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Thread: 4 days on Kenai?

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    Default 4 days on Kenai?

    Thanks for the help so far guys, one more question if I may. We plan to rent a raft and float the Kenai the first week of Sept for trout. My question is should it be four days in the Refuge or should we plan on hitting the middle river for a day. We won't have a motor by the way. Or should we plan on floating a different river altogheter for a day. I own a Hyde and am good on the oars if that matters. Thanks again guys!

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitownflyfisher View Post
    Thanks for the help so far guys, one more question if I may. We plan to rent a raft and float the Kenai the first week of Sept for trout. My question is should it be four days in the Refuge or should we plan on hitting the middle river for a day. We won't have a motor by the way. Or should we plan on floating a different river altogheter for a day. I own a Hyde and am good on the oars if that matters. Thanks again guys!

    Id say stick to the upper. The Middle is a great float but a long float without a motor. First off the row accross the lake, yuck. There is some big hogs in the middle but then it is a long float to bings also. If you want to do the Middle Id say splurge and hit up a guide for the day. The upper is a shorter float with alot of areas to fish both in and out of the raft. It is easy to spend 4 days on the upper and fish alot of different water. The upper is a very easy row also. I love the middle but it is much more fun with a boat and motor
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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    ^^^^^^What he said.
    The staging times (time to drop off the vehicles) are much shorter on the Upper as well. If you wanted you could do a short float on the Middle (Dots to Bings) saves rowing across Skilak, but you miss a bunch of prime trout water doing that.

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    Member Scottsum's Avatar
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    Default Ditto AKChuck

    I have to second alaskachuck on this one. The upper Kenai will give you more than enough fishing to keep you busy for 4 days. Start with the Sportsman's to Jim's float and if after a couple of days you want some new water, float all the way from the Kenai Lake bridge to Jim's. If you stop and fish much at all, that will be a really long day and you still won't fish all the places you think look good. There are lots of side channels worth exploring from Sportsman's to Jim's and you can't hit them all in one day. Be sure to ask some locals about any log jams that may be present and check-out Google Earth before you come. You could also ditch the raft for a day to fish the Russian, Quartz Creek, or drive an hour or so from Cooper Landing and fish Ptarmigan Creek, if you wan't a change of pace for a day. All three of these rivers can be spectacular the first week of September.

    There are very big trout in the middle section, but there are very big motors and egos there as well. I like the big fish in the middle Kenai, but I like the attitudes of the upper river fishermen much more. ( and by the way, there are some hogs in the upper river as well. ssshhh!)

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Default Great info too Scottsum

    Do check with us here first on the back channels. June and I explore quite a bit of them and will know what is floatable and what is not. The sportmans to jims for 4 days can put you on almost different water each day by exploring the channels. AS scottsum said, if you get a nice blue bird day throw in at the lake and float it down to jims. Fun little rapids just below princess lodge and another set as you round the corner by the russian river road. It is a pretty float but to do it from the lake to jims and pulling over to fish it will be 10 hours minimum. So just keep that in mind. Daylight at thay time of the year about 12 hours so just dont get caught out there in the dark. Scary stuff. You will spend little time shuttling vehicles on the upper and put in many more hours doing what you want. Fishing. Just a few more thoughts to share


    Oh and I have "heard" of a hog or two being caught in the upper
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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Yeah, you don't want to be wandering around in the dark with these fellas around.


    I will also add that these guys are wrong!!! There are no HOGs on the upper river. Just little guys like this.


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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Hey Dave. Where did that pretty little fuzzy critter say hello to you at???

    This one here was walking the gravel bar in the highway side of the river making his way to guardrail on the last day of september
    Last edited by alaskachuck; 04-16-2009 at 20:17.
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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Hey Dave. Where did that pretty little fuzzy critter say hello to you at???

    This one here was walking the gravel bar in the highway side of the river making his way to guardrail on the last day of september

    That little guy was at Jims Bar.
    This big Momma was at the Glory Hole, and she was way closer than any other I have come in contact with.




    This acrobatic dude was also in that area.




    And this guy too.


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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Got it. I can see the island in the last 2 pics. I have stopped there a few times for fun.


    Pretty critters except for that meathead in the moose pics.


    I was pretty lucky. I only saw about 4 bears the 2 weeks I was there.

    The one big fuzzy one that camp to camp for chicken wings, another down on the boardwalk of the russian and only 2 on the kenai. I saw alot more in july and august a little to up close and personal on one too
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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskachuck View Post
    Got it. I can see the island in the last 2 pics. I have stopped there a few times for fun.


    Pretty critters except for that meathead in the moose pics.


    I was pretty lucky. I only saw about 4 bears the 2 weeks I was there.

