After spending a good part of my life as a Salmon, Trout and Steelhead...
Alaska Sport Fishing Trips
Our Alaska sport fishing playground for over 25 years has been the amazing Kenai Peninsula, and it's a good thing...with 12 distinct and individual runs of salmon on our two home rivers alone, timing is everything. Unlike most rivers in Alaska, the Kenai River offers two (and some would say three) runs of most if it's pacific salmon species. The mighty King salmon first show up in the river in early to mid May, with the second (July) run finishing it's course after the King season has closed on July 31. Many of our guests release our large Kings, however during years with good returns some fish may be retained. The May/June "first run" is a "slot limit" time for Kings, with all fish between 44 - 55 inches released...smaller fish (or a record breaker!) may be kept. First run fish averages 35 pounds with second run fish averaging about 10 pounds more. The World Record King salmon (97 pounds, 4 ounces) was caught on the 17th of May, so you never know! Great Alaska guests have taken 6 fish over 80 pounds over the years, with the two largest being an 89 pounder and an 86 pounder. This amazing fish is unlike any other salmon in the world and sport fishermen are supporting the research and protection of these resources every year.
The first run of Sockeye salmon show up in front of the lodge on a jet stream towards the Russian river around mid to lat May, peaking around early to mid June. The Second run is a July show, peaking around the 2nd, 3rd or 4th weeks of the month, with fresh fish entering the river well into August. Sockeye are Alaskan's favorite food fish, with ultra firm flesh, high oil content and lots of flavor. June sockeye average 6 -8 pounds with July fish averaging 8-10 pounds. Pound for pound many fishermen (including me) consider them the hardest fighting salmon in the world.
The Silver Salmon 's first run follow the high tides into the river in the last week of July, and run through the end of August. The larger second run of Silvers really get serious around the 5th of September and fish are still entering the river well after the we close our doors on the last day of September (and the season closes on the last day of October, for that matter). Readily striking stripped flies, sub surface spinners and even still - fished salmon eggs, the silvers can be the most aggressive and effective predators of all the salmon. Anyone who has watched a school of silvers attack a bait ball in the ocean will attest to that. The silver is a fine eating fish, on a par with King salmon when fresh.
Pink salmon are the only local pacific salmon with just one distinct run- comprising the month of August on even years only (2002, 2004, 2006, etc.) but make up for this by coming in mind blowing numbers with average days of over 75 fish per boat not unusual. Pink salmon readily take the fly, spiners, bait and nearly anything els an angler chooses to cast, and are the perfect target for family vacations, as everyone will have tired arms from releasing this aggressive and active species. The Pink salmon's culinary attributes are often looked down upon, but dime bright saltwater pinks or recent river fish provide a milder salmon flavor and are excellent for smoking.
Our Pacific Halibut reside in the deep, cold, nutrient-rich waters off the western and Eastern sides of the Kenai Peninsula. In mid May and June, we target them in on the West side, in Cook Inlet, (often combining trolling for King salmon with bottom fishing for the tasty Halibut). Later, we add longer trips in Kenai Fjords National Park and target the Halibut and Silver Salmon in Prince William Sound’s beautiful waters. Along with the popular Halibut, Ling cod, Black Bass, Silver salmon and occasionally King Salmon all are caught aboard our beautiful custom aluminum charter boat ”The Fair Chase”.
We also fish for Halibut in the waters of Cook inlet in our smaller 24 foot open boat, "The Raptor". Shallower water, great average sizes and the ability to occasionally target returning King salmon make this one of our most popular fisheries in May and June, before the fish move too far offshore, generally in July and August.