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Thread: Kenai River... first and best.

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Default Kenai River... first and best.

    The Kenai has secured its fair share of superlatives among Alaska's greatest fishing rivers. It holds a place that's personally near and dear to many an angler's heart.

    Curious to know about your first fish ever to come from her emerald flows? When? Where?

    Then tell us how about your "best" Kenai fish ever caught? "Best" means a lot of things to different people so I'll leave that up to individual interpretation.

    Include a pic of one or both if you wish to share.
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    I don't remember my first, I'd guess it was a sockeye, my favorites included a sockeye that took me from the top of the island to the bottom pissing off everybody fishing there, I caught it on a frankenflesh from WWA and thought it was a rainbow. Also the nice bow I caught this december was mightly sweet, nice little river I guess
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  3. #3

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    First time on the Kenai was on the upper in late september for bows/dollies. I was probably around 14 years old and learning to fly fish. After a misserable day on the water hooking the back of my head over and over we were about ready to pack up and call it a day when I hooked into a monster bow. It jumped out of the water 5 or 6 times. Took me down to my backing in a few seconds. It ended up being 30 inches when I landed it. I haven't fished for trout with a spinning rod ever since

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    Member markopolo50's Avatar
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    Default King

    First time on the Kenai was June 7th. Some newly acquired Alaskan friends invited me and my nephew to fish on the Kenai Saturday evening. This was after our PWS black bear hunt with same friends. --- I hooked, netted and released(READ SLOT fish!!) the biggest fish I have ever caught-a 47" king. Fish and game lady back at the launch said it weighed 45 to 54 pounds. Did not get a girth measurement as we did not take it out of net/water. Quite a thrill and I have witnesses and a "poor" picture of it in the net. Lots of fun and will be back. Mark

  5. #5

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    First fish? It was in a dipnet......

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    June 27, 1978. We arrived in alaska June 26th and My dad took me down to the Kenai. Caught my first red at 12 years old and my 1st bow that day too. I have been trashed since
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  7. #7
    Member fish2live's Avatar
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    Default first

    First was last year in Centennial Park. Fishing from shore targeting kings. 2 hours in catch a 44 pound female. Land 3 that day in about 6 hours. What a memory

  8. #8
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    1st fish was a small bow during a float trip with Troutfitters in September 2003. My first trip to Alaska.
    Most memorable was a 30"+ fish hooked at the Glory Hole first drift of the day in September 2005. I saw the fish twice once on the initial hookset 4 feet in front of me and once as it rushed off down stream. As I was bank fishing there was no way to follow it and I managed to turn it just before being spooled. The next 40 minutes was spent slowly cranking it upcurrent until when it was about 30 yards away the hook popped out.

    This guy is my favorite as it is not mangled and has the most incredible colours of any trout I have landed in the Kenai so far. He was caught in September 2007.


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    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default First Fish 5th fish

    First Fish was a nice Fat Dollie on a 3Wt back in August 1990 little did I know that screwing around with Pinks would in effect cost me 45 bucks and my brand new orvis line. Needless to say on my 5ht hook up down town prior to the board-walk days I hook something that decided to take me for a run!

    Hook, Set, Run! Jumping over boats till I ran out of shoreline and then lowered my rod beucase my reel was out of backing and than realized heck I did not tie a good knot and then it was all gone and the beast was heading back to the sea. My wife called it the Monster Fish from Heck. I guess it was funny watching her husband leap tall boats in a single bound trying to save his new fly line! Had to be a late run king or big ars Silver never saw it.

    Blue Moose

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    Default 1990 rainbow

    My first Kenai fish was about a 4 lb rainbow, first cast, at the guardrail hole gravel bar, Oct 1st, 1990. At the time, I couldn't believe the number of trout and dollies we caught that day, and the number of dead and dying salmon in the river was unbelieveable to me. I think we saw 3 or 4 other boats that day. . .

    My most memorable was a 31" rainbow I caught and released a little ways above Skilak in 2000. That fish ran downsteam forever (waaayy into the backing) and I eventually landed the fish about a quarter mile downstream in the lake, towards Hidden Creek. That fish had an unbelievable girth--21". I've caught longer rainbows, but never one with that kind of length-to-girth ratio.
    Last edited by Charholio; 03-11-2009 at 17:49. Reason: incomplete

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    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    My first was probably a red or silver in the early 90's. My personal biggest is the #50 in my avatar. My best was getting skunked with my mom down at Cunningham and watching two seals swim around, but by golly we stayed at it 'till midnight, Best fishing trip I've had.
    If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    dont remember my first fish from there....but remember my dad takin me to the russian once and we didnt even fish, just watched all the fist fights ( mostly women) and we just laughed and laughed....musta been in 93-94...i was 8 or 9..... my favorite moment on the kenai ( of the millions of "favorite moments" ive had there ) hafta be funny river confluence... maybe 2004? caught a 35" long dolly that weighed 16 pounds big and fat...thought it was a big red till i saw the spots, i ate that fish for dinner that nite, got alot of comments from other fishermen, ill see if i can find a picture of it...also that day i caught 6 reds (emergency order) and 2 silvers out of the same hole. my favorite thing to do on the kenai, is to go and catch just one good eatin size red, which can be easy, or hard, like 18-24", and go to a quiet campground in the area, get a fire burnin and cook it up for dinner, even better when its by myself.

