September 2018 Fishing Report

In outdoor sports Mother Nature most often has a huge say in the outcome, when the planets align absolute magic can happen. This September the trout fishing on the Kenai was a great example of what “aligned planets” can fish like.

We were absolutely blessed not only with great fishing, but we also had great folks. Many were repeat anglers that we have fished and shared adventures with for years, and several new faces that were fortunate enough to see the Kenai at it’s best. Brad and Lydia were new faces this year and brought a ton of mojo with them. In 4 days of fishing they boated a 30.5″x18″, 29.75″x18″, 29.5″x19″ and many in the 24″-28″ range! Check their fish out below.

1st Week of September

The nice and gentle uptick in productivity that we were seeing in late August continued into the first week of September. We were catching quantities of trout and some massive dolly varden. Consistently putting nice Kenai bows’ into the net in the 24″-27″ range and rolling a few bigger was becoming the norm.

1ST WEEK OF SEPTEMBER Kenai River Rainbow Trout

The refuge (below Skilak Lake) was starting to show signs of a glut forming due to the huge amount of pink salmon spawning. The glut in the refuge would only intensify as September progressed.

2nd Week of September

This was the week were the big rainbow trout party truly began.  Below the refuge pinks began spawning consistently coupled with the large amount of food that was washing down from the refuge set the stage for pure awesome.  Migratory bows were making their way into these zones daily, the weather, water temps, and CFS were all solid as well. Our biggest bows of the season came during the end of this week.

3rd Week of September

Week 3 finished quite well in the beginning, but the Skilak Glacier ice damn broke and began raising the water level.  At first, this was great as the food was being washed out of shallow pools and deposition zones. However, when the Kenai began raising over a foot a day, the writing was on the wall that the party was ending quickly, and it did.  A second glut was brought on buying a huge increase in water.  Below the refuge eggs and flesh could be seen floating everywhere down the river.

This was great for the trout.  They quickly sought refuge from the swift current and were greeted with plenty of slow water zones packed full of food.

By the end of week 3 most anglers concentrated their efforts in the refuge, it was still glutting up there, but manageable.  It was absolutely incredible to see how many pinks were still making beds and spawning!  The tough part became hiding from boats, nothing crazy, but with still a ton of food in the river the bows had no problem shutting down when they felt the slightest amount of pressure.

4th Week of September

The bows were still hard to get as we slid into the last week.  Water was dropping slowly which started to get the bite to pick up as the water dropped faster the bite increased as well.  Some real nice fish were tangled with during this time.

Overall this was one of the best Septembers we’ve seen in years, the ice damn was a little bump in the road but not catastrophic.  The mid-range fish (22″- 26″) were absolutly stunning, we landed many of them, plenty boosting 17″+ girths!  Absolutly wonderful!!!!

End of August happy client with their rainbow trout

All in all this September was pure magic.  Showing clients the true potential of this river is one of the many rewards of our job, and we were able to show it for many days to many folks.  As always we are looking forward with great optimism for what the 2019 season will produce.  Until then the guides of Drift Away Fishing wish you a safe and wonderful winter.