Jump to content
2019 UJ SUMMER SILENT AUCTION IS LIVE Read more... ×
barna

Fishing on the Kenai

Recommended Posts

barna
  • My youngest daughter will be working in Alaska this summer, she will be in Seward on the Kenai peninsula.  My wife and I are in the process of planning a visit July 4throgh 12 if all goes well. I should be able to take 3 or 4 days and hit the water with a fly rod.  Would like to DIY as much as possible, but not opposed to getting a guide.  I am looking to stay on the rivers and streams not sure about salt water at this time. I am taking a 5 wt and 8wt rods, this should cover my needs for the most part.  I am not picky, would be happy to catch grayling all day as long as I can avoid crowds. Also don’t mind doing a little hiking if necessary.  Bear encounter is a concern, but not enough to keep me out of areas within reason.  I read that a lot of fisherman carry side arm in case of bear encounter. Is this really necessary? I have a Beretta 40SW I can bring along but not looking to upgrade to a 45 or 50 cal. Any specific side arm regulations to worry in AK?  Just strap on and go?

This will be my first trip to Alaska, grateful for any information you guys could provide.

 

Barna

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
watermen
Posted (edited)

image.png.ebaf93c3b584220673be19e8ee67af03.pngHere is a picture from the web of the Kenai about the time of year you will be there.  Avoiding crowds will be a trick on the road system.  I have never fished the road system that time of year.  I called Soldotna on your and my behalf just now.  Try K2 in anchorage or high adventure in Soldotna for a fly out trip.  There is some good fishing right across the sound or inlet on the other side.  You will need someone to split the trip costs with, it is worth doing.  Fishing on the road system it is a circus.  You will be between salmon runs usually!, there is some decent trout fishing in the rivers on the peninsula.  A guide might be worth it for one day.  Going to Homer to salt water fish or using the beach fleet in nanilchik (sp) would be worth a day.  Digging razor clams on the beach would also be fun if the tides are right.     Seward has some decent saltwater trolling for salmon and halibut fishing if you take one of the boats to the edge of the sound by Montegue Island  (long run) expense reflects this.  There is no real river system on the Seward side of the peninsula.  The sealife center is worth a day.  Hiking exit glacier is one of the best glacier experiences there is.

image.pngThat is all I got, 2 weeks later and I would take you.  You will enjoy it if you have never been.

Edited by watermen
clarity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thunder Bay

I have experience in the Homer area (Anchor, Ninilchik, etc.) for salmon and Dolly Varden but none in the Seward area.  As previously mentioned, salmon fishing in Alaska is all about timing (the runs dictate the fishing) and is heavily regulated with complex rules to help protect the fishery.  It’s tough to navigate through some of the rules for your first time DIY.

 

In my opinion, the local halibut fishing is terrific but it’s more about gathering delicious seafood than sport fishing. 

 

There are a multitude of fishing guides around Cooper Landing on the Kenai River prior to Seward.  I would recommend reaching out to Alaska Troutfitters (http://aktroutfitters.com/) and checking what options they would recommend for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
garyRI

Think about flying in and being dropped at a state or federal owned cabin.

 

"The Division of Sport Fish manages six public-use cabins located on fishing lakes in Interior Alaska. These cabins are available without fee by advance reservation only, and these reservations must be made by phone or in person during normal office hours at (907) 459-7228. Reservations may be made up to six months in advance, for stays of up to five consecutive nights. More information regarding these public use cabins is available at (907) 459-7228."

 

I lived in Kodiak for two years. It was a long time ago but I doubt things have changed much. There are state and federal owned fly in cabins.. Your daughter might be able to do that for you. Also the Alaska DNR used to have a lot of circulars that descibed to overlapping salmon runs. Around the 4th in Kodiak the reds would have been petering out, pinks would have been in full force, a few silvers would be around and there were always a few dog/chums around.

