The fishing guides at Tower Rock Lodges are experts at fishing for sockeye salmon in Alaska. Here is their insight:
"The Red Salmon swims with its mouth in continual open and close motion, so the technique involves getting the attractor as close to the mouth of the fish as possible. In shallow water and particularly over gravel bars with a pair of polarized sunglasses is the very best bet. Whether you spin fish, or use a fly rod, the most effective attractors are a Coho Streamer or Russian River fly or some variation of these patterns with a #3 or #4 hook and just enough weight ahead of the fly to get to the fish depth. When casting, begin at an angle upstream of the spot you are fishing and try to keep the attractor broadside to the fish. When you feel a slight hesitation, or bump, you must set the hook immediately or you will miss. Sockeye generally lightly mouth the fly and let go. Once you begin to perfect this technique and hook one of these beauties, you are in for a wild battle of wild leaps and reel smoking up and downstream runs. The Japanese love to eat these fish eggs, and we love to use red salmon fish eggs as bait!"
On the Kenai River the fishery runs from mid June through early August.
Known to Alaskans as "Reds," the Sockeye Salmon is historically the most commercially valuable fish, especially to the Japanese, because of its high oil content and ability to hold its red color in the freezer. Sockeye spawn in streams that have lakes in their watershed. Young Sockeye do not survive unless they spend between nine to twelve months in a lake before migrating to sea. The driving force that brings the Sockeye Salmon to migrate to its spawning bed is legendary. You need only watch them leap waterfalls and speed through fast currents to see the will to survive that the Red Salmon possesses. These richly fleshed, speed demons average about 6-13 pounds and there is a limit of three per day. Later in the season, the limit is six per day. All are perfect size for the "barbie."
Mid June-Early August From late May to mid August Red Salmon can be found in the Kenai, Kasilof and Russian Rivers. The Kenai River is the home to an enormous run of the "Reds" salmon. Although there is a smaller run that passes through the river in mid June, the much larger run of Sockeye Salmon is in mid July is the run that mainstream anglers target. Some years more than 2.5 million Sockeye return to the river to spawn. Many anglers may choose to go fishing from the river banks at the lodge on their own. Fishing usually begins in the second week of July and run through about the second week of August. Tower Rock Lodge trips for late-run Sockeye grow more popular every season
Tower Rock Lodge an Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge, Located in Kenai Alaska. Offering the best Alaska Fishing and Lodging in all of Alaska