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Posted by alaskanfishguides on Nov 28 2005
I am not certain I understand your question. If you are simply looking to catch fish, the odds are certainly in your favor by targeting sockeye (at least on the Kenai/Kasilof/Russian). This year we had a 1.5 million sockeye escapement (past the sonar counter at mile 21) on the Kenai. The Kasilof had so many reds that the Department of Fish and Game initiated a "terminal fishery", thus trying to prevent any more fish from entering the river (over escapement can be detrimental to the future runs). The coho salmon are nowhere close to that number. But, because of the nature of the coho salmon, Fish and Game have not determined an effective way to measure or study the strength of the silver run or to effectively predict next year's return.
Nevertheless, If you are looking for the fishing experience, then coho salmon are where it's at. The crowds are gone, the river is peaceful, and it becomes much more relaxing to fish for silvers.
Now that being said, this year in particular, we fished for silvers, and then jumped out and caught reds...(in August). Usually, by the end of the red run, the limit will be increased to 6 per person, per day. It doesn't take long to fill the box. Nevertheless, the reds are very inconsistent in August.
To add to the confusion, even numbered years on the Kenai are pink years. Again, this occurs during August. Pinks, though not the best table fare, are very aggressive fish, hitting anything that moves and putting on a pretty good fight.
So, for the do-it-yourself, first-time visitor, I think around the 7th of August would be a great time to fish the Kenai, Kasilof or even the Russian for reds, silvers, pinks (on even numbered years) and rainbows/dolly varden. The first run of silvers should be in, the second run of reds will be finishing but still around and the pinks will be starting. King season will be closed on the Kenai (however we had many incidental King salmon catches while fishing for silvers in August... very exciting on 15# test line!!!). The rainbow fishing will be great in the Russian and mid/upper Kenai during this time as well.
Hope that helps.
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