Skilak Lake open???
I'm looking to see if anyone knows if Skilak is open, or if ice has covered it. I have a friend coming from Sitka and moving to Bethel. Our chance to get a float in...
Yes, it is open. Some ducks flying around and some trout to be found. Beware as the ice at the launches makes it tricky to pull the boat (bring some sand bags). Also water level is at a all time low in the Kenai River according to the Real Time Data Website. A third lower than normal for this date.
Most of the guys are launching at Skilak and then fishing the braids area then coming back to Skilak. If you decide to go down past the braids there is no turning back once you hit the Upper Killey at which point you are committed to going to Bings. This is a long push (to Bings) this time of year with the low daylight hours and all but still some are going all the way down. Trout fishing seems to be better above the Kenai Keyes area.
And I'd suggest that you bring 4x4 capability to the boat launch.
Not knowing that the river was at an all-time low I still didn't find it too difficult to navigate my propped, non-flatbottomed boat down to the Keyes area. There was even one guy in an aluminum drift boat who slowly motored his way back upstream without being on step. You just have to follow the channels really well.
If you're just interested in drifting down...go for it! We did well on both days to catch some monster 'bows and dollies. 5mm translucent orange bead for the dollies and big flesh flies for the rainbows.