Every year I load up my fishing gear, fly to Anchorage, and then head to one of my favorite places on this planet, the Kenai River. This is a tradition I started 3 years ago when I accompanied my wife on a layover. She works for the airlines (lucky me).
When I started this tradition in 2013, I was hit with tremendous luck. My first cast while fishing the Kenai River, a 10 pound coho salmon nailed my lure and gave me a thrilling fight. I’ve been hooked ever since. However, it’s distorted my expectations of the annual salmon run because I assume every year that the fishing will be as simple and productive as the first year when I timed the silver run perfectly.
This year was awful for me. I hit the tail end of the King salmon run, and saw a mediocre sockeye (otherwise known as “reds”) run in my area. The flashy Blue fox spoons that landed me countless silvers in the past, was a waste of time for spawning reds. I had two days to fish the river this year and my go-to spot was not producing.
Determined not to come home empty handed, I struck up conversations with locals and other anglers and found out the technique and location people were catching the sockeyes. They employed a technique called “flipping” or “flossing” which involved tying a Russian River fly to a 24″ leader, then flipping the line into the current near the bank, holding for 6-10 seconds, and pulling out and repeating the process.
I hiked a mile to a popular fishing hole where I was instructed, and sure enough, the technique paid off. Landed my first salmon in about an hour and although I didn’t fill the cooler that day, I came home with fresh salmon that runs $18.99/pound back here in Minnesota.
My trips to Alaska every year are part of what help satisfy the wild desires I have as a man. Guys like us need to pull away from civilization now and then and face challenges in nature. These adventures rejuvenate the soul and build everlasting character…and often add more protein to the freezer. #CelebrateMan