Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Kizmet

That's what it's gotta be.... I met a real cool guy on the beach the other day named Aaron Reese who is a Mile 14 reader. I must not have had my journalist's hat on squarely because I didn't get a pic of me and him together, sorry about that Aaron but I will accept your offer to be a Mile 14 Southern Bureau Consultant with a special eye on all projects beach, unique and especially weird related. It don't pay much but eh....it's show biz. As Aaron and I got to know each other we talked fish politics some and he's aware that when it comes to Kenai River workings I'm one of the checks in the checks and balances system...so it was no surprise that just the other day yet another emergency order was issued closing our early run Kings to catch and keep but they will let us catch and release. Guess I picked the right generation to retire in. I don't know how ADF+G projects a weak run, the s.w.a.g. theory I'd guess but at least they're doing something and of course it's a good chance they will be wrong but my question is this !!! When you consider that the King shortage is all over Alaska with Little Su and all the streams north of us experiencing a " period of low abundance" ( I love that , I'm going to acronym that and from here on out it's POLA ) WHY is there no overall plan and especially WHY is there no saltwater component ? In the past when just the Kenai was short the rational
 was that in the ocean it's a mixed stock fishery so why deprive people of harvest on fish headed to healthy streams...Now they're all in trouble and in Homer Alaska just a few miles south you can catch and keep two a day...and don't tell me they're Canadian fish, that fails the common sense test it you guys over at ADF+G ever use it.....O.K., I'm done. ( and a big if, if they were Canadian how do you suppose those poor guys feel about thousands of immature kings being intercepted  )
MP has her sister Kathy here with her friend Bonnie...and I thought Max had us busy. We've been walkin and Mercado-in and well, just having fun. It's a simple tragedy of life that you can get used to just about anything so It's cool when new people to Mazatlan are so impressed that we are reminded to keep appreciation for what a wonderful place and life we have. Here's pic of me and the girls on the up and over tour...
I noticed a place at the market I should have found 20 years ago, Mazatlan's biggest hot sauce store. There was a time when F Troop guides like Chris Simmons and Keith and me and Geno would try to out do each other in the ultra hot sauce dept...Simmons was an expert at it. So once we had a all the burn your lips off habenaro sauce you could ever need we would carry it on the boat and when people were cold and wet and admit to it we'd just encourage em to put a few drops square on the tongue and Walla....instant heat....hows that for Pro Guide Tip # 12 ?  Trust me, people will quit complaining about the weather.
Speaking of the weather....(man what a lead in eh ?) it's been cold here, real cold. As I type for the 3rd day in a row it's blowing 12 to 15 on shore and is only 70 degrees. Now I know that's not cold but after you've adjusted to the 80's it's a bummer...but not so much a bummer that I'd change places. I kinda get a perverse pleasure by turning on my security camera and seeing real life Mile 14. Here's the shot from my drive way camera. I know you might think I photo shopped it to make it look that dark and miserable but trust me...it's true...And hey, I earned my snowbird status honorably...did I ever tell you about the stretch I did of 15 years without leaving the State ? True Story...my friends said I oughta experience the outside world, it was making me a little weird...so we went to Vegas.
I snapped this pic of Alejandro just this morning, you can tell he's not used to it. Our friend Antonio said ' Jeff it's just like Alaska '....I was thinking of suggesting the hot sauce trick for him and Alejandro but I got the feeling it's just a Kenai thing, might not work so well here.
The girls wanted fresh fish and with the weather and all it's been dead dog slow. But the other morning I showed the old persistence that I'm known for and decided to throw until I caught. Well, 3 1/2 hours later and maybe over a thousand casts I got a heavy pull and landed this red one....man was I relieved. Garlic , butter, white wine, great friends and a gorgeous wife = great night.
Now I'm a pretty good sunset guy but I'm for sure a sunrise expert, a fishing life will do that you know. I'll bet I've seen the sun come up more than 80 % of  us earth dwellers so I was super excited to see the ' super moon' the other morning. It was glimmering off the water in the dark and there was a kind of cloud bank separating it from the horizon. I took a few shots and this first one was about as good as I could do. As always I was kinda focused on the morning routine of cast, step sideways, repeat, repeat, repeat when I sideways'd my way next to Willy. I had this same moment at the Grand Canyon years ago.... I said ' wow, how about that moon setting' and Willy said ' look behind you '...what a sunrise , perfecto.
And I have just one more thing to say...throw another log on the fire...

