Journal of Dan T. Cook - Fly Fishing the Globe
Traveling 75,000 miles around the world in search of fish and friendship.
August 4, 2006 - Kenai River
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Yesterday I had the privilege to fish the Kenai River with Mark Conway of Alaska Fly Fishing Adventures & Outfitting. Mark has enjoyed tremendous success fishing for Sockeye with his propriety fly patterns. Although Sockeye are reputedly uninterested in chasing quarry during the spawn, he has landed a number of fish that have aggressively pursued his flies.
Employing a technique similar to fishing for steelhead, we hoped to land a few big male Sockeye. Owing to his 20+ years of pursuing Reds, Mark has an almost zen-like feel for the subtle "take" and immediately got into a couple big fish. I was ready with the net when he brought them in. He shouted encouragement (usually with a fish on) as I worked my section of water. Soon enough, on one "swing" the line held up briefly and I set the hook in the mouth of a nice sized-male. The River flows at around 5-6 mph, so keeping the fish out of the current is of vital importance. If the fish gets into the current, you'll be into your backing in an instant and end up with nothing on a few moments later. My fish made a couple of deep runs, and fortunately for me, made one run directly at Mark who scooped it up in the net. Finally luck was on my side!
By the end of the day, Mark had landed a nice fish that had taken the fly while he was stripping some line in. It was hooked firmly in the roof of the mouth. For my part, I hooked and lost a beautiful Rainbow. Thankfully, I have a few more days to fish the Kenai.
If you are coming to the Kenai to fish, I highly recommend contacting Mark. Mark specializes in all species of salmon, Rainbows and trophy Grayling. He can be reached at 907-224-4818 or via www.alaskaflyfishingadventures.net.