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Thread: Thoughts on Fishing the Kenai, Russian, Kasilof???

  1. #1

    Default Thoughts on Fishing the Kenai, Russian, Kasilof???

    Ok out of those three with 2.5 days, where do I focus my attention?

    I am trying to find out what would be the best way to tackle these three rivers (or one of them if it will be the most beneficial), I have thought about a guide (one day with and one day solo), But would really like to do it on my own and save the money for something else in AK. Are there any opinions on which is the better area to fish? (I have never been to these rivers). So a guide would be advised I am sure, but for arguments sake, if I decide against it, which river should i focus on and what area of that river would have the easiest walk in access? Will be staying on the upper kenai for 2 nights. have my own car so driving wont be an issue.

    I am not looking to just hammer all of them. I just want to know during the second week of July what would be the most productive part of the rivers to fish. Going for sockeye and trout. (or whatever wants to jump on the end of my rod) Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Second week of July is when the big runs of sockeye begin to really start showing up on the lower Kenai and kasilof rivers. The 1st run of Russian river reds will be gone by that time, but you can still find excellent fly fishing for rainbows and dollies in the Russian, upper Kenai river, and quartz creek near cooper landing ( close to Russian river). The big slugs of sockeyes usually hit around the very middle of the July like 15th-20th. There will be kings in both the kasilof and Kenai rivers but no one can say whether or not it will be open for them at that time. Good luck this is all I can really give you but there are many others that can know far more! They'll be chiming in



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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    As mentioned, if you are here between July 15th-22nd I would focus on sockeye in the middle or lower Kenai. After catching your limit of sockeye for the day you can go play around with trout on the Kenai, Russian, and Quartz or try the Kasilof from shore for some kings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishGod View Post
    As mentioned, if you are here between July 15th-22nd I would focus on sockeye in the middle or lower Kenai. After catching your limit of sockeye for the day you can go play around with trout on the Kenai, Russian, and Quartz or try the Kasilof from shore for some kings.

    my dates will be the 6,7,8th. that I will be on the river. Kind of a "RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE" of EVERYTHING. trip haha. ahhh im so frustrated that I booked then and not the week after. oh well. I will make as good of a trip as I can. i was hoping maybe the runs would be a few days early or late. Ive heard that can happen from time to time. But Thanks for the tips.

    Is the lower Kenai going to be the better bet that early in the month? Correct me if I am wrong, But the way I understand it is since they are coming from the lower to the upper I would assume the lower would have the best population first.

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccooper88 View Post
    my dates will be the 6,7,8th. that I will be on the river. Kind of a "RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE" of EVERYTHING. trip haha. ahhh im so frustrated that I booked then and not the week after. oh well. I will make as good of a trip as I can. i was hoping maybe the runs would be a few days early or late. Ive heard that can happen from time to time. But Thanks for the tips.

    Is the lower Kenai going to be the better bet that early in the month? Correct me if I am wrong, But the way I understand it is since they are coming from the lower to the upper I would assume the lower would have the best population first.
    well yeah it fluctuates from year to year but that's pretty early for sockeyes. Should be fishable kings in the kasilof. Lots of trout in the Russian, upper Kenai, and quartz. It you want sockeye salmon you might have a tough time on the lower Kenai right at that frame. You'll still have a blast with trout though!



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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    You never specified your dates, that changes everything. The big schools of sockeye from the second run don't hit the river until roughly July 15th (see below). I personally don't fish for sockeye unless there are at least 30-35 thousand sockeye a day coming in. Anything less and it's just not worth my time. So, you will be too early for the second run of sockeye. You can try to catch the tail end of the first run in the Russian River, but you will have to hike way upstream to find the remaining sockeye. Trout fishing on the Russian will be good, but you are too early for Quartz Cr. King fishing from shore on the Kasilof during that time is possible near Crooked Creek Campground and fishable numbers of sockeye will be present in the Kasilof at that time as well.

    Aug-01 24,876 1,377,043
    Jul-31 40,920 1,352,167
    Jul-30 43,494 1,311,247
    Jul-29 69,870 1,267,753
    Jul-28 63,438 1,197,883
    Jul-27 65,250 1,134,445
    Jul-26 61,812 1,069,195
    Jul-25 61,420 1,007,383
    Jul-24 51,222 945,963
    Jul-23 88,255 894,741
    Jul-22 110,898 806,486
    Jul-21 97,914 695,588
    Jul-20 40,230 597,674
    Jul-19 28,722 557,444
    Jul-18 31,606 528,722
    Jul-17 72,726 497,116
    Jul-16 196,356 424,390
    Jul-15 119,274 228,034
    Jul-14 20,214 108,760
    Jul-13 10,548 88,546
    Jul-12 9,726 77,998
    Jul-11 12,054 68,272
    Jul-10 6,774 56,218
    Jul-09 6,470 49,444
    Jul-08 5,466 42,974
    Jul-07 3,648 37,508
    Jul-06 3,426 33,860
    Jul-05 4,913 30,434
    Jul-04 5,514 25,521
    Jul-03 7,067 20,007
    Jul-02 8,970 12,940

    Kasilof sockeye

    Jul-11 3,228 90,954
    Jul-10 4,026 87,726
    Jul-09 2,952 83,700
    Jul-08 2,772 80,748
    Jul-07 2,154 77,976
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  7. #7

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    Well I know that I will for sure enjoy the trout fishing. One reason why i thought a guide would be good one day was so I could almost guarantee they could take me to some salmon. So we will see once we get there. Hopefully there will be a good mix of some different fish. I know I will be thankful with anything the good Lord blesses me with on my Fly.

