After repeated futile attempts to land a sockeye salmon on the Kenai River, I began to wonder about my “Kenai Flip” technique. Perhaps I had not quite mastered the correct wrist-and-shoulder coordination despite the conscientious tutoring by our fishing guides. Perhaps the angle at which my lure lands up stream is too wide or not wide enough. Maybe the tip of my rod is held too high or not high enough. Maybe the artificial neon green feather lure that is on the end of my line is not to the salmons’ liking.
The “Kenai Flip” describes the way the lure is flung into the river upstream at about 2 or 10 O’clock (depending on which side of the river you are on) with a shoulder-wrist motion, followed down river with the rod tip to about 10 or 2 O’clock, and then pulled back out to be repeated again. The motion is likened to “flossing.” The length of the line from rod tip to lure is no more than 10 feet – so that with skillful manipulation, anglers can stand side-by-side along the river trying their luck without the hooks and lines and sinkers and lures getting tangled. The photo above was taken at Bing’s Landing, a great illustration of what “combat fishing” is all about!
Don't let that scare you, however, there are plenty of fishing holes up and down the Kenai River and Russian River where it's not so crowded. Last year in early August a group of us led by Fly Bob went to Bing's Landing and all of us had no problem landing our limit of three salmon. I probably caught my limit within an hour.