USGS Stream Data

Kenai Rvr @ CooperLndg

  • Water Temp: 35.24 ° F
  • Flow: 514 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 5.21 ft

Middle Kenai @ Skilak

  • Flow: 941 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 6.15 ft

Talkeetna Rvr

  • Water Temp: 32 ° F
  • Water Level: 3.14 ft

Situk Rvr

  • Water Temp: 42.44 ° F
  • Flow: 185 ft³/s
  • Water Level: 65.59 ft
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Russian River Salmon Trip – June 19th

We decided after our season opener trip that we needed to make another trek south to the Russian River to try and re-shoot some underwater footage of the salmon at the confluence. But, since we were traveling that far anyway, we’d take our heavier rods and leave early; hoping to catch some of the sockeyes that were moving into the river. It was supposed to be about the peak of the run, and given that it was going to a Wednesday, we thought we’d have less combat fishing and quality time on the river. Well, you know fishing … in Tuesday’s paper it was announced that ADF&G was going to open the Sanctuary (confluence) at 8:00AM Wednesday.

By the time we got on the river, about 5:30AM, anglers had already filled some of our favorite spots. I guess there’s no such thing as “before everyone else” anymore. And, one of our favorite techniques of wading downstream and fishing as were go was not going to work, as the river was still high from our warm spring runoff. We ended up across from Rainbow Trout camping area, on the far side of the river, fishing a spot that the salmon will stop at, at least momentarily, before continuing upstream. It was now about 6:00. Dennis, Lance, and I picked spots and began fishing.

Dennis hooked a nice Dolly Varden on a Green Lantern, and Lance caught a few smaller trout on the Christmas Island Special he was using.  Eventually, I hooked and landed a sockeye on a Mini-Krystal Shrimp. This gave us some hope that the fish were starting to move up and we continued to fish. 8:00 O’Clock came and we thought “OK, now that the confluence has opened, fish will start flooding upstream in reaction to the onslaught.” We fished, and watched, and practiced casting, and waited… time passed. It was now 9:30AM and we had been flailing the water for over three hours. Since we hadn’t really seen any salmon moving upstream, we decide to head down to see if we could intercept them somewhere. The density of anglers increased dramatically downstream of the Cottonwood Hole, and with limited access to the river we ended up at the confluence before we knew it.

It actually was not as crowed we thought it might be, although anglers continued to show up steadily for the rest of the morning. We discussed options and since there seemed to be fish here we decided to stay and give it a try, even though Lance & I were under gunned for combat fishing. Dennis stayed high, fishing the far side across from the boardwalk, I decided to try an open spot way out, just up from the color mix at the bottom of the confluence. Lance ended up just a bit upstream from me, more in the clear water of the Russian. We all hooked, and lost, a fair number of fish. Lance was having trouble because he had brought a sinking line for the upper part of the river and it was sinking too fast where he was and he couldn’t tell a pickup from a drag across fish backs. (A new spare spool is in the works.) Dennis ended up being able to land one fish, but broke off several as he was in a spot that necessitated using a heavy hand to fight a bright fish.  My final count was three fish (the limit) but it took a long day of fishing and in an area that I rarely visit due to angler congestion and the ability to fly cast/drift as opposed to flip and drag. But on that note, I want to thank the couple fishing next to me who were very courteous and gave me space each time I hooked a fish. They’re in the orange/red jackets in the video. Nice couple.

Even though it was a much longer day than any of us had anticipated, we decided that it was good to be out and on the river, and that we had learned new things to remember for the next time. It was fun to go light for a change. One rod, a single box of flies, some split shot, extra tippet, and our GoPros. But we should have brought some snacks… next time.

Hope you enjoyed my ramblings. Until your next visit, may you have good fishing and safe wading. We appreciate you sharing our site.



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