Monday, July 27, 2015


One thing I always say about the Kenai River is that nothing's ever forever. This is a dynamic gorgeous , fertile and resilient fishery and just like I expected it's back from a period of 'low abundance'. We have fished all month and harvested and on Saturday ADF+G allowed for use of bait as escapement of Kings is assured. This down turn in Kings all over the state has been a bit of a soul check for people but as Kevin Fowler sings.... " the suns coming up, the suns on my face, my half empty glass is half full today, and I know the right turn is just around the bend, off in the distance I see my ship coming lately I'm seeing a change in the wind, one chapter closes and another begins...and I know it's just a matter of WHEN....

Here's a few normal pics of the Kenai. Fish this week like the lovely Nicole caught. The graph that tells our story this year compared to the last two and just a normal ol view of some of the creatures that we share this wonderful place with.
Now the next pic is Randy helping his new wife Daniella hold up her fish....but the coolest thing was that this group were just my kind of fishermen. Just at days end when I was literally saying " OK we're going to give this just 2 more minutes " Randy's rod went off and the King salmon ran and fought and circled and all was going text book until it jumped eye level and created it's own slack throwing the Kwikfish lure over the boat and making us all duck... and instead of second guessing like I've heard many times or moaning in disappointment Randy, Chris, Gloria and Daniella all laughed and said ' what a perfect way to end a perfect day" guys can fish with me any day.
All of that is the kind of the usual Kenai stuff. You know me, I'm always on the look out for the unusual and the thing you seldom or never here's a few of those for the week.

How about a broke down Honda ? you never see that. I actually wanted to ask the guy if it was out of gas but thought better of that. I saw my old 'million dollar boat' yesterday with it's Honda still running fine....with 7500 hours on it.
How about a crocheted tree vest, you never see that....last thing we need is our trees getting cold around here.
How about capable government employees that know how to run their boats, you don't see that every day. After watching some of the yo-yo's from different agencies that I will respectively let remain anonymous but that anybody who reads Mile 14 knows of whom I speak....well it was just refreshing to see professionals and we even waived the launch fee for them.
Ty Tobias with a that's something you don't see very often.
And how about a smokin deal on a slightly used bait fridge once owned by a legendary Kenai River guide. Opportunities like this you just don't see everyday. Can you believe we left it along the road at Mile 14 on the busiest weekend of the year and nobody grabbed it ????

Monday, July 20, 2015

reds, rumors and restless

It's that time of year...the dips are after reds, the sportsmen are after reds and the commercial guys are settin  and a nettin like never before. It's intense here. The boat launch does 70 % of it's business in this 3 week time frame and I have to tell you this...MP is the hardest working person I've ever met. She's up at 3:30 am , seldom naps and cheerfully keeps things going smooth on days like Saturday when the launch was entirely full....Thanks baby. Here's a pic of the typical line up, we get the best people and unlike dip netters, they want to have fun AND catch fish. Beth Ehana there is one of our steady customers, she knows the 'code of the west ' and has turned into a heck of a fisherman.
I don't know if I can come up with 10 of them but this time of you year you here rumor after rumor as well as some plain old here's a list of the most common.

1.  My brother-in-laws uncles neighbor is a pilot and he spotted a school of reds in the Inlet that's 2 miles wide and 9 miles long.
2.  Bait on tuesday.
3.  One of guide Monte Roberts's customers caught and released a 65 inch King salmon ( the world record was 56" ) mmmm.....I like that one
4.  The commercial guys have caught 10,000 Kings
5.   The guides caught 10,000 Kings....

Well you get the gets a little weird around here when fish fever hits the crescendo. The other day I stopped for a potty stop at the Pillars Boat Launch ( which I'll NEVER do again) and watched a guy launch a brand new boat as he was reading the owners manual and after he just barely missed hitting me I as politely as I could said " put your life jackets on" to which he replied " mind your own *#$^@ business" we give those dippers a lot of room. When you see this type of boat going full speed on a nice little chop...get ready for evasive action.
During fishing season I'd like this blog to be more than just dead fish so I'll just say that this last week was a perfect mix of magic and tragic. We had two fantastic days, one so so day and one just terrible day...that's fishin. We caught a couple huge and my friend Pawul caught his first King ever and although not huge this baby was fun...
Nothing is more flattering for me than to be hired by local folks that know everybody and trust me to be the one to take their families fishing.  Charlie Carpenter sent his kids and grand kids out and for the little guys we just knew that the faster pace of trout fishing would be the thing rather than King or red fishing. So we motored the boat up to Soldotna above the King fishing zone and had the river to ourselves. We caught trout after trout on those gawdy ol flesh flys I tie and posted pics of  a while back. Here's a few pics of me and Paula, Ammon and his brother. you notice we're all wearing life jackets. I always do when we have kids around of course to set an example and I also always wear it when the dip netters are out or when ever I'm in the boat alone....ya know I've got a great life and I just might decide to just wear it ALL the time....think I will.
So when the stress of this fevered time of year is over I'm taking MPeasy out for a gourmet meal and I found just the right place....we gotta get some of that stuff.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How does heeeeee do it ?

