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Thread: Parking at the Russian

  1. #1
    Member trochilids's Avatar
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    Default Parking at the Russian

    I've only accessed the Kenai / Russian for reds from the ferry parking area and the campground parking areas. Are these our only options? If one wanted to fish closer to the powerline, do you need to park up at the ferry and hoof it downriver??? Similarly, fishing up the Russian closer to the falls is best accessed from the campground parking areas, right?

    Sounds like parking around there has been a zoo lately. I'm thinking of a run from Wasilla Thursday evening that would put the family and friends down there sometime around 7:30 or 8 PM. Any ideas?

    Thanks!
    Palmer, Alaska
    "There are some things money can buy. For everything else, there's ALASKA!"

  2. #2

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    Parking at the Russian River just became more of a zoo with the limits up'ed. When they have done this in the past it has taken 12+ hours of waiting just to get a 12 hour pass for parking. They usually only up the limits in the Kenai and not the Russian to avoid this very thing, but not this time. Now instead of parking until you get your limit of 3 and leave after about 4 or 5 hours in the parking lot, people will use most of the 12 hours allowed to get 6 before midnight, then another 6 after midnight. The overflow parking out by the hiway will be packed waiting for a chance to get in for several days now if it is anything like in the past. You can hike in from the overflow parking lot but it is a looong hike back out with a bunch of fish that you shouldn't fillet on the river this year. Whole fish can get heavy after a couple miles. I love fishing that river but I think between the hiway traffic this week/weekend and the "zoo" at the river, I'm going to be home mowing the lawn. How sad...

  3. #3
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    There are roadside parking areas down river from the ferry.
    The first is just down from the guardrail hole and the next about a mile further down. There are several such parking lots between the ferry and Jim's.

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    Sorry to thread jack but I've been hearing a lot that Jims Landing is less packed...can that area be accessed off the highway by foot?

  5. #5
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Park at a nearby roadside pullout and ride your bike in. It's free and you don't have to wait. I did that with my nephew the other day while pulling my BOB bike trailer. No problem at all, and I must admit to a little smile crossing my face while I peddled past the 20 vehicles waiting in line.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Psylas View Post
    Sorry to thread jack but I've been hearing a lot that Jims Landing is less packed...can that area be accessed off the highway by foot?
    No problem with access by foot. There is plenty of parking on the other side of the hiway (large parking lot) as well as a few spots in the Jim's landing area down by the take out ramp. The parking along the road into the landing are for vehicles with trailers staged for take out.

  7. #7
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Fly Guy View Post
    No problem with access by foot. There is plenty of parking on the other side of the hiway (large parking lot) as well as a few spots in the Jim's landing area down by the take out ramp. The parking along the road into the landing are for vehicles with trailers staged for take out.
    There is non-trailer parking down near the ramp and at the 90 degree bend a 100 yds or so before the washrooms.

  8. #8
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    Don't forget that the increased bag/posession limits only applies in the waters down to Jim's Landing. So, you must be upstream of the boundary at Jim's to keep the extra fish.

    Does anyone know exactly where that lower boundary is? I thought I saw somewhere that it's at the launch...but not sure.

  9. #9
    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    Park at a nearby roadside pullout and ride your bike in. It's free and you don't have to wait. I did that with my nephew the other day while pulling my BOB bike trailer. No problem at all, and I must admit to a little smile crossing my face while I peddled past the 20 vehicles waiting in line.
    And Brian wins the award for most intelligent fisherman.

    I wish I had a bike. Pay good attention to this mans advice.. That WOULD be the way to do it. No doubt.

    ...and 20 vehicles.. ?? Last night the line was packed all the way to the highway. We were so bored we busted out the spotting scope and scoped a bunch of sheep out in the hills.

  10. #10
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    300 yards upstream from the boat launch (I think). AOJ has a good graphic of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRFISH View Post
    Don't forget that the increased bag/posession limits only applies in the waters down to Jim's Landing. So, you must be upstream of the boundary at Jim's to keep the extra fish.

    Does anyone know exactly where that lower boundary is? I thought I saw somewhere that it's at the launch...but not sure.
    Below is the language found in the EO.

    "This increased bag and possession limit applies to that area of the Kenai River from the boat launch at Jimís Landing upstream to ADF&G regulatory markers located approximately 300 yards upstream of the public boat launch at Sportsmanís Landing and the Russian River from its mouth upstream to an ADF&G marker located approximately 600 yards downstream from the Russian River Falls."

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/Stati...sian_61609.pdf




  12. #12
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    It is the rock bluff that is on the road side of the river. It is about where the bend in the road is going into jims
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  13. #13

    Default Please dont park

    At Jim's Landing if you are not floating the river. Those parking spots should only be for folks staging to take out after floating the river. It is difficult enough to find a spot to park for the floater's...having people come in and take up those spots when there are others to access the river by foot is just not cool.
    There is a HUGE parking lot out on the Sterling Hwy across from the Skilak Lake Loop turnout that would be perfect for the road fishermen. I have used that lot both when floating and when road fishing.

