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June – Fishing for King Salmon - Alaska

Alaska and salmon fishing are synonymous; there are Kings, Reds, Humpys (aka Pinks) and Silvers all to be had.  We learned that the first run of King salmon usually happens in June, smaller and more unpredictable then the big run in July but none the less, Kings can be caught.

After a 7 hour flight, we landed in Alaska and immediately went down to Ship Creek, right in downtown

Anchorage, to watch folks already in the water fishing. Some stood on the banks while a couple stood waist to chest deep in water hoping to snag a King. One fisherman was so intent, on his task at hand, he hadn’t noticed the rising of the tide and actually got stuck out in the middle of the river. The Anchorage Fire Department was called out on a 911 to drag this young man out of the water. Rumor is that he got his waders stuck in the mud and didn’t want to risk losing them thus the call for help.

Fishing guides and locals intently listen to the Parks and Wildlife reports on fish counts each and every day. In 10 days time we saw it go from ‘normal’ conditions to a complete ban on Kings on the Kenai River to limited King fishing to completely opening the King fishing up to using bait! Our fishing plans changed almost daily following based on what we heard on the fishing reports.

Finally, we got the report that the Kenai was open to King fishing so off we went. It took about 2 hours to drive the very scenic route between Anchorage to the Kenai Peninsula. And although inclement weather hindered us, it was amazing to view the majestic mountains covered in snow and the amazing lakes, bays and rivers along the way. We stopped several times to take in the view of, no doubt, what is truly God’s country.
(Take a look at story on Touring Alaska)

The next several days, it was fishing, fishing and more fishing. We had one of the best and most accommodating fishing guides, in all of the Peninsula, Keith Holtan. Keith and his lovely wife, Jane, own Beaver Creek Cabins. Nestled amongst the trees, these log cabins were home to Bald Eagles and a mama moose and her twins. It was a fascinating sight to wake up early in the morning (while getting ready to go fishing) to see bald eagles flying overhead and mama and the twins sleeping in the front yard. Geez, I had no idea how big a moose could get; she stood taller than the cab of a pickup truck! We also learned, very quickly, not to get too close!!

Each morning Keith greeted us with a huge smile as he waited for us to get on board; he was always ready before we were. Okay, I admit it was cold; about mid-forties, and the rainy spells didn’t help but we were determined. We fished the Kenai from 5:30am until 4:30pm, after that Jim and Paul headed for the Russian River to try their luck with the Reds. 

Fishing the Kenai River involved trolling and drifting for the King in hopes that you’d annoy one enough so it would bite. During the peak of the King season this happens quite a bit and folks catch huge Kings all day long. 

Fishing the Russian River was a little different, this required wading out about knee deep, side casting your line into the water and dragging it back in.  The idea was to snag the fish, in the mouth, while they are breathing; any fish snagged anywhere other than their mouth had to be released. This definitely takes practice and a keen sense of know-how along with a pair of warm wool pants. check out the photos...

For your own travel arrangements, near or far, call Sheron at 281-480-1988. Travel Leaders

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