The Annual Fin & Fire Hosted Trip to Alaska's Kenai Peninsula was a success. With COVID-19 negative tests in hand 4 Fin & Fire crew plus a guest fished the Kenai Peninsula streams for 8 days in late September.
Trout fishing on the Kenai was good although the "Magnums" seemed to prefer the LDR catch and release methods more than the Grip-N-Grin style favored by most anglers. Hundreds of rainbow and dolly varden in the 14" to 24" range were landed over several days and many triples and a few quads were had on the Alaska Troutfitters boats. The Troutfitters guides are awesome and know the river as well as anyone.
Going to Alaska and just catching a lot of big fish is not as easy as some would say. When it's on its really on as the Kenai is a true fish factory but due to rapidly changing conditions and the timing of the salmon runs its not an easy layup. Although COVID didn't really provide many issues for us, the brown bears were out in abundance this year with more than a few sightings and one closer-than-desired encounter. This forced us to be extra cautious with bear spray at the ready and made us move around a bit to find areas that had more fish than bears. Most of the guys used their 6wts and bead rigs but quite honestly some of the better trout were caught on the swing with small flesh flies.
Noted for its epic salmon runs and amazing trout fishing, Alaska also hosts some small populations of Fall Run Steelhead. We utilize swung fly tactics and indicator methods to hook these chrome bright beauties.
Ranging from about 4 to 12 pounds Alaskan steelhead run in small rivers that are best fished on foot. The fish are aggressive towards a properly swung fly and are moving upriver during light rains and are brought in by wildly fluctuating tidal swings. We generally fish single hand rods in the 9 to 10 foot range and a 7 or 8 wt is perfect. In 2020 Everyone had a few chances at these beauties but never enough to fully satisfy the urge to hook just one more.
Steelheading isn't for everyone. You need to cover water and be willing to take the bad with the good. A lot more steelhead are hooked than landed, especially in small streams. Some days just don't line-up due to rising water levels. Steelheaders know this and are people that enjoy the chase and the opportunity.
Whether you are chasing the rainbow trout of a lifetime on the Kenai or the chance at a true wild chrome steelhead, Fin & Fire has been running this trip for many years with great success. You stay in very nice VRBO housing and do not have to do any of the driving or logistics. We eat out at better KP restaurants or cook at home depending on the day. If interested send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be provided a prospectus outlining our future September trips.