Where to start. The 2015 fishing season has begun like an avalanche. Which is pretty ironic considering we have had a winter little to no snow. While it is definitely too early to make any predictions of run strength or to be too optimistic about what the remainder of the season may hold, all indications so far point to a much better start than the previous two seasons.
For me, this season has started off like no other in my 26 year guiding career in that I actually took my first guided trip in southeast Alaska chasing steelhead with a wonderful group from Mexico. A very special thanks to Glacier Bear Lodge for their longtime hospitality and for allowing me to guide for them this spring. I also want to thank my good friends MD the other MD for the professional support they provided which cumulated into an incredible week of fishing with a great group of guys. If you have ever wanted to experience some of the most prolific wild steelhead fishing this globe has to offer, please let us know and we will gladly put together a trip for you via Glacier Bear Lodge.
Meanwhile back here on the Kenai Peninsula, things really could not be off to a much better start. For the first time in several years, king salmon fishing has begun with a fury. Salt water fishing for king in the Homer vicinity has been red hot all winter and this has carried over into our spring season with remarkable catch rates off of Ninilchik, Anchor point and Seldovia.
On the Kasilof River, the 2015 season began and continues to be very encouraging for early run king salmon. We are seeing more kings roll, bite and come to the boat than many of the recent seasons and this is without bait and only a single hook. On average, we are landing between 2-4 kings a day on the Kasilof and most still have sea-lice attached to them indicating they are fresh from nearby Cook Inlet. This run should only improve as we move into mid-June and the historical peak for this run.
On the Kenai River, which remains closed for early run king salmon fishing, the sonar numbers also look very promising. As of June 1, 960 kings have been counted and this is a significant improvement over the 220 kings counted at this time last year. Whether this means the run is strong, just early, or both remains to be seen as an accurate assessment of the return cannot be made until mid-June when historically half the run has already entered the river. Anglers and managers remain cautiously optimistic that the strong beginning for the Kenai, Kasilof and other Kenai Peninsula and South-Central rivers including the Deska River in the Mat-Su are an indication of rebounding king salmon stocks statewide.
Halibut fishing in nearby Cook Inlet has been very steady and the fish have been fat, healthy and numerous. Limits have largely been the rule with a few larger fish in the 100 lb. range tipping the scales.
Sockeye salmon fishing on both the Kenai and the Kasilof should ramp up considerably in the next week to ten days. As soon as their numbers make this a viable option we will begin to transition from kings to the more numerous and hard fighting red salmon by offering trips in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge both below Skilak and Tustumena Lakes.
Trout fishing is due to open in just a few days and we always look forward to chasing the giant rainbows the Kenai is famous for. Stay tuned as we enter mid-June and many more fishing options open up across south central Alaska. It has been a great start to the 2015 season and we look forward to many more great days on the water in the months to come. Enjoy the pictures below:
[su_custom_gallery source=”media: 4838,4845,4846,4847,4848,4849,4850,4851,4852,4853,4854,4855,4856,4857,4858,4859,4860,4861,4862,4863,4864,4865,4866,4867,4868″ limit=”-1″ link=”lightbox” width=”290″ height=”340″ title=”never”]