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Thread: Fishing from a wheelchair in Kenai

  1. #1
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    Default Fishing from a wheelchair in Kenai

    I have certainly enjoyed the posts here so I put to you learned fish mongers the following:

    You know how we have so much to do in the summer we sometimes put things off until "later". Well one of those things was getting out of Fairbanks to trek down to the Kenai to do some fishing. While I was putting it off I got an invitation for an all expense paid trip to Afghanistan....just me and 328 of my closest friends. As luck (bad) would have it certain Afghans don't have a real sense of hospitality and they showed me by blowing my right lower leg off and shattering most of the bone structure everywhere else between my knees and pelvis. Consequently I now ride a wheelchair except for limited mobility with a prosthetic leg and half-arm crutches.

    So before anybody says it...thank you for thanking me for my service. It's not about that...it's about fishing advice.

    My wife is taking distance summer classes through the Kenai Peninsula Campus in Soldotna, but she needs to go down for a lab session on Friday the 29th and Saturday the 30th. While we are there I want to spend at least one day fishing in Kenai. We can't afford a charter so I want to fish from someplace she can drop me in the morning and pick me up in the evening. Is there a peer, or jetty, or some drive-to piece of hardback where I can shore cast? What bait should I use and should I use a salmon rod (standard open face) or my dad's old salt rig?

    This IS going to be my one and only hurrah on the Kenai, so despite my limitations, I want to make the best of it. I'm not sure how many winters I've got left in me especially since our heating oil in Fairbanks is delivered by a masked bandit who usually carries a gun

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Let me start by saying I don't fish in the Kenai at all so I know little about what you need to use, but I do know that there are several places that have very nice wheelchair accessible fishing boardwalks. It has been a while since I have been to any of the camp grounds around there, but I know the one under the Bridge in Soldonata would work for you, the one behind the Fred Meyer also has some as well. One of the regular Kenai guys will get on here after the weekend is over and will have more details but rest assured there are good places for you to fish.

    Thanks for your service to our country.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

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    JR2 is correct - there are easy-access (for wheelchair fishermen) spots along the Kenai. It has been 11 years since I visited the area, but back then the spots by the bridge on the main highway just west of Soldotna were nice, well-maintained, and being used by people of all descriptions. There may be more wheelchair access spots developed since my experience but the local guys will have the best information. I would also bet that the local Kenai or Soldotna sporting good stores would be happy to help you with the best gear for the River conditions this next weekend. Best of luck!

    My thanks for your service.

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    I would contact the russian river ferry operator, see if they can get you on and off the ferry. If they can, there is a section of the kenai right next to the ferry landing which is reserved for handicap users. There is no wading allowed there and you should be able to flip for reds with a decent amount of space. Turns out you'd probably be hitting the run at or near its peak about then, possibly the tail end but should be decent anyhow. I'd be more than happy to show you how to rig up and possibly even head up there with you depending on what comes up between now and then. Send me a PM if your interested.

    Unfortunately that is the one place I know of that is wheel chair accessible with any real chance of catching fish right now.

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    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    I comend you "limon" that's a sportman for you offering to take a vet fishing. Hope it all works out. If so, post some pictures.

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    Member kingman's Avatar
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    I've been watching this post hoping someone would step up to help a hero out. I wish I could have done something but I just took my first fishing trip to the Kenai two weeks ago so I have nothing to offer. If someone tells me how to give rep points I will throw some your way!

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    Member kingman's Avatar
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    And thanks Nanook I'm an Air force guy, and I still appreciate everything all my fellow military members are doing and have done!

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    Thanks, everybody, for the info.

    limon32, I'll check with you as we get closer to the weekend - I amsolutely don't want to put you to any trouble and I thin k the old Magellan and my Alaska Gazeteer can get me to the ferry dock. I would, however, like to meet up on Friday so I can pick your brain about fish killing rigs to drop in the water.

    kingman, brother, I'm no hero. It was another day at the office. When I raised my hand and swore to uphold against all enemies foreign and domestic, I was fourth in line behind my great-grandad, grandpa, and dad....my oldest boy is #5 in the line and is just outside Kandahar as we speak. We have, as have you, consciously decided about what we were getting into before we took the oath. My hero is a 32-year old single father of 2 who I am proud to call my son. To borrow a phrase from a movie, he and YOU stand on a wall and say

    "Nothing is going to happen to you tonight."

    "Not on my watch!"

    Thank YOU, kingman.

    Sorry to preach, but **** I'm proud to be an Alaskan who lives in America!!!!

    Again, thanks everybody.

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    BTW, kingman, all of my people are from Oklahoma....we call our family Alasklahomans. It ain't so bad to be an Okie.

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    Oops!!! I may have not been clear, Guys. I grabbed my map and GPS and went back through your posts and it dawned on me you folks were giving me advice on fishing on the Kenai RIVER in Soldotna. I do plan to spend a day fishing in Soldotna...and now at the Russian River Ferry Dock, but what I was asking about was casting from my wheelchair in Kenai into SALTWATER. Am I way off base here? Is there no saltwater access in Kenai like in Valdez for instance?

    Sorry, if I wasn't clear. Where can I go in Kenai to drop a hook in saltwater or is a charter the only option?

    Thanks again.

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    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    I live in North Pole. I am a Vet and currently work at the Warrior Transition Unit at FWA. If you are interested in fishing around the Interior give me a call. 907-388-4532 -Dennis
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
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    Member kingman's Avatar
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    Nanook my wife and I have realized that there is nothing wrong with Oklahoma as of late. It's the ops tempo of my job! Turns out its just as bad here if not worse then OKC! At any rate! I don't know your abilities with casting and your wheel chairs capabilities but you may want to try Homer spit. It's where I recently went and when I hit it at low tide early one morning I caught 20 cod and 5 flounder! I had a great time and actually got my family to love it too! Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by NanookOnARoll View Post
    Oops!!! I may have not been clear, Guys. I grabbed my map and GPS and went back through your posts and it dawned on me you folks were giving me advice on fishing on the Kenai RIVER in Soldotna. I do plan to spend a day fishing in Soldotna...and now at the Russian River Ferry Dock, but what I was asking about was casting from my wheelchair in Kenai into SALTWATER. Am I way off base here? Is there no saltwater access in Kenai like in Valdez for instance?

    Sorry, if I wasn't clear. Where can I go in Kenai to drop a hook in saltwater or is a charter the only option?

    Thanks again.
    Unfortunately there isn't really anywhere to access the saltwater in Kenai from a dock, its all sandy beach access.

    Did you get a chance to talk to the ferry operator? If you google russian river ferry there is an ADFG pamphlet and a website about it. There is no dock but the bank where the handicapped access is, is fairly flat, but no dock. I'm going to go through my pictures and see if I can find one to post.

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    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    Nanook, Please contact me at 907-952-0670, I have a few resources that may help out. -Kyle

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

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