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Thread: Kenai Reports?

  1. #1
    Member Danny Boy's Avatar
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    Default Kenai Reports?

    Heading home from the slope Friday and aim to catch some trout. Anybody been of late? Stories, success, pictures?

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    Member Goon's Avatar
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    Was out the last weekend and the fishing was decent. The water is still pretty high, but it has been dropping.

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Was there from 1st to the 11th, fish the upper mostly, middle 2 days. I don't know what a good day is there this time of year but I had double digit numbers everyday in the upper with fish to 24". I did swing steamers on the spey a few times and never had a bump. Go back through the same holes with the pin and a bead and pull fish no problem. Big fish out of middle was 28" and I heard of a few 30's but it slowed down when word got out.

  4. #4

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    It must have really dropped off after Able was there. We drifted from Sportsman's to Jim's Saturday the 13th and the fishing was very slow. We did catch a few nice fish but nothing like the week before. Talked to several people at the Jim's and heard about the same from most. Slow. Any day on the river is a good day though! It did snow on us as we drifted Saturday then all the way back to Anchorage.
    Tight Lines & Screemin' Reels,

  5. #5
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abel View Post
    Was there from 1st to the 11th, fish the upper mostly, middle 2 days. I don't know what a good day is there this time of year but I had double digit numbers everyday in the upper with fish to 24". I did swing steamers on the spey a few times and never had a bump. Go back through the same holes with the pin and a bead and pull fish no problem. Big fish out of middle was 28" and I heard of a few 30's but it slowed down when word got out.

    Nice meeting you Jay.

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    Member EMoss#83's Avatar
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    caught this one above the bridge with a black leech two days ago, 24 incher
    "f/64 and be there"

  7. #7

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    even the fish looks happy in the photo LOL. what a nice catch. heading down on saturday. hopefully the roads aren't too bad


    Quote Originally Posted by EMoss#83 View Post
    caught this one above the bridge with a black leech two days ago, 24 incher

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    Member Goon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SalmonSlut View Post
    even the fish looks happy in the photo LOL. what a nice catch. heading down on saturday. hopefully the roads aren't too bad
    Nice fish! It does appear to be delighted to be caught... I wish my fish would smile for the camera!

  9. #9
    Member Danny Boy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reports! Nice fish, Emoss!

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    Okay…..the fishing was so good last week on the Kenai River…..and the weather was looking pretty good (was going to be 40 degrees with light chance of rain) my partner Bob and I decided to do the Kenai float one more time. So this is the last Kenai float of year……part deux.

    Saturday morning began with me not being able to sleep past 4:30am. Seeing as how we wouldn’t be leaving to drive down for another 2 hours I decided to do something nutritious with breakfast this week after the massive bowelathon I had last week after ingesting a jalapeno corndog from the Holiday gas station for my early morning repast. I wanted something that would be soothing and mellow on my ancient digestive tract. So I had a large bowl of my wife’s flaming chili with hot dogs cut up in it smothered with grated cheese (certainly a breakfast of champions) …..better than filet mignon. As a result of the judicious planning and foresight, when we did make the morning stop at the gas station I was able to scale down to a large coke and a Jimmy Dean croissant (it had some egglike looking crap on it with some kind of road kill meat and plasticized cheese of some persuasion…..yummmy).

    The drive kept us enshrouded in fog a good part of the way…….which was good as the fish couldn’t see us sneaking up on them. When we finally arrived at Jim’s Landing to launch the same parent/child pair of bald eagles was waiting there, probably attempting an aerial bombing run on us……



    I walked back underneath them…..a bold move on my part……and mom sat there so I could get a good close-up of her…….



    As we were getting ready to launch the drift boat two other guys were to shove off in their cute little mini boats with motors…..



    Loved those little 2 hp motors on the back……ya gotta have big cajones or a death wish to float the canyon’s chilly whitewater in these little buggers this time of year. Anyway we bid them a fond “we’ll see you in the next life” and set out ourselves…..lovely morning 35 degrees with only a slight breeze……didn’t even need to put on my coat. Naturally we pulled in at the first island and it only took me 2 casts before popping this beautifully colored bow:



    But there wasn’t a whole lot going on here so we didn’t stay too long. Early on my line kept sticking in the guides until I realized they were icing up……fortunately, after a few hours it warmed a few degrees and that ceased being a problem. As we cruised down to the first gate some of the trees had been frosted by the freezing fog:



    Bob had started picking up fish way faster than me…..sticking two nice dollies in a row around our anchor rope. I had to pull up on the lovely 50 lbs anchor with one hand and with the other unwrap the fish….a wonderful exercise for my decrepit shoulders.