    The one big fuzzy one that camp to camp for chicken wings, another down on the boardwalk of the russian and only 2 on the kenai. I saw alot more in july and august a little to up close and personal on one too

    In the spot where those last 2 pics were taken we saw a moose a bear and a family of otters in successive days. It was a real critter highway.

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    Sorry, but I have to disagree with some of the above posts... If I were traveling here to fish for trout in September for 4 days, I'd DEFINITELY hit the middle river at least once. Sure, it's a long day, but it's easily doable, and you're here to fish right? Some of the upper river guides even fish the middle on a very regular basis, which says a lot. I don't want to take anything away from the upper river, but the middle can often fish just as well or better, not to mention that it's one of the most amazing places on earth! If you're taking the time and money to come fish the Kenai in September, you'd deeply regret not fishing the middle in my opinion.
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    I second what Markw3 is saying. The density of big fish in the middle river is absolutely astounding in September. Having said that, I also agree that it is better fished with a motor. There a few sections of the river from the lake down that are just so full of big fish and some little fish too. You will want to fish those sections more than once.

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markw3 View Post
    Sorry, but I have to disagree with some of the above posts... If I were traveling here to fish for trout in September for 4 days, I'd DEFINITELY hit the middle river at least once. Sure, it's a long day, but it's easily doable, and you're here to fish right? Some of the upper river guides even fish the middle on a very regular basis, which says a lot. I don't want to take anything away from the upper river, but the middle can often fish just as well or better, not to mention that it's one of the most amazing places on earth! If you're taking the time and money to come fish the Kenai in September, you'd deeply regret not fishing the middle in my opinion.
    We are just saying that the upper is easier to fish on your own because you really need a boat with a motor to do the middle properly, I love fishing the middle big water and big fish.
    Another thing is if you are renting one of those selfbailing river rafts and end up putting a motor on it it works ok but far from ideal for fishing the middle. We rented a 14 foot selfbailer from Max at Alaska Canoe and Camp Ground and he was nice enough to fab up and install a motor bracket for us. The shape or the raft makes it's nose point in the air and the back fills with water and slows it down. We had a 9.9 that didn't have enough power to go back upstream so we could refish the good runs. It worked but was not ideal. You are much better off with a hard bottom boat or large pontoon and atleast a 15 or 20 horse motor. IMHO

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    Thanks so far again, but I really don't want to deal with a motor. So given that I take it I am counting the middle section out - no?

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Yeah I would concentrate on the upper in that case.

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    Someone else mentioned, you can always hire a guide for a one trip on the middle section. That way no one has to row and everyone can concentrate to fish for one day. You won't regret shelling out some bucks for this one day event, especially if you've had a hard time on the upper section nailing big fish on your own.

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    Default Guides are always a good idea.

    If you've got the money, a guide is never a bad idea. I'd use him the first day so you can use what you learn for the rest of your trip. Given the opportunities available on the upper Kenai, I really don't think you'll miss the middle section if you skip it. There are definitely more big trout in the middle, but I guess it depends on what you're after. The upper has a ridiculous number of trout. I've had 50+ fish days with at least 10 fish over 20 inches just from Sportsman's to Jim's.

    I think akchuck got off easy with only 4 bears in 2 weeks. I camped at sportsman's for three days late last Sept. and we saw 7 bears in 2 days!

    Here's a tiny upper Kenai bow and one of those 7 furry friends we saw.
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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Minnow

    That tiny little cute fuzzy bear and that minnow of a bow. First off Nice fich. Big male and a nice shot.

    That bear had not missed to many happy meals either. He looked good. Nice and plump and a beautiful coat. I have seen the last couple of years alot of critters hanging out at sportmans. We watched a grizz float by us in mid august at sportsman. He pulled out just past the ferry crossing. Then he chased the folks fishing the bar there in front of the parking lot. We tried to warn them he was coming but i think they thought we were BS'ing. I dont cry wolf on that stuff. Man people came sure scream loud and move fast when little fuzzy critters come walkng past.

    Scotts, I take it you were floating by that bear when you snapped the pic. Nice pic
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    I totally agree with Scottsum; float and fish with a guide the first day and learn from him. The rest of your trip will be greatly enhanced by your new knowledge and the experience - and, like he said, you will be able to focus on your fishing and soaking up the scenery and serenity. I've never regretted a cent I spent on guides here in Alaska. Oh wait... there was that huge halibut party boat down in Homer that time...

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    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    I agree totally with using a guide for a day. My first day fishing the Kenai I went with a guide to figure out rigging and type of holding water etc. I myself have been guiding for 25 years and still appreciate the local knowledge garnered by using a local guide. It cuts down your learning curve by a huge margin also. You will have the ability to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere rather than trying to learn how to catch fish with new techniques in a new area.

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