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Old 02-03-2005, 09:00 PM
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Default Kenai Wildlife Refuge Fly Fishing

Hey George

Welcome to the forum. What is the best size rod for Kenai Wildlife Refuge fly fishing for Salmon, Trout & Dolly Varden? Whats the best time of year to fish this area?

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Old 02-16-2005, 12:56 PM
AlaskaRiverAdventures AlaskaRiverAdventures is offline
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Default rods for the Upper Kenai

Thanks for the note - I have been out of commission for a few days thanks to moving my office - sorry for the delay in answering.

If I could only have one rod, it would be a 9 foot 7 weight in a fast action rod - like a Sage XP. Along with a good reel with a great, smooth drag system.

But, since I'm not limited to one rod, I also carry an 8 and a 9. The heavier rods are better choices for fishing the salmon runs.

The red salmon fishing spins up in early June as the first run comes in, takes a little break in early July then gets fantastic in late July with the second run. The second run of reds is around a million fish, so lasts well into late August.

Silvers (first run) arrive mid August and are around until early September. There's a little break and the second run starts showing up mid to late September and just keeps coming. Fresh fish are still entering the river under the ice all winter though season closes on November 1.

The best trout fishing is fall. There is also a window of good fishing for about 3 weeks right after the river opens on June 11, but August 15 or thereabouts marks the beginning of the trout fishery we all dream about all year. From here on the "fall feeding frenzy" brings all the big fish into the river - and by big, we Alaskans mean a fish over 25 inches long - trout in the 10 pound plus class. Our big fish landed last season was a 36" rainbow trout that must have been 20 pounds.

Sea run dollies come into the river in July pretty much with the second run of reds and stay till the following June. They feed on the egg and flesh bonanza of fall, make their spawning run, winter over in the lakes where the baby salmon live, feast on the smolt outmigration in the spring, then head for saltwater for a month or so.

When to come depends on what you are hoping to fish for... but there's lots of good choices.

This is a world class fishery with around 1.5 to 2.5 million salmon upriver each season and this amount of food going into the system lets the trout and dollies get huge.
Tight lines & Dry Boots,
George Heim
Alaska River Adventures
PO Box 725 Cooper Landing, AK 99572
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