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  • 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!

  • #2
    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
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    • #3
      ^^^^^^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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      • #4
        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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        • #5
          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:eek:. 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
          Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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          • #6
            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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            • #7
              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, 19:17.
              Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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              • #8
                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. :eek:




                This acrobatic dude was also in that area.




                And this guy too.

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                • #9
                  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
                  Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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                  • #10
                    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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                    • #11
                      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.
                      www.akfishology.com

                      fishing isn't about life or death... it's more important than that.

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                      • #12
                        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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                        • #13
                          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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                          • #14
                            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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                            • #15
                              Yeah I would concentrate on the upper in that case.
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