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Thread: Dry fly the Kenai

  1. #1

    Default Dry fly the Kenai

    Witnessed large hatches and rising trout a couple of times while fishing the Kenai. Anyone care to share any success stories with dry flys on the Kenai? I have done well on the russian with dry flies during july, but never tried it on the main branch...Im sure it could be very effective, and way more fun than throwing beads IMO. Anyone?

  2. #2

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    Not the Kenai itself, but close. A few years back I'd hiked up to Crescent Lake for a few days of camping and fishing second week of July. Had an amazing hatch of big (#6) stoneflies come off the outlet creek each afternoon. The fish in the lake knew it was coming each day too. A dense school of fish would collect in the lake right where it dumped into the creek about half an hour before the hatch started. Then they would move downstream in a wide gray ribbon and spread out into the riffles. Nutty, nutty fishing. The hatch would fizzle out in about an hour, and the fish would form up in a ribbon and move right back up into the lake. Then you'd never know there had been a fish in the creek.

  3. #3
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    I spent alot of time in Bristol Bay working on dry fly fishing in a similar situaiton. I could catch em from May through September this way with varying success. Most epic trip was actually with crane fly imitations. Other winners were mosquitoes and elk hair caddis.

    Definitely beats staring at a bead and bobber rig.

    Don't forget Nymphs, especially during spring high water and even during the salmon spawn. Lots of drift insects after all that redd digging, and resident fish lap em up.

  4. #4
    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Through the years I've had some pretty good days fishing dries on the Upper Kenai mainstem. One of the best dry fly days was on Jim's Braid using #12 Elk Hair Caddis. Last year a few of my guide buddies were running trips with clients in the Upper above Sportsman's and they were strictly using dries all day. 30+ fish days per person and they landed a few rainbows in the 24-26 inch range on dries. Yes, it can be done and when it's on it's HOT.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

  5. #5
    Member cod's Avatar
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    I remember back in the early 90's and getting my first 'over' 24 inch bow. I walked in from the hiway between Sportsmans and Jims landing to fish a couple back channels and main stem with my normal flesh and egg flies. When I got to the mainstem and began fishing the inside seam I noticed a fish rising in the same place every few minutes out in the main current. After observing several rises I determined it was intervals of about two and half to 3 minute rises and he was taking bugs of some sort. I could tell he was a good fish so I swapped out flies to a size ten elk hair caddis. I timed my first cast to coincide with his approximate rise time. It was about as far a cast as I could make and it landed perfectly. To my surprise, he immediately came to my fly. I struck to quickly and realized I had lipped him. Dang! Was I bummed.
    I pondered the situation for a few moments and decided the best thing to do would be to just walk away....for awhile. I left him alone and proceeded to fish downriver of him for half hour or so. I then returned and to my delight, there he was. Actively feeding again. Oh boy, I thought.
    I made another real good first cast and it passed by without a strike. A second cast and, BAM. Fish on!
    Great fight as he had some current advantage but I landed him and measured him out at 24.5 inches. My biggest bow ever at that point. It's one of those fish you never forget catching. It still makes me smile.
    There was no visible rhyme or reason why that fish fed where he did but there is a spot that for years I consistantly caught on my elk hairs on the Upper Kenai. It is a stretch about 150 yards long and I could get up to 50 fish from ten to twenty five inch fish in that stretch at a certain time of year. Whenever you hooked a fish above twenty inches, they would generally head to the main current. When they did that your chances of landing said fish was about 40 percent.
    Love that surface action!
    Your sarcasm is way, waaaayyyyyyyy more sarcastic than mine!

  6. #6

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    Awesome! Thanks for the stories! Heading down tomorrow to get a casting fix. Maybe I'll tie on a bead with wings! Any info on fish distribution right now? I'm sure the bridge will produce some but what about sportsmans to jims? We got boats.

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    That's been my experience with dries and Alaskan big bows Cod........hard to land them with flies tied with fine wire hooks for picky 12 inchers in Montana.

    That and my Dolly Llama sized hookset did me no favors either......lost lots of fish but seeing that toiletbowl is the best part.

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