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The Chena is a popular catch & release grayling stream that runs through the second largest city in Alaska, Fairbanks. It's also the site of the Troutnut's Ph.D. research on juvenile Chinook salmon. There's easy access to good grayling water all along Chena Hot Springs Road for 15-20 miles in the river's upper reach.

Arctic grayling in the 16-inch range are easy to come by, and grayling above 18 are possible in a good day. The better-than-average size and numbers here can be attributed to the catch-and-release-only regulations that have been in place since the 90s. Grayling are very slow-growing fish that can live for decades, and in a river so close to town and with such easy access the population of big fish dwindles quickly if people are allowed to keep them. The maximum size here does not match the monster grayling of Alaska's west coast, but this is as good a grayling fishery as any on the Alaskan road system.

Although the Chena holds both Chinook and Chum salmon, the fishery for them does not match what outsiders picture when they think of Alaska salmon fishing. The river is only open to salmon fishing in its deep, slow, meandering lower miles, where fly fishing, sight fishing, and wading are all difficult. It's mostly the domain of bait and lure fishermen in boats, and the good fishing for them only lasts a week or two as the main pulse of salmon blows through to their spawning grounds in the upper river, which is closed for salmon.

Landscape & scenery photos from the Chena River

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Here my dad's fighting a very nice arctic grayling, and this photo caught it mid-jump at the end of his line.  This one eventually shook the hook, but we both caught many more in the same size range. From the Chena River in Alaska.
Here my dad's fighting a very nice arctic grayling, and this photo caught it mid-jump at the end of his line. This one eventually shook the hook, but we both caught many more in the same size range.
StateAlaska
LocationChena River
Date TakenJun 30, 2007
Date AddedJul 18, 2007
AuthorTroutnut
Here's a panorama of the junction of the North Fork of the Chena River and Middle Fork of the Chena River, where we my dad and I spent some time fishing for Arctic grayling on this float trip. From the Chena River in Alaska.
Here's a panorama of the junction of the North Fork of the Chena River and Middle Fork of the Chena River, where we my dad and I spent some time fishing for Arctic grayling on this float trip.
StateAlaska
LocationChena River
Date TakenJun 30, 2007
Date AddedJul 4, 2007
AuthorTroutnut
 From the Chena River in Alaska.
StateAlaska
LocationChena River
Date TakenJun 30, 2007
Date AddedJul 4, 2007
AuthorTroutnut
This is probably my largest grayling to date -- it's about 18 inches. From the Chena River in Alaska.
This is probably my largest grayling to date -- it's about 18 inches.
StateAlaska
LocationChena River
Date TakenJun 30, 2007
Date AddedJul 18, 2007
AuthorTroutnut
There are no trout here, but this beautiful river in Alaska is home to large Arctic Grayling and several species of salmon. From the Chena River in Alaska.
There are no trout here, but this beautiful river in Alaska is home to large Arctic Grayling and several species of salmon.
StateAlaska
LocationChena River
Date TakenFeb 20, 2006
Date AddedApr 15, 2006
AuthorTroutnut
Page:1234...6

On-stream insect photos from the Chena River

In this picture: Insect Family Anthophila (Bees). From the Chena River in Alaska.
StateAlaska
LocationChena River
Date TakenJul 25, 2007
Date AddedMay 10, 2011
AuthorTroutnut
CameraPENTAX Optio WPi

Closeup insects from the Chena River

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Ephemerella aurivillii Mayfly NymphEphemerella aurivillii  Mayfly Nymph View 7 Pictures
Collected May 10, 2008 from the Chena River in Alaska
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 20, 2011
Ephemerella aurivillii Mayfly NymphEphemerella aurivillii  Mayfly Nymph View 7 Pictures
Collected May 10, 2008 from the Chena River in Alaska
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 20, 2011
Female Copepoda (Copepods) Copepod AdultFemale Copepoda (Copepods) Arthropod Adult View 4 Pictures
Collected May 10, 2008 from the Chena River in Alaska
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 20, 2011
Culicidae (Mosquitoes) Mosquito PupaCulicidae (Mosquitoes) True Fly Pupa View 4 Pictures
Collected May 10, 2008 from the Chena River in Alaska
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on April 20, 2011
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