The past weekend stank, in the opinion of many anglers fishing the Russian River.
But it wasn't from all the fish carcasses on shore. Rather, it was from the lack of them.
"People are catching some, but it's been really slow," said Ivan Tan of Anchorage. He was down for the Fourth of July holiday weekend and was able to catch one red salmon at the confluence where the Russian River meets the Kenai.
The fishing for reds picked up a little last weekend, but had dropped off by midweek. Things hadn't picked up by this past weekend, much to the dismay of the many anglers hopeful of bagging their limit.
Jeff Dorland also was down from Anchorage. He and his father were fishing the area known as the sanctuary, but the two weren't faring as well as they had hoped.
"The fishing has been pretty spotty," Dorland said. "It took me about five hours to get two fish."
Dorland said he fishes the same area every year at this time and this fishing season has been much slower than past years.
Dorland's dad was doing better than he was.
"He got three in about an hour and a half," he said, adding that they felt lucky to have them. "We must just be in the right spot, because no one around us is really catching anything."
Jeremy Harkleroad of Anchor-age was another angler lucky enough to land a red, but he wasn't bragging because of his catch either.
"You're really having to work hard for them," he said. "I've been here four hours and this is my first fish of the day. Last weekend was in spurts, but compared to this it was much better."
Most of the reds being caught were in the four- to six-pound range and were few and far between throughout the day.
The fish weren't the only ones arriving in low numbers. The parking lot, which usually stacks up early and has people waiting to park, was surprisingly not filled to capacity on this holiday weekend.
By midday Saturday, the inner parking lot had a few spots open, and the outermost parking lot was only half filled.
The banks of the river, which can often be shoulder-to-shoulder on weekends, were relatively un-crowded.
There were few tangled lines or arguments between anglers, compared to the "combat fishing" that can be so commonplace at this time of year.
Peninsula Clarion ©2015. All Rights Reserved.