The Kenai River, located in Alaska, is world famous for it's salmon fishery. From the humongous chinook, also known as kings, to the modestly sized pinks. The beautiful green water runs red with spawning salmon during the "runs."Credit: Pixabay.com
Salmon will run from mid-May through September with the heaviest runs in July and August. If you want to catch the largest fish, then you need to go after the kings. They run best in June, with early and late runs, but the heaviest run will happen in late June. The largest numbers of salmon to migrate up the Kenai are the reds. Red, also known as sockeyes, have a red body and a green head. They are a beautiful fish and are easily spotted in the green water. Reds migrate between mid-July and Mid-August with the peak being early August. The silver salmon is my personal favorite because I believe that it is the best eating fish. Silvers, also called the coho, migrate between late july to late September with the peak being early September.
Credit: Jay Angel photo
Alaskan's utilize many different tactics in order to catch these fish. Most anglers on the Kenai use a Russian River Fly. This is a fly that is available just about anywhere in Anchorage, or at any of the tackle dealers close to the Kenai River. You will want to attach your weight between 18 and 24 inches above the fly. Use enough weight to keep your fly bouncing across the bottom of the river.
Cast your fly out into the river in your 10 o'clock and then allow it to bounce downstream until it passes your 2 o'clock. You do not want to cast very far because then you run a greater risk of becoming snagged and losing your entire rig. Watch your line as it runs downstream. If you see it stop, run upstream, or bounce, set the hook. You will want to really drive the hook home into the fish.
Most anglers look for a place where they can see large amounts of fish close to the bank. Then they can simply flip their rigs out to be close to the fish. The less line you have out, the less likely you are to snag.
Make sure that you check the local regualtions. The State of Alaska will sometime close certain areas of a stream or river to fishing. You need to know if this has happened. You also need to know if you are using a legal sized hook.
Alaska's Kenai River is breath-takingly beautiful. It also has a world class salmon fishery. So if you are planning a vacation, the best time to come is in late July to early September. This will be a once in a lifetime experience. Don't you owe it to yourself?