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Thread: Visiting for the 1st time Aug 3rd – 18th (Soldotna area)

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    Default Visiting for the 1st time Aug 3rd – 18th (Soldotna area)


    First off, I’m a moderator at a Michigan hunting and fishing website and I really have to commend you guys that answer all these tourist questions. Here is a link if anyway cares to take a glance at our site. http://www.michigan-sportsman.com/forum/index.php
    Anyway, my wife, son and I will be vacationing in Alaska for our 1st time. We will be staying on the Kenia at the Orca lodge near Soldotna Aug 5 – 12. We have quite a few guided trips during that stay so we’re all set there but I’m not familiar with the river and I’m wondering what I should bring to do some bank fishing. I have some fly rod gear but I’m tending toward spinning gear for the family trip. With spinning gear, I normally use live bait for Trout. Can you get wax worms, crickets and spawn locally or what are the preferences of you guys in the know? Also, I hear the river is fast, what size weights would you recommend. Beyond that, it sure would be nice to get a Grayling which I’ve only seen pictures of. Are there any areas that are fairly close to do that? From Soldotna, we will be heading to Denali so somewhere in between might work as well. Thanks for your time and I appreciate any info.
    John

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    Default Orca Lodge on the Kenai

    You'll love Joe Wackler at Orca Lodge; he's a great guy. He will probably have most anything you'll need for fishing but if you want to do fly fishing I'd bring my own. There is a bait and tackle shop about a mile from there. I guess there may be grayling in the Kenai but I think you'd be much better off fishing the creeks or maybe the little Su further north since you're going that way. You don't want to be set up for a little grayling and have an 80 lb king grab your bait. I caught a 63 lb just down from Soldotna (not the only one but the biggest). Prepare for the time of your life! The river is definately swift, I'd guess about a 7-10 knot current depending on how much melt water there is. It's a beautiful turquoise color.

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    Thank you so much for the response. Joe must be a super guy for you to sign up on the site to reply to my post. Looking forward to meeting him! Thanks.

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    No grayling in the Kenai. If you're interested in fishing grayling, some of the better-known lakes on the Peninsula that hold grayling include Crescent and Fuller Lakes. I've never hiked into Crescent Lake; from what I understand it's about a 6 miles hike and isn't very strenuous. I have fished Fulelr Lakes but it's been a while. It's a decent hike but when you reach the lakes it's absolutely beautiful. You can fish them on wet or dry flies up there although I've yet to do so myself. if you don't like hiking, there are some lakes you can fish after hitting the turn-off to Anchorage. I'd suggest fishing these lakes when you head up to Denali.

    If you're going to bank fish silvers on the Kenai, you'll want, at the minimum, medium rods. I use an 8'3" medium/light baitcast set-up for silvers myself although I started fishing with the fly rod last fall and don't feel like using anything other than my Orvis for the time being. For a fly rod, I'd suggest a 7-9 weight rod. You can plunk eggs at most of the local and state parks in Kenai/Soldotna for silvers if you're bank fishing. Centennial and Cunningham Parks are two popular areas. You can buy eggs locally and they tend to be the best bait for any fish in the Kenai. Popular lures for silvers include Vibrax or Mepps spinners (sizes 3-5) and spoons. If you're fishing rainbow trout, you really shouldn't use bait as they can easily get gut-hooked.

    I never fish north of Cooper Landing so my advice ends on the Peninsula. Best of luck and enjoy your trip!

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    Hey John, small world. This is a really good web-site and I have been bothering them since January and have got ALOT of good information.

    Take a second to check the Alaska Outdoor Store for books specific to the area your looking to fish as well a maps etc.

    We are headed there Tuesday and UBDSLO1 (Noah) is there right now. When you stop back at MS.COM, check under the cold water forums for the thread about who is going to Alaska.

    We are also looking to target Grayling as none of us have ever caught one. We are starting North of Anchorage in the Petersville area. Inland streams for Rainbows and Grayling and we will be doing the walk into Crescent Lake.

    Will post a report here, as well as MS when we return.

    Noah is also doing the Charter thing. Talked to him briefly two nights ago and things have been real slow as they fell between runs.

    Best advice.........have a Plan "A", a Plan "B" and a Plan "C".

    Am assuming you have already booked your charters, if not there are a couple guys that charter here that have been real helpful....even if your not a customer.