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    That's a tough time of the year for sockeye... between the two main runs as mentioned above. If you're bound and determined to catch a sockeye on your own, I'd shoot for the Kasilof. I honestly don't know anything about fishing that river... I usually wait until the last week of July and focus on the upper Kenai. Good luck!
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Spend one day on the Russian and start at the falls. Yes, it's a dry 3 mile hike to start your day, but you'll do better upriver. From the falls down the first 600 yards will be open for trout and dollies only, but it'll give you a glimpse of what is left for sockeye. Once to the marker 600 yards downstream I'd bet you will still be able to find some sockeye and you should have a grand time working down the next few miles of river spotting trout and salmon. Spend the second day on the Kasilof where your odds of good numbers of salmon should be better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Spend one day on the Russian and start at the falls. Yes, it's a dry 3 mile hike to start your day, but you'll do better upriver. From the falls down the first 600 yards will be open for trout and dollies only, but it'll give you a glimpse of what is left for sockeye. Once to the marker 600 yards downstream I'd bet you will still be able to find some sockeye and you should have a grand time working down the next few miles of river spotting trout and salmon. Spend the second day on the Kasilof where your odds of good numbers of salmon should be better.
    awesome! I will take a look into that. thanks for the tips everyone

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccooper88 View Post
    awesome! I will take a look into that. thanks for the tips everyone
    As for the Russian, keep very alert for both black and brown bears, they are all over that river



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    If you're really interested in trout, then you really should hire a guide and do the Kenai gorge........from about Jim's Landing down to Skilak Lake. It would be a trip to remember, as everybody that I know that's done it ends up being pretty impressed......LOTS of nice sized rainbows.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn't count on Kings on either the Kenai or Kasilof.....it's just too much of a crap shoot right now as to if they'll even be open. And as far as reds go, you have a much better chance at getting nicer fish on the Kenai/Russian than the Kasilof.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt&FishAK View Post
    As for the Russian, keep very alert for both black and brown bears, they are all over that river
    couldnt agree more! i have been forced into the river or across it many times over the years. must keep a constant eye out for both brown and black bears down there....even had a brownie eat one of my nice lamiglas rods last year!

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    That time of year i'd concentrate on the Russian and trout fishing. Troutfitters and/ or Kenai Cache offer walk in guides for the Russian, I would recommend that or a boat guide on the upper river, its well worth it. If your lucky the first run Russian reds will be late and you'll have a shot at straglers while trout fishing. Kasilof reds are VERY spotting and frustrating to me!

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    Reds for your trip will most likely be out. I fish the middle and lower kenai and we don't start thinking red till at least the 15 th of July and that is at the tide. 20th on is better low and then it gets good from there up river. Trout fishing is really tough also in July. It is probably the worst month to fish for them. Stay in the small stream mainly the Russian. Dries nymphs and small streamers. I don't book and of my trout clients till at least the last week of July . Sorry we have some Great Lake fishing and other small streams north of anchorage that will be fishing better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    If you're really interested in trout, then you really should hire a guide and do the Kenai gorge........from about Jim's Landing down to Skilak Lake. It would be a trip to remember, as everybody that I know that's done it ends up being pretty impressed......LOTS of nice sized rainbows.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn't count on Kings on either the Kenai or Kasilof.....it's just too much of a crap shoot right now as to if they'll even be open. And as far as reds go, you have a much better chance at getting nicer fish on the Kenai/Russian than the Kasilof.
    I actually re-booked my whole trip to END on the Kenai July 10th -12th. I know its still a touch early but thought it would give me some extra time to get into the thick of them. That being said....Who do you recommend to guide the kenai? Lots of folks out there....anyone had a good experience with any of them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccooper88 View Post
    I actually re-booked my whole trip to END on the Kenai July 10th -12th. I know its still a touch early but thought it would give me some extra time to get into the thick of them. That being said....Who do you recommend to guide the kenai? Lots of folks out there....anyone had a good experience with any of them?
    A guide for reds??
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    Quote Originally Posted by TWB View Post
    A guide for reds??
    Not necessarily just for reds. But i want to catch fish and so does my wife and since we've never seriously fished in Alaska I thought it would be a good idea.

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    Its a great idea. Call Troutfitters in Cooper Landing. They are the best.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franken Fish View Post
    Its a great idea. Call Troutfitters in Cooper Landing. They are the best.
    Troutfitters for sure

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