Monday, September 28, 2015

Deer Montana

In case nobody noticed you guys have a deer problem .... I know they're cute and all but these guys are everywhere . On the way a guy in front of me hit one and I just barely avoided three, one right in the middle of town...  So my advice is that you call in the ALASKA dept. of fish and game for some consulting work ... They have lots of experience in eradication of all living things... Give them a call.

Me and mp walked into Bon spiel the other day and I was impressed. It was nine a.m. and these athletes were getting it done ... Here's a couple pics of the athletes and there hydration station. Very cool.
This my first blog attempt with my smart phone so I'll print and then see how it works and then tell more story because there's a lot of story to tell. Here's a pic of me and MP at the summit, 6147 feet and I have to say that the altitude made our 3 mile hike seem s lot longer.. 

Monday, September 21, 2015


Sometimes I feel like Dr. Doolittle here at Mile 14, we got lots of animals. This week it was two huge Bull Caribou that moved in and just wouldn't leave. The first day they were here I took pics and posted them on facebook and thought ' well that's another cool thing' and then.....they wouldn't leave. They sat in the parking lot with people launching boats and parking cars right next to them. I had people call and say " do you realize............".......yup we do. Here's  a pic of one morning and those guys at the launch.
And here's a pic of them starting to joust in the middle of the road which led to this incredible video. I put the camera down and grabbed my phone and then just walked up on them. I kind of wish I hadn't chickened out at the end but I hit stop and did an ' exit stage right ' when he looked like he might want to lock antlers with me.....don't need that, hell I'm 62 years old. 
So then when I was fishing on day 4 of the Caribou invasion some thoughtless home owner left out a clothes line and one of them got stuck in the rope while jousting again. He had it entangled pretty good so one of our local do gooders called ADF+G and they darted him with tranquilizers and removed the rope. Now I know you're thinking that's a sad part of the story but rumor control tells me that his sparring partner waited patiently for him to recover and they wandered off together knowing what a lot of my friends have learned through the years..... hanging out at Mile 14 can be hard on a guy sometimes.

I ended the season of 2015 with a really fun weekend. I traded my fishing friend from Mazatlan ol Kiko a surf fishing rod and he got his salmon in fine style. Here's a pic of him and Wally Brown, great day guys , thanks.
Here's pic of my new friend Jonesy after he FINALLY landed a salmon. He was with Kevin Fuze and friends and kept me chuckly chuckin all day long. Let me put it this way....he learned a lot about fishing in a short time.....
From a 1/2 mile off we see a guy coming up river just plowing water. I guess I've never seen anything quite like. He had the bow almost straight up and the Stern dangerously close to the h2o.  All I can think is that he had a boat full of water and a failed bilge pump and was to lazy to bail the water out....yup, that's worth risking your life for. I don't know but lately I'm seeing some pretty stupid boaters out there.... Maybe we need an education and license course like some states, I don't know the answer but these guys endanger others as well, notice he has no life jacket. I clicked the camera as a 'normal ' boat went by....who's operator IS wearing a life jacket.
So me and the boys corralled those silver pretty good on Sunday, my last trip of the season. And I have to say it was the warmest and funniest season ender of all time. So thanks Kev for bringing new recruits to F Troop, we'll see ya next year.
So having said that I guess you know that I've committed to another year of guiding on the world famous Kenai River with our corporate Headquarters in the parking lot of Stewart's Landing at Mile 14. I think I still have a lot of gas in my tank but all of you, my friends , please let me know if I look to be staying to long....don't wanna fall down on the way  to first base like a legendary Giants outfielder.... Here's pic of me, guide 003, with the last salmon of 2015. Kind of funny, that pic of me on my sd card is number 333, no kidding.
I hope you keep coming back to Mile 14.  Although we're done with salmon we're going to be on the move and you can bet we'll have active ingredients to, fun,friends,  music, sunseta's and sun upa's....see ya soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Alaska Originals