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

All " I wanna " and no " I'm gonna"

That's the problem here at Gulag La Marina Kennel Club. Nobody thinks of their neighbors, it's an everybody for themselves society that wants you to move over for them individually....not only do they want you to move over they want you to pay for it when you do. The south side don't care about the north side, the north side don't care about the south side and the upper floors could give a #%&! about the lower floors. They want ball courts, new floors, new pavement and all the time this very old building needs structure help, it's falling down one shovel full of mud at a time. Here's a display of 5 tiles the genius who put this plan together for the floors wants you to choose upon....anybody notice that they're all basically the SAME !!!! So it's like this, choose  whatever you'd like as long as it's one I like.
So with the yearly meeting coming soon where everybody talks about making the building better  just for themselves and that is daily / hourly from here until the meeting is over I had to leave...this place was making me crazy. It's bad enough that selfishness trumps all here but we also have a smattering of just plain jerks that you can only look at sooooo long. Exit stage left. Two full days at the historic and wonderful LaSiesta Hotel in the heart of Olas Altas doing what I do best....having fun. Breath in, breath out, get exercise, vanquish your anxiety, become whole again and put things into perspective, be a good person and lead by example...
John Wayne used to stay right next door at the famous Belmar so I was feeling in the right zone to slow things down just a bit. The malecon is newly rebuilt and the lighting, sidewalks and all are just gorgeous. If any of you need a staycation like we did this place is perfect and a wonderful value. Our first sunset we laughed and watched this family with their rented scooters playing demolition derby...I new I was right, it's gonna help.
The La Siesta is just a fun funky place, it doesn't try to be something it's not. Just a fun place for the normal traveler not needing valet service and evening chocolates. I loved this mural.
Here's few of the hotel view from #317 during the day and at sunset. just magic. The hotel has a large atrium lit up at night with really cool neon .
So for our first sunset we raided the Kiosko store just steps away. These tiendas are amazing, a lot like the Holiday in Slowdotna but with less space and waaaaay more stuff...even healthy stuff like fresh fruit and eggs. And what a great deal I went for the cerveza and MP found some low carb unsweetened sparkling drink.
So that pretty girl below and me sat on the deck and watched the sun slip away from another day. We talked story as Chris likes to say. Although her message to me is usually the same it just seemed to make more sense in this setting.....Jeff, you can't apply your values to other people, you're not them so why do you get so disappointed in people. We've always set high standards for ourselves but that's the deal, it's for ourselves... So I'm working on that but I don't think I'll ever get used to being outright lied to like I have been recently. Thanks MP.
We went out for really nice pizza and the most authentic Ceaser Salad I've ever had. The salad had actual Anchovy bits in it and tasted like it was made with the coddled egg that everyone in the USA is scared of....did I ever tell you that in Mexico you don't refrigerate your eggs ?  A man came by and I asked him to sing Romatica for us, what a soulful thing and as you can see some of us wear our emotion right out where you can see it plainly....for me  it's just honesty really.
The next morning the malecon is alive with activity. People living healthy, up and ready for the day. We'd been watching the new Green V bikes go by. It's the latest craze here. The bikes are high tech rentals that you run from a smart phone app. You can pick up the bike and drop it off else where, They are really functional and such a step forward in rentals that it's amazing. The lock system works by demand of the phone....really cool. So we got a couple of Bikes and put our miles in, just a perfect morning. As you can see my bike seemed to perform best in the draft,
Downtown Mazatlan is light years away in many ways from where we live on Condo Alley that is Cerritos Beach. It's just so pretty historic and gets better every year. We got toured at the Natural History Museum but  bright student who helped us get to know the past some. We walked our 10.000 steps everyday in such a gorgeous place, this pic is an iconic wall in Centro Historica.
As much as I like downtown I couldn't stay there like I do here on the beach. In a couple hours I'm going to fish the sun away and then tomorrow watch it return while I walk the beach alone and look for fish. And ya know the dynamic of this building as weird as it is ain't the final word on nothing in ol guide # 003's life... So it was a great vacation from the vacation and I highly recommend it to any of you that sometimes get a little ground down, go have fun, ain't no biggy....

