Sunday, December 29, 2013

Southern Pink Salmon

That's one of them right there. Around these parts they're a little maligned but let me tell you these toro are one noble fish. They flat pull hard and don't run out of gas. That one I'm holding is about a ten pounder and I thought it was going to smoke my brand spanking new Patriarch reel...The other day at Marmol we ran into a school of them even larger and with my light gear I decided to only catch one because I have two more months to fish and need all my gear working. They're a cousin of my favorite fish of all time, the Roosterfish and are best suited for your medium and heavy gear. For me that would be the 30 pound outfit rated 2 to 4 ounce. But, they just don't eat so well (although I've eaten plenty) and they're just so numerous that when they hit the beach chasing sardines it's almost too easy....sound like any fish you Alaskans know? Here's a pic that I've tried to capture for you a hundred times and finally made it happen. In the middle and top you can see the bait at the surface and at the very bottom you see the Toro's casing the bait onto the beach and surfing the wave in....unbelievable exciting. Click to enlarge, its sooooo cool.
So the other day I told my fellow Team X ers that I was going to organize a Toro tournament to see just who's the best in Mazatlán at catching these beauties....of course they know its gotta be me. I love to fish them with the topwater, to see the strike and react with the hook set is to me surf fishing what a brown trout raising to a nymph must be for the fly fisherman. But the problem is that the Corvina and the Robalo that we are  really after don't go for what the Toro does. So I'm like that 12 year old kid that just keeps chucking that pixie on even numbered years on the Kenai when the guys with the bait sitting still are catching silvers....I can't help it. And so I'm thinking with all the changes in our fishery that I just might get practiced up and become the best Humpy guide on the Kenai River in the year of 2014, you know me....ya gotta have goals. And look at this, MP even catches them really good...but then again she's a pretty darn good fisherma...ahhh....fisherperson....anyway she's been around this stuff and knows what the hell she's doing. Just like me,,, kinda.
I'm sitting under a palapa writing this as we have no internet in our casa, it's broken. At first I was getting a little hinky at not having my usual communications. But, right now this outdoor writing deal is flowing real well and I think I like it. It feels a little like not turning on the TV out of habit. Kinda wonderful really. But the bad side is (there's always one of those ya know) is that I just can't blog as often as I'd like and report when something really un-outstanding happens. So bare with me, please.

So here's a pic of the Toro King and Queen of Mazatlán, madly in love. Ya know I liked the setting for this pic and didn't even know why until now. It's a spiral staircase of course, it's us....and we're going up.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Life's a beach

Last night we sat at Costa Marinera eating shrimp and watching lightning over the ocean with Bill and Sharon Radke from Soldotna Alaska. It was wonderful and something I haven't seem much of in my lifetime. It's unusually hot and humid here with day temps at 85 degrees as well as 85% humidity. Yesterday I fished in the rain with just shorts on, how strange. The usually bright sunny days have been replaced with that grey look...this is about as good as I could do for a pic, getting a picture of rain isn't easy I guess.

This week we went north to one of our spots for big corvina. I don't know what it is but I'm just not as lucky as some of the guys with these things. This particular trip was a new endurance record for team X, theres nothing casual about leaving Mazatlán at 4 am and getting back to the condo at 5:30 pm, that's a long hard day of casting.  I'm kinda on injured reserve status here as my left shoulder is killing me. I don't think I hurt it when I fell on the rocks the other day but it's just an accumulation of me doing too much casting, weight lifting and just acting stupid in general. Here's a pic of the boys with some gorgeous corvina....and me, well, I'm a toro specialist these days.
And in the weird fish department, Ernie caught this guy yesterday morning while we were fishing the Holiday Inn. I had two good chances at the roosterfish without a hook up. I see them chasing the Lisa (mullet) onto the beach and I run for my topwater lure. Then it's down the beach 1/4 mile chasing and throwing and hoping and....when I return Ernie has this beauty. He fishes just a little bit different than me and his steadiness pays off with this conchita or what Ern called a 'clown fish'.
I know it sounds it weird but in Alaska I like to grocery shop, it's a kind of a social thing for me. so here where I know less people the shopping experience is made fun with the differences 5,000 miles and two countries make. Here in Mexico you can sample the food. Sales items are a cheaper price and usually comes with a free gift, like a small bottle of clamtoe or something that would go perfectly with your Cheerios, like a bag of potato chips. Or even better, what beats just adding this 8 pack that used to be a 6 pack....for 38 pesos, a little over three bucks.
And when the Soriana store (our favorite) sets the table to give you all the Christmas possibilities it's plain old mouth watering. Naturally MP being the way she is was wondering what happened to the food, wondering it's wasted....I kinda doubt it. I'd bet it ends up being a pre season warm up for somebody.
But what really jumped out at me was the artistry of the pastry chef. These cakes are ultra, doble, 10 out of 10 cooool. My favorite was the bottom one but hey had surf scenes, city scenes, comic book fact this place has just that... character...and we love it.
We're going to old town in the next few days to take pictures and enjoy an authentic Mexican Christmas so I hope to post more soon. But considering the difficulty I'm having with the internet I'm going to take this opportunity right now to wish all of you a and Merry Christmas and MP and I wish you all the happiness and success you deserve in 2014.....and ya know, I kinda reflect and know I have a great, loving, and exciting life, .....thanks to all of you for being a big, big, big part of it.  We love you all....JEFF and MPeasy


Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Eagle has landed

We hit Mazatlán with our feet moving, it's one of my credos you know ' moss don't grow on a rolling stone'. Our friend Deb Germano tipped me with pesos for a fishing trip this last September so even though we had a case of jet lag that only another Alaskan or an astronaut could appreciate we went out for shrimp our first night here. Javier at Loco Loco's was happy to see us and the shrimp was fantastic....the problem was that the bill was 420 peso and we only had 400 peso, dang I hate it when that happens.  Have you ever come home from an evening out without a single coin?


I've fished from boats, jetty's , rocks, rafts...well just about anything and everything in a lifetime of pursuit. But how cool was it to fish from 50,000 year old petroglths ?  Teams X was at Dimas near the formations of Pixtala so we gave it a whirl. Only in Mexico is there the freedom to stand in antiquity and be so naturally part of it all. I figure the fishing must have been better back in those days than it is now if the locals had time to carve 1500 rocks.  Here's a pic of me and Ramon when we were in between stops.....and a pic from the truck so you can see the vastness of this beach wilderness.
  • The next pic I took out at gringo point the other day. I don't know what they called it before we came along but now all of the fishing culture in Mazatlán call it gringo point. It's me Slah and Ernie,  three Amigos joined by a love passion for the adventure and fair game pursuit of fish.
  • We had a little excitement in the neighborhood. Apparently the army had to 'encourage ' some bad guys to exit the house they were holed up in. As you can see they weren't shooting through the windows to kill them,a friend of mine said "it's just an arrest like in the states but with a different technique".  There were several windows just like this one around the house which is just around the corner from us. But please....don't worry about us, this kind of deal is rare and it has nothing to do with Mazatlán and people like us. Just imagine it's like if you were at the liquor store in Fairview when it got robbed, just kinda weird is all.
  • This years official Christmas tree was kinda disappointing, I mean it looked like a regular tree. One year it was recycled pop bottles with different colored water and the shape was like the perfect tree. But we did find what MP and I agree is the most beautiful tree we've seen yet so I took this pic at Marina El Cid....pretty nice eh?
  • And in the Christmas spirit we ran into this camper from up Norte. Now in Alaska we have a guy who gives away Bibles from pick up truck. This guy kinda trumps him I'd say....his truck IS the Bible. It's one of the thing we love about Mexico, it seems to attract passionate people that in other places might be unusual but here are just part of the gang. Like us. His carpentry was perfect, the messages clear.
  • When this guy raced through the house the other morning I saw MP react like she's only done once before, when a bat flew through the house pinning her to the carpet. If you've never tried to kill one of these things you'd be amazed, it's no wonder they've been on the planet longer than anything else.
  • I feel bad that it took  whole week to get this blog entry out but I have an excuse, technical problems. The internet in our building is painfully slow. The wireless will work if I put the computer on the rail of the patio at 45 degree angle and then stand on  one leg. After dealing with that for a week I got smart and went somewhere else where they have fast internet and Pacifico's so I'm race ready and will blog more and better. Honest.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Jeff's formula for stress free airline travel

As Geno says 'tomorrow we 'jump the jet' and will be in Mazatlan in about 18 hours, I hope. I haven't done a list for a while and you know how I like those things, they just give order to this ol life. So here I'll share what I've learned about air travel, I'm no million miler... but  I am 60 years old and have  developed a few tricks....

