2016 fishing season recap
Hi everyone well I am sad to report that the 2016 fishing season has officially ended here at Jim Rusk Fishing, the boats are wintered, and the gear is put away. Well I will first talk about King Salmon season and want to start by saying it was a great year. On the Kenai River we saw some of the best fishing we have had in years. Especially in the early run of Kenai King Salmon where we have had some very low returns in recent years, this year we finally felt like we had turned a corner, due to responsible management such as fishing closures. catch and release and no bait, everyone feels like we are on the rebound with this run of Kenai River King Salmon. Because of good numbers of returning King Salmon we were allowed to fish much earlier on the Kenai River than we had in a number of years. Also with good numbers on the Kenai and the fishing regulations being liberalized this allowed fish and game to lift no bait restrictions on the Kasilof River, And let me tell you before they opened bait we had good fishing but after they opened bait it got crazy with some of the best King Salmon fishing on the Kasilof River I have seen in a very long time. Next our second run of King Salmon was also strong on the Kenai river and the Kasilof River with great fishing the entire month of July. In all it was a very good season here on the Kenai for King Salmon and let us all keep our fingers crossed that 2017 will be more of the same.
Sockeye Salmon here on the Kenai was also a strong run this year with good returns in the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers. However with that being said this year was an odd year particularly on the Kenai River. Normally on the Kenai River the sockeye run will start around the 15th of July and be done for the most part by the end of the month and though the fishing will be red hot it is over very quick with all of the fish coming in a two week period. But this year things were different, instead of all the fish coming at once they started running in early July which is very unusual, and continued well in to mid August This odd run timming made for the fishing not being quite as fast and furious as normal but on the up side we were able to get nice catches of sockeye for a much longer time than normal. So in recap it was a good return but different than normal.
Well next let’s talk about Kenai and Kasilof River Silver Salmon. After 10 or 15 years of incredible Silver Salmon fishing we finally had to work for our fish this year and it was not just us, reports from the entire north west and all thru Alaska were that returning numbers of Silver Salmon were down this year and the Kenai was actually one of the rivers least affected. Many theories of why Cohoe numbers were down are out there but I doubt we will ever know for sure. Anyway with all that being said and even though numbers were down we still had many good days of Silver fishing were able to get limit catches on most days, which is still pretty darn good. Also we caught some very large Silvers this year which was very nice. As for the Trophy Rainbow Trout fishing this year it was decent but a bit challenging due to large numbers of Pink Salmon which is pretty common on a pink year.
Okay well that is 2016 in a nut shell we had some highs we had some lows but over all I would say 2017 was a great success. On a personal note we hit a milestone here at Jim Rusk Fishing and I completed my 30th season as a fishing guide here on the Kenai” what a great run. I want to thank everyone who made the last thirty years at Jim Rusk Fishing a success and I look forward to many more, see you in the spring.