Monday, February 11, 2019

On the road

Mile 14 southern bureau is on the road so I hope you can wait a couple days for an update from my keyboard at home. We had a trip planned to San Blas that fell through so the management team here at Mile 14 thought the staff still deserved a vacation from the vacation so we've exited stage left. Tell ya aaaaalllll about in a couple days , hope all you northerners are staying warm.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

waxing Poetic

My friend Willy helped me this week. He said something that all fish bums like us know but seldom say and when we do it's never in such a soulful way. After fishing all morning with nothing to show for it and being alone with the sunrise and the gentle slap of the waves he told me " today it was not for the stomach but for the heart " ....wow.... And Willy should know, he recently had a heart condition where they had to do the ablation deal where they restart your heart to correct the rhythm.  So, he has perspective , he has experience, he has a joy for life, a joy for fishing.

Now me on the other hand was thinking about the promise I made to take my name and logo off all my fishing shirts if I didn't catch a fish soon. You know me , I do what I say I'm gonna do so it was with great relief that the rod went off just that very next morning and I landed this gorgeous Robalo. Finally I've learned to let these fish ingest your bait and not to get hinky and set to soon. They are right at your feet in the foamy white water onshore and they just swim onto it and you don't feel the bite as much as you sense something different and the line changes direction. This the second of the year I've landed after hooking 5....I'm learning.
What I'd been doing just wasn't working so well so I remembered a trick I saw on a guys rod in Puerto Vallarta . What I did was tie a 3 or 4 inch loup knot about 3 feet above my swivel right where the mono meets the braid. Then I take a plane old Kenai river Coho fly and loup it on so that it looks like a real small sardine being chased by whatever my throwing lure is, a castmaster works great. The fly catches really no air so it casts just as far and this week I caught 75 % of my fish on it. Brilliant is all I can say....here's proof, a Rooster  and a Toro with it in their mouths.

I had one day where I had two juvenile Roosters, 3 Toro's and a couple of lady fish which are kind of a Mackeral looking fishing that some people call Loco Fish. They jump and flip around and are almost impossible to land with such a soft mouth. On the sunset session that day I had a nice little Monda that I was fixing to release when these kids wanted to handle it....of course I'm all about that but the Monda has a spiney fin system that can make you bleed so I didn't let the kids do it in deference to international relations. But the next fish was a harmless Loco Fish and I got a wonderful pic...that kid ain't afraid of anything, he's going far on this ol trip around the sun.
Even Team X Assistant General Manger to the third Vice President in charge of  morale caught one.
So obviously I have some momentum going. I'm feeling good, my malaise is thing of the past and I'm feeling like I can create magic on demand,,,and another 10,000 casts of course. A beautiful sunset is going on and I gotta throw to make the math work out and walla....a heavy fish hits hard, and I mean hard  right on the beach like a Robalo. But he didn't bite like a Snook or jump like one so I was thinking a nice Pargo. When he finally revealed it wasn't just a nice Snapper but a fairly rare one for us surf guys, a red one....just gorgeous. If you've never caught these fish you have to give it a try, they pull like nothing I'd ever caught before.
I even lent it to a pretty girl for a pic. It's pretty obvious she never attended the Kenai River Guide Academy and learned how to properly pose a good fish.
This is one cool sunset photo and I ain't gonna tell you what it is. You just look at it and give me guess. This scene jumped out at me and I kinda thought about a Kevin Costner movie with one of my all time favorite lines it " Dry land is Not a myth "
And Hey Everybody....Good luck with your boards and bets on Today's Super Bowl. Let's have fun.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Life's a song

Mother Earth has changed since I was a child,

The east is a beast and the west is really wild,

and the headlines say the news is bleak and the future don't look so bright -- Toby Keith