1. Always take the double for an extra dollar.

2. Take your shoes off and let them babies breath. I figure if you have to share sounds and smells with 250 people some of them might as well be your own.

3. Have french fries....there ain't an airport in the world that doesn't have good french fries.

4. Read the travel section in USA Today. When you see where those people are going it's gonna make you feel waaaaay better about all the lettuce your spending on where YOU'RE going.

5. Before you board the plane spend 5 minutes reminiscing about the first time you took your kids on a red-eye flight.This is important now, remember, there was a time when that kid wailing away a falsetto in the key of  D was yours...or maybe even you.

6.Wear baggie clothes. Nobody needs an 3500 mile snuggy.

7.Do not watch Denzel Washington in the movie Flight the night before you fly.

8. Buy the 5 dollar Dasani on the other side of security and drink it.

9. Have your guitar tuned, you never know when somebody might want to here 'Mama Hated Diesels'.

10. The free V-8 is a great deal....

11. And the biggest thing and you all know it is , just be coooool man. Once you give them your baggage resign yourself to the fact that you're at the mercy of the system. It'll do no good to be demanding, commanding, remanding or even understanding....just be coooool man.

So, I'll give you a full rundown in a couple days how we do on our way to Mile 5014. It'll be a good story and I'd bet you chartreuse Kwikfish that I'll have a pic of my first fish caught on my first morning on my first ca.......nay it'll take longer than that, but I'll get him.
I facebooked these pics the other day of our visitor. This really is a pretty incredible piece of property. This guy walked up the trail from the river and peaked in the house. It's about as close as I've ever been to one. I took the shots through the slider, he watched us watch him for 3 or 4 minutes then moved along . Guess he just came up to say good bye...for now.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

In search of a happy, healthy, and long life

Winter has finally set in here at Mile 14, it's bitterly cold and with that comes the most stunning beauty. Us Alaskans know that there's nothing like 10 below zero to bring out the morning and evening Alpenglow and the frost like this.
The river is finally 'setting up' and it makes this wonderful sloshing sound for days. Pretty soon the ole creek will be locked up for the winter and Jet-dog will be under the supervision of our new house sitter Rebeca and me and MPeasy will be in Maz... When it first got cold it seemed like our new 100% efficient boiler wasn't keeping the house warm so we had to call our plumber. He checked it out and it was working perfect...he just said that maybe we weren't use to winter anymore, maybe kinda forgot what it was like at 10 below.....mmmmm.....time to go.
How would like to lose 5 unsightly pounds in 2 days? Or maybe set a personal best for all time sleep endurance by snoozing 18 of a 24 hour day. Maybe you'd like a little out of body experience, ya know, slip back to the 1960's for just a bit. Maybe you'd like to entertain your wife with a Dairy Queen Blizzard and then get locked in the car while she shops the Fred Meyer store ?  Or maybe you'd like to have  someone you love and trust to think that taking a pic of you like this is funny....well....if you want any of those things and way, way, way more that I just can't and won't mention....have a colonoscopy. What happened to my comb over?
The colonoscopy and the digital prostrate exam are two things I've been dodging for 10 years, successfully. But lately I got to figuring that I've got a really, really, really good life and I oughta do just about all I can to keep it is along as I can.  So about 3 weeks ago we scheduled the procedures with Dr. Kelly, he had only one time frame available before our migration, it was at 12 noon the day before Thanksgiving. Well I quickly found out why he had that time frame'd either have to be out of your mind or be Jeff King to submit to a colonoscopy at noon on any day, especially Thanksgiving eve. After you've ah.....purged your system like I did for two days instead of the mandatory one day ( you know how I am about over doing things) then comes a 6 hour before the procedure of absolutely no fluids or food at all.  It was horrible. I was so dehydrated that I looked like that model builder guy with the blisters all over his lips in the movie The Flight of the Phoenix. 
Now if you ask me I'd say that's one damn fine looking colon. But....not so quick. You see that bump right about mid-ship? Well, that's exactly what this test is supposed to be looking for, either a cancerous or precancerous polyp, we won't know until the biopsy comes back. But for me I think it's kind of a yahtzee deal as no matter what the test says it's gone and so is another just like it, the only ones that were found. From what I understand what it could mean is that I have to keep an eye on it and have the colonoscopy done more often than once every 10 years...So once I get really good at this deal I'm having the procedure first thing in the morning, on a Monday so I got the rest of the week to get over the ....ahhhhh.....shock of it all I guess.