SOUTH CENTRAL ALASKA
Not only the largest State in the Union, but also one of the most beautiful and pristine places on Earth. Explore and Fish the Rivers of Kenai and Kasilof and the Bounty of Cook Inlet. Experience the wonders contained within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge; the Emerald of the Kenai Peninsula with a myriad of small creeks contributing trout char and salmon to the bounty of the Kenai and Kasilof ecosystems thru lakes like Skilak and Tusutmena, two of the Peninsula’s largest lakes. The rugged and beautiful landscape of Kenai Fjords National Park holds some of the most beautiful glacial fed rivers, carved out scenery and home to some amazing fishing adventures accessible by road, boat or plane.
Reputation and accessibility makes the mighty Kenai River one of the more popular destinations in Alaska for the opportunity to catch huge Chinook (King) Salmon, feisty Coho (Silver) Salmon, acrobatic Sockeye (Red) Salmon, wild resident Rainbow Trout, and Char. Surrounded by beautiful landscapes, pampered with wildlife and full of adventure, the Kenai River is a lifetime experience that gets better every time you come visit.
The Kasilof River may be lesser known, however it is definitely no slouch when it comes to producing fish. Fed by Tustumena Lake and flowing out into the Cook Inlet, the Kasilof River produces the opportunity to catch Chinook (King) Salmon, Coho (Silver) Salmon, Sockeye (Red) Salmon, Rainbow Trout, and wild Steelhead. A drift boat is the best way to experience the Kasilof River.
COOK INLET HALIBUT
Stretching 180 miles from the Gulf of Alaska to Anchorage, the Cook Inlet opportunity to catch halibut and salmon is only dwarfed by the pristine beauty of the land and sea scape. Halibut and Salmon run a plenty and the cold waters of the Cook Inlet produce some best bounty.
We can provide tackle and beginning instruction for those anglers wishing to try, or engage their own obsession for this sporting endeavor. We feature Echo rods and reels paired with AirFlo lines and custom tied flies for clients to entice a big wild rainbow trout, be it anadromous or resident. We also carry brands such as Sage Method Spey rods, and Buelah long rods, and Hatch reels. Or bring your own. Way fun!
The Kenai River, famous for it's world record 97 lb Chinook (king) salmon taken in 1985 is a tremendous fishery. A large river open to all boats the Kenai is a good drift boat float for the big salmon in May and early June when the water is low and not easily accessible to power boats over much of it's lower reach.
The Kasilof River (19 miles long) is about 12 miles south of the Kenai River and drains Tustumena Lake into Cook Inlet. About 1/3 the size of the Kenai the Kasilof is managed by the State of Alaska as a non-motorized Chinook (king) Salmon fishery in May, June and July, making the McKenzie drift boat dory the boat of choice for most anglers. There are primarily 2 floats on the Kasilof, one from the lake to the Sterling Hwy bridge and the second from the bridge to the estuary. The upper drift is through the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge's wilderness area where the setting is remote, with opportunity to see that side of the Kenai Peninsula. The lower drift is through a more rural setting with lodges and homes along the river. Most of the Chinook (king) Salmon are caught in the lower stretch but they can be caught and taken above the bridge before July 1.
The first run Chinook (King) salmon begin entering the both the Kenai River and Kasilof River in late April and by mid May are entering on every tide. These early run fish are bright and feisty and continue to enter the river until mid June. The second run Chinook is available through July when the season closes Aug 1. Coho (Silver) salmon begin entering in August and continue on into September. The Kasilof Sockeye (Red) salmon are what is known as late run entering in July and early August, in the Kenai there is an early run of red salmon headed for the Russian River in May and Jun. The Kasilof's anadromous steelhead trout are typically later in August and on into September and October.
Early run sockeye (red) salmon enter the Kenai headed for the Russian River in late May peaking in the upper Kenai below the Russian in late June. Beginning in July (late June for the Kasilof) late run sockeye (red) salmon enter the rivers by the 10s of thousands daily with yearly run totals on the Kenai of over one million fish and the Kasilof about 400,000
Coho (silver) salmon are great game fish, beginning to show in late July and running on into the fall months. They typically peak in late August and September. I've been guiding anglers on the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers since 1984, the Kenai is a much larger river and open to all boaters making the Kasilof my preferred water in a drift boat. The Kenai is a good drift boat river early in the year when it is too shallow for power boats over a lot of it's lower reach.
STEELHEAD: Fish of 1000 Casts
Spey fishing using specially constructed flies presented swung across and down on water/rivers where fish hold has been around for a long time. In the late 1800s in Scotland it evolved to using both hands to handle a long rod while casting distances on large rivers to Atlantic Salmon. It gets its name from the river Spey. Atlantic salmon was the species of fish the anglers were pursuing back then but over time it has become accepted that the Pacific salmons would take a swung fly presented properly; Chinook, coho, sockeye, pink, and chum will all respond to the technique but the species of choice for most anglers is the anadromous rainbow trout called steelhead.
I first was exposed to Spey technique in the late 1960s when fishing on the Deschutes River in Oregon. Greased line (floating line) swinging to summer steelhead was something I learned to do and became very engaged with. Swinging a surface fly over summer run steelhead trout is absolutely the most fun one can have standing up. It is said that a summer run rainbow responds very similarly to the Atlantic salmon when presented a waking surface fly. The special surge of energy one experiences when a big trout choses to play is exhilarating.
I learned about the long Spey rod or two handed rod after I moved to Alaska in the mid 1970s and have again become engaged with this art of casting here on the Kenai in what some would call my dotage. Using sinking tips and specially designed lines to cast distance and get down to the fish is something I would do by choice for my own enjoyment whatever the conditions. Over the years I have enjoyed the companionship and camaraderie of the folks at Mossy's Fly Shop in Anchorage, the friendly atmosphere and the knowledgeable employees found there make it the best in Alaska. Two Hand Alaska is a phrase first coined there by Spey fishing fanatics that own and frequent the shop. Stop in and see for yourself when passing thru Anchorage on the way to your destination fishing waters, they have excellent up to date, often first hand, information they are happy to share.
We can provide tackle and beginning instruction for those anglers wishing to try, or engage their own obsession for this sporting endeavor. We have Echo rods and reels with AirFlow lines and custom tied flies for clients to entice a big rainbow be it anadromous or resident. We also have brands such as Sage Method Spey rods, and Beulah long rods, and Hatch reels. Or bring your own. Way fun!