Some times I feel like I'm in a song. Just when you think that people are mean, it seems to be spreading , maybe the dark is winning....maybe it's worst than we thought....WELL, in Jeff's world something always happens to make sense of the nonsense. Sometimes it's a little thing, sometimes it's just freedom and nice deep breath, sometimes it's the power of people, wonderful people that make me smile and realize this ol world ain't doin so bad....
It's Tim's first morning to fish here at Team X south so you know we did. Tides wrong, waves wrong, no fish, no birds....it was great. As we were breaking camp this couple walks up and starts the teasing immediately.....' no fish ???...the 12 year old on the Jetty has 2...mmm, well we weren't really trying and every fisherman would rather see a kid catch one than catch one himself....right ??? Right ??? In 15 short minutes Tim and I got to know and admire Alfredo and Susan. Alfredo is Mazatlateco and about the youngest 71 year old I ever met. He's the Mexican Age Class Iron Man champ so we'll be rooting for him at next years event. We compared six packs, life's direction and the happen chance of knowing people in common when you ask and notice the right language....the language of love / communication  / respect.  Susan and I speak tourista well. She was in the Hotel business in Aspen Colorado so you know she knows the way. She has a daughter in Valdez who is so outoorsy active that the men can't keep up, I expect just like her mother. And oh, what a smile when we talk about birds and nature....So hey you three, thanks for being who you are, you're steering the ship in the right direction, so thanks, and welcome to Jeff's world. This ol world is gonna be just fine.😎
Bet ya never seen anything in the world like that before eh ? Well I hadn't either until MPeasy smelled it but it still took her 3 days to finally inspector Clouseau that deal and track it down to my fishing tackle satchel....That's what a 2 peso Mandarin Orange looks like when you forget about in your fishing bag for 6 weeks. It was actually  kinda soft , fuzzy and cuddly. It reminded me a bit of my 4th grade science project where I got petri dishes from the hospital and then breathed into them and let them culture so people could see what germs looked like....when I revealed my project (orange) by the reaction you'd have thought I had unleashed the Adromeda Strain.  Oh well...
That would be Maxwell Steven King, my son who also out fished me this week. Not bad for a city guy eh ? He hauled in this respectable Monda on unfamiliar fishing gear and in the middle of the day, a chip off the ol block as they say. Here's a pic of the the three of us on our up and over hike at 9:00 a.m. , about as early as the nocturnal Max gets up....at least on vacation.
 Minnesota Fats when playing the Tuxcedo'd  Will Mosconi said " putting a Tux on a pool player is like putting ice cream on a hot dog, it don't work "...Well the pic below proves that you can put linen on a fishing guide and transform him into the well respected Don Julio...Can you imagine what a little Pro Cure could do for that outfit eh ? And thanks for wonderful night out MP and all.
So here's the deal for all of you that come to Mile 14 to see the dead fish pics that I am / used to be famous for . I guess we can frame this into Pro Guide Tip # 7 . When you come back next week one of the following will happen for sure !
1.  I will catch a fish
2.  I will lie about a fish
3.  I will borrow someones fish
4.  I will buy a fish
5.  In the case of the last three I'll have MP take my name off the shirts.


                                                                       

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Back to living, loving and writing now that my ' malaise ' is over

finally...you see I came down with an ultra rare for me head cold right after New Years. It was horrible, my sinus was so clogged up the pressure hurt and then my throat got raw and then it went to my chest and I was pushing 2 weeks of it. So, I got on Wikipedia and looked up sinus cold and then self prescribed myself the proper dose of Amoxicillin which I started on Friday. Today is Thursday and finally I'm close to being my old self for whatever that's worth....I was just really tired and to use my word, loogy all the time but Wikipedia had a list of symptoms for my cold that included something I'd never heard before, the dreaded ' malaise '. Webster lined me out on that deal and it's no wonder I felt like #^&@ that malaise is horrible....melancholy , anxiety , general discomfort , uneasiness who's cause is difficult to identify ( that one is scary ), disquiet ( I hate anything quiet ), anguish, weakness....so....take my advice, at the first sign of malaise you better get on some drugs...period- finito. Don't let this happen to you !

