September 2010–“Sunshine September Silvers!”

“…ask anyone around town and you’ll hear that summer sure showed up late this year on the Kenai, with 70 degree temps and day after day of sunshine in late August and the first half of September.  After a record 30+ days of rain from mid July to mid August it was a welcome relief too.  The Kenai River became so clear as the water level dropped that you could see 4-5 feet deep and marvel at the silvers swimming by and the beautiful rock formations at depths you normally can’t see to.  With the gorgeous fall colors as our backdrop, we fished silvers regularly and here are a couple of late season pics of the twins enjoying home sweet home on the Kenai River.  Hope you enjoyed an indian sommer wherever you were too!”

September 2010–“Cooper Bags a Buck!”

“…the second run of Kenai River silver salmon is in full swing now, and Cooper bagged this nice big buck this week, along with several other nice ones which came all in a flurry of bites as so often happens with silver fishing.  More sunshine, fall colors, and bright silvers like this ahead!”

August 2010–“Silver Salmon Summer”

“…pardon the absence of new material over the past few weeks, but we have to have a little fun now and then ourselves too!  With dear friends visiting from Germany, we took advantage of some openings in our schedule to get out and fish, travel, and explore and we’re glad we did.  We couldn’t capture all of the moments, but we sure will treasure them as winter starts sneaking up on us, great times with great friends.  We hope you enjoy this collection of photos highlighting late summer salmon and sightseeing here on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.  Vielen dank Familie Podlech für die wunderschöne Zeit zusammen!”

August 9, 2010–“Sunshine Salmon”

“…we woke to a break in the rain, with sun shining through the trees as we headed downriver on the Kenai to enjoy some silver & pink salmon fishing with a friend visiting from Tokyo this morning and luck was on our side as he caught his limit of Silvers and some bonus Pinks in no time at all!  Unfortunately…my camera went sideways and we only ended up with this one photo, a nice sample of a typical Kenai Pink Salmon.”

August 8, 2010–“Sashimi Season…?”

“…fresh from Japan, Hajime san wa yorokonde imasu, kare wa saisho no Kenai Gawa Redo Samon o tsurimashita!  Yoku dekimashita, fureshu sashimi oishi desu ne!  Ikura, nori, gohan to shake no kawa, shioyake shake kampu faiya de yakimashita…yokota.  Sashimi season hajimarimashita!”

August 7, 2010–“Sensational Silver”

“…somedays its not about how many fish you catch, but how nice the one is that you put in the boat, or the two.  Today we released several pink salmon, lost several hard fighting silver salmon, and landed this nice pair…which nicely matched the pair that caught them!  Breakfast steaks on bagels with havarti cheese sure hit the spot on this rainy morning too.”

August 5, 2010–“The Perfect Day”

“…can you a imagine a more perfect day than this…sleeping in until you feel rested, coffee in bed, and fishing under a bald eagle’s nest while the young eagle who has never taken flight practices his wing movements and waits for his parents to bring him fresh trout or salmon.  Then, fishing some more on the beautiful Kenai River downriver near the ocean, while enjoying breakfast on the boat (Rösti mit Eier und Frühstuckswurstli), catching Silver Salmon, Red Salmon, and Pink Salmon, watching more eagles soar high overhead and land atop trees, all while the long day’s sunshine is directly on your face warming you to the perfect comfortable temperature.  And finally, coming home to a dinner of smoked salmon caesar salad, coconut salmon, cedar plank salmon with birch syrup glaze, sweet potato fries, and a blueberry-rhubarb cobbbler with vanilla ice cream, followed shortly by a hot sauna and shower and melting into bed.  That was today, a perfect day on the Kenai River!”

August 4, 2010–“Willkommen!”

“…Indian Sommer kommt bald, und auch unsere liebe Freunde wieder aus Schwarzwald im Deutschland!  Die Erste, Bernhard & Rebecca, hier mit die Erste Rotlachs auch, schon gut gefangen, filletiert und gegessen!  Das Alaskalebnis geniessen wir zusammen :)”.

July 28, 2010–“Sophie’s Salmon!”

“…one of things we enjoy most about summer salmon fever season on the Kenai River is welcoming new friends to the sport of fishing, and experiencing with them, their 1st salmon catch of their life!  Today was Sophie’s Salmon, her first, and possibly the first fish of her life, not a bad way to start a fishing career with this beautiful, sleek and strong Sockeye Salmon that gave her a great fight and memories to last the rest of her Alaska trip!  Once in the net, the celebration began as her arms were still likely shaking and she was introduced to the art of posing her fish for photos, nice job Sophie, hope you’ll be back with your wonderful family again soon!”

