By Jenny Neyman
While there wasn’t much in the way of fish to be caught on the upper Kenai River on Saturday, the fishermen who were out nevertheless had plenty of other benefits to reel in — April sunshine reflecting between bluebird skies above and the glacier-blue water below; scenery of the increasingly snowless Kenai Mountains rimming Cooper Landing, Kenai Lake and the headwaters of the Kenai River; fresh air after being cooped up inside for much of the winter; and freedom of not having to be at work.
If nothing else, the day served as a good dry run at wetting a line, working the kinks out of fishing gear retrieved from storage, seal-testing boats and waders, and warming up casting arms.
“We thought we’d sneak away while it wasn’t busy and catch a little water time,” said Eric Hoversten, of Anchorage, who was out fishing with his dad, Allen Hoversten, of Kenyon, Minn.
Work and other constraints don’t ordinarily leave Eric much time for fishing, he said, so a visit from his parents and a road trip to Soldotna for his daughter’s ice skating event served as a good excuse to pull off the Sterling Highway at the rest area and boat launch maintained by Alaska State Parks at the Kenai Lake bridge.
“It’s gorgeous out today. Absolutely beautiful,” Eric said. “It’s better than a day in the office.”
The Hoverstens had been on the water about two hours Saturday, starting at the edge of the ice sheet still covering much of Kenai Lake and working their way under the bridge and down the Kenai River. No hookups, no nibbles and no sign of the handful of other bank anglers nor the three drift boats putting in and floating away doing any better. The most promising sign was a flash of a rainbow trout rolling up by the bridge.
“It wasn’t interested in what I had,” Eric said of the bullet-nose grub on his line.
“I find most of the time it’s fishing,” as opposed to catching, said Allen, invoking the mantra of patient anglers the world over who see value in just being out on the water, even if they’re striking out in the process.
“Minnesota’s pretty flat compared to this, so just being able to come out here and enjoy the scenery is a spectacular change,” he said. Continue reading