Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Fish Story

That's a picture of my first fish of the 2013 season here at Mile 14.  I spent 3 days shoveling the muck out of the boat launch and finally yesterday I see my planer board go off and reeled in this gorgeous creature.  That would be a T-50 Flatfish in the Pirate color hanging from his lip. And to build my moe-joe I just snapped two pictures and pulled the hook to let him swim off and continue his life cycle. But as you can see that,s no King Salmon, it's a Steelhead salmon for sure and that one there makes for 4 or 5 that I've caught through the years...even though the Alaska Dept of Fish and Game says they don't exists in the Kenai river.
Speaking of the Alaska Dept. of Fish and also turns out that they have people over there that are clairavoint as they have restricted the river to catch and release fishing because of a weak run or early Kings and they don't even have the sonar counter in yet or any creel census work done. So that looks like the deal but I think it's going to be a great ride. I'm going to offer my customers a super deal on catch and release trips. They'll be a great value,  you don't have to quit fishing when you catch one like normal and the river will be a quiet wonderful wilderness experience. The only thing you don't get out of the trip is a salmon supper unless you catch a jack under 20 inches or a trophy over 55 inches which you can keep. So in the short term any of you booked in the next few weeks I'd guess its going to be catch and release. But in June who knows, if fish arrive it could turn back around, one thing we know about the Kenai River is that this is a dynamic place. And who wouldn't want to see one of these babies like this one brought to the  net after an exciting battle and then gently released to go on and spawn for the next run. This particular fish was released last year as it was over the slot limit .
The high water last fall left about a foot of silt and mud on the concrete launch surface. I always shovel some muck every year but this spring it was exceptional. We toyed with the idea of getting a piece of equipment down to move it but in the end we decided to just do it ourselves like I do everything. And as my luck would have it my always trust Honda 4-wheeler broke down so I couldn't use my cart to haul it. It was just me, a flat nose razor back and a wheel barrel. here's a before and after shot.
By my estimate I moved about two 9 yard dump trucks worth. About half way through I mentioned to MP that I'd bet there's been many a 60 year old man have the big one when working that hard...and that's when she got a shovel and pitched in. Great team work, thanks MP. So this last pic is  me with just one of the piles I moved, somethings you just have to want to do and besides.....I got to thinking with my frugal side that if you had this much gravel or sand delivered it would cost you several hundred bucks... we're making money now so welcome to the 2013 season. Bring it on, lets have some fun.
And of course the Kenai River always have something to give you. As I shoveled one day I heard a cackling and looked up...right across from me were these guys arriving home. Wow, release a Steelhead, see some Swans and burn 15,000 calories, now that's a pretty good day.

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