Our goal for day number two, my final day, was to shoot five video segments on the world famous Kenai river for the new Alaska Magazine web site. ( http://www.AlaskaMagazine.com ) Growing up on the Mississippi River, I thought I was ready for this adventure.Wow, I was wrong.
The drive was three hours each way of wonderful torture. One gorgeous scene after another. It seems that no matter where you turn, you can not escape a beautiful view. I have been to a lot of pretty places, but you can almost always just turn the car around the mountains are behind you as you leave for home.Not in Alaska.Turn in any direction and see a different view.The best part of the drive was the company and seeing the Cook Inlet. See photo gallery for picture. http://www.chatalaska.com/ryandohrn/gallery/view_gallery.one?gal_id=42673The Cook Inlet has a story all by itself, but this post is about fly fishing the Kenai.
As we stood at the dock watching the water rush by I saw a Starbucks coffee cup float by, our course the usual corporate comments were made, but what impressed me the most was the speed of the current.The cup was in front of us and then gone!Having tried to dock many a boat in my time as a river captain (LOL) I was simply amazed at the skill needed by our Captain and Guide to just get the Alaska Magazine boat to the dock.Alaska Magazine is emblazoned on the side of this 16 foot flat bottom guide boat, so we needed to make a good showing for the company.The boat had four seats and a 35hp motor, which is the maximum allowed by law on the Kenai.You will see now wake boarders on the Kenai.Alan had to float down river 40 yards from the launch point and then hammer down all 35hp of his outboard engine to get back to the dock against the current to pick us up.It was only a few moments and we were off on this days adventure.The water temperature was approximately 40 degrees and the air temp was about 74.We headed up river in search of Sockeye or “Red’s” as they are called on the Kenai.
I rolled off about 20 minutes of tape just on the trip up river.I was amazed at the hundreds of anglers in mid current hoping for a bite.I knew keeping the camera dry would be an adventure of its own, but I wanted to fish a little too.Heck, I can’t have a good fish story without a fish!
In trying to explain this adventure I came across the site: http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/areas/fishing/southcentral/kenai-fishing.htm I would recommend checking out! They do a great job describing the river, "There is only one word to describe the angling opportunities on the Kenai Peninsula, is "incomparable". This area ranks high on the list of favorites in the state. It is home to the both the world's largest run of Sockeye salmon, which is accessible by vehicle, and the Peninsula is also home of the largest King salmon ever caught. This peninsula is easily reached, heavily fished, and contains everything from world-class lodges to do-it-yourself camp sites. From fish to clams, and combat fishing to serenity, you get it all on the Kenai. While fishing on the Kenai Peninsula (sometimes misspelled Keni or even Keani), saltwater anglers can expect King, Sockeye, Coho, and Pink salmon. The adjacent waters of Cook Inlet are renowned for giant Pacific halibut. Rockfish, Dolly Varden Char, and steelhead trout are also available. Where the saltwater reaches the land, a unique opportunity presents itself."
Our guide on the trip was Captain Alan Henderson and he will be our host on the video clips. He is from Ninilchik Charters of Soldotna, Alaska.http://ninilchick.comNow, I have not been on a guided fishing trip but if this guy was a bar for judging guide services, the bar is set pretty darn high in my book.He has been a guide for many years on the Kenai and now also fishes on the ocean as well.Humor, skill and raw skill embodies Alan Henderson.
Our second spot began to yield some results for the crew.The sun was baking us like a cat on a hot tin roof.Can we say SPF 75?Fishing is all about patience, oh yes and you know me I have about as much of that as a six year old on Christmas morning.It was not until about 5 hours into the trip when we began to hit the “mother load”.The nice thing, the sun does not go down in Alaska until midnight, so the only thing stopping us from casting was the fatigue in our arms.
I filmed a good part of the day and got some great action on the river. While we were fishing I had my chance to cast and cast and cast and cast and cast and cast! I hit one red salmon and the thrill was amazing. It took 7 minutes to reel him in under the watchful eye of Captain Alan.The Sockeye are a tough fish to catch because they do not bite your fly. In a nut shell, you have to truly catch them as they float by and get the hook in their mouth.Everyone in our party got at least one Sockeye.
I just added several Anchorage, Alaska photos from my first day. My first stop, after Starbucks, was Chugach State Park, what a view! I will not say who my top secret tour guide was. Perhaps you will need to check back on http://www.AlaskaMagazine.com in a few days to find out. But wait, you are on a business trip? Why are you out wondering around? Shouldn't you be in a a meeting or something? Believe you me, this was all business! My Alaska photos are online: http://www.chatalaska.com/ryandohrn/gallery/view_gallery.one?gal_id=41321
Chugach State Park is a 495,204-acre (2,004 km²) state park in the Municipality of Anchorage in the U.S. state of Alaska. Located in the Chugach Mountains just east of the Anchorage Bowl, it is a very popular recreation destination. It is the third-largest state park in the United States, behind only Adirondack Park in New York and Wood-Tikchik State Park in Alaska.