One of the cool things about having the stick-to-it-ness that I have is that in this area now I have old friends...and I've had the honor of knowing the homesteaders that have mostly passed, I wish all the guides had known some of the characters that I have. So I get a call from my old friend Bonnie Koerber who I've known since the 70's when she ran The Rig Bar in old town Kenai. Me and her cousin Jerry Chapman would sneak in there on our escapes from Soldotna and Bonnie made the The Rig not just fun but a community center.  In those days if you needed work that's where you connected, my old boss Wayne Passe hired Mert Gertin in the Rig and Mert mentored me on the ways of carpentry....and then when I started to be busy guiding Bonnie was in the Car Rental business at the Kenai Airport and I sent her customers and she sent me customers. To this day we are pretty loyal to Budget Car Rentals, it's how she and us live.

So Bonnie tells me she needs Silver's which coming from her is a whole different perspective than my usual fishing friends. You see she is born and raised here and has lived off the resources for generations. Here father Alex Shadura recently passed away at the age of 96, he was a community leader back when Kenai was a village....and now a 1st class city. This morning in a semi-rain me her and her daughter Julia ' put up ' some fish for them. Here 's the two of them in the boat horsing around as usual.
Of course the focus today was to do some harvesting and we got that done....and chuckled all the way through it. They were pretty happy to have fresh salmon, Julia won a Blue Ribbon at the State Fair for a salmon salsa recipe so you know they are into it. I filleted them out, bellies for the smoker and fresh tail pieces for the barbie. Here's a pic of the ol ' who caught what ' deal.....hehehehe.
As we were saying our good byes, just for now that is, I asked if I could get a pic of Bonnie's truck and of course it's no problem. She just loves ol ' Roscoe' the truck which is a little like a red Ford I had years ago. When I asked what was special about the truck she told me that she's just attached and of course it has the 302 engine with locking hubs, a great drive, now whats more Alaskan than a woman that knows all that eh ?
What a cool way for me to wind down the season of 2015, thanks for coming Bon and Julia. I only have a couple more trips on the books here and it's kind of a shame as the fishing all and all is pretty darn good. I fished my old friend Nate Morton and 2 of his 3 sons on Saturday and we just were a bit out moe-joed by this ol river. It was terribly windy on the lower river and we had to retreat but Lucas here managed some fish and whats better than the smile on an 8th grader. So Nate buddy, good lord willing and the creeks don't rise we'll so it all again in 2016....On your b-day Sept 4th.....
I see on my counter that I'm closing in on 90,000 reads.....holy moly. Thanks to you all for having interest in this crazy life me and MPeasy lead. Thanks for keeping the faith, I got the feeling that a whole bunch of you view this ol world through the same unfiltered lenses that I do , fidelity, fun, steady and honest, a little risky and having the  faith that everything will turn out alright.....oh....and don't forget the world always needs some raw sung country songs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

who needs a guide anyway ????

I just finished up one of the funnest weeks of guiding I can remember. It was a bit moist in the weather dept. but the fishing and fellowship were varsity level. I started the week out with Anthony and his friend Kay and of course a side order of Ernie,,,,Anthony here I think you can tell from the pic is quite the character, he knows the way and laughs just about as easily and often as anybody I've ever met....and that's a wonderful thing. We got Ernesto out in the boat as much as we could but when he wasn't he caught his limit daily right here on the shores of Mile 14. Good to see all you guys.
And then I spent 3 days with Jere and Jenny Yates who have been with me every other year since 2002. It's the coolest thing about the job, we become friends and confidants and for me that means no pressure, no pretenses, nothing but fun...and that's what we're all about. As you can see ol Jere there knows how to pose a salmon and we got pretty darn lucky the day we brought Jerry along as well....and the pic of Jenny that I took with the flash is just pure magic.
Here at Mile 14 the bank fishing has been phenomenal .  Just like during our red run the word is getting out and we have a whole new crew of fishing friends like the Hawaii guys that used the umbrellas for