03 Nov Alaska Fishing Report: October 1, 2018
The last month of our annual piscatorial journey is upon us and we are putting the wraps on yet another incredible summer fishing the Kenai Peninsula and surrounding waters. Alaska has a way of managing its own time, like being put in a very special time capsule that eventually comes to an end but not without a myriad of experiences, emotions, and fish all packed into a small space in time. Reliving all the days and all the great people and experiences is a rewarding challenge for winter but for now let’s look at what has happened on the water since my last post. First let’s begin with what’s been happening up above, as in the sun! 2018 was officially the warmest September southcentral Alaska has ever experienced. Aside from maybe 3-4 days of rain, September was blue bird beautiful and with the backdrop of all the fall colors it was truly spectacular.
The late run of Kenai Silvers has yet to show in the numbers we were hoping for but nonetheless there has been some great silver fishing throughout the month. We fished both the lower river and the waters below Skilak lake and both were largely the same. There were plenty of nice fish available, but we needed to work for them and fish hard. All in all, the silver run seemed very strong but the majority of the fish arrived in August and September has definitely been sporadic.
Trout fishing has been excellent. As most of the pink salmon spawned in the last weeks of August into the first couple weeks of September, an amazing transformation occurs throughout the Kenai. A literal blizzard of salmon eggs become separated from their nests and cloud the trout filled runs, holes and gravel bars. This magical flurry of food lasts for several weeks and the trout gorge themselves instinctively until they become grotesquely round in the belly. They strike fearlessly at our painted beads, crafted to perfection to imitate an actual dead pink salmon egg floating down the Kenai. Multitudes of dolly varden and wild rainbows are simply lined up taking turns at the floating debris, many of which have hooks and eager anglers attached. There have been tons of bent rods, screaming drags and huge smiles as trout fishing has definitely been and continues to be special this fall.
Steelhead fishing on the lower Kenai Peninsula streams has been excellent as well. From the upper Kasilof to Deep Creek and the Anchor, reports are lots of fresh steelhead present. These are all very fun fisheries although the window of opportunity is short. Steelhead are allusive creatures, there one day, gone the next but the pursuit is always a challenge and that’s what the true steelheader loves. We look forward to chasing these Kenai Peninsula steelies over the next several weeks.