Fantastic Fall & Why we like it

Fantastic Fall

In terms of blog writing, this is going to one of the last before we switch into our fishing reports for the fast approaching 2019 season!  We are very excited as to what the season has to offer.  One of our favorite times of the season is the first half of the fall trout bite.  We consider this time to be from August 25 – September 15. We fish trout in the fall most years until the end of September and some years into October. Click here for our trophy trout calendar.

Why do we like it?

This time frame puts us right in the mix of the king salmon spawn and the red salmon spawn.  The end of August sees the peak of the kings spawning on the Kenai,  kings spawn literally through the entire Kenai River system offering us plenty of water to find and stay on trophy bows. Meanwhile, red salmon are staging up in the first few miles below Skilak Lake and some are beginning to spawn.  Keep in mind this is the first readily accessible food source for Kenai bows since early August…hungry is an understatement.

fish eggs used for fishing rainbow trout in alaska

Watching trout get fatter by the day never gets old.  As we slip into early September the feeding frenzy keeps ramping up, the king spawn is beginning to taper off, this is when we see a nice push of migratory fish showing themselves above Bings Landing.  Below Skilak Lake the reds are spawning in full swing.  Kenai bows are now fully immersed in overindulgence, and their football like proportions prove it.

By mid - September the Middle Kenai is highly concentrated with trout looking to get fat as possible before winter.

By mid – September the Middle Kenai is highly concentrated with trout looking to get fat as possible before winter.  There is no shortage of food, some reds are spawning, some getting ready to spawn, while some have completed their life cycle and can be seen floating downriver and washing on banks.  This is when the bite fluxes start to shift, typically erratically.  No cause for panic, we see this all the time, fortunately, we have a formula to sift through all the possible patterns and hone in on the “big fish” pattern.

kenai river rainbow trout

We like erratic bites coupled with many options of where and what to fish.  For most the inconsistencies prove a mental game causing excessive moving and switching of patterns.  Unfortunately, this habitual pattern keeps anglers off the actual bite and the fuel bill high.  Nick Ohlrich (co-owner/guide of Drift Away) just wrote an article in the 2019 April edition of Fish Alaska Magazine about the mental game and navigating changing conditions.

Don’t worry it’s not over

The second half of September offers anglers a special treat that we call the Kenai Double Dip.  The dub dip incorporates two hard-charging species into one day.  The 2nd run of silver salmon is in full swing on the Kenai!  Generally, days begin at first light targeting silvers (silvers bite best in low light conditions, as you notice the morning silver bite taper off conveniently the morning trout bite ramps up.  Boating a limit of silvers and tangling with trophy trout in one day is an experience you will not soon forget and one that you will want to repeat.  To find out more about the Double Dip scroll down to the March blog.

kenai river rainbow trout