Rainbow Trout - Dolly Varden
The Kenai River has long been recognized as a producer of big Bo’s. Fish in the 10 pound class are recorded annually and the Cooper Landing area is the ultimate destination on the river along with the Russian River. Fly fishing or spin fishing are both acceptable, however, when the salmon begin to spawn the Bo’s feed heavily on the eggs (roe), thus enter the “bead”. While patterns do work, matching the egg color is always a winner.
#8 fly rods are generally the exception as the late summer and fall find an abundance of Silver salmon in the waters as well. You can expect to drift boat the waters in addition to walking and wading the shallow shorelines where practical. Wildlife is abundant and this area has a fair concentration of Brown Bears; don’t forget your camera!
Primarily a native fresh water species, they do frequent shallow salt water and brackish waters to feed, unlike their cousin, the Char who does live in the salt water and returns to the fresh water to spawn. They look very similar but a male Dolly is said to have more blue on the top of its back, while the Char has green/brown top back. Often referred to simply as a “dolly”, most think they have caught a brook trout when first seen. They are very aggressive during the spawn and will like a trout attack drifting a bead. The Dolly is fished with either a fly or spinning rod.