Alaska Adventure travel blog

Cooper Landing Sign

Kenai River

Beautiful color of the river

Across the river from our rv camp

Graham catching a rainbow trout in the Russian River

Graham caught a trout

"Combat Fishermen" on the Russian River

There are so many reds in the river

Baby bird sat on my boots

Graham catching an old red salmon

Graham lands a red salmon

Beautiful red and green red salmon at its late stage of life

a chrome salmon, not quite a red

Russian River Ferry crossing

Russian River Ferry sign

Skilake Road sign

Cooper River Princess Wilderness RV sign

The Princess Cruise line Lodge

Our scenic RV site at Princess Park

Brown mushrooms

Tons of mushrooms everywhere

Very pretty mushrooms

These are poisonous

Cute mushroom

Yellow, white, brown, black, red mushrooms everywhere

a mushroom just peeping his head out

Gwen's Roadhouse built in 1952

We are finally leaving the Soldotna area. We have been here so long people are starting to recognize us. We went to Blockbuster and the lady at the counter said, “Hello Mr. Bunney” Whattttt! How does she know you??? It’s a great little town and I’m sure we will be back.

We drive for about 100 miles and come across a beautiful area called Cooper Landing.

Some would say Cooper Landing is the heart of the Kenai Peninsula, both literally and figuratively: Located in the middle of the peninsula, the small town also sits at the intersection of the Kenai and Russian Rivers, which makes it an especially fertile fishing spot. World class Rainbow fishing is readily available and the salmon that make it all the way to Kenai Lake are still full of fight. There are so many things to do here outside that I can’t even list them.

Originally settled by prospector Joseph Cooper, Cooper Landing is home to some great wilderness lodges and B&Bs.

We are staying at the Cooper River Princess Wilderness Lodge RV Park. It’s really beautiful here.

The RV site is just feet from the lodge. It’s in a beautiful location and we really love it here. Being here in August, we hoped we would be catching silver salmon. The salmon are late this year but we are still loving it.

You can see the lodge in the hills from the roadside. We are staying here not only because it has a restaurant and bar, but it has a HOT TUB! What a wonderful relaxing time we had in that tub, morning and night.

The Kenai River’s nickname is the Emerald, because of its waters, tinged a unique blue-green thanks to suspended ultra-fine glacial silt.

The Russian River is usually packed this time of year with “combat fishermen” but the Silver Salmon have not come up the river yet. In July, when the salmon run peaks, people fish shoulder to shoulder to land 5 to 12 pound Sockeye salmon. Still, this time of year, there are quite a few fisherman fishing just for the sport of it. They let the fish go after they catch them.

The river is full of very red, old, ready to spawn Sockeye salmon. Not edible. It’s amazing how many red’s that are in the river, you almost step on them as you wade in the river. It’s sometimes a pain in the ass because you catch so many!

Graham is fishing for trout since we don’t need any more reds. They are not as easy to catch as the reds. They get quite big, since they gorge themselves on the salmon eggs being laid. You can try and catch but you can’t use real salmon eggs, just a salmon egg pattern fly. It’s fun but very hard work. Carin tried but she doesn’t have the touch so she sat by the river and read her book.

This little baby bird landed on my foot as I was sitting on a rock in the river. He wouldn’t get off my foot so I took a picture of him.

Naturally Graham catches trout or whatever he is fishing for. He’s an excellent fisherman.

One of the problem’s with fishing for Rainbow’s at this time of year is that you hook 3 or 4 Sockeye inadvertently. Most of the time they are so powerful that they break the lighter trout line. However, Graham was able to land one on the light fly gear.

The red salmon are now ready to spawn (lay their eggs). Their heads have turned a dark green and their bodies a very dark red. They are very pretty this time of year but not eatable. The fish meat will be very mushy. Some of them have already laid their eggs and are starting to die. There are dead salmon all through the river.

Sometimes this time of year you can catch a red salmon that hasn’t turned color. They are called “Chrome” and are keepers. Most of the guys fishing are doing it to try and catch a Chrome Sockeye to keep. Graham caucht a couple but released them since our freezer is already full.

Some people don’t want to walk across the river like we did, so they take the Russian River Ferry. The rocks on the river are very slippery and if you fall you could easily be washed down the river.

One day it rained and I don’t fish when it rains, so we went for a drive to Skilak Lake. It’s a 19 mile dirt road and we were looking for bears. No bears this time.

There are all kinds of mushrooms everywhere. Earlier I wanted to buy a mushroom book but decided against it. I wish I would have bought it. Some are edible but some are very poisonous. I will bring an Alaska mushroom book with me next time. I wanted to document as many as I could

There were many pretty big lakes and the area was very scenic. It’s not a big area and we tried eating dinner at 3 of the local places. They were all good. This building (Gwen's Roadhouse)is original and built in 1952. It had great food and live music on the weekend. Good Fun!

We hate to leave but we want to explore as much area as we can. Tomorrow we stop in Anchorage for a couple of days and then on to the Mat-Su Valley.

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