2016 Fishing Season Review

We hope everyone had a geat holiday season! At Drift Away Fishing we are full steam ahead for the upcoming season. If you’ve been thinking about heading to Alaska in 2017 contact us, we’d love to help you set up the trip of a lifetime. There are still peak dates available but space is filling fast.

Before we move into the future lets recap the 2016 fishing season:

1st Run Kasilof Kings

We absolutly love fishing Kings during this time and what a run it was! The fishing started off as a trickle, but quickly turened into hitting several Kings in a trip. Once Fish and Game opened bait around mid June we were hitting double digits for the first few days. Reality set back in shortly after and we went back to hooking several fish a trip. All in all the 1st run on the Kasilof was one of the best returns we have seen in a few years.

1st Run of Kasilof Kings in 2016

1st Run Kasilof Reds

Usually by the third week of June we start seeing fishable numbers of Red Salmon returning to the Kasilof, however this year started off pretty slow and very inconsistent. As early July began numbers started showing up, but by then we were over to the Kenai because it was on fire!

2nd Run Kenai Reds

They showed up early this year and were big! We were pleased with how early the Reds showed up in fishable numbers (late 1st week in July). Quick limits lasted through July, but as August approached the run simply died. This is very unusual as early August is typically great Red fishing, but salmon are salmon and will return when they want to with as many as there are for that year.

Gutting a 2nd Run of Kenai Reds in 2016

1st Run Kenai Silvers

Silvers showed up a touch late, and thinned out a touch early. Once they arrived in fishable numbers limits happened pretty quickly and almost everyday. The trend slowed fairly early though, limits were still hooked but a fair amount of work went into filling the fish box

Good catch for the 1st Fun of Kenai Silvers in 2016

2nd Run Kenai Silvers

This was a pretty tough fishery from early September through the 3rd week where it seemed that more fish were starting to push in. Limits were tough to achieve at first, but soon with some persistence fish started to regularly fill the fish box.

With the exception of 1st run Kasilof Kings the salmon run was a touch off and mirrored eachother in terms of size and percentatge of return. Off years happen and have no correlation on a year to year basis. We are very excited for what 2017 brings and so should you!

Kenai Rainbow Trout

Our trout opener (June 11) quickly put into perspective the dynamic situtation that was at hand and about to unfold. An early, warm spring lead to high water an early trout spawn and migration down river. This happens every year, but usually not this quick. The first few outings of the season quickly brought us aware that the trout have drastically moved down river in search of food due to the high water, causing the trout population to be spread ou over 45 miles of river. Good fish were still being found, we just had to cover lots of water.

The next peak time for Kenai rainbows occurs during the last two weeks of July. As Reds enter the river anglers beging to catch them and release the carcasses back into the water where hungry Trout voraciously feed on the easy food source. This time of year can and will rival the fall fishery in terms of size and numbers. The below average return of Reds in coujuction with high water kept food and rainbows spread out and inconsistent. Once again we were still able to find some great fish, but hard work and persistence was the ticket.

August presented itself with two hurdles, the first was due to the small return of reds and high water, the second was a small return of King salmon. Usually the first week and a half of August produce spectucalur trout fishing, but our food source was not there keeping the trout spread out and elusive. We almost always see this for a few days during mid august as the river transitions from red salmon to King salmon spawning. The low return of Kings lead to a small and inconsistent King spawn. The saving grace was the Pink salmon, they came in the river fairly early and began to spawn fairly early. Trout began to actively seek out Pink beds and the few King beds. We had some great days during this time, but it was short lived as spawn beds would turn on and turn off quickly keeping the bows constantly on the move.

Happy Guide and client with a Kenai River Rainbow trout caught in September 2016

September wasn’t as tricky as August, but patience and a strong plan was need to connect the dots and put big boys in the net. The sporatic and inconsistent Pink spawn kept things interesting during most of September a glut (too much food in the water) during week three(ish) required us to be very tactical to hook the Kenai Trophy’s that we all love. Both situtations created moving and picky fish.

From start to finish we had some incredible days, the Kenai is world famous for a reason. The overall trend for the trout fishery in 2016 was definitely tougher, having years of experience was a huge help at piecing toghter the puzzle to make rods bends and memories happen. Thankfully we guide the Kenai home to monster rainbows, so even when it’s tough you still have the chance to hook into the fish of a lifetime.

Kenai Rainbow Trout caught in Alaska

Looking forward to fishing with you in 2017 and creating new memories and adding to exsiting ones