    Trying to rationalize why Bob was kicking my butt in fish caught I found he was using a different bead color…..I had kept with last weeks’ winner a lovely mottled orange bead but Dennis had rigged him up with a blush pink colored bead. I don’t have to have a rock fall on my head (although my wife wouldn’t back that particular statement up) so I groveled and asked Dennis for the same color. First cast with it and I pop an extremely nice bow:



    Bob tied up with another good trout:



    We probably caught another 15 or so dollies of small to middling size and decided to float on. The second gate didn’t produce but a few fish one I caught was particularly striking in color:



    Our float continued to the 3rd gate where we got absolutely zip in the deepest part of river there…..but the scenery was fantastic ….first picture is across to the other side and the second is looking downstream:





    We didn’t stop too long anywhere as we figured most of the fish would be down near the mouth of the Kenai where it dumps into Skilak Lake. We caught more dollies than I’ve ever seen in the river this late in the year….no real monsters but some nice middle sized charr. Several looked like this one…….spawned out and thin as an eel:



    The numbers of the fish just kept coming……a bit unusual this late in the season. As we moved down our favorite sidebraid to eat lunch and catch the last half mile of fishing it started to blow a bit….almost made me put on a coat but not quite. We pulled up at the hole Bob caught his giant one in last week and I conceded the hole to him. It wasn’t but a few casts and he was onto a monster rainbow…..I did a bit of video work but stopped realizing it would be a while:



    She almost got him by running across the river and trying to get under a log jam…..but Bob managed to turn her just short of the trees. After many minutes he had her worked into the shallows so I could slip a net under her. Bob also masquerades as a magician and appeared to be pulling the proverbial fish out of a bucket (better than a rabbit out of the hat):



    What a magnificent specimen……and she was fatter well…..than me….



    We both picked up a few more dollies while Dennis cooked lunch and eventually I hooked into a nice rainbow…… Chip, the dog, really likes to get after the fish…..he kept staring it down from the bank:



    Bob managed a short video of the end of the skirmish:



    Not a great rainbow but a very nice one:



    About this time Dennis whistled that lunch was ready……another feast with a few snowflakes started to fall in this vid:



    After stuffing ourselves with fresh dollies we spent the next 3 hours floating the last 500 yards of our trip. We were just hammering dollies all the way down to the lake with a few bows mixed in. We had an amusing escapade with a solo fisherman in his own driftboat. As he passed by us he made a somewhat disparaging remark about guides on the river. In the 20 years I’ve known Dennis, our guide, he has never been anything but courteous with anyone on the river. He was a bit loose as he had downed a few of his sponsor’s libations (he has a Jim Beam sponsorship….hehehe) during lunch. This guy had parked himself right in the middle of the best hole so we pulled in opposite him on the other side. It wasn’t long before he had issues about my terminal leader set-up……something about true fly guys don’t use strike indicators. Heck I said that ain’t no strike indicator …..IT’S A BOBBER!! Plus the fact the day had been great and we were laughing and having a great time and he didn’t like that either. So he finally moved on and we bid him a tearful farewell.

    About this time I stumbled onto the last big bow of the trip. She circled the boat once and then refused to come off the bottom but eventually relented and then she smiled for a quick pic before swimming off:



    We continued with the off and on small dolly and we finally got to Skilak Lake. All tallied up I’d caught 30 dollies and 14 rainbows….an amazing number for late in the year. We came through the last stretch and there were baldies everwhere in the trees……I felt like we were doing a rehash of Hithcock’s “The Birds”…..



    Of course our sequel would have to be called “The Alaskan Whiteheaded Fishpeckers.” Somehow that doesn’t flow off the tongue very well…..we’ll have to work on it.

    Then we came across the Alaskan Christmas tree…..a Charlie Brown type spruce with Bald Eagle ornaments on the branches:



    As we headed across the lake to the takeout we spotted a group of swans on the shore:



    They’ve been heading down south for awhile now. As we took the boat out it was getting flat out dark and it started snowing steadily……perfect timing for the day and the season for trout fishing. Bob and I drove back a lot slower in the wet and slippery snow. We came across three wrecks in a short stretch….two with vehicles upside down….asked if we could help but everyone said they were alright. Several other ditch divers were seen off the highway and a serious accident right in Anchorage. Somehow, even here, we forget how to drive the snow when it first falls….sheesh. I felt bad for Bob cause we got to my place at 12:15am and he still had another hour of driving to go.

    Let’s just say I didn’t get up too early on Sunday morn. That’s all for Alaskan reports this year BUT I am going to Montreal next week to fish smallmouth and walleye….another report in a week or so.

    May the Fishforce be with you,

    Brian

  11. #11
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Great report Brian.
    Been home a week now and already miss it.

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    thumbs up to the cameramans shadow. it only has to happen once...

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    Member Ak Laker Hunter's Avatar
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    wow wish i was living closer to that river. I only make it down there 2 times a year,JUNE july. To far to try to make it in the winter up n the fbxs area

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    ok, now i need another fix.....skilak here i come

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    Great synapsis and better pics. Thanks!

  16. #16
    Member AKnook's Avatar
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    Some nice healthy fish right there. Great report.

  17. #17
    Member Goon's Avatar
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    Anyone been out lately? Thinking about taking one last trip this weekend.

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    Member AKnook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goon View Post
    Anyone been out lately? Thinking about taking one last trip this weekend.
    Fished it on Saturday. Weather was good but cold. The fishing was also good. No beasts although I did loose one. But there were fish to be caught. Well worth going this weekend.

  19. #19
    Member Goon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKnook View Post
    Fished it on Saturday. Weather was good but cold. The fishing was also good. No beasts although I did loose one. But there were fish to be caught. Well worth going this weekend.
    Awesome thanks Nook, did they seem to be hitting beads, flesh, llamas?

  20. #20
    Member Irish's Avatar
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    I went out Saturday too...bbrrrr...but was still a good time. I caught a few fat bows and this silver. Great times on the river for sure.Silver Oct12.jpg

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