23 Jun Alaska Fishing Report: June 23, 2013
Out with the Early Run Kings and in with the Sockeye and Trout.
As we move into the last week of June, things are definitely changing on the fishing front. Our early run of Kenai River kings was disappointing to say the least with just over 1000 fish counted via sonar as of June 20. This makes this return the worst ever recorded and has thus prompted an emergency order closing the Kenai to all king fishing until July 1. This much needed and welcome management action was taken to ensure every king salmon making back to the river is allowed free passage upriver as with the count being this low, sustainability of future returns is a major concern. Before the closure, river conditions were extremely poor as the two week stretch of uncharacteristically warm weather has created extreme snow melt and runoff and the river was super high and very dirty. Despite the poor conditions we did manage to fish a couple of days on the Kenai last week and had some success catching and releasing some chrome bright Kenai kings.
Trout fishing has remained a great option and the beautiful weather and steady trout bite made for some super enjoyable fishing days in the last week to ten days. This fishery will just continue to improve as the river conditions improve and the entire river becomes fishable for rainbows and dollies.
On the Kasilof, king fishing was restricted to single hook and no bait and the early run of Kasilof king salmon has definitely slowed down. That said, there are still some nice kings being taken in this fishery for those willing to put in their time. The sockeye run on the Kasilof has improved greatly and fishing counts have spiked accordingly in the last week. We have been taking advantage of this surge of bright sockeye salmon by catching consistent limits in the last several days. This has been a very peaceful and productive trip with very little fishing pressure and lots of great fighting fish. We are looking for this to continue well into the first week to ten days of July making an awesome alternative to the slower king salmon fishing.
Fly out fishing has also been very good and sockeye limits have been the rule at Big River Lake. We are also seeing lots of bears both brown and black and along with the incredible weather we are having , this has been a very enjoyable trip for our guests.
Halibut fishing has also been excellent, as it has been all summer, and this will surely continue into the foreseeable future. Finally, we know many of you with plans to visit in July are concerned about what will happen with the late run of King salmon and as always we will do our best to keep you informed as the season continues to unfold. Just like last year, the river will reopen below the Soldotna bridge for king salmon on July 1. Only time will tell what will happen after that. It is reasonable to expect further restrictions in July but again, much like last season, we were able to find plenty of highly successful alternatives to king fishing and this resulted in very happy anglers. First and foremost is making sure we protect our precious king salmon resource for future generations and if this means additional restrictions and even closures, we know all of our guest understand this reality. We will always do our best to provide solid back-up plans if this does occur and rest assured we will do all we can to make sure your trip is not only enjoyable but successful.