 

"The Division of Sport Fish manages six public-use cabins located on fishing lakes in Interior Alaska. These cabins are available without fee by advance reservation only, and these reservations must be made by phone or in person during normal office hours at (907) 459-7228. Reservations may be made up to six months in advance, for stays of up to five consecutive nights. More information regarding these public use cabins is available at (907) 459-7228."

Alaska State Parks Public Use Cabins

Alaska State parks offers 84 cabins and 8 ice huts for rent by the public. These cabins are in 18 state park units, as far north as Fairbanks, in Interior Alaska, and as far south as Ketchikan, in Southeast Alaska.

Several other government agencies have public use cabins for rent in Alaska. If you do not find the cabin or area of the state you are looking for with Alaska State Parks, then try one of these other agencies.

link to general cabin information General Cabin Information
link to cabin reservation and fee information Cabin Reservation and Fee Information
Link to how to make cabin reservations Online Cabin Reservation Instructions
link to cabin access information Cabin Access Summary
Link to map of all cabins Map with Location of Parks with Cabins

 

hite Mountains National Recreation Area - Alaska Cabins

Overview

Located just an hour's drive from Fairbanks, Alaska, the one-million-acre White Mountains National Recreation Area offers stunning scenery, peaceful solitude and outstanding opportunities for year-round recreation including hiking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skiing, wildlife and scenic viewing. There are 12 beautiful log cabins throughout the White Mountains offering many opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Be sure to carry your cabin permit at all times while in the White Mountains National Recreation Area. Also located in the White Mountains National Recreation Area are two trail shelters that are available on a first-come, first-served basis only.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
garyRI

And there are probably more. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
garyRI
19 hours ago, barna said:

5 wt and 8wt rods,

Nothing wrong with those sizes but bring an extra and bring spinning gear too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WyomingArt

First: get a copy of the large ,thick, popular, published since 1949, paperback book " Mileposts"  a mile by mile guide to about everything on the road system, and much off the road. It shows lodging, big  MAPS,  fishing and hunting guides, air and boat charters,food, stores, visitor services, medical/dental/ LEO/ emergency #'s,  gas, fishing , hunting, important phone numbers like doctors , vets, etc. and of course, much advertising.  It's available used at Amazon, you don't need the latest edition , it doesn't change much in 1 yr.

 

The Kenai is hard to fish from shore with a fly rod, too much brush, so float fishing is best. A good roll cast is a plus.  Be prepared for combat fishing though from the banks.

 

You can scout and find a few  OK, not great, places to walk to the river  along the road between Cooper Landing and Soldotna. There are fly shops and guides at Cooper Landing near the confluence of the Russian and Kenai.  There are good canoe trails near Sterling, many small lakes, some creeks, and smaller rivers, too much to include in an email. Note , the best trout fishing will be late season, not July.

 

Re: handguns. Yes, AK is a may carry state.   Multiple threads here, do a search.  IMO the .40 would NOT be my carry for bears.  Usually when the salmon runs start the bears gorge and are pretty mellow. Your mileage may vary. Seriously, if you really have to carry a gun for bears, use a 12 ga pump with Brenneke slugs  and a full  stock, not a pistol grip and especially NOT some buckshot followed by a generic soft lead Foster slug made for whitetails. Let the flame wars begin, I won't even answer.  OO buck has been used on Brown bears, and some people get lucky. Bears have been killed with a  9mm Parabellum, that doesn't make it a good idea. Stack the deck in your favor. End of sermon.

 

  IF you fish the Kenai, you'll have lots of company, shore or drift boat, raft, etc.  To get away from the crowds there are big lakes along the Kenai with some road access. Google earth and the Milepost book are helpful.

 

Maybe get bear spray at Fred Meyer,  3 locations in ANC and one in Soldotna, good for fishing gear and licenses and / or groceries.  Fred Meyer has a pretty  good sporting goods dept. Also there's a Costco store in Anchorage for bulk food. Anchorage has a good fly shop at Mountain View Sports on Old Seward Highway.

