Between runs, cast a fly for trout

Posted: Thursday, July 01, 2010

Between early and late runs the king salmon fishing might be slow, but hooking trout and halibut has been fast and furious for some anglers.

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Submitted Photo
Submitted Photo
Jeff Glidewell caught this nice saltwater king salmon on May 16 off Whisky Gulch at about 6 p.m. on the incoming tide.

Dave Atcheson of Sterling said the Kenai River has been good for trout and Dolly Varden.

He said he prefers trout fishing to king salmon fishing because there is usually more catching involved.

"It's proactive whereas king fishing you're sitting there in a boat a lot," he said.

He also recommends fishing for grayling at Fuller and Crescent lakes with dry flys.

"They're high mountain lakes so the fish are hungry all the time," he said. "The bugs haven't been bad this year so it's been kind of nice."

Also, a perk to this fishery are the nice hikes and getting a little out of the way from the usual angling crowds.

The best bet for this weekend, he said, is probably fishing for trout and dollies on the Kenai below Skilak Lake or upstream at the Cooper Landing area. Atcheson said he has been fishing with old flesh flies and swinging leeches.

Down off the Homer Spit, halibut fishing has been excellent, according to Nicky Szarzi, fisheries biologist for the Department of Fish and Game.

Flatfish caught in the past week have averaged about 15 pounds, according to the department's Lower Cook Inlet weekly fishing report.

The department extended the saltwater closure around the mouth of the Anchor River through July 31.

"We're doing what we can to try and make our escapement goal into the Anchor," she said.

Anglers in Homer might try trolling for feeder kings in Kachemak Bay.

"There's still good fishing to be had out in the saltwater," Szarzi said.

The China Poot personal-use dipnet fishery opens today with poor fishing expected.

"So far the reds are not in at China Poot," she said.

For the Kenai and Kasilof rivers, late-run regulations for king salmon begin today.

"It's the end of the early run. The fishery has peaked," said Robert Begich, area management biologist for Fish and Game.

Begich said a decent number of kings are entering the river (some 500 daily within the past week per Fish and Game sonar counts) but fishing has been mediocre.

"Some days are better than others," he said. "There's still kings available."

At this time there are no big pulses of sockeye moving into the Kenai River, he said. The personal-use dipnet fishery begins July 10.

On the Kasilof, the dipnet fishery opened last week with fair results for netting red salmon for personal use. The success will vary as the run progresses into July, according to Fish and Game's report.

Fishing on the Russian River has remained the same with relatively fair success.

"There's fish slowly cranking through that area," Begich said.

According to weir counts, anywhere from 1,025 to 2,072 sockeye have swum by the weir for a total of 12,806 fish in the river.

The sanctuary area at the confluence of the Russian and Kenai rivers, where many fish hold up, is slated to open July 15, per standard state regulations.

"If more fish show up maybe something will happen but for now it's normal regs," Begich said.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at

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