Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden Char
The term “world class” is often over-used and frequently abused. But what
else can you call a trout fishery filled with native rainbows and char
from 14”-26” in length? Trout measuring 28”-32” inches are not uncommon
here and every year, some lucky angler or two lands a behemoth Kenai River
‘bow approaching (or exceeding) the twenty pound mark! Go ahead-travel to
New Zealand, Chile, Argentina or more remote (and expensive!) parts of
Alaska…you will be hard pressed to find a more reliable, higher success,
and less expensive trophy trout fishery than the Kenai River.
This season opens in mid-June and fishes well thru July…but once August
arrives and the salmon start to spawn, look out! The bite really lights
up, improving each week through September (and even October, for those
hearty enough to handle).
EZ Limit offers three distinctly different charters for our trophy trout
anglers. Working from the headwaters of the river down, the first is what
is called the Upper Kenai River. It is a quiet, drift boat trip in a
non-motorized section. The upper Kenai River is regulated as an
artificial, single hook only fishery that is total catch and release. This
section of the river is easily accessed, and although beautiful,
occasionally runs alongside the Sterling Highway. Our guests use spinning
rods or fly-rods…if you’ve always wanted to learn how to fly-fish, this is
a great environment to do so, as the guides we use are true trophy trout
specialists that are extremely knowledgeable and patient. You will drift
fish from the boat, and occasionally get out on a gravel bar to work
attractive slots and runs.
The second section of river we offer for trophy trout is just downstream
from this upper section. Called the Kenai Canyon, due to its high rock
walls and class III whitewater, this is the most remote section of the 81
mile river and thus our most popular trout trip. You will see no
powerboats, no homes, no cars, no roads-it is simply a gorgeous section of
trout water. Fishing is similar to the upper river: choose a fly or
spinning rod and drift from the drift boat while occasionally visiting the
bank. For this reason, you will need hip boots or chest waders on these
two sections. Our guides can provide loaner hip boats if you do not have
your own waders. This section empties out on scenic Skilak Lake, and
weather depending, a 50 minute boat ride to the ramp completes this very
special charter. Like the Upper Kenai, on this trip you can expect to land
25-100 trout per boat during peak season! This trip is logistically
challenging-but well worth the added hardship and cost.
The third and final trophy trout trip we offer is via power boat on the
middle Kenai River. Launching at Bing’s Landing, you will travel upstream
until you near the outlet of Skilak Lake, at which point your veteran
guide will turn the boat sideways, instruct you to cast your single egg
imitation or flesh fly, and hang on! As you drift down stream, you will
know it when a dolly or rainbow grabs your offering! Land your fish in a
rubber basket net, take a quick photo, release it, and run back up river
to do it all over again!
Regardless of what section of river you fish, or what rod you choose,
these big trout hit hard, jump frequently, and are marked as well as any
native rainbow on the planet! One thing’s for sure, if you book a trophy
trout trip with EZ Limit, you had better bring your tape measure and your
camera, because you are going to need both!
Check out more Rainbow photos from EZ Limit.