I was restless.
The Russian River weir counts have been low and appear to be past peak. I was faced with the choice of fishing or not fishing. Fishing will always win that battle.
Quite a few of my friends have made the statement that it will be great to fish without all the tourist this summer. They say it will be less crowded. When I hear this I sarcastically reply, “you think”? Not to say I told you so, but there have been plenty of Alaskan’s filling up the fishing holes already.
I’m conditioned to the crowds while fishing at the Russian/Kenai confluence. What I never get use to is people who willingly violate rules. Do you see the “No Wading” sign? At least ten people were wading where they weren’t suppose to be.
Right below the ferry dock is a designated handicap fishing area. It too is part of the “No Wading” zone. I watched a half dozen people fish here for nearly twenty minutes. Let’s just say I’m highly suspicious of their disabilities. I could very well be wrong about that, but there’s no excuse for not being able to read a sign saying “No Wading”.
Even though Jane and I spent more time hiking than fishing, we were happy to be out. For you non fisherman, reading that last line, happy to be out, is code for not catching a thing. It wasn’t completely dead. With that many fisherman flossing, I did see a few fish caught. However, the action was not enough to stay for more than a couple of hours.
The week wasn’t all about fishing. Roughly half way between Kenai and Anchorage is the community of Hope, population 192. Since the town is located just over fifteen miles from the main highway, it’s often overlooked (that would include me). It’s been twenty years since I last visited Hope and I’m glad to report that very little has changed. For the 192 people who call this home, they are more than alright with this. Off the beaten path, with gorgeous views of Turnagain Arm, it’s a worthwhile stop while visiting the Kenai Peninsula.
My plan for the week ahead is to get back on the Kenai River to fish for king salmon. On Wednesday, July 1st, the river will reopen to king fishing with restrictions. It will begin without the use of bait, and any king salmon greater than 34” must be immediately released. I’m okay with this conservative approach. Reopening with an all out harvest makes little sense considering how poor the early run has been.
See you in a week with a new report. I hope to share a few catch and release photos.