Fishing Trips with Motes Mountain Adventures 907.713.7155

Kenai River Sockeye Salmon The “Red Salmon”.

With 3 separate runs of Sockeye Salmon in the Kenai RIver (the “Blueback” run in May, “early” run in June and the main run in mid to late July and early August) totalling nearly a million individuals, the Sockeye, or “Reds” are truly a crowd-pleaser.

Averaging between 4-6 lbs., Sockeye return to the Kenai River in huge numbers. During typical summers, upwards of 1.5 million fish make their annual spawning run. Two distinct runs come up the Kenai River. The first run generally starts when the upper Kenai River opens on June 11th with about 40,000 fish making their way up the Kenai to the Russian River, a mountain tributary in Cooper Landing. This run lasts through early July. The second, more prolific run of Sockeye Salmon arrives in mid-July and daily numbers of Sockeye entering the Kenai can reach upwards of 50,000 fish! The fish tend to spread out along the entirety of the Kenai and generally spreads out angling pressure.

Red salmon (Sockeye) are one of Alaska’s most popular salmon. The best locations are typically the Kenai River, Russian River, and Kasilof River. These fish swim very close to the shore in medium swift currents. Reds are not aggressive biters, so the common method of catching them is called “flossing”. The idea is that if you lay your line low in the water, the salmon will pick up the line in their mouth. At this point you “set the hook,” which draws the hook into the corner of the fish’s mouth. This requires using the right amount of weight so that the line and hook move along the bottom of the river at the same pace of the current. You can use any type of weight you feel comfortable with. Splitshot, slinkies, and sinklines are all common types. Leader lengths will vary based on water conditions.

On the Russian River, where the stream is narrow and quick, typical leader lengths are between 18” and 24”. On the Kenai River, where the water is deep and wide, leader length is more often between 3’ and 5’. Adjust the leader length when needed. The goal is to ensure that the line and fly lay flat along the bottom. The standard fly to use is called the Russian River Fly.

The technique is fairly simple, and if you follow it, you have a great chance to land lots of fish. First, determine where you want to fish. Pull out enough line that you can “flip” your fly out about 15-20 ft. Flip your line as far as it will go to your “10 o’clock position”, which should be past and upstream of your fish. Keeping your line taught, drift the line through the water at the same pace of the current until your line points to your “2 o’clock position”. Repeat. Remember, adjust your weight if your line is moving too quickly or slowly. This will be the difference between catching and not catching fish. Captain Motes will be with guest every step of the way to ensure the best possible chances of landing fish.



July $200.00 half-day/$250.00 full-day per person

August $200.00 half-day/$250.00 full-day per person

September $200.00 half-day/$250.00 full-day per person

Contact us:
Motes Mountain Adventures
Nathanael Motes



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