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Thread: Kenai River advice

  1. #1

    Question Kenai River advice

    Brother and Dad are coming up this weekend for some fishing. We're going to put in at Skilac lake and float down to soldatna. Going to sportsman's to gather some tackle this week. Any advice on selection? I would like to hook into a rainbow, and my family is in it for the salmon... I do some fly fishing, and my family will be reeling.

  2. #2
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    First, your safety, have you done this before? What kind of boat will you be using? I pulled 1 kayak, 1 canoe, and Parks pulled out one body last summer. They all dumped in the Naptowne Rapids.

    Fishing: I would focuse on trout, primarily below Skilak, spend a day there. The prime salmon areas are closed to fishing, remember no bait above the Moose River. I would make that trip in a day, from SKilak to Bings. Pull out a bings and camp a night. THen put in at the Moose River and go down to Soldotna from there, there are a few (very few right now) kings in that section, although I have caught some nice trout in that section.

  3. #3

    Default Very good advice

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon View Post
    First, your safety, have you done this before? What kind of boat will you be using? I pulled 1 kayak, 1 canoe, and Parks pulled out one body last summer. They all dumped in the Naptowne Rapids.

    Fishing: I would focuse on trout, primarily below Skilak, spend a day there. The prime salmon areas are closed to fishing, remember no bait above the Moose River. I would make that trip in a day, from SKilak to Bings. Pull out a bings and camp a night. THen put in at the Moose River and go down to Soldotna from there, there are a few (very few right now) kings in that section, although I have caught some nice trout in that section.
    I agree with all. I am a retired paramedic from Soldotna and can tell you that we made many, many calls for boaters in and around Naptowne Rapids. The rapids themselves are only class 3, but the rocks are a problem. You would only be missing about 1 mile of river by trailering to the Moose, around the rapids.

    There are also some large rocks in the area of Swiftwater that should be easy to navigate, but pay attention.

    Good luck

  4. #4

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    Ditto on what the other guys said, DO NOT try to go through the rapids

  5. #5
    Member aces-n-eights's Avatar
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    Good advice above on avoiding the rapids.

    Tackle... If you need rods and reels, and your Dad/Bro are only going to be here a short time, i'd recommend a couple of basic combo sets. You should probably get at least 40 lb line if you're going for kings. Personally i have 80 lb braided on my reels...

    The early run of Kings is in now and the Reds are starting. As far as kings, i'd recommend either a size 16 Kwikfish wrapped with a herring or sardine fillet or a spin-n-glo and salmon eggs in an egg loop. The Kenai is starting to get a bit cloudy so bright colors may be a good idea - yellows, bright greens, silver...

    Good luck to you, your dad and brother!
    English is an odd language. It can understood through tough thorough thought, though.

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    CHECK THE REGS!!!!!!! FYI, no bait above the Moose River and the entire river is single hook. Check the limits for trout and dolly, I think it is 1 a day under 18". Most people are catch and release but if you get a bleeder keep the limit in mind. Do read up on the regulations before you go, don't count entirely on what you read here, from me or anyone else, because the guy writing the ticket won't care.

    And please do heed our advice, don't go through the rapids, it is not worth it.

  7. #7

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    I appreciate the advice guys, we'll avoid the rapids. We're renting a raft and gear from Alaska Canoe... The regs are unbaited single hooks in that area. I've fished the bank in a few areas of the Kenai, but I haven't had any luck (mostly to lack of effort.) We'll be spending most of our time in Seward (we do every year) we just decided to hit the Kenai for a day on the way back to Anch.

    I have some bright drifters that I tie up for kings on the Gulkana, Copper, and Klutina; I imagine they'll work the same on the Kenai. We could always try the always faithfull yarn and floss method for the Reds.

    Any advice for Dollys or Rainbows? Especially for Fly fishing?

  8. #8

    Default lure color

    Quote Originally Posted by chubby190 View Post

    Any advice for Dollys or Rainbows? Especially for Fly fishing?
    Beads under an indicator.

    The tackle advice is good. I think anything that bounces off of the nose of a fish will likely get a strike. But my experience is in dark water, use dark lures (general rule). I don't really understand why, but it works for me.

    Nevertheless, free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it.

  9. #9
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Plug colors ala fNp....

    Low viz conditions most definitely call for darker hi-contrast finishes.

    Even though the water is not clear, the suspended glacial silt actually bounces light around in the fluid medium. It may not be clear, but it does create a "bright" background for your chosen presentation. Dark colors will show best against this "backlit" pallette of luminous sediment.

    On the flip side, when the viz was over 4 ft last week, metallic finishes create an eye-catching "flash" in the clear water, especially on a bright day. For me bright day + clear to moderate viz = metallic finishes... tending toward the colored metallics (blue, pink, purple, orange/copper, green) under the clearest conditions, and more toward the flashiest metallics (chrome and gold/metallic chartreuse) with moderate viz. Hard to beat the old standy lemon-head chrome on a sunny day with 2-3 ft of viz!

    Under low viz conditions with brighter skies, I prefer finishes like the Funky Chicken in the darkest purple I can get my hands on.... or a Blue Magoo, again in the darkest blue I can get my hands on. The chartreuse-butted Michael Jackson is another good dark hi-contrast color for these conditions. Same with a black plug with either bright green or chartreuse stripes... or the Zebra, a white plug with a black butt/stripes. Hi contrast is the key!

    Under moderate to low viz conditions with dark overcast skies or with limited daylight (first light bite), I prefer gaudy fluorescent painted finishes that cover up most if not all of the metallic base on the plug. This will defintely get your plug noticed!

    Hope that helps!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
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