Kenai River


Down in the Centennial State.
So I'm a bit late in reporting my trip up to the Kenai River, but it's been busy here getting ready to move. Back on June 20, my wife and I went on a guided trip for Kenai River rainbows with D-Ray. As someone who's biggest fish before this was a 26" Chinook on the Columbia out at Vantage, WA, I was in for a treat. My wife, who'd never been fly fishing before this, she was in for an even bigger surprise.

During the planning stages, Lindsey and I originally wanted to go salmon fishing on the rivers and that's what I was trying to find back in the spring. D-Ray flat out told me that if we were to do that, we're doing nothing more than lining the fish, so there's my warning. Well, I didn't want to go all the way up to Alaska to snag fish, so D-Ray talked me into fishing the Kenai River for rainbows. Didn't take too much to talk me into it, but the wife is a different story.

The weather when we arrived at Anchorage was gray and damp (which we expected). As the week progressed, the weather cleared up and we had amazing weather while hiking around Exit Glacier and the Harding Icefield as well as our Kenai Fjord's trip. When we woke up at 4:00 a.m. for the fishing, we lucked out with amazing weather again. So we meet up at Bing's Landing on the Kenai at 5:00 a.m. and park the rental car there and then D-Ray shuttles us up to the launch at Skilak Lake, a massive, glacial carved lake on the Kenai River (seen here).

After a quick lesson on how we'll be casting with the flesh-flies and indicators, we motor our way out of the lake and to the river. He explains how to read the indicator and how to react and, as expected, my wife catches on more quickly and proceeds to hook and land the first fish. A good-sized 'bow (at least by my standards).

After a little bit longer, D-Ray starts to get aggravated with my fishing (well, as aggravated as D-Ray can get, which isn't very aggravated), so he proceeds to show me how I'm setting the hook wrong and immediately hooks a NICE rainbow which I get to reel in and land.

So my first fish in Alaska beats out everything I've ever caught in terms of length, other than a ling cod I caught off the Oregon Coast, but the 'bow fought harder.

Around 11:30, D-Ray served us lunch, in which he cooked marinated halibut and sockeye in the boat along with potato salad and some drinks. The lunch was amazing and neither Lindsey nor I needed to eat dinner, heh. We got back out on the river and caught a few more fish, had some LDRs, and just flat out missed setting the hook on some, before the nice weather became a bad thing. It ended up being the hottest day of the year and melting off a ton of snow making the river a muddy mess where we were at by this point in the float.

All in all, it was an awesome trip and was better than I could've ever expected. My wife, who was hesitant about fishing for rainbows, considering we constantly catch 'bows down around here, had a great time and a sore arm from fighting monster rainbows. D-Ray was a great guide. He knew where the fish were at and took his time to teach Lindsey how to cast and fight a fish on the fly rod and dealt with me trying to break bad habits I've gained. We couldn't have asked for a better experience with the guide, the scenery, the fish and the weather.

My favorite fish I landed during the trip would have to be this beautiful rainbow:

There are also some more pics of each and every fish caught in the gallery HERE.


Proud to Be Alaskan
if you don't mind me asking:

How long were your leaders?
How Much shot were you using?
Were you fishing primarily flesh or did you switch things up?
Did you fish over any spawing kings with beads?

I think I may have to go down to the kenai tomorrow