    We're going "Self-Guided"..................which is more dangerous then "Un-Guided."........ Best of luck and spend a lot of time here.

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    Hey 2Paws, definitely a small world! Thanks for the advise and I wish you guys a great trip. I'm really jazzed about going there. I've been to British Columbia and Alberta which was beautiful but if any place could be better, I'll bet it's Alaska! I would also like to thank Danny Boy, your info is very helpful. Have a nice day everyone and good fishing!

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    This is one of those "If memory serves me correctly..." responses. I appologize for any innacuracies.

    I stayed at a lodge in the Soldotna area about 7 years ago...Hooksetters Lodge. We did a bit of exploring on our own from there and found a really great days fishing in the little town of Ninilchik, which is south of Soldotna on the Sterling Highway. There is a small stream, I think it's called the Ninilchik River, that runs from Ninilchik up into the peninsula. We caught a bunch of silver salmon in there and had a blast.

    Another bonus of visiting Ninilchik was it was a taste of old Alaska. All of the other towns we went to seemed to be on their way to becoming just like any other town in the USA....with Burger King, Walmart, and everything else you would expect to see in an US town. But Ninilchik, at least at that time, held on to the small fishing village flavor and had the most wonderful old Russian Orthodox church tucked into the side of a hill above the town. I felt like I had stepped back in time half a century when I was there and it was one of the highlights of that trip.

    Good luck with your fishing trip.

    Dale

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    Default Parks Hwy

    Gone Fishing - Looks like you are all set for the Kenai P. You and your family can have a great time on your way to Denali. A couple hours north of Anchorage you will cross several streams with Pinks, Chums and Silvers. They are smaller clear streams and you should have a ball with Vibrax spinners. Great place to try your fly rod. Plan on fishing Montana, Willow and Goose creek. You won't be disappointed. Target Grayling closer to Denali. You will cross several streams that hold grayling. Try small dry flies. Have a great trip

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    Default montana creek

    I second the vote for Montana creek and the Parks highway streams. Hike to the mouth where they join the Susitna and you will find the salmon fishing of your dreams. we where there last year about the same time you will be there and it was great.
    for other then the Kenai you definitely can go DIY and catch lots of fish.

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    I must say, the people of this forum have been most helpful! Between the tips you have given me and what we will probably pick up along the way, we should be all set for an excitement filled fishing vacation. If you’re ever in Michigan, drop me a note and I’ll do what I can to make your stay enjoyable. My screen name on the Michigan site noted in my 1st post is also Gone Fishing.
    To hopefully add a little spice to this thread, here’s a few pics of what we catch over our way:

    Steelhead and Walleye (5 fish Steelhead limit in this area with no natural reproduction)



    Perch, some of the best eating fish in Michigan



    A little Lake Sturgeon


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    A couple more:

    Some of our little Lake Huron Salmon



    A decent little Brown Trout



    And last but not least, one of our Lake St. Clair Muskie



    Thanks again everybody!

  12. #12

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    Hi John, that picture of the perch got my mouth watering! Big Jim here on the thread. I grew up in Wisconsin, around the Milwaukee/Cedarburg area; we used to fish on Lake Michigan for chinooks and also in Canada for pike, walleyes, perch, smallmouth bass, and lakers. We now live on Kauai and have a place in Alaska. We've been coming to Alaska for 10 years now and really love it. Your right about folks being helpful; I really have to say that there's a lot more "aloha" in Alaska than in Hawaii! This site is great because the people that post on it are considerate & helpful.
    Can't say enough about Alaskans, someday I'd love to move there, but I'm thankful that we have a place to call our 2nd home, I do believe you'll get "hooked" on the place, as we have. Don't get me wrong, Hawaii is a great place; I just need a reason to split the year up living in both places!
    Jim

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    Default Lively thread...

    Nice to see a post and answers work so well. Yeah, the locals on this forum do a bang-up job on helping others. AK folks are darn friendly and your trip ahead is going to demonstrate that to you.

    The tip about the bookstore was a good one; a first-timer will benefit greatly from some of them. I devoured every bit of data I could in the late 80's when I made my first trip.

    Here's a little tip for you to brighten up those AK days ahead. Bring amber sunglasses. They will transform any dreary or rainy day to become brighter.
    Yeah, the sun shines, but it also rains. The glasses will improve your perspective if you carry them with you.

    I live in FL, have origins in MI, and write for AK. Go figure...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

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