Friday, July 18, 2008

Alaska '08 Day 36, Seward to Sterling

Thu July 17, 2008

We wanted a day in a full service campground for laundry and showers after coming off 3 nights boondocking (Seward) heading for 3 more (Homer) so we found a commercial campground (Moose River RV) halfway between Seward and Homer in Sterling.

We drove up to the town of Kenai, they are dip netting reds now and I wanted to see it. The king run is just about over on the Kenai and the reds are starting. The dip netters were out along both banks of the Kenai and there were a lot of boats on the river.

We went back and saw the old Russian Orthodox Church (~1895). It is really small but pretty.

The national wildlife center told us the red (sockeye) salmon are running the Kenai river (the Russian is done and wasn't very good). The Kenai reds run is looking pretty good at this point. The lady in the campground office told us they were getting limits (3 fish) in 30 minutes at Moose River across the street at Isaak Walton state park. Earlier in the day we stopped at a city park in Soldotna . At the edge of the park they have a walkway along the river. It was packed with fishermen and everybody was getting fish.

After dinner Mike, Jen and I went over to Isaac Walton park across the street. It is $5 to park at the boat ramp, there is like 6 parking spots. We walked back to the merge of the Moose River and Kenai River and there was a half a dozen guys fishing the Moose. Everybody was catching some so we gave it a try. Initially we had the wrong gear (small pencil lead weight with 36" leaders and flies). A local told us to use 2 ounce keel weights and 18" leaders cuz we had no current here. When you feel the weight hit a fish, set the hook. Once we switched to this we started catching fish. The problem is this is snagging and all the fish we got were foul hooked. We caught some sockeyes that were almost 8 lbs., really big for reds. Mike and I probably brought in 4 fish each. We mentioned to one of the locals that we wanted to keep some so we wanted some legal hookings and he said go around the corner to the Kenai and fish with the pencil lead/long leader rigs there. We did and I snagged another nice fish and Mike got one with a legal catch. I had some trouble getting the hang of flipping ~15' of line. The idea is the reds swim up the river with their mouth open. When you feel a hit it may be your line going through the mouth of a salmon so set the hook. This appears to work. The guys in Saldotna were flipping (kind of like fly rod fishing).

87 miles today.

5503 miles so far.
- Jon


At July 19, 2008 at 1:50 PM , Anonymous said...

Jon's right, we had a great time catching Reds, but it was frustrating having to throw back so many nice fish!
It was also hard to believe there are so many fish running up these rivers, attracting so many fishermen. Paring lots were over flowing, and the hardware was selling out of waders, boots, and feather lures!
When you see all of the traffic heading south down the highway, you have to wonder if there are any people left in Anchorage!
Mike, Jenny & Kirby


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