Red Salmon Information
The Sockeye Salmon or Red Salmon, as they're favorably called, is known for its great table fare and action packed strength. These are the salmon that you see migrating up rivers by the tens of thousands, jumping water falls and traveling many miles of river at great odds. The Kenai River is home to hundreds of thousands of Sockeye Salmon. In some years the Kenai has received over a million of these fish in a single season.
The Kenai River has two runs of Sockeye Salmon. The first run which is the Russian River salmon are best fished near the Russian River in the Cooper Landing area. Fishing starts June 11th and traditionally peaks June 25th. Fish size runs around 6-8 pounds and the limit is three. The second run is the largest run of Reds in the Kenai River. These fish traditionally enter the river in a fishable quantity by July 17th, and can be pursued up the river corridor as they migrate. The second run Red Salmon average 8-12 pounds. The limit for Red Salmon is three or six depending on were you fish and the quantity of the salmon run.
Red Salmon are not aggressive biters in freshwater but this great sport fish can still be caught in the mouth and provide the fisherman with a hard fighting battle. As the Reds migrate up river they travel in groups and swim close to shore. This gives wading anglers the ability to intercept the migrating salmon. Good waders are a must when fishing for Reds. Hip waders are ok but chest waders will give you best access to the river. Also, be sure to bring a hat and polarized sun glasses to see into the water.
When fishing for the Red Salmon, fly rods and reels are the gear of choice. Fly rods that are seven weights to nine weights are used with fly reels that have a good drag system. Most fishermen use a straight twenty pound leader and a coho fly or a piece of yarn on a hook at the end of the leader.
The way of fishing for Red Salmon that arenít aggressive biters is the "Clothes lining method". As the fish are migrating up stream, with their heads and mouths all pointing in the same direction, you will sweep your fly line and leader across the water and into the fishes mouth. With an abundant amount of fish migrating up the river this technique can be very productive.