But having our oldest son Maxwell Steven come to Mazatlan helped me kick my malaise. He got me up off the couch and helped me take my mind off this debilitating condition that I didn't know I had. Here's a pic of MP and Max at Stone Island where we wiled the day away playing Scrabble and sharing fellowship....Note to MP and Max...adding and S to pluralize any word that somebody else painstakingly created is a chicken #^&@ strategy...especially when you do it on a triple word score. It's just no way to win and you both should be ashamed. Period.
So yesterday we got Max to the dentist, a bit of parenting ya know. He hadn't been to the dentist in 4 years because nothing was hurting, you know the deal... we've got 4 large invested in those pearly whites so we got our friend Francisco to do a cleaning along with the ' visit a dentist ' lecture. It was getting hot when we left and spotted a new refresco stand and figured we'd get a refreshing drink to have on our walk through the new city park by the aquarium thats being built. Well it wasn't quite what we thought they'd be.  I had Mango - Crema that would make a bulldog break his chain it was soooo good. It was Mango sorbet layered with thick real cream and then a small layer of something that could have been lard or Crisco with a real sweet Karo type of syrup on top...boy howdy. MP went a bit more conservative and had frozen Jamaica which is actually Hibiscus flower pedals, imagine that .
This close up below will tell you why I always try to lose 10 pounds before we go to Mexico. It's why I gain it all back as well....I really believe that the wonderful food here is one of Mexico's best kept secrets, people N.O.B. just don't seem to really know just how good the food is.
Then we walked through the Park which is being re-built around the saltwater lagoon that used to be pristine with crocodiles etc. We did find some natural habitat and the birds and iguanas were everywhere. The Park was closed and I guess we shouldn't have walked through it but our Mexican neighbors rarely will tell you no...but they will give ya a pretty good dirty look when you're somewhere you shouldn't be...Mp only stayed mad at me for an hour. Here is the view of the new lake which has concrete paths all around and walla.... a boat with fisherman aboard.
I know a lot of you regular Mile 14ers are wondering where the dead fish pics are. Well I ain't got any O.K. ? I shouldn't have to explain everything, I just don't have any and I know most of you know why...I just don't,,,and besides , I've had a malaise problem.

But come back, Please. I'll fish better and harder. Saturday night I play music at a bar so that might be a good story....gotta go, Max has us on the run, and that's a wonderful thing.

Monday, January 7, 2019

I'll try anything twice

I took that same picture in front of the same bird blind about 2 1/2 miles up from us on Cerritos back in 2002, our second year in Mazatlan. I had my first digital camera and I set the timer the same way in the same place and snapped a not so good pic of me and the same woman. All of that is good. Whats strange though is how much it's all changed in 16 short years. Once isolated this fresh water lagoon is still linked to the ocean but development surrounds.....progress ya know. I hadn't really thought of doing a deju vue trip but as I rode my bike out to Cerritos point to get a chocolate chip monster cookie I glanced through the jungle and walla.....pink Flamingos, and many of them. So I rode home and told the resident bird watcher we gotta go. Well, by the time we went the Flamingos were gone and it's a good thing because MPeasy was trying to convince that the were really Spoon Bills which are pink as well. But I seen em and she didn't so we'll stick with the less common Flamingos.
It was a nice cool morning and we were walking through the natural foliage holding hands and saying things like "  man if I was one of those Conquistadors I'd have a little trouble with all those sharp objects"....and of course...." wonder if you can eat that " when we came across the highlight of the trip....the viewing tower. All welded metal sitting on concrete pilasters and an easy 50 feet high with 4 levels of semi platform where you and a skinny person could view all the .....well, you'll see.
The tower is on a levy kinda deal that separates the salt water lagoon from the fresh water lagoon. As you can see it looks just  a little top heavy, ya know not enough base for it's height....but you know me I gotta get right up and although Mpeasy was a little hesitant I got her half way up and then did what any idiot married man would do....I rocked the tower back and forth a bit with my weight and oh baby that thing had some deflection as we used to say as construction hounds. We didn't panic, really but it did seem to move more than it should so we climbed down and noticed what we should have noticed to begin with....after all, it's Mexico.
Yup, totally rusted out. A three legged 50 footer...and the other three didn't really look all that that good. But...the views were worth it in the Jeff King book of life. Here's the view towards the ocean with Mazatlan's biggest building and then inland to where all of us will be living someday. All around this oasis is building. A water Park, hotels, Emerald bay the most exclusive resort and then this......beauty.
And of course from the tower you could see birds everywhere just no Pink ones to keep our Spoon Bill / Flamingo argu....ahh...discussion alive.
The day was mostly a ' hand holder' but birds were of course the vehicle to get us there so....here's my best bird pic of the day. I took it with no filter , camera set on ' intelligent automatic ' ( I love that )...all I really did was point shoot and make sure the battery was charged....amazing huh ?
So that brings me to Pro Guide Tip # 003 ,,,, To do a good job ya gotta be happy. Happiness tips : dishes, hand holders, don't forget the steak sauce , shut up ( only when you should )....easy peasy.