentrated in the top few miles below Skilak Lake. Knowing the bite timing and staying on top of which bead at which minute gave us some great fishing. Many mid to high 20” fish were caught. Same as always, being creative and running a little different program than most gave us an edge on netting some Kenai River beauties.


Luckily for us when the afternoon bite turned on most people were not around for it! Spotty bite fluxes kept many anglers moving around to find fish, the fact is the fish were always there, but became ultra sensitive to boat pressure. Once the bite really died it was time to stay persistent and keeping moving around the productive lines because it was bound to turn on. Typically 20 minutes after boats left the Trout mysteriously began to party.