July 27, 2010–“Red, White & Well…RED!”

“…as the 4th of July fades and the month winds down, the Reds just keep heating up, as seen here with Taylor & Cooper sporting Ole’ Glory and a couple of twin salmon while enjoying an evening of fishing on the riverfront…more good fishing still ahead!”

July 25, 2010–“Cooper the King!”

“…after a summer of CooperJacks for our son Cooper James, he set the record straight today by jigging eggs back-bouncing style at Mud Island, hooking this beautiful King Salmon full of fresh eggs!  After riding the high tide upriver from the Pasture past the Sonar to Mud Island, with little time left before we needed to start preparing a Salmon Bake back at base camp, Cooper lit up with excitement as this nice bright ocean fresh King took off with his eggs and caused him to spring into action and set the hook like a pro while he fought it round and round the boat until it finally submitted.  Jubilation!  The “CooperJack” curse is lifted and our young son is in Kenai Hog Heaven!” 

 July 22, 2010–“Princess and the King”

“…fresh out of Connecticut and hungry for fresh fish, 11 year old Brandy came with her sister and father to experience the Kenai River at the peak of the Red Salmon & King Salmon seasons, and experience it she did.  After several days of successful Red Salmon fishing, with limits every day, as well as a venture on the ocean for Alaskan Halibut, she woke up early and was fishing by 6:00am for King Salmon with one of our camp’s top guides.  After a miss on the first run down a popular stretch of the river, she hoped and waited for a second chance, and it came at around the 10:00am hour as she hooked, fought, and eventually landed this 60 pound beauty of a Kenai King, her first, and one to last a lifetime.  Congratulations and welcome to the Kenai King club Brandy!  P.S.  A bigger trunk would be a good idea next time around!”

July 20, 2010–“King for the Day!”

“…come summer on the Kenai River, everyone ought to have a chance to be King for the day, and today was young TJ’s day, and at nine years old it’s clear that he’s entering his fishing prime as he handled this tough fighting Kenai River King Salmon like a pro.  He had another one on the line just a little bit earlier in the morning, but his patience in waiting for the right fish paid off with this nice one.  We were all proud, even his brother Cooper who graciously gave up his seat on the morning run so TJ could fish with their buddy Greg visiting from Homer.  Our only regret is that we forgot to take a picture of the delicious butterflied King Salmon steaks we grilled this evening with a fresh garlic & soy marinade…they tasted as good as any fillet Mignon I’ve ever sunk my teeth into…thanks Taylor James!” 

July 20, 2010–“First Times a Charm!”

“…how sweet it is, a first Kenai King, and to a life-long sweet Alaskan gal it went (no surprise there!), as Samantha set the drifting hook on this beautiful Kenai River King Salmon, her first in 28 years!  A neo-natal intensive care nurse from Providence Hospital, where our four children were all born, this fish went to a well-deserving and well-rounded young Alaskan, on her first day fishing the Kenai for Kings this season…first time really is a charm, way to go Sammie, enjoy that fresh fish and the memories it made!”

July 19, 2010–“Salmon 7th Heaven…”

“…the fishing just keeps getting better and better, and this afternoon after our guests had all caught their limit of reds we hit the shore and did some family fishing, coming up with a quick seven salmon in less than an hour, 2 for me, 2 for Cooper, 1 for Taylor, 1 for Alli and 1 for Mom.  Amidst all the other activity and summer surprises we still enjoy great fishing ourselves and treasure the time together doing it, and when friends stop by we enjoy it all the more!  This batch of fish, fresh & smoked, is on a mission…heading for friends in the south :).”

July 17, 2010–“Paint the Town…Reds!”

“…the annual return of Sockeye Salmon to the Kenai is in full swing now, with more and more fish splashin’, jumpin’, and getting caught as each day passes.  Mom & Cooper landed these two nice ones just moments apart amidst a flurry of activity this afternoon as we enjoyed a quick cast or two (and that’s about all it took as I caught one almost on my first cast just demonstrating the proper technique to catch a Red Salmon on a fly for some new young guests who followed instructions well and caught their first Sockeye with 10 casts or so).  With several fish to clean, smoked salmon to prep, and dinner to cook we left the flurry on the shore as nearly every guest in camp proceeded to catch their daily limit of 3 fish!”