  13. #13

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    Great thread! Don't have time for too many details now, but I will try to get back to this thread. Bottom line, been here since the early '60s....first fish was a rainbow, best fish was a 17 POUND rainbow in the mid '80s. I've lost bigger ones. I've caught more double digit 'bows than I can remember. It used to be easy. For a period in the '80s and early '90s I was such a fanatic I would fish 150 to 200 days a year. Released all of them except a 14-lb female I have on the wall. Couldn't revive her, beautiful fish. I'll see if I can find some pics. Not so easy as there were no digital cameras back then. Later.

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    My shoulders are roughly 23 inches apart... Ok, I know, I'm a girly man! LOL! This is the most amazing Rainbow and the largest I've ever caught! You can clearly see that it was easy another 3" from the tail and at least another 2" from the head in comparison to my shoulders!

    A major shout out to AlaskaChuck for making this happen for me and I can't wait to improve on my present personal best!

    You guys are awesome and I long for my next trip to heaven with every breath of my being! 3 trips in 09 and the 1st trip can't be soon enough!

    I truly envy you folks for living on the real and true heaven on Earth!


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    My first catch? I couldn't have been more proud! He's not a whopper by your standards, but he's my first Kenai Bow and the beginning of my addiction and lust for your great and wonderful fishery!



    Here's to good friends and good times!

    Fishapalooza 09! Be there!

  16. #16
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    The fish are pretty but no matter what. Your still ugly. See you in 3 months
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  17. #17
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    Can't remember the first fish. Probably a red. Actually, a realistic guess would be a big fat ugly humpy, complete with nasty sores, caught on a pixie and snoopy rod. Gorgeous!

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    Default Where I started

    My first fishing trip started out and ended perfectly. It was what happened in between that made it the most memorable. The year was 1977. I was 19 and bullet proof. I had been here for about 4 months, long enough to secure employment and a place to live. I had checked out Beaver Creek and caught some beautiful rainbows in it and had also caught some rainbows in some of the local lakes. I was hungry for the Kenai. A co-worker asked me if I would like to go out on the Kenai to fish for silvers in his boat. I asked him if it was safe (my uncle had convinced me that the Kenai was dangerous for cheechakos) and after he assured me that he was an old pro I eagerly agreed. Being new to the game I didn't question that his boat was sticking out the back of his station wagon when he picked me up. I had to ride wedged in underneath the boat because the 25 horse merc was occupying the front seat. No problem. We drove to the end of Knight Drive in Soldotna and unloaded it. For such a small boat it sure was light too and we had no problems carrying it to the river. Just as efficiently we attached the motor and loaded up our gear. We slid her in. I was ordered into the water after my friend hopped in the boat. I was charged with keeping the boat pushed into deep enough water so we didn't hit the prop when he got it started. Little did we know that this attempt at protecting the prop would prove a total waste of time a little later in the day. The first thing I noticed was that this water was a bit cooler than the Mississippi, and just as wet. The good part was that it took long enough to get the motor running that my legs no longer felt cold. OK.... vrooom vroooom and we are off. Man that little boat really scooted with that merc on it. We headed down stream, and even with my limited experience I figured that was gonna be a mistake. A whole five minutes passed and it was all good. My confidence was building. I sat in the little V shaped bow facing my "guide" who was on the motor but a few feet away. The smile on his face was comforting as we began power sliding around the corner. I could tell from the look in his eyes that I needed to brace myself and hold on. We hit the rock right above Stewarts going flat out, which was a blessing. We were going fast enough to launch the boat a second time. To be clearer, we were flying. I bet we did 50 to 60 feet, and landed without missing a beat. I was later told that the reason he kept the throttle full when we were out of the water was so that we would not crumple when we landed, but instead continue smoothly down the river. Well, by God, it worked! I thought slowing down was in order but I was the rookie and I was wrong. We made it all the way to Oberts without incidence, other than my first hemorhoid. "We're going down there", he hollered as he pointed. I glanced over my shoulder, without releasing my death grip, to see what he meant. We were heading for the slough below the pillars. Where I came from you usually slowed down on the "off ramp". Not this guy. Next thing I knew, as I was getting ready to ask to be let out, I was airborn again. Only this time there was no boat beneath me. It was "planted" on the bar above the entrance to the slough, motor missing!! Since I was already wet he figured it would be smartest to have me walk up stream and see if I could locate the motor. I found it with ease, as the water was only two foot at the deep spot. I drug it back and we threw it in. "Well, this is where we want to fish," he said. Never batted an eye. We hopped in and began drifting. It was pretty good except when we floated into the sweepers, since we didn't have an oar. By the time we got to Eagle Rock we had 6 beautiful silvers. We walked to the highway and hitched a ride to Soldotna for the station wagon. Perfect. I will never forget those silvers laying in that green green grass along the river. Most amazing fish I had ever seen! And the rest, as they say, is history!

  19. #19
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    WOW!

    What an intro to Kenai 101, gotfish?. Obviously those silvers made a lasting impression!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone." Zane Grey
    http://www.piscatorialpursuits.com/uploads/UP12710.jpg
    The KeenEye MD

  20. #20

    Default Gotfish?,........

    ...that story will keep me smiling all day. Reminds me of the people I "learned" with in Wrangell, Ak. That's what it's all about, though. Thanks for sharing.

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