23 Jul Alaska Fishing Report: July 20, 2014
As we pass the mid point of July, peak season is definitely upon us. The King salmon woes of recent seasons have once again persisted into the late run of Kenai King Salmon and additional restrictions were announced this past Saturday July 19, stepping down the fishery to catch and release only. With returning numbers of fish again looking lower than have been recorded through this date in the past, a complete closure seems likely this coming week unless sonar counts improve dramatically. With this step down to catch and release, commercial fishing time, primarily set net fishing, is also restricted significantly and this should boost returning numbers of not only kings, but also late run sockeye salmon. The sockeye run has been sporadic so far this season but we have seen some 25,000-30,000 fish days resulting in some very good fishing. We have missed very few limits so far and with just under a third of the run in-river so far, the bulk of return is yet to arrive. I expect the next week to ten days to yield some very high numbers of sockeye salmon here on the Kenai and some excellent fishing should follow suit.
Rainbow trout fishing on the Kenai is definitely picking up as the number of sockeye carcasses in the river continues to build. The trout are definitely moving around and taking advantage of all the fresh meat rolling through the river and they are also putting on added weight and girth. We are also seeing a significant number of sea run dolly varden in the system and are catching those right along side the rainbows. This next 2-3 weeks is by far my favorite time for larger trout and I look forward to seeing some Kenai giants come to hand.
Fly out fishing on the west side of Cook Inlet is heating up and the first waves of silver salmon are arriving daily. The Kustatan has been yielding some limit to near limit catches for the recent trips we have taken there and this should only improve daily through mid to late August.
Below please enjoy a number of great pictures for the last week to ten days with many more to come very soon. Stay tuned and fish on!