July 15, 2010–“Kenai Wish…First Fish!”

“…today was another banner day, with Red Salmon (Sockeye) fishing from our shore getting better and better.  Just ask Haley, Willy, and Grandpa Jim….all from different places, different families, but all sharing one thing in common, their first Kenai River Red Salmon of 2010 caught on our shore in the early evening sun, amidst the sights & smells of the river, the eagles, roasting salmon & trout on the campfire, and kids playing in the land of the midnight sun.  This is what its all about….Summertime in Alaska!”


July 14, 2010–“Makin’ Grandpa Proud”

“…hailing from Portland, Oregon, Jessica came to Alaska this summer with her Grandparents to camp at Kenai Riverfront Resort and enjoy moments just like these, with her first Red Salmon off our shore, a handsome buck to boot!  Grandpa Jim was proud, Grandma Gail was fishin’ too and smilin’ mighty big, but the happiest of all I’m sure was Jessica, who enjoyed the thrill of fighting this fiesty sockeye on the Kenai River!”

July 13, 2010–“Limit ‘O Reds”

“…I hesitate to issue this announcement, for fear of the masses that will flock from all around Alaska and around the world to our small quaint town called Soldotna, with a population of around 5,000, soon to grow to nearly 100,000 frenzied fishermen!  But, this is a fishing report afterall, and fish I must report!  Today was the first day to catch a limit of Reds from our shore, and I was lucky enough to be the first with a limit though Cooper was hot on my tail.  Here are the pics, they tell the story, three nice bright red salmon in under 30 minutes was enough to convince me that the reds are here at last!  I’d write more, but the boys are itchin’ to go fishin’, and the Seafood Fettucini and Halibut Caesar Salad are ready to be enjoyed!”

July 11, 2010–“Alli On Board”

“…Alli jumped on board at the last minute today to take a couple in a couple of drifts for Kings and came up with this nice one on just the second pass.  She let him go, hoping to out do her brother Cooper’s big 55 pounder from last season, but she was all smiles as you can see, after enjoying the thrill of a ripping King Salmon hitting eggs down the slide hole!  Earlier in the day, fishing with friends Steve & Debra who will be married in just a few weeks, Debra hit her first Kenai King which was also a small one that she gave an early long-distance release to!  It’s all fun, the Kings are coming stronger each day, and the water is clearing up nicely after a couple days of rise in level.”


July 4, 2010–“Day of Firsts…”

“…one of the greatest joys I share with friends visiting us on the Kenai River is seeing them catch their first Kenai River King Salmon.  Today was a blue ribbon day in that department (actually, red, white & blue I suppose you could say), as I enjoyed watching three friends in one day each land their first Kenai River King, all within less than a minute boat ride of our front porch nonetheless!  The first was Blaine, the second was Greg (see those stories below) and the third was less than 2 hours ago, as the 10 O’Clock hour came and went, yes in the evening–it’s Summertime in Alaska afterall, and our good friend Barb (Greg’s Mom) landed her first Kenai King as well!  We had just started pulling in lines, at the end of our favorite run, when all of a sudden a King picked up the red hot eggs & cheater we were using and took off!  It was a wild fish, not huge, but with the energy of several fish combined.  It ran under the boat, it jumped, it surfed the surface, and eventually it surrendered.  A bit of chaos and a whole lot of joy, what a day on the Kenai!  Congratulations Barb, that license just paid off, let’s do it again soon!”

July 4, 2010–“Happy Fishdependence Day!”

