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Thread: Kenai Peninsula Steelhead

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    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Default Kenai Peninsula Steelhead

    Any of you out there chase steelhead on the KP or do most of you head to the SE Peninsula?

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    It used to be a lot of fun on the Kasilof river in early spring but that is pretty much wiped out now. I do believe they do pretty well down on the anchor in the fall but its been a while for me...

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    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    I've been doing some research on it and there are 3-4 creeks that were named and they also touched on the Kasilof River. The articles were a couple years old, but they said not too many people chase steelhead like they do the salmon.

    Hopefully some of the places that were named are big enough for a spey rod, but it seems most of them are rather small.

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    Your Spey rod on the Anchor river should be great! If you don't mind your rod tip over on the the other bank.lol

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    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by power drifter View Post
    Your Spey rod on the Anchor river should be great! If you don't mind your rod tip over on the the other bank.lol
    Haha, yeah, that's what I've read is that they're quite small. Going to have to look for a small 9'6"-10' 7wt single hand granger or similar rod.

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    I've fished the Anchor a few times with very little success, and it was fairly crowded. Will not be wasting anymore time there - better spent in SE where my only competition is four-legged.

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    The steelhead fishing is certainly more consistent in SE than it is anywhere here on the Kenai Peninsula... However, the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and the Ninilchik river get modest runs of steelhead each fall, and with some time and exploration you can find them and even have some success catching. A spey setup would be difficult to use on any of these rivers, and a single handed 7-8 weight is much more ideal for fishing these waters. The Kasilof also gets steelhead, and they can be caught in both spring and late fall, but I would concentrate on the 3 southern peninsula streams in the fall instead of trying to tackle the Kasilof, just my opinion. One thing to note is that people are very protective of these fisheries because the rivers are small and the # of fish is relatively small, so heavy traffic does affect the fishery significantly. Be cautious when attempting to extract meaningful information from local fly-fisherman
    www.akfishology.com

    fishing isn't about life or death... it's more important than that.

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    Member cod's Avatar
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    Default Spey the Kasilof..

    Quote Originally Posted by CTobias View Post
    Any of you out there chase steelhead on the KP or do most of you head to the SE Peninsula?
    ...Yes, people 'chase' (hammer) the steelies on the KP. It has been getting busier down here every yr. Fishing is generally pretty descent but of course does vary from yr to yr, even week to week. I do fish the Kasilof in the spring with my 2 hand rod but it isnt needed there-mite even luck into one of the early kings.If u want to fish the 2 hander tho, u have to do it on the Kasilof.
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

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    Member Cody77's Avatar
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    How about cast a 10'6" switch?????? Nobody has mentioned that yet.... People are always so quick to bash two handed fishing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody77 View Post
    ... People are always so quick to bash two handed fishing.
    That's because people are quick to bash what they don't understand. It's ok, when you're throwing tight loops out to 70' and they are chucking and ducking lead 15' in front of them there is no need to worry what they think when you're fishing the better run.

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    I fish Anchor river steelhead with a 11' 8wt ZAxis and a 11'9" 7wt TCX with Airflo Skagit Switch heads.I've also fished a 12'6" rod for kings too and it worked pretty good. If you want to use a mid or long belly then it won't work. If you do the normal down and across swing then theres enough river to use the Skagit style of casting, in most places. You might be able to get away with a Scandi head, I've never tried it, but i don't think you would have the backcast room.

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    Rigby257, I had a conversation 2 yrs ago with a spey caster - just below the bridge. He was having a lot of fun with his spey rod and told me he just loved getting it out! I wonder if you find you need to be selective about where to fish on rivers like Anchor though; where you need the extra range of a long rod? I haven't fished an 11 or 12 foot rod, but most casts I've made on KP rivers have been prob 60 ft or less maybe. I'm sure - like all other gear - there are tradeoffs, but bigger rivers like the Kenai seem like they might offer more situations for extended rods to shine. Thoughts? Thanks.

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    Member Cody77's Avatar
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    You can fish a two handed rod on any river any where. Since I started two handed casting three years ago I have yet to swing wiht a single hander. I casted a 5 wt switch for trout in the SE (tennessee, kentucky, north carolina) when I lived down there during the summer of 2010 and it worked wonders. I got a lot of stares, but I caught a lot of fish. There is not a more efficient way to swing flies. It's far beyond some **** Orvissed out yuppie style now. Go to Deneki outdoors and read posts by Ed Ward and Mike McCune. Ed reccomends sticking with one style of head, b/c switching heads from skagit to scandi drastically changes your casting stroke. The only place I have ever fished a scandi head is the lower deschutes for summer steelhead.

    Hell you can find rod companies that make standard spey and switch rods in a 4wt set up.

