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Thread: Cooper Landing in Alaska : September Fly Fishing questions

  1. #1
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    Default Cooper Landing in Alaska : September Fly Fishing questions

    (Hi guys, got some great feedback on Washington Fly Fishing Forum, figured id post in one more spot. Thank you)
    Good evening gentlemen,
    I hope this post find everyone warm on this cold Sunday afternoon. While I sit here and am forced to watch the Golden Globes with my significant other, I figured I’d pop in as I have a few questions for those who have fished the Kenai.

    In mid September, my father and I are taking a “father-son” trip to Cooper Landing Alaska staying at River Haven Cabins. Its about **** time I repay him for all the trips he’s taken me on J

    Anyway, I know my first priority is to scour the rules and regulations to see what rivers are open and what rivers are closed. For a 3 days, we have secured a guide (who happens to be a good friend) that has a drift boat and jet boat. However, my question is based on the latter part of the trip when we will be wade fishing.

    Besides the Russian River, are there any other rivers in the area worth checking out? I have been looking at maps pretty regularly and there are obviously TONS of “feeder” creeks, but I am unsure if they hold fish.

    Other big rivers in the area I saw was Surprise Creek, Slaughter Creek.
    Not looking for any spots, by any means, just looking to be pointed in the right direction. Rather not fish a string of rivers normally void of fish.

    Anyone who has fished the Cooper Landing area before and wants to weigh in, it would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you folks, tight lines!
    Best,
    Chris

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Well there lots of feeder creeks but most are not worth fishing at that time. Quartz creek is a wonderful mid sized mountain stream that has plenty of dollies, rainbows and grayling of all sizes. You could easily spend a day fishing quartz from the sterling hwy bridge down to the mouth. It is open in September. On the other end of kenai lake there are ptarmigan creek, falls creek, and trail river which may not be as productive and smaller fish but good fun and beautiful scenery. these are also open at that time. Watch out for the fuzzies.



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    Word on what Hunt & Fish said. I will mention that a couple of years back with a Sockey Run that was early and large Quartz was just about dead concerning easy fishing the one of the others mentioned produced well only hint on the way to Seward! So if you happen to be in the area and are small creek fishing pay attention to the strength and timing of the runs it sometimes makes a difference i.e. heavy run early versus late changes the game slightly.

    Have fun and good luck.

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    Member Col. F Rodder's Avatar
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    Would 2nd ptarmigan creek, fish are smaller but was good fun in late August. Not sure what it would be like in September, depending on your dates. Bit of a drive but you could head down to the Anchor and try steelhead.
    Also fishing below the lower rapids at Bings. Not sure what you are looking for but have caught plenty of dollies& bows on beads, as long as people are cleaning fish up above.

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    Awesome responses guys, thank you!!!

    My dates are September 18th to the 26th.

    I'm thinking about coming in a day earlier in order to take advantage of the fishing.

    I'm coming from BAWSTON so we make up a ton of time coming west

    Thank you, folks!

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    When you're fishing with the guide - ask him about walk-in areas on the Kenai. Lots of spots on the upper river (upper river = outlet to Jim's Landing). There are also raft/drift boat rentals available - no matter how good the fishing is on Quartz or Ptarmigan, the Kenai is probably better. Might also consider a walk-in the "canyon" - trailhead is a couple miles south of Jim's Landing on Skilak Loop Rd.

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    Guys - Will be in Cooper Landing area with my 15 year old son between June 16-18. Would prefer to be there in July, but we are stuck with those dates for other reasons. I'd like to keep my son interested in fly fishing, so am hoping I can give him a good experience when we are there. Assuming the early Red run is progressing decently at that time, will the crowds be thin enough that I will have a good opportunity at them below the campground towards the ferry, or should I still walk higher upstream and if so, will the Reds have moved up there at this early date? Also - assuming the run is later than expected, and we just totally miss it - is the TROUT fishing on the Russian good at this time, or am I better off fishing a different body of water?

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitmer898 View Post
    Guys - Will be in Cooper Landing area with my 15 year old son between June 16-18. Would prefer to be there in July, but we are stuck with those dates for other reasons. I'd like to keep my son interested in fly fishing, so am hoping I can give him a good experience when we are there. Assuming the early Red run is progressing decently at that time, will the crowds be thin enough that I will have a good opportunity at them below the campground towards the ferry, or should I still walk higher upstream and if so, will the Reds have moved up there at this early date? Also - assuming the run is later than expected, and we just totally miss it - is the TROUT fishing on the Russian good at this time, or am I better off fishing a different body of water?
    Trout fishing will be good in the Russian as well as the entire Upper Kenai. If anything, the sockeye will be on time or even early due to low snow pack that we have right now. If it snows ALOT and we have a cold spring then who knows. Either way, there will be fish available around that time.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Quote Originally Posted by twitmer898 View Post
    Guys - Will be in Cooper Landing area with my 15 year old son between June 16-18. Would prefer to be there in July, but we are stuck with those dates for other reasons. I'd like to keep my son interested in fly fishing, so am hoping I can give him a good experience when we are there. Assuming the early Red run is progressing decently at that time, will the crowds be thin enough that I will have a good opportunity at them below the campground towards the ferry, or should I still walk higher upstream and if so, will the Reds have moved up there at this early date? Also - assuming the run is later than expected, and we just totally miss it - is the TROUT fishing on the Russian good at this time, or am I better off fishing a different body of water?
    As FishGod said, it's looking (as of now) good for an early slug of sockeye. I would get an up to date assessment when you get here, and if the fish are in, in good numbers, then it'd be much more relaxing for a youngster to fish up the Russian, away from the masses of asses at the mouth/ferry zone.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by twitmer898 View Post
    Guys - Will be in Cooper Landing area with my 15 year old son between June 16-18. Would prefer to be there in July, but we are stuck with those dates for other reasons. I'd like to keep my son interested in fly fishing, so am hoping I can give him a good experience when we are there. Assuming the early Red run is progressing decently at that time, will the crowds be thin enough that I will have a good opportunity at them below the campground towards the ferry, or should I still walk higher upstream and if so, will the Reds have moved up there at this early date? Also - assuming the run is later than expected, and we just totally miss it - is the TROUT fishing on the Russian good at this time, or am I better off fishing a different body of water?
    Did great with my 9 year old on sockeyes June 12 2014 below the Russian maybe a hundred yards or more below the ferry. Here's what the crowds sort of looked like on a weekday. Keep in mind while we used a flyrod for these fish, it's not "fly fishing". Saw some nice trout caught as well those days. But if the reds are running, there will be people. Not a secluded fishery in this area for sure but it holds fish!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you have any experience floating a river, the Kenai can be done fairly easily on an inflatable kayak or even a packraft. You can rent those here in Anchorage.

    It's in July but here's a float from The Russian River Ferry (Sportman's) to Jim's Landing last year. I ran these guys down once, and then they did it themselves without any issue though they knew how to handle the small raft fairly well. It isn't a very exciting video because I shot it more to show my friends how easy the float was and the type of water they could expect. Still a few fish and some wildlife if you fast forward through some of the more boring float. lol . There are others here who will hopefully chime in who have way more experience on this part of the river.

  11. #11

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    Argh. Too much time passes to edit last post. Here's a few more videos of the Kenai River on my channel. Not really in any order but if you look at the dates I posted them, it should give you a pretty accurate time frame. There are probably tons of better ones for Cooper Landing on the web though. Only have limited experience in Cooper Landing.

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...9OsxDOc_I--J1R

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    Thank you guys!

    I really appreciate the responses!

    Ill even let the dick who high jacked my thread, get a free pass

    #tightlines

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