Waiting out the ‘reds’ in Soldotna

We’ve been in Soldotna, AK for past couple of weeks fishing for Sockeye (Red) Salmon. Us and 30,000 other people.  This town of normally 4,200 people has more than just the normal Alaskan tourist influx.  People come from all over the world to fish for monster sized Sockeye and Silver salmon in the Kenai River.  The Kenai has some of the largest counts of fish coming up the river to spawn in Alaska.

Our fishing spot - combat style

Our fishing spot – combat style

We’ve fished every day since we’ve been in the area and most days we get up at 4:30 AM so we can get a “spot” at a place we’ve had some success in catching at least 1 -2 per day. Let me paint a visual picture.  Early wake up with the outside temp about 50 degrees, standing in COLD water up to your waist for 3 – 5 hours in a swift moving river with slippery rocks, casting a 3/4 oz weight about 340 times an hour and lining up shoulder to shoulder with other anglers.  I know, my description sounds a little whiny (and it is), but overall has been pretty interesting.  The combat fishing as it is called is almost like a choreographed dance, casting in unison and almost everyone having the same setup on their fishing rods and using the same type of cast/retrieve.

Sockeyes from the Kenai

Sockeyes from the Kenai

Nothing adds some excitement like a cow moose and two babies swimming across the river into a group of fishermen.  It was amazing to see how strong of swimmers they were against a swift current.  Fishermen were almost walking on water to get out of their path!

We are officially celebrities!  We spend time bouncing between Walmart in Kenai and Fred Myer’ in Soldotna to take advantage of their free overnight parking since camping spaces here are at a premium (see picture below).  Both lots are packed with RV’ers each night and are really accommodating for RV’ers.  One evening a gentleman approached us and asked if we knew we had been featured in an online RV travel magazine – RV Travel.  We are in the July 18 – 24 issue.  It isn’t really a feature – just a photo and description of our camper set up.  Because we carry the boat, motor, bikes, and backpacking stuff we are a little unusual.

Dip Net Fishing is something that we’ve heard about and had to see.  At the mouth of the Kenai River, Alaskan residents are able to get 25 fish for a permit holder and 10 fish each for everyone else in household using large hand held nets.  It is tough fishing too – lots of people and nets can be heavy.  It is CRAZY to see so many people doing it.

Dip net fishermen at mouth of Kenai River

Dip Netters waiting for salmon to swim into hand held net

Yikes - that is expensive overnight in RV

Yikes – that is expensive overnight in RV

We’ll be here for another two-three weeks in the southern Kenai Peninsula depending on the fishing.

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2 Responses to Waiting out the ‘reds’ in Soldotna

  1. Vickey Livingston says:

    I love your posts Caite. I miss you very much but I can see that this is something that makes your soul sing. I’m looking forward to the day when this will be something that I get to do.

    Love You Bunches!
    Vickey

    • gconthemove says:

      Vickey – I sure miss you and your ability to deal with everything that comes your way with ease. We will be in Texas in January and I will try to stop in and say hi. This lifestyle is so wonderful for us and people we’ve talked to are at polar opposites — either they like it or they really hate it.

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