Kenai peninsula timing and reg. advise
Hi everyone, new member here. I've just recently found this site and I think it is great. it is filled with great information on Alaska.
I have some questions that I haven't found the answers to and was hoping someone here could help me out. I'm planning a trip to the Kenai peninsula next year. I would like to catch as many different species of salmon and trout as possible. The research that I have done leads me to believe that late AUG, early SEPT would be the best time fishing and crowd wise. What do you guys think? My next question is on regulations. I've noticed that some waters are closed to salmon fishing but remain open to dollies and rainbows. If I am fishing these waters for trout but am catching the occasional salmon am I violating this law? What is the best way to avoid the salmon while catching trout? The reason I ask is that if I have an encounter with a trooper I would very much like for it to be a friendly one.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Welcome to the forums, jonesy! As far as crowds go, you are correct that later in the season is better. Additionally, the rainbows and dollies will be fat and aggressive that time of year. That being said, it is not a good time for catching "as many different species of salmon as possible", as you stated. Your only salmon option at that point will be silver salmon, though that is a great species to target. July offers the best variety of salmon, but yes, that will often mean crowds.
If you are targeting trout and incidentally hook into a salmon, you will likely not be ticketed as long as you quickly release the fish. Changing your tackle or location are the best bets for avoiding salmon, but each river system is different concerning the best approach. As for me, if I accidentally hooked into a salmon while targeting trout, I would probably just try to break the hook off rather than playing an already weary fish to exhaustion right before spawning.
Best of luck to you in your planning.
Hey Brian, Thanks for taking the time to reply, and thanks for the great info. I was hoping there would be some reds left in the upper Kenai or Russian late in the season. Do you have any advise for beating the crowds in July? Walking is not an issue with me, but only being there for a week I won't have much time for scouting. Do you think I would be better off staying with my original plan and just fishing for silvers and trout?
I love bows but I can catch them at home...I go to AK for salmon Go in June for more kings and a few reds, or July for everything. Last week of July you can get reds, kings, even some early silvers, esperially if you go out in the salt. Hard to find privacy, but the Kasilof is pretty cool in late July. A few bigger kings, some reds...less people. You can acess the Kenai up further off skilak loop road and have total (well, almost) privacy, tho' you might want to watch out for bears. Even down around Soldota you can find spots that aren't always crowded. If you can afford a flyout or 2 either month has lots of options.