Getting into the Swing of Things

An inspirational essay on the joys of catching Kenai River Rainbow Trout on Streamers

Feeling a Kenai Rainbow Trout crush a streamer mid swing is arguably one of the most exciting ways to hook one of these mythical fish.  There are a couple times during the summer and fall when streamers out perform bead and flesh patterns.  This is a nice switch from the standard dead-drift presentation most commonly used.

guide holding a nice 26" kenai river rainbow trout

Mid June – July

From the Trout opener on June 11 thru July smolt, leech, and sculpin patterns can add a nice change from the standard dead drift. Swinging through deep holding pockets will put your streamer in the zone for battle with super charged chrome Trout.  

A variety of size and color patterns should live in your fly box.  Over the years more and more anglers have been fishing the early season Rainbow bite.  This increased pressure has educated the Trout population.  Olive, brown, and black patterns ranging in size from 2” – 5” are a must to keep up with the constantly changing minds of big Rainbow Trout. 

More food for thought……a small quiver of various sink tip lines help get that perfect swing at the desired depth, but,  sometimes “swinging” a streamer under an indicator will out fish a traditional sink tip set up.

A quick note for those that will be fishing  the opener (June 11) into early July.  Don’t target the fish sitting in the shallows!  These guys are working hard to make more Rainbow Trout so we have awesome fishing for years to come.  Not only does it disrupt them from spawing, Trout during this time are  under tremendous stress and are not eating.  There is a great chance that a spawning fish will not live after it is released due to exhaustion.  So please try to fish in deep holing water and main channel.  If you do hook a dark (spawning fish)  bring it in immediately and don’t take it out of the water for a photo try to get it released without consuming too much of its energy. 

guide netting nice keani river rainbow trout

Once the Kenai drops and the fish start to pocket up to eat as much as possible before winter is another great time to swing streamers.  Do to the low water, there are many great gravel bars and wading spots.  Swing during this time of year can lead to an encounter with a giant Keani Bow.