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Thread: best rainbow fishing

  1. #1

    Default best rainbow fishing

    I just found this site and already I love it. I am from Chicago and am coming to Anchorage to visit a friend this summer/fall. I want to get into some great rainbow fishing and I know the fall is probably best. I am willing to forgo the silvers/reds if I have to in order to get the best rainbow experience I can. I am very willing to pay for a guide and am limited to 2 days of fishing. So where do I go? I have looked at the Talkeetna are and know the Kenai area is a good call also. This is a pretty tough thing to figure out when you are in Chicago. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default 'bows

    Well, defining best is going to be a tough call. I live in the Kenai/Soldotna area so I am probably a bit biased, but for what I like to do, I'd probably send you to the Parks Highway, or, as you put it, the Talkeetna area. The Kenai river and the surrounding area will definitely provide a large number of large fish, but in my experience I've found it to be a bit more crowded than the streams north of Palmer/Wasilla. It's pretty easy to lose the crowds as you get further north, and though it can be done on the Kenai, it's easier on the northern streams. One other thing that I enjoy is that the clear water in a lot of the Susitna tributaries allows for sight fishing and casting to individual fish where the Kenai tends to lend itself to fishing an area of water in general.

    hope this helps

    Tom

  3. #3
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    My vote is for the kenai. The northern rivers are productive and less crowded but the water levels change so much in the fall with the rain where the kenai is much more stable. One way to avoid the big crowds on the kenai is to fish it early in the week. On a monday or tuesday is nice. I do fish the kenai all summer and fall and will be on the upper kenai for the last 2 weeks of september this year, I great guide service out of cooper landing I highly suggest is Alaska Clearwater Adventures. www.alaskaclearwater.com They were just on North to alaska last week fishing with zonk. I used them a few years back and they ruined me so bad I had to go out and buy a boat, Domanic, Dan and Shane run a top knotch outfit, quality gear and just great guys to be around. Just my thoughts. Good luck and have fun
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  4. #4

    Default Rainbows

    The above are both great ideas and recommendations. Either will be a great experience.

    Here is another option however it might be a bit tight on the timing but certainly worth investigation:

    Instead of paying for a guide, catch a flight to Igiugig (off of Iliamna Lake) and book a stay at Blueberry Island Lodge. This is a do-it-yourself lodge in some of the best rainbow country available. With your stay at the lodge, you will get the use of a boat to venture out and explore as well.

    I don't know if that will work for you, but it is definitely worthy of further study. But, if you decide on going to Bristol Bay, you will want to book very soon because they fill up very fast.

    If the size of the fish is not as important as keeping the rod bent in absolue wilderness, I have a trip to a small, clear water, wade-fishing streat on the Kenai Peninsula that will knock your socks off. This stream holds rainbows and dollies (and silvers if the timing is right). Take a look at my Comments page and scroll down until you find a post by Ken G.; the image is a nice dolly in spawn colors. This trip was toward the end of August last year.

    Whatever choice you make, I think you will enjoy your Alaska fishing experience. Good luck

  5. #5
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    My vote is for the kenai. The northern rivers are productive and less crowded but the water levels change so much in the fall with the rain where the kenai is much more stable. One way to avoid the big crowds on the kenai is to fish it early in the week. On a monday or tuesday is nice. I do fish the kenai all summer and fall and will be on the upper kenai for the last 2 weeks of september this year, I great guide service out of cooper landing I highly suggest is Alaska Clearwater Adventures. www.alaskaclearwater.com They were just on North to alaska last week fishing with zonk. I used them a few years back and they ruined me so bad I had to go out and buy a boat, Domanic, Dan and Shane run a top knotch outfit, quality gear and just great guys to be around. Just my thoughts. Good luck and have fun

    I agree totally!!! I found the Kenai on my first trip to Alaska in 2003. I took a guided trip on my first day in the area with Alaska Troutfitters (www.aktroutfitters.com) to get the rigging and presentation down and have been doing it on my own since. I have spent the month of September on the Kenai every year since......I've been completely ruined!!!! I catch plenty of big dollies and bows but have yet to break that elusive 30 inch mark, maybe this year.
    Here's my biggest of 2007, a nice 28 incher!




    If you have time hit up the Anchor for a few steelhead as well.


    Is it September yet??????????????????

  6. #6
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I'm not telling



    My advice, head away from Antarctica
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  7. #7

    Thumbs up

    Can't overlook the Bristol Bay drainages either.

    BIG Rainbows out there....

    "Rainbows up to 37 inches are caught ..."..





  8. #8

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    Thanks for all the input guys! Right now I am leaning towards the Kenai even though it may be more crowded. I am worried about the rivers getting blown out up north. Rare I bet but if it happends when I am there I am not going to be happy. I am going to post another question on a new thread. Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Yup theres no big fish up north, you should go to the kenai because thats where everyone goes, absolutely in fact everyone should go to the kenai all the time because thats where the big rainbows are and they are definately not in the eastern susitna drainage.


    I for one have never had a kenai fish take me into backing, I also only on rare occasions have fished alone on the kenai (once in april), trust me go north fall up north is pretty outlandish.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  10. #10

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    AK PWDER MONKEY, so if I was to go up North - what week would be best? I originally looked at that area but am worried about those rivers getting blown out. I know there are no fish up there over 12" long however so my question is purely hypothetical. Thanks!

  11. #11
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    can't go wrong with the first week of august or first week of october, early september usually has flooding
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  12. #12

    Default

    I just reread the post by ALASKACHUCK and the water level fluctuation up North does scare me. I just called a guide service from that area and they confirmed this. I own a Hyde drift boat and fish it on the rivers in Michigan in the spring for steelhead and have been blown out 4 out of the last 5 years. I don't know if I could take another one of those. Any thoughts anyone?

  13. #13
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Dont get me wrong. The north has some awesome bow fishing. On a short time frame and bang for the buck I just like the Kenai. Fish it monday or tuesday. If your looking to fish a river alone in alaska anymore pretty much good luck. Unless it is Jan. 28th and you went to the kenai. No i didnt but it would have been better than work. My belief is the odds of catching several nice fish on the kenai far out weigh the chance of getting blown out up north. Then again there are no promises on either. I do know this Ill be floating the kenai during that time frame.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    I like to fish Bows last week in July on the upper Kenai seems like everone is after the money fish in the lower river, you are not by yourself but its not to bad.Town is nuts . This fish was caught around that time frame by my sister inlaw from Michigan.
    Last edited by fishook; 04-07-2008 at 15:28.

  16. #16

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    I have heard that the last week in July is good- good luck getting a flight however using your miles. Thanks for the thought thougght.

  17. #17

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    Chitownflyfisher wakes up thinking about Alaska....


    Dude, you are so screwed!

  18. #18

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    Iahmael please get out of my head, how did you know I could not sleep last night because of my upcoming trip? It is going to be a long summer.

  19. #19
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    But it will be a great Fall Chitown
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by chitownflyfisher View Post
    Iahmael please get out of my head, how did you know I could not sleep last night because of my upcoming trip? It is going to be a long summer.
    It's going to be a longer winter.
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

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