“…the 4th of July in Alaska is celebrated a little differently than in many parts of our fine country, and for those of us blessed to be on the Kenai River a big part of this annual holiday tradition is centered around fishing.  Sure, we enjoy the firecrackers, parades, watermelon, and BBQs as much as elsewhere, but we also try to somehow squeeze in between 12 and 24 hours of fishing into this holiday as well!  This year we found ourselves in the boat at just past 6:00am, an early start for a Sunday morning, as Cooper and I headed out on the water with another Father-Son duo, Scott & Greg Smith of Homer, Alaska–visiting for the holiday weekend with their family.  We made the usual first pass or two on our favorite stretch of river just down from the house, under beautiful early morning sunshine and blue skies, but all was quiet on the water.  Then, I heard the island calling me, the Sunken Island that is, and I motored us upriver to try a pass or two on that stretch of river.  My daughters will tell you that the river can’t possibly talk to me, but I could have sworn I heard it tell me exactly where to go and what to use.  With one of our all time favorite plugs backtrolling, the same one that had caught me a 75 pound King a few years back, we worked the water right up to the point that we were needing a shore break…when all of a sudden Greg’s line started singing, the plug had been hit hard, and the line was flying off the reel!  Greg sprang to his feet, Cooper grabbed the video camera, and Scott and I frantically reeled in the other lines to clear the path for what soon proved to be a fiesty, unpredictable classic Kenai King Salmon.  Greg held on, grinning from ear to ear, as we coached him and helped him keep the fish on the line, out from under the boat, away from the prop, as we narrowly floated past a big submerged U-Boat like rock!  Cooper worked the camera, Greg worked the fish, and soon we had a chance to put it in the net, I reached for it, barely able to sink the net under it’s huge head, and just as it slid in the net the line flew back and plug came out.  We’d later see that the hook actually sheared, with part still in the King’s jaw and the other attached to the plug.  No matter, Greg’s first Kenai River King at age 12 was safely aboard the boat and the celebration had begun!  I think Greg will relive and celebrate the catch all night in his dreams, I know I will, what a fish.  Congratulations young man, job well done, time for cake!”

July 4, 2010–“First Kenai River King”

“…armed with top secret weapons and great ambitions, we watched our friend Blaine land a dandy of a King Salmon this morning, as he floated out of the hole above us and past.  His wife Kim put this bright chromer in the net and was swept up in the frenzy, chaos and sheer exhilaration of the moment!  A first Kenai River King for Blaine, a prize he will surely treasure forever, way to go!”

July 2, 2010–“Red Salmon Surprise!”

“…Familie Schwack kam wieder, der Papa und Paul wollten mehr am Kenai zum fischen, und diesmal war der Gluck verändert…oh der armen Paul, der Papa war schneller, und starker, und vielleicht etwas hungriger….unvernünftig!!  Das war ein sehr wichtiges Fisch, weil sie war das erste Rotlachs um die Zweite Renn dieses Jahr…jetzt gehts los mit ein Millionen Rotlachs! Heidi sagte dass die Rotlachs am Lagerfeuer mit Alumi-Kartoffeln war super Heute Abend!  Alles gehts gut mit die Alaska Liste, nicht wahr?”

June 2, 2010–“Cooperjacks!”

“…Cooper strikes again on the Kenai, another Jack in the Box, or Cooperjack as we’re gonna start callin’ it, he’s got his eyes set on bigger fish, but enjoys every catch as much as the last!  The smile says it all!  Way to go Coop!”

June 23, 2010–“Von Essen zum Fressen!”

“…Familie Schwack von Essen sind diese Woche nach Kenai River gekommen, grosse Fische zu finden, und Königslachs haben sie gefunden auch schon ein bißchen frisch gegessen!  Paul hat diese Super Schöne weibliche Lachs nur Heute Morgen gefangen, und Vater hat auch Gluck Gehabt :).  Bis bald unsere Freunde, mehr Fische wartet auf Euch!”

June 20, 2010–“Father’s Day Fish”

“…another great Father’s Day has come and gone, with the sun sparkling all day on the Kenai River and still high on the horizon even now past 10:00 pm, as seen in this fresh Kenai River sunset picture just taken by Alli from our shore.  Dinner has settled nicely too, fresh King Salmon caught this afternoon by our very own Cooper, age 9, on a family favorite Spin-N-Glo with the fresh salmon roe of yesterday’s fish.  We basted the “rib eye” fillets of King with light olive oil, sprinkled them on both sides with cajun spice, and topped with a dusting of brown sugar and roasted them on a cedar plank on the BBQ, accompanied by Homer’s Bear Creek Winery Raspberry Rossa, slightly chilled (thanks to Scott & Barb!).  We all feasted on the fresh salmon, enjoying the sun on the deck and the calm at the end of the day, watching the water flow by, the eagles dance in the blue sky, and the occassional fishing boat pass by.  If this is a picture you’d like to paint yourself into, just give us a call!”