  14. #14
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akseakayaker View Post
    At Jim's Landing if you are not floating the river. Those parking spots should only be for folks staging to take out after floating the river. It is difficult enough to find a spot to park for the floater's...having people come in and take up those spots when there are others to access the river by foot is just not cool.
    There is a HUGE parking lot out on the Sterling Hwy across from the Skilak Lake Loop turnout that would be perfect for the road fishermen. I have used that lot both when floating and when road fishing.

    I can relate. This time of year Im always looking for a spot to park my truck while I go out and float. I usually pick the lot accross the street from jims. It is gonna be such a nut house this weekend that Im so glad i have my raft.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  15. #15
    Member trochilids's Avatar
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    Follow up to the start of this thread... My wife and two kids decided to drive down to the Russian Thursday night after work anyway, if only to "get out of the house" than anything else. Three hours from Wasilla...

    We were joined by two other friends in their vehicles, and we just decided to play it by ear. At the Russian River campground parking area we were about 8-10 cars back and it only took maybe 20-30 minutes to get all of us in -- and we all ended up in the Pink Salmon lot, too. If you're patient and have time to kill, it's all good...

    Hiked from the lot to the confluence and saw only two folks fishing the Russian proper the entire way. We stopped at several of the little "pullouts" along the walkway to eye the river, and even had one helpful gent walking up the trail stop to tell me there were no fish in there and we were wasting our time if we were thinking about stopping to fish there... Maybe true. Maybe not. Forgive me if I don't believe everything people say all the time!

    The confluence was open when we got there (10 PM ish). A few folks fishing at the tip of the island, and it got much more crowded as you headed toward the ferry... I didn't want my two little kids trying to cross the river (and I didn't feel like trying to carry them), so we just hung out on the upstream side and had fun. Only saw a single fish caught within eye-sight for the next two hours by anyone -- that was a dude at the tip of the island. A few folks walking up from the ferry region had fish and were cleaning them at the confluence station (what part about chopping carcasses is so difficult to understand?).

    Left around midnight and headed back to the cars. Great evening. 2 brown bears and a female blackie with two cubs along the Russian. Good friends, good times, but a long drive home.

    Thanks to all who responded to this thread initially. I'll probably bike it in the future when I'm kid-less...

    Cheers,
    Palmer, Alaska
    "There are some things money can buy. For everything else, there's ALASKA!"

  16. #16

    Exclamation #26 in line with 85 minute wait...

    I arrived at the Russian River campground parking area this morning around 8am. I was #26 in line and it took about 85 minutes to get to the guard shack. I've never seen it that busy; especially when there are little to no fish in the water and over flow parking had open parking. We saw about 45 people on the river between parking and the trail marker at the falls.

    I don't know about you, but I'm waiting for the next run before returning and I'll show up a little earlier for my day trip. In the end, all we saw was a sow grizz and two new born cubs... not a bad day but no fish.

  17. #17
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    A buddy and I got to the ferry parking around 11:40am yesterday. It was pretty busy. Took us about an hour and a half to get a spot. We fished down stream from the ferry doing the combat thing. Hooked up to many but was only able to bring home 2 my buddy limited out. There were lots of fish coming in pods. My buddy's last three caught was in a 15 minute span.

  18. #18
    Member Birdstrike's Avatar
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    A buddy and I arrived at the Russian Campground entrance about 7pm last night. We drove left around all the cars waiting at the guard shack, right turn into the free overflow parking, unloaded the bikes and were probably fishing before the next 2 cars got through. We saved $11 and burned enough calories to offset a couple of tasty summer ales. Just a thought.

    Hardly any reds upstream. Last week was easy limits in under an hour. We switched to trout after half an hour of not seeing any sockeyes. Trout fishing was good, a brown bear fishing just across from us, eagles flying, nice weather, yadda, yadda, yadda. Great night celebrating the solsitce.

  19. #19
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdstrike View Post
    A buddy and I arrived at the Russian Campground entrance about 7pm last night. We drove left around all the cars waiting at the guard shack, right turn into the free overflow parking, unloaded the bikes and were probably fishing before the next 2 cars got through. We saved $11 and burned enough calories to offset a couple of tasty summer ales. Just a thought.
    Bird - For next time, just a note that the overflow parking there is not free. You apparently lucked out in not getting a ticket, but there is a sign right at the entrance to the overflow lot that says "Permit Required". You can skip the line and go park there, but then you need to walk over to the hut and buy a parking pass. If you'd rather park for free, there is a little dirt pull-out about 150 yards before the Russian Campground driveway on the left side of the road when driving south.

  20. #20

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    I went down to the Russian at noon today. Got lucky and found a parking spot right outside the parking lot along the guard rail. Fish were running hot with everyone hooking up regularly it seemed. Took me about an hour to land 6 bright sockeye. It was so crowded, just insanity. Saw one woman hurt from taking someone's lead in the face. Seemed like a lot of people were under tackled... needing stiffer rods, heavier lines and reels with decent drags... other people impaled hooks in my waders twice... and I don't know how many times I had to duck flying hooks and lead. One big happy snagging family.... be careful down there....


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