Yesterday I posted that today I would update the sonar graph info as well as post a pic of the 42 pounder we'd catch today. Here's the graph and as you can see it's great. We're more than twice the number ahead of the last two years and I guess it just might end this chicken little sky is falling mentality around  here. Our total in river number now is 5,438 which even with harvest above the sonar is subtracted is pretty darn good....and I'm feeling it.
So when I made the 42 pound comment I just had a feeling. I don't know how but this seems to happen to me once in a while when I'm in the flow of life. Ol Eduardo here caught him about 7 am and I guess I have to come clean ....he wasn't the 42 I predicted, he was 43...but for a para normal psychic prediction that's pretty darn close.
The rain stopped, we caught another salmon, I had great ...and I mean great people to visit with  when this Caribou mom decided to take her young un across the river. Icing on the cake.

Monday, July 13, 2015

the para normal

I told a friend just today that I'm certainly no fisheries biologist but I guess I'm a pretty darn good fisheries biologist critic.  They just hate guys like me that have been around and know the language and the ways of their ' science'. Some day at a party if you're around one of these guys ask them about the S.W.A.G. theory. So, everybody here is on the edge of their seats wondering how our King and Red runs will develop so I'm going to do the same thing that the close to six digit salaries do...I'm gonna predict the future.....Just like the early run all the numbers show our late run is going to be just fine and will make escapement.  The set netters have already reported a harvest of 2,424 Kings so it's simple, so far half the fish have made it to the river and about half of  them have been caught by the ...ahhh....nets....Here's the graph through July 9, I'll put the new figures up tomorrow. But you can see we are easily twice ahead of the last two years.
Our sockeye run has been so good for so long that the ol sooth sayer here predicts trouble in river city. I'm sure there's a mathematical formula somewhere that sciencetizes  ( I just made that word up ) a thing we call Murphy's Law and I don't know that formula....but I do know that nothings forever here and sooner or later someone elses ox gets gored. I don't expect the red run to crash but I do think it won't be as strong as they thought pre season. We're not seeing the numbers on July 13 like we have in the past and Bristol Bay came in it at half the forecast so.....brace yourself and take my advice.
I had a great week of fun fishing. I did pitch a no hitter on Saturday for some local folks who really really really wanted a fish or two so for that all I can say is...." don't give up on me Sarah, we've got the bad out of the way and the good yet to come". We must have caught half a dozen Kings like this one Jerri Slinger is holding. I guess it's new era as ol slimey is just not as robust as he used to be but what they lack in  size they seem to make up for with attitude. This fish jumped eye level several times.
I'm looking forward to a great week. The numbers seem to be good and although kinda rainy the weather is alright and the river has that gorgeous turquoise patina that makes it famous....and fishy with the no bait rule. So tomorrow about this time I'll update this blog with the new numbers and a picture of the 42 pounder we're gonna catch, come take a look see.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Well we jumped into July with a mixed bag of excitement, expectation and to a certain degree just a bit of disappointment. The River has just been a joy to fish, it seems that people stay home until they hear the bite is on, I guess some miss the finer parts of our sport. But on the opener my friends Chis to the 2nd power came down and fished with Dale who stayed in the campground. Dale caught two small Kings and Team Chris...nodda. But I suspect that they came down for a morale booster for their friend and for me that's the best, all I can say is thanks guys. Here's the threesome floating Eagle Rock and the view upriver to the toilet hole at the same time, we seldom see it like this.
The early sonar counts are actually good and we're counting way more than expected once again. We already have more than twice the number as the previous two years...but this old Kenai won't let you catch a break, although fishy the water has been pretty ' chalky ' and with our artificial only rule the bite has been a real crap shoot. The water just keeps rising  and soon it has to stop, has to, and when it does I think we'll do alright.  So far we've caught about 5 small and one nice King. This next pic is Butch and Jen who fished two days with me, they deserve a metal for optimism . Thanks for coming, you two are wonderful. This couple knows the way and being Montanan's we had great fellowship.
You know me, the joy is in the pursuit and the entire thing that makes a trip so special here at Mile 14.  Here are two pics I took at 5:45 am from our spot ....this morning there was just the perfect break in the clouds, just big enough to fit Mt. Redoubt into . And then a sunrise that kinda reminded me of a Mazatlan sunset, magnificent.
And in the ' other things that make a trip magic ' category these three guys bolted out of the woods this morning and swam the river right in front of us. We've had a Brown Bear hanging around the boat launch and I suspect by the rate they were traveling he must have spooked them pretty good.  If you were a Moose would you be in a hurry to get into 53 degree water ??? They were so close I hit neutral in the troll or we might have had our first double hook up of the 2015 season.
When it comes to the ' fairness ' of the bite I have a saying.... "never try to out fish a twelve year old", it just won't work. I guess I believe in the energy and the wonders of youth and that's just the way life ought to work....and it does. So five minutes into our first troll as I described the bite to Mike, Carma and Ace here  when the rod went off just like described....but sooner. So good work Ace buddy, you're in for a lifetime of quality moe-joe .

Friday, July 3, 2015

10 Top reasons for no update to the blog

1. I dislocated my index finger landing a 72 pounder

2. ADF+G notified me that they'd sue if I mentioned them again in a blog

3. I've been busy peeing on Les Palmer's vegetable garden

4. My wi - fi has been effected by unusual displays of the Aurora Borealis

5. I took a 2nd job

6. I dropped my camera in the ocean at my friend's set net site

7. The Governor read my blog and said I was " doing a hell of a good job"

8. I've been channeling all my creativity into a new song titled ' If common sense were for sale I'd buy some for.....ooooooops can't mention those guys

9. I've become concerned about plagiarism

10. I under estimated how difficult it would be when I agreed to be Sargent at Arms for the Kenai River Sport fishing Association

Yike, hang tight, I'll have some new stuff out REAL soon. And thanks for visiting Mile 14