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Kenai Lake and Chugach Mountains near Cooper Landing

Kenai Lake near Cooper LandingView All Sizes

Kenai River Map

Sunrise over Kenai River, fishing for Silver (Coho) Salmon.

Sunrise over Kenai River

Netting a caught Silver (Coho) Salmon.

Pulling in a SilverView All Sizes

JOURNAL : August 31, 2010

Salmon Fishing on the Kenai River

Kenai Peninsula > Alaska > United States

Series Salmon Fishing on the Kenai River
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Early morning is the best time in most fishing situations. Whether in Hawaii, San Diego or Alaska, by sunrise we were typically baiting hooks and playing the wait game.

Early morning fishing for Silver (Coho) Salmon in the Kenai River.

Poles cast by 6amView All Sizes

My dad has been a fisherman since the dawn of my memory. Fishing out front of Mokuleia from Kaena Point to Kahuku Point and beyond had usually yielded at least a dinner's worth of catch, sometimes a bonanza.

And now, inspired by recommendations from friends back home my dad and I ventured forth to pull fresh silver salmon from the Kenai RIver.

Anothe fishing boat in the early morning mist ont he Kenai River.

Early Morning Mist

Fresh is Best

If you like your food as fresh as possible then catching it yourself is the best way to go about it. But fishing is like playing poker — luck runs in streaks. Or it's like marketing where the fish ain't digging what you're pitching. Reel up the bait and figure out what they want. Maybe they're just moody today.

Catch of the Day : Silver (Coho) Salmon

Catch of the Day

Another group of fishermen and their dogs.

Another group and their dogsView All Sizes

Hook, Line & Sinker

So here we are on the Kenai River, slowly “walking" the bait along the bottom towards the silver (Coho) salmon heading upstream to spawn. The folks at the Soldotna Bed & Breakfast arranged a fishing charter on the Kenai River for us, and by 5:45 am we were motoring downriver towards the city of Kenai, dropping anchor a couple of miles from the mouth of the Kenai River.

Breakfast for Fish

The captain had prepared a sticky mix of salmon roe which kept a death grip on the hook amidst the steady-flowing river current. It did the trick. Within 6 hours we had caught five handsome fish, and returned two pink salmon that are generally considered inferior to silver salmon in taste. The dozen or so other fishing boats within the visible vicinity also appeared to have similar luck.

A Salmon's Journey up the Kenai

Along the way to its headwaters in the Chugach mountains of the Kenai Peninsula the river flows through Skilak and Kenai Lakes. It's possible to catch these determined fish anywhere along the route to their spawning grounds but the longer that the predominantly saltwater salmon spend in freshwater the more their meat declines in quality and texture. Since they tend not to eat after they start to head upriver so they're often quite interested in what we have to offer.

Salmon also begin to change in subtle to dramatic ways. The hump and dorsal fin is accentuated. Their mouths morph and look kinda grotesque compared to their original state. Color changes also occur. Near Copper's Landing we saw some near the shore which had taken on a bright red color as a result of many days in the river.

But the fish we pulled from the Kenai resembled their sleek saltwater shape. And they were delicious!

After this fishing expedition we headed south on the Kenai Peninsula to Homer and the famous Homer Spit for some halibut fishing.

Fishing Boat on the Kenai River

Our Fishing Vessel

An aquarium containing anemones, clownfish and a red king crab with folded arms who looks quite pissed off to be in there.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Scenic red rocks, Schnebly Hill Road, Sedona, Arizona

Schnebly Hill Road

Nice, Cote d’Azur

Nice, Cote d’Azur

One of the many enthusiasts tearing around the dunes that day.

Nice Quad!

A View from the Campsite

Liberty Glen

A mallard looking for a handout.

Mallard, Lake Arrowhead

Trees on the Rim of Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon

Ponte Vecchio and Arno River from Ponte Santa Trinita, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio

The station at Fraser, British Columbia.

White Pass & Yukon Route

Random Adventures!

This is the thing which created the reservoir called Shasta Lake. Before they put this thing in here there was a town called Kennett and lots of land occupied by the Winnemem Wintu indians. Shasta Dam generates a big wad of electricity for millions of people, helps irrigate vast tracts of land and provides flood control for the Sacramento River.

Shasta Dam

Monongahela Forest, Stuart Recreation Park, Shavers Fork River, Elkins, West Virginia

Shavers Fork River

Typical Hawaiian Lava Rock

Lava Rock