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    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody77 View Post
    I casted a 5 wt switch for trout in the SE (tennessee, kentucky, north carolina) when I lived down there during the summer of 2010 and it worked wonders. I got a lot of stares, but I caught a lot of fish.
    I can't wait to hit the South Holston and Watauga in September holding a 10'10" 5/6wt Bamboo Slpiced Ferrule Spey Rod. I can only imagine the looks I'll get with a spey, let alone a split grass spey!

    Going between Scandi and Skagit is not that bad since the heads are both shorter. Just takes some warming up after you have switched over. I mainly use scandi though. Going to mainly use the skagit to throw whole chickens and rabbits.

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    6xleech, I am a little selective/limited, depending on how you look at it, on where i two hand cast/fish. Finding the right water is more important than size of the river. The Kenai or Kasilof river is the best place for 2 handed rods, but they will work just about anywhere. Just because a 2 hand rod can cast 100 feet doesn't mean you have to when 30 is enough. But, for sure being able to bomb a cast on a bigger river is fun.

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    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Research is good... and fun too

    Quote Originally Posted by Rigby257 View Post
    6xleech, I am a little selective/limited, depending on how you look at it, on where i two hand cast/fish. Finding the right water is more important than size of the river. The Kenai or Kasilof river is the best place for 2 handed rods, but they will work just about anywhere. Just because a 2 hand rod can cast 100 feet doesn't mean you have to when 30 is enough. But, for sure being able to bomb a cast on a bigger river is fun.
    Thanks, Rigby257 - that helps. I'm sure many are curious about these rods. Most probably do think of them as distance-casting tools, but from what you guys are saying here, they work fine close-in too.

    CTobias - sorry about the hijack. Anyways, back to steelies, ya?
    I like what you said in post #3, "I've been doing some research on it..." These sea-run fish are available, but finding where and when is where locals have an advantage just because they can get to the waters more often and probably share more information with each other.

    Markw3 (and others) made some comments about KP steelies that I agree with, including that locals don't necessarily want you in their spots - and who can blame them. KP's road-accessible, weekend-trip reachable...

    Like gear and conditions, it's more fun when you find an ideal match. KP streams get cold, sometimes the fish do too, I think and too often, the KP stream you've been looking forward to fishing is blown-out by seasonal rains. Oh, well, you still find regulars who get out there. For several years, I used to see a tent along the Anchor - the same one each Fall. I know that some of those days were slow, but for that guy, being on the river was enough. Fall is a beautiful time to be on any stream, but we are luckier than most, especially if we are willing to work for our opportunities. Ken Marsh wrote a nice piece on one of the KP regulars, Tiffany Hanson (
    http://peninsulaclarion.com/stories/101801/ala_101801ala0060001.shtml), which I think painted the picture well.

    Good thread, man. I'm still hoping a Spring trip for steelhead will work out for me - requires airfare though. Thanks and good luck.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTobias View Post
    That's because people are quick to bash what they don't understand. It's ok, when you're throwing tight loops out to 70' and they are chucking and ducking lead 15' in front of them there is no need to worry what they think when you're fishing the better run.
    You got that right.
    Even the two handers bash the centerpin fishermen back East.

    Seems the two handers get all uppity when the CP fishermen are able to do that 70' cast and then run the drift 100, 200, 300 feet down stream. The teo handers are outfishing the single handers, so the single handers are jealous, the CP'ers are outfishing the two handers and the single handers and they are both PO'ed. It's a viscious circle. LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRIFTER_016 View Post
    You got that right.
    Even the two handers bash the centerpin fishermen back East.

    It's a viscious circle. LOL
    Oh I know all about that cycle. I consider myself a fisherman first and foremost and will use any legal method necessary. I own a lot of float gear and am not ashamed to admit it.

    My friends who pin think I'm a water frothing snagger for using a spey rod and my friends who use a spey rod think I'm a dirty bait chucker when I use a float rod.

    I can never win. I think they're just mad because regardless of what rod I am using I usually outfish them. Haha.

    Can't wait to get up there and start doing some exploring of some fishy spots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CTobias View Post
    Oh I know all about that cycle. I consider myself a fisherman first and foremost and will use any legal method necessary. I own a lot of float gear and am not ashamed to admit it.

    My friends who pin think I'm a water frothing snagger for using a spey rod and my friends who use a spey rod think I'm a dirty bait chucker when I use a float rod.

    I can never win. I think they're just mad because regardless of what rod I am using I usually outfish them. Haha.

    Can't wait to get up there and start doing some exploring of some fishy spots.

    You got that right.
    I will use what ever technique is the best at the time.
    I'm not a "snob" when it comes to fishing.
    My favorite method for fishing steelies @ the Anchor is swinging flies with my one hander.
    Although I do well with the CP too.
    I'd would clean up if they allowed bait!!!
    The combination of bait and a CP is almost as effective as running a net across the river!!! LOL.

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