We’ve been having some absolutely amazing weather here in Anchorage this week. Clear, sunny skies every day. Temps reaching the mid-80’s (aka a heatwave), and a need to be outside 100% of the time (I’m writing this on my porch with full sunshine in shorts at 10pm.)
So when I got the opportunity to head down to Kenai for a day fishing for reds on the Russian River, I enthusiastically went.
I borrowed a fishing pole and rented waders and boots from Alaska Outdoor Gear Rental. I had to pay for a 2 day rental since I wouldn’t be able to meet their return time, so it ended up being $40 for the rental. I was able to purchase my fishing license from the local Fred Meyer, and I got sandwiches and beer for myself and the guys.
We left Anchorage around 6:30am for the 2 hr drive down. Once we arrived, we suited up in our waders, grabbed our tackle gear, the cooler full of food, and our poles and headed for the ferry ticket station.
To cross the river, you can pay $11 per person to take the ferry. It’s like a handtram mixed with a boat, and is a short journey across the water. One great thing about Alaska: there is no shortage of transportation opportunities.
We wandered in the woods along the river to Ryan’s favourite fishing spot which was nice and isolated. The Russian River gets a reputation for combat fishing – fisherman shoulder to shoulder in danger of striking each other with an errant fishing lure. But the spot we hit had good luck for the guys without major danger. Along our walk, we saw many piles of bear scat – reminding us that we weren’t alone in those woods. It’s not uncommon for bears to come and take a fisherman’s catch – one of the reasons why we had bear spray on us. The rules also try to protect fisherman by requiring coolers to be kept within 12 ft of you, and backpacks within 3 ft.
I had a fun minor mishap – when I went to net a fish one of the guys caught, I stepped in a deep spot and got pulled with the current. A full body dip, frantic swimming to the shore, and waders full of water and I was back on the dry land. It took a while to warm up – the stream was a cold 48*F.
We ended up with 5 fish at the end of the day: 3 for Cody, 2 for Ryan, and none for me. But I had a lovely time in a beautiful spot and you know what they say: if you catch no fish, then you have none to clean!