As we move into the first week of July and the core of our season, all in all it has been a pretty eventful summer. Much like the several seasons prior to this one, we have shifted focus from struggling king salmon stocks and have focus largely on the more abundant sockeye. After a pretty decent return of early run kings on the Kasilof, this run slowed considerably in mid-June and at the same time, good numbers of Kasilof sockeye began arriving with each tide. We saw good to great fishing for the entire latter half of June and this run is still producing very good catches. The limit for Kasilof sockeye was increased to six fish and when properly timed around commercial setnet openers, this limit has definitely been attainable.
King fishing opened on the Kenai on July 1 for the first time this year and success was poor. A few fish were caught on the opener but overall the action was very slow with some boats getting one or two fish and most boats not seeing any action at all. We have been strongly encouraging our customers to avoid this depleted stock as harvesting even one of these fish is certainly not contributing to their long-term recovery. For those looking for action and the ability to take home some of the finest salmon in the world, deciding to bypass kings and pursue the much more abundant sockeye has been a no-brainier. As previously mentioned, most of our effort has been on the Kasilof for sockeye but now the late run Kenai sockeye are beginning to arrive and limit catches of these larger, super hard fighting fish are already occurring. This run is just getting started and will only continue to improve as it heads toward its annual peak in the third week of July.
Kenai River trout fishing is also picking up steam as this mobile population begins its seasonal migration into the middle river in preparation for the onslaught of salmon carcasses that will soon be piling up by the thousands. This huge influx of meat in the system means the trout will be packing on some serious weight and developing a very large appetite. This will result in some excellent fishing for trophy rainbows over the next several weeks and we look forward to landing some true monsters. In the limited number of trout trips we have run so far, we have already seen some really nice fish come to the net. Kenai River rainbows are an amazing fish and for those willing to bypass salmon fishing for a day of catch and release, you will not be disappointed in the action.
Fly out fishing to the west side of Cook Inlet has gotten off to a relatively slow start this season as the sockeye have yet to return to Big River Lake and Wolverine Creek in the numbers we are accustomed to. Whether the run is late or just low remains to be seen but as of the first week of July, there has been no big push of fish into Redoubt Bay and Wolverine Creek. Fishing on the south fork of Big River has yielded limit catches and has provided a decent alternative to the Wolverine Creek fish but that run is beginning to wane and the fish are starting to get colored up. We are very much hoping the Wolverine Creek run materializes in better number over the next week to ten days.
Halibut fishing on Cook Inlet has continued to produce some excellent catches and the average size of the fish has been very impressive. Captain Hunter has been doing an excellent job putting our guests on fish and most everyone that has gone out on the salt water has returned with lots of great tasting halibut meat to take home.
The next 4-6 weeks will bring on the peak of the summer fishing season and we look forward to welcoming the many faces, new and old, that will join us. We also thank everyone that has fished with us so far and have helped make the 2015 season a great success! Stay tuned for more reports soon and meanwhile enjoy the latest batch of pictures from the past couple of weeks on the water!
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