USGS Stream Data

Kenai Rvr @ CooperLndg

  • Water Temp: 40.28 ° F
  • Flow: 2840 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 8.49 ft

Middle Kenai @ Skilak

  • Flow: 3660 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 7.78 ft

Talkeetna Rvr

  • Water Temp: 43.7 ° F
  • Flow: 8540 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 5.51 ft

Situk Rvr

  • Water Temp: 48.92 ° F
  • Flow: 195 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 65.63 ft
Ask About Fly Fishing

Kenai Lake Outlet & a follow-up on our Flying Rafts

Two weeks have gone by since losing our rafts off the trailer (see Flying Rafts post). Lance & I are headed back down to the outlet of Kenai Lake to fish. My raft has been repaired from the road rash holes, I have invested in tie-down straps with locking clips, and we came up makeshift side bars that allowed Lance to check if the rafts were still on the trailer from his side mirrors. We stopped and checked everything a couple of times during the 100 mile run to the river. Mostly because we were a bit gun shy after the last trip. Everything held tight.

Safety clips on my new tie-down straps

Safety clips on my new tie-down straps

Side bars of a visual check while driving.

Side bars of a visual check while driving.



At the end of Turnagain Arm, just past Placer River, we were treated to a truly Alaskan site.A cow moose with her calf were feeding in a marsh just behind a pair of Tundra Swans. Needless to say we stopped and took advantage of the photo opportunity.





Once at the river, the weather was typical spring; not snotty, but not nice either. The sun was behind clouds which kept the ambient air temperature cool. We wore our jackets and wind shells most of the day. I’d complain, but it’s the 2nd of April and it is warm enough to go fishing. We’re happy just to be able to get out on the water.

We had decided to fish around the Sterling Highway bridge that marks the outlet of Kenai Lake in Cooper Landing. The water above, and just below, the bridge is slow enough to allow the use of flippers to maneuver the rafts as long as you stayed out of the main current tongue. We planned to fish these areas like we do lakes, by just paddling around. Besides, we had oars for when we needed to row against the current or get somewhere fast. The water was still amazingly low; down 5 to 6 feet judging by the water marks on the bridge footing.

Lance would be under water at normal flows.











The wind was blowing down the lake into the outlet, so we would row up into the lake outlet a bit and then fin kick our way back and forth either trolling long leech patterns or casting and retrieving smaller smolt and fry patterns. Wind drift helped us move towards the bridge, covering water as we went.26_KenaiRvr_2015-04-02_015811_KenaiRvr_2015-04-02_0004



















Late in the afternoon I finally took a solid hookup on a Tubular Smolt. The fish hit on my last diagonal pass above the bridge, just as the current gets strong enough that using flippers is a work out on your legs. It was a nice fish and it fought to stay deep as I flippered to the beach. Lance rowed over for pictures as I worked the fish into the shallow water and eased it into my net. It’s amazing how a good sized fish can make all the hard work it takes to go spring fishing worthwhile.22_KenaiRvr_2015-04-02_0149




After releasing the fish I had to take a photo of Lance. His overall look was too much to pass up. Where else would you run into an angler outfitted like this?


We fished for a couple more hours without as much as a bump. Such is spring fishing. So even though the weather had started to improve, we decided to call it a day. We took almost an hour to pack up the truck and trailer for the two hour drive home. It was almost as if we were savoring the end of the day, like a really great dessert; although neither of us actually voiced that sentiment. We knew it would be several weeks before we would have a chance to fish the river again. And outside of our Flying Rafts incident, the river had been good to us these first two trips, with a fish over 20 inches apiece.


As we came around the end of Turnagain Arm towards Girdwood we were treated to a beautiful sunset to the northwest and a full moon coming over the mountains to the southeast. The photo op put a 30 minute delay in our trip home; but what a great way to end our day.



Thanks again for sharing our fishing adventures.

Rich & Lance


Leave a Reply