Low and behold, July came and went in rapid fashion and it was certainly unique and memorable in a number of ways. Before we look forward to the fall and the final few chapters of our fishing season, lets recap what we have seen over the past several weeks since our last report. The final week to ten days of July was largely shaped by ADF&G management as they walked that annual tightrope between commercial harvest of sockeye and king salmon while also trying to achieve in-river escapement goals for both species. Early and mid-season projections for a very large return of sockeye pushed the department to maximize commercial fishing time in both the drift and eastside set net fisheries and this resulted in sporadic pulses of sockeye entering the river as well as mere average king salmon success. We did manage to get consistent sockeye salmon limits with some days taking longer than others but with persistence we put together some big stringers of fish for our guests.
As we have entered the first week of August, sockeye salmon remained the main attraction as steady pulses of late arriving sockeye continue to enter the river. Catchable numbers of silver salmon do not normally arrive to the Kenai until around Aug 10 at the earliest. This being an even numbered year, pink salmon are present in abundance in the lower Kenai with more making their way higher up the river each day. Although not always the best for retention, we have had a few group venture to the lower Kenai in search of pink salmon and they were rewarded with one after another fishing and many multiple hookups. The pinks seem to be larger on average than usual with may fish eclipsing the 10lb. mark. This run will just continue to build and we will see several million pinks enter the river by the end of August.
Trout fishing on the Kenai is beginning to improve greatly as the fish fatten up on the many fish carcasses discarded by sockeye anglers. The trout have been widely distributed in the extreme high water we are experiencing but once located seem very willing to take both flesh flies and single egg patterns. We look forward to many trophy rainbows coming to the net this fall as we enter some of the best month for this amazing resident species.
Silver salmon fishing fly out fishing on the west side of Cook Inlet has entering peak run timing on many systems; namely the Kustatan, Bachatna Creek and the Chuit. There are also good numbers of coho being reported in Big River Lake as well. Theses fisheries will see steady and even improving numbers over the next week to ten days and all of our trip of late have been extremely productive with full limits being the rule.
Halibut fish has remained steady although windy condition have kept boats in port on several days recently. This is not uncommon as we enter our fall month and storms become more frequent. We have also seen some very nice days on the water and should see many more before the close of the halibut season sometime in mid to late September.
Soon, we will make the full transition from sockeye to silvers and we will update you on their arrival to the Kenai and the Kasilof rivers in our next full report. Meanwhile enjoy the latest pictures and if you are still looking to come see us, we have a lot of great fishing still on tap so give us a call or send us an email and we will help you plan a great trip!!
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