Bank fishing Kasilof/Kenai for Father's Day
I'm hoping to fly my Dad from Elmendorf to the Kasilof airstrip and take him to the river for a day of fishing on Father's Day. I'm new to Alaska and I've never fished the Kasilof before. I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice on whether there is a good place to access the river near the airstrip?
I've gone to Centennial park in Soldotna before and I was wondering if that's a decent place to fish? It's certainly easy to access from the airport.
Any other recommendations on where I could access some fishing spots near an airstrip would be appreciated. It seems that all of the strips near the mat-su rivers are privately owned.
Two places on the Kasilof: Crooked Creek/ People's Hole
And yes, Centennial or actually there is a place right down from the airport where one can fish reds.
New to Alaska
Since you are new to Alaska I would pick up a decent book. Personally I prefer Flyfisher's guide to Alaska by Scott Haugen. It is totally worth the 30 bucks. You can find it at sportsmen's warehouse. It has just as much info on terminal gear that it does on flyfishing. Tells you were multiple streams are, species of fish and runtiming, gear and technique to use, as well as directions on how to get there. There is also information on airstrips and contact information. You won't regret it. As far as fishing in Soldotna, Centennial should have some reds coming through, I have seen people line the banks in July for the 2nd(bigger run of reds) as well as the visitor Center Walkway right below the bridge in Soldotna. Kasilof seems like a better bet cause you can set up a spin n glo , weight and eggs from the bank and plunk some roe out in the current for kings, or flip for them with hook and yarn. Some reds should also be entering the river so you might luck out while flippin. Just pay attention to what the other bank anglers are doing. Read the regs carefully wherever u fish, Kasilof you can only keep wild kings(adipose fin not clipped) Tuesday, thursday, Saturday. Ken's Alaskan Tackle in Soldotna could shed some light on how to fish down there and help you get the right tackle. Good Luck
Fishing near Kasiloff
I'm not sure where the Kasilof airstrip is, but the Crooked Creek campground located on Cohoe Loop Road in Kasilof is a good place to fish for Kings and maybe pick up a few reds depending on the timing of the runs. As aldrige88 mentioned though it's really important to know your regs on the Kasilof because they are a little different than most places. If I remember right you can't fillet your fish at the river but have to remove it a certain distance whole so, if asked, it can be inspected if you come across a fish and wildlife officer. Know your regs.
I've fished Centennial Park on the Kenai a lot in years past, but it gets too crowded any more at the height of the July Red run, but for beginners it's a great place and you can usually find someone considerate to give you tips, if you need them, on how to pick up the knack for hooking reds.
On fathers day you'll probably find fishing at Centennial will be very slow. The only fish going through are the Reds headed for the Russian River and they go upriver fast.
I've heard that there have been reds caught at Swiftwater; which is located on Redoubt next to the Fred Meyers in Soldotna. So if you strike out on the Kasilof, which I'd suggest you try first, you might come into town and try there flipping for Reds.
If flipping for Reds is what you intend to do, make sure you get some advice about what kind of gear you need, it's a very different kind of fishing than most people are used to. As aldrige88 suggested you should probably have a conversation with Kens Tackle. They can probably help you sort out what you'll need.
Flippin for reds isn't fancy, a bait hook tied with yarn or a Russian River fly, a long liter, a 1/2 ounce to ounce weight tied two to four feet from you hook (this varies greatly on which 'expert' your talking to and depends on what the water speed and depth are where you'r fishing ) and either a fly rod or a spinning rod will suffice.
Fly rods are fun, but since you're not really fly fishing with it you'll definately need a hands on demonstration of technique from someone. Just don't hesitate to ask someone around you how flippin for reds is done, and pay close attention. It takes a knack to do it right. Don't get frustrated if you don't pick up the knack right away. Have patience.
Good luck and have a great time.
Soldotna/Kasilof bank fishing
Thanks for the info. We're going to try the riverbanks behind the Soldotna airport.