 

Good luck , tight lines, post photos, and figure you'll get some rain,  bring your best rain gear,  knee high rubber boots are good, also  DEET is your friend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alaskan Swamp Collie

Best bet is to get charters in Seward or Homer. Lots of people that time of year, us locals usually stay out of town if we can during July. For peace and quiet try the Swanson river canoe trails, lots of places have canoes to rent and the crowds are much less. Catch and release on rainbows and char, not hugh, teens to the lower 20's, but more relaxed. Bears are an issue, bear spray and a gun backup are comforting. Early russian reds are mostly done by then although you still should be able to get some "blushed" ones and the late runs won't be in in force till 3rd week of July. Some dolly fishing on the lower peninsula streams, again not big, but not crowded. If a decent silver year trolling in Seward should be starting up farther out the bay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WI Outdoor Nut

A little bit of a drive from where you will be, but we found it worth it, we hit the Russian river and went right below the refuge.  You needed to be their early to avoid the crowds, but to be honest, after 3-4 hours of fishing, my arms were so sore I had a hard time hanging onto my rod.  It was a 3-4 mile hike in, which filters out most people.  One a cautionary note, we did hike in their one morning early (4 am) and a sow and two cubs were feeding.  There is not enough room in this valley for both of us, so we needed to wait until they headed out. 

 

The charter fishing out of the area you are looking is great.  Mixed bags are common and some of the best fish/seafood I have ever had has been halibut out of that area fresh. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
barna

Thanks for the information guys, looks like my timing got moved up to the last week of June.  Got the plane tickets, cabin booked and car rental reserved. Just hope my work schedule does not blow things up.  Probably will take a charter out of Seward for halibut and try my luck on the rivers/creeks for the rest of the week.  With the extended daylight up that far north, should help with finding additional time for fishing. 

 

Barna  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alaskan Swamp Collie

better timing for the early run reds on the russian. See if you can get a combo charter(salmon and Halibut). word through the grapevine was that last year the feeder king fishing in Seward was the best in 20 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Remo
5 hours ago, barna said:

Thanks for the information guys, looks like my timing got moved up to the last week of June.  Got the plane tickets, cabin booked and car rental reserved. Just hope my work schedule does not blow things up.  Probably will take a charter out of Seward for halibut and try my luck on the rivers/creeks for the rest of the week.  With the extended daylight up that far north, should help with finding additional time for fishing. 

 

Barna  

 

You absolutely have to do a max effort PE when this trip is over. Best of luck up there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
fishvik
17 hours ago, barna said:

Thanks for the information guys, looks like my timing got moved up to the last week of June.  Got the plane tickets, cabin booked and car rental reserved. Just hope my work schedule does not blow things up.  Probably will take a charter out of Seward for halibut and try my luck on the rivers/creeks for the rest of the week.  With the extended daylight up that far north, should help with finding additional time for fishing. 

 

Barna  

I was detailed with USFS for 3 mos and was on the Kenai for solstice. Just remember to sleep. The fishing is amazing and sometimes with all the light you forget to go to bed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
barna

Looks like work got in the way and I have to reschedule, now looking at the last 2 weeks of July or first week of August, hoping that the crowds will die down and the fish will be still in the rivers.

 

thanks for all the great information,

 

Barna

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mister grouse
On 3/9/2019 at 10:34 PM, WyomingArt said:

if you really have to carry a gun for bears, use a 12 ga pump with Brenneke slugs  and a full  stock, not a pistol grip and especially NOT some buckshot followed by a generic soft lead Foster slug made for whitetails. Let the flame wars begin, I won't even answer.  OO buck has been used on Brown bears, and some people get lucky.

 

My research when I was preparing for flyi-in drop tent camping on trout rivers in remote alaska led me to conclude  that a 20 guage sabot slug had more knock down power than a 45 or a 357...plus you can take birdshot for grouse or other species if they are in season.. I carried a 870 youth model 20 guage.  I knew I could hit what I needed to with that shotgun , not s much with a pistol.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×