Water levels generally go up from their spring lows by mid-June, and once the high, muddy water passes through, water clarity and fishing success generally improves.
What’s Open? What’s Closed?
The upper Kenai River (above Skilak Lake) re-opens at 12:01 a.m. June 11 (except for the Russian River “sanctuary area.”). Outside the fly-fishing-only areas, legal tackle is one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure with gap between point and shank no larger than 3/8-inch. In the fly-fishing-only areas, the terminal tackle must be one single-hook unbaited fly with hook gap no larger than 3/8-inch.
The lower Kenai River (below Skilak Lake) opens for trout fishing 12:01 a.m. June 11. In June, the lower Kenai is open for king, sockeye, and pink salmon, as well as Arctic char/Dolly Varden. Legal fishing tackle is restricted to one unbaited, single-hook, artificial lure, any size hook.
There are also several confluence areas with special tackle,, king salmon, and boating restrictions, so paying careful attention to the regulation booklet is a good idea before heading out on the water.
King salmon fishing continues to improve, with the early run peaking around the second or third week of June. Once the sonar is installed, sonar estimates are posted on our website. For king salmon fishing from a boat, try single-hook Kwikfish™, Mag/Wiggle Warts™ , or Spin-N-Glos™. Casting from shore, try Spin-N-Glos™, Pixees™, Tee-Spoons™, or L’il Corkies™. Kings tend to run in the deeper channels, down the middle of the river. Be sure you have enough weight on your line so that your lure crosses their path.
This small run of early sockeye does not present much of an opportunity to harvest fish in the mainstem Kenai River downstream of Skilak Lake. Minimum escapement above the weir is set at 14,000 sockeye.
This concludes our 2015 Kenai River fishing report.
Lunker’s Guide 2015 Kenai River fishing report!