Monday, May 30, 2011

Smilin Faces

What could be cooler for a guide than to have a 79 year old ardent fisherman catch the biggest fish of his life with you? Its about as good as it gets, I hate to use this word too much but because I believe in it I will....magic. That guy on the right is Pete Castle, a stand up guy and my new friend. He and his son Chuck decided to spend some quality time together on an Alaska trip in a rented motor home so they hunted me down and stayed in our campground. Although the numbers are way ahead of last year the run is still starting so fishing is kind of fickle. The first day we didn't have a bite, I told my friend Jason Potts it was because I screwed up the math by catching one to fast the morning before. But Chuck and Pete were fun and upbeat so as I frequently do if I have seats  available I asked them along on the next day for the bonus trip...and walla, a nice 30 pound female for Pete... They were fishing with my old friend Lowell Franks and his wife Armi and we all agreed that if we could only catch one, it was nice for it to be Pete.

Chuck even got on the board with this hefty Arrowtooth Flounder. You know you've got a cosmic force surrounding your boat when you catch things that are not even supposed to be in fresh water, this guy was 12 miles up the river. Not only was he the first and only flounder I've ever seen in the river its also a really nice one. So now you're wondering if I've never seen one in the river how do I know its a nice one? right?. Well, back in 1973 commercial fishing me and my friend Steve Blossom tried to eat one. Luckily we never got to the tasting part because the skin is so tuff we never even got to the filleting part. We were so tired of eating salmon that with all the flounder around we figured them to be kind of like a 'budget' halibut...Wrong. From what I know about them  this might be the only fish in Alaska that nobody anywhere eats. The skin is like armor, the sharpest Cutco knife is the loser in that deal...
I don't know how ever body else's memorial day was but ours was perfecto. Warm and sunny, a Mariner win, fried chicken with real potato salad and a swing in a handmade Mexican hammock chair. We went for a 10 ....well....6 mile bike ride and, just had a great day for the start of our season. Did any of you see the ending to yesterdays 100th Indy 500? Wow, as my friend Ernie would say, 'what a schamoozle'! Poor kid chokes on the last turn of the last lap and loses his chance for stardom, kind of like that 70 pounder that spits the hook at the boat...My dad taught me this simple knowledge, the next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing.
I printed this last pic to show you the crop, what I've been calling the 'kids'... (for alot of reasons besides that they cost alot). MP has been going huckly buck after the gardening and her knew greenhouse is just chucked full of goodies. We've got the usual tomatoes in all variety's, cukes, squash, tomatios (she loves those) okra, pumpkins, melons, peas, radishes, spinach....well you know. It was all worth the money, two weeks and all the skin off my index finger. I'll print the next pic come harvest time.  Thanks for reading Mile 14 !


  1. Sunday car racing wasn't very good for any car with a "National Guard" sponsorship on it. I felt bad for both drivers.

    Glad to see some fish showing up on the Kenai, I'm ready for Sockeye season!

  2. A flounder 12 miles up?? Are you for real? I must say though, the Kenai has been known to give up strange items - like a palm tree.... And once I saw 1000 radishes floating down it. :)

    Must just be because you're such an awesome guide.