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Thread: Kenai Reds

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    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Default Kenai Reds

    Anyone know if there should be any reds available on the Kenai the end of this month? We'll be down around Sterling/Soldotna on the 31st and 1st of June for a combo King/Halibut trip and would like to get a few sockeye if possible too.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    The Kenai doesn't open for reds until June 11th.

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    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Hmmm, I looked at the regs last night, and I thought the upper Kenai and Russian is closed until 11 june, but the Lower kenai is entire year?

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    Kenai River below Upper Killey River is open for sockeye. There was a time when the Russian River opened on June 1 and there were always some reds spread out in the Russian on the opener.
    So, there should and will be some reds going up the Kenai during the end of May but they are so spread out that they are hard to get into. I do know that a couple of guys from the Kenai Keyes fish for them from the shore there in the mornings and evenings and they do okay on the reds through early June. So it is possible.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKRoadkill View Post
    Hmmm, I looked at the regs last night, and I thought the upper Kenai and Russian is closed until 11 june, but the Lower kenai is entire year?
    Oops! Sorry, I guess I spoke too soon. It is indeed open on the lower river, just not particularly productive. Who knows, though - it might be worth a shot.

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    Default your batting average will be low

    Reds in the lower river in May/June = many casts, few hookups.

    Good for testing the integrity of your waders for the rest of the summer. Good for loosening up the arm for the weeks to come. Beats going to work.

    It seems the best spots to hit these guys on their run up to the Russian is at the Moose River confluence or at Bing's, but you've really just got to be lucky and hit a random school of fish passing by, otherwise you'll be making a lot of casts with no results.

    Lots of casts --> no results --> trying harder --> snagging harder ---> really sore arm / foul-hooked fish if you actually do connect.

    But God bless you if you do get an opportunity to stand in the Kenai - it's the greatest place on earth, man. Nothing like sockeye fishing when there's no one else around.

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    Default another option

    Oh, not sure if you have a king tag or not, but a good alternative to flaying for non running reds would be to take an afternoon (actually I prefer morning or evening) and heading down to Crooked Creek park on the Kasilof and trying to land a king. It's a good area to bank fish for a species that actually might be in the river that time of year.

    I'll be down in Kasilof at my cabin next week (I'm off of Cohoe Lp, just minutes from the park) working on the property and I imagine I'll be heading down there at least once or twice during the week for a session or two.

    Anyways, just another option to consider.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK-TEX-OR View Post
    Reds in the lower river in May/June = many casts, few hookups.

    Good for testing the integrity of your waders for the rest of the summer. Good for loosening up the arm for the weeks to come. Beats going to work.

    It seems the best spots to hit these guys on their run up to the Russian is at the Moose River confluence or at Bing's, but you've really just got to be lucky and hit a random school of fish passing by, otherwise you'll be making a lot of casts with no results.

    Lots of casts --> no results --> trying harder --> snagging harder ---> really sore arm / foul-hooked fish if you actually do connect.

    But God bless you if you do get an opportunity to stand in the Kenai - it's the greatest place on earth, man. Nothing like sockeye fishing when there's no one else around.
    I'll bet that I've seen several hundred reds hooked at the Moose River, and not one was in the mouth. IMHO, you need a good current to get it in their mouth.

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    Default I agree

    I agree with your assessment, however, the Moose River just seems to be one of those odd spots that first run reds stop and congregate in decent numbers in the lower river on their way to the Russian, that's why I mentioned it as a possibility.

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    Default Pretty Early

    I fancy myself as an aficionado of Kenai Sockeye; your early dates are summed up pretty well in this thread - your best bet is going to be around Soldotna as it takes them about 10 days (depending on water level of course) to get up to the Russian Confluence. Around the 14th is usually a good bet on the confluence, however that puts them at around the 4th for entering the river. If I were you and trying for reds I would definitely try the very lower Kenai (like the mouth ) if were really shooting for a successful hookup. Good luck and let us know how you do.

    If you do hit the mouth of the Kenai, I would recommend the standard flipping setup with a single #1 or #2 split shot at least 6' from your hook.
    "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit is better than he who takes a city." ~ Proverbs 16:32

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    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    We ain't going down there specifically for reds, we have a King/Halibut Charter on the 1st, but might want to make a few casts for reds around the place we're staying in Sterling.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKRoadkill View Post
    We ain't going down there specifically for reds, we have a King/Halibut Charter on the 1st, but might want to make a few casts for reds around the place we're staying in Sterling.
    Lots of nice Rainbows and Dollies in that stretch of water back behind Sterling. Look for the boat ramps located at the ends of the side roads. All are good fishing spots. But probably a little early for the Reds. The first run of Reds go through in a hurry. They are somewhat different from the later run, but taste pretty much the same. Fish for them the same way, lining or snagging. In that part of the river, you don't have to use a fly, bare hooks with a little weight, work the best for slicing through the current without raising up out of the depths the fish run at.

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    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    I have seen Bluebacks/Reds at the mouth of the Moose river in late May. I have not caught them there at that time. I have caught low water Kings there though.

    If you do go there at the end of May and the water is low walk below the high water mark down to some nice looking holes and try for Kings.

    I walked down to just past the flyfishing area and caught two kings on #4 Vibraxes in May many years ago. One was 38# and the other was 40#. I caught the first one on a silver with orange bell Vibrax #4 on a spinning rod and 17# line. My dad took my orange Vibrax so I caught the second King on a plain silver #4 Vibrax. Beached both fish. My brother hooked a larger King on a bright red flatfish on the second day. Aprox. size of the flatfish would be like a K14 Kwikfish.

    ---

    I have seen a million reds caught there in the mouth. Just dont be so fast to set the hook on every tap when a red bumps the line. Use as small a weight as you can and when you get a tug pull the sinker through the reds mouth before yanking on the line. I used to just reel faster when I thought that I lined a red without actually yanking the rod like a typical hookset. Once the red was thrashing on the end of the line I may throw a couple hooksets to get the barb sunk.

    Of course I switched to getting the reds to actually hit the right fly there as the medium current between the slough water and the Kenia is perfect for nymph fishing plus I catch a lot of rainbows and dollies that way also. But we already have several pages and a couple polls on that subject. HAHAHAHEHEHE
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

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