June 19, 2010–“Kings are Kommen…”

“…for those of you who follow our Kenai River Fishing Report regularly, we offer our apologies for the recent lack of fresh fish reports.   Summer comes on quickly, once it finally reaches Alaska, one day the snow is gone and the next the flowers are blooming, the garden needs planting, and the list of chores grows long.  Still, we always manage to get it done and get out for some fishing, but once in a while the fish make it a bit more challenging by showing up later than expected.  This has been one of those years.  In fact, the 1st of our half dozen or more salmon runs that return to the Kenai River each summer almost looked like a no show.  By early June, when we would have normally been counting King Salmon by the thousands, our Fish & Game biologists who monitor the river closely were counting them by the hundreds, and barely even that.  The lack of Kings returning according to the typical calender schedule caused alarms to go off and a closure of fishing, then a reopening to limited catch & release fishing, quickly followed by a total reopening, and now today an early opening for the use of bait (which normally doesn’t occur until July 1st)!  So, the Kings are finally coming, and here’s a little proof to whet your appetite, a nice fresh female King full of eggs that are now soaking in bait brine, ready for some Father’s Day fishing with the kids tomorrow.  This was the 2nd of two Kings I was lucky enough to land in two short passes this afternoon just up from the resort, and a good sign of things to come in the weeks ahead.  It was a rare chance to sit back and fish for me, thanks to Captain Blaine & his daughter Katie who had me along for the ride, now you’ve seen how it’s done so get out there and catch some salmon!  The twins joined for some evening fishing, and the sun came back out finally as seen here well past 10:00pm after several days of rain….the longest day of summer is now just hours away, so we better soak up every minute!”

June 6, 2010–“Heilbutt von Homer, Alaska”

“…mit schönes Wetter und viel Lust zu Angeln sind wir nach Homer im letztem Moment gefahren, ein Tag auf dem Meer zu geniessen mit die Heilbutt Profis.  TJ, CJ und Papa zu Dritt, und neue Freunde Alli, Bjorn und Janet zusammen haben wir alle gut geangelt, Heilbutt zwo für Jede!  Bis nächstes Mal auf der Kenai Fluß, nicht wahr?!”

May 27, 2010–“Clams at Low Tide, Hooligan at High”

“…the end of the first really, really warm summer day, a sunny one from start to finish, as the sun still lingers into the 11:00pm hour.  The day began with a trip to the beach, just 30 minutes south, equipped with shovels, buckets & boots to dig some tasty razor clams on a minus 3.4′ tide.  The clams were plentiful, and compared to most years the clamming crowd was very light.  Tomorrow, the Friday start of the Memorial Day Weekend will likely be a different story.  We chased our clams, big & small, and cleaned them up back at home on the riverfront.  While we were cleaning our catch, and the tide was rising, I commented that the Hooligan (our jumbo Alaska smelt) should show up while we’re cleaning the clams, and sure enough they did just 30 minutes later.  The twins jumped on the opportunity to do some “real fishing”, bear style, rolling up their sleeves to catch them by hand one by one or with the net by the dozens.  Dinner was calamari style clams, panko halibut, and fried hooligan…summer has begun and the beautiful sunset tonight proves it.”

May 16, 2010–“Rainbows in Springtime”

“…time for the spring shakedown and time for some lake fishing now that the ice is out!  Cooper & Taylor had a great time chasing a huge school of rainbows feeding on a fresh hatch that was covering the water above a sea of sprouting lily pads! They experimented with a bunch of lures to find what interested these spring rainbows the most, and when they had it dialed in they would get multiple strikes on every cast.  Most were released, but this one little guy came home with us for dinner…fresh fish on the table once again!  As for the Kenai River, the water is low and drifting is about the only option so far, but the Kings should be showing up soon.  The snow is officially off the banks as of this weekend…Oh, and PLAY Ball!!!”

February 6, 2010–“Annual Ice Fishing Derby Kicks Off!”

“…our 2010 fishing report and blog has officially begun!  The town was out in force this year for the annual kick off party for the Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware & Fishing ice fishing derby, now in it’s 13th year. Sport Lake was covered with more cars and trucks hauling ice fishermen/women/children than we’ve ever seen! Our boys hit the ice with some of their friends and, after scouting for a good hole in the ice, found some fish that were in the biting mood!  The girls hung out by the campfire and enjoyed the sunshine and fun was had by all.  With milder than typical weather for this time of year (some years this event happens during a blizzard) ice fishing will be even more fun than usual for sure. Be sure to check out “Trustworthy’s” website for the latest pics and standings of the derby too–Jillian is doing a fine job with the pics & programming for this event for the third year in a row!”