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Thread: Centennial & Swiftwater Parks

  1. #1
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    Default Centennial & Swiftwater Parks

    Hello,
    I am looking for information on fishing in the Soldotna area next summer. We will be there the last week of July and are looking for places we can fish unguided. I have been reading this forum for some time now and have see mention of Centennial and Swiftwater parks as good places to fish. Is one of them better than the other? Is there any secret to knowing where to fish at these parks? Are reds the only fish available there? We will be in a rented RV so we are also looking for an area that has a decent campground.

    Any information that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Thumbs up Swiftwater . . .

    In my opinion and experience, Swiftwater is by far the best choice. Don't know whether you can make reservations or not, but if you can, do so. . . They've got them hanging off the trees that time of year. Swiftwater and Centennial are City of Soldotna parks.

    Reds are essentially the only game in town at Swiftwater during your time frame. No trouble finding where to fish. . . finding a spot to fish is much harder if the fish are running good because there's lots of folks fishing. One can fish early and late and avoid much of the crush. And if the fish are thick, folks get their limits rather quickly and cycle through.

    Good luck. . .


  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    If you're 1) willing to hike a little bit, 2) looking to have a little bit of a wilderness experience, and 3) not concerned about being right near a grocery store, I would fish the Russian River instead. You'll have to make reservations well in advance, but it is worth it. The campground is nicer and the river is much more enjoyable to fish, in my opinion. Yes, it can get equally as crowded as the above areas, but you can also find some degree of solitude if you are willing to walk. If you're as far as 3 miles upstream from the campground the people thin out noticeably, and if you go even further you get into a zone where no salmon fishing is allowed (you can still catch and release rainbows and dollies) where you will see almost nobody, except for perhaps a few bears. Its a much nicer experience than downtown Soldotna, in my opinion, and only about 45 minutes away.

    -Brian

  4. #4
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    Default King of the hill...

    Check out http://www.kenaidreams.com

    This guy loves fishing the Soldotna area and his website is devoted to the place.
    Run his archives, read his stories, look at his pictures, and you'll wind up feeling like you've been there beside him slamming reds...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

  5. #5
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B_M View Post
    If you're 1) willing to hike a little bit, 2) looking to have a little bit of a wilderness experience, and 3) not concerned about being right near a grocery store, I would fish the Russian River instead. You'll have to make reservations well in advance, but it is worth it. The campground is nicer and the river is much more enjoyable to fish, in my opinion. Yes, it can get equally as crowded as the above areas, but you can also find some degree of solitude if you are willing to walk. If you're as far as 3 miles upstream from the campground the people thin out noticeably, and if you go even further you get into a zone where no salmon fishing is allowed (you can still catch and release rainbows and dollies) where you will see almost nobody, except for perhaps a few bears. Its a much nicer experience than downtown Soldotna, in my opinion, and only about 45 minutes away.

    -Brian

    of course they might not allow camping in the campground again
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    of course they might not allow camping in the campground again
    ??? Why not? If you're referring to restricting tent camping because of bear problems, that would be a bummer...but this guy said he'd be in an RV. Is there something else going on? I can't imagine they'd close down this gold mine of a campsite.

    -Brian

  7. #7

    Default Ease Of Access

    CharlieM - I competely agree that if you can get reservations at the Russian and are willing to hike, it is far more scenic. One thing may be a consideration for you (or other readers) is the difference in difficulty in reaching the river between the Russian and Swiftwater/Centennial. If there is anyone in your party who has difficulty in walking, especially long distances, then the Russian is not your best bet (unless they want to stay in the RV while you fish). The hike to the river requires negotiating one of several steep sets of stairs and then there is the walk to the river and then the hike either up the trail or the stream itself. On the other hand, both Centenial and Swiftwater are handicap accessible. Swiftwater has elevated steel walkways along the bank (you'll want a long handled net). At Centennial you can park literally at the bank and it is easy to negotiate gravel. They also have an elevated plank that is handicap accessible (to include wheelchairs) which is limited to handicapped fishermen only.

    If I had my choice I'd chose the Russian anytime. I have fished both Centennial and Swiftwater extensively though. They are both sure bets that time of year, my choice between the two would be Swiftwater. When I am on my own, I hike up the Russian. When I take my wife we hit Swiftwater, she's developed arthritis in both his and the Russian hike is a bit too much these days. Hope this helps.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Also in Soldotna is Rotary Park......take K-beach(kalifornsky beach) road left at the light, go just past the end of the airport and on the left you will see the Soldotna City Shop. To the right of the fenced in yard there is an enterance to a public parking area. I'm not sure if they'll charge a fee in 07 or not. It is an easy walk, handicapped accessable if you need it, to a very nice walkway and picnic area maintained by Soldotna Rotary and the City of Soldotna. It tends not to be overcrowded as yet....no signs and it isn't really promoted. The Chamber of Commerce, right next to the bridge on the K-beach side, also has maps of shore fishing areas. The River Terrace Campground has great fishing along its bank but they seem to have the same people camping every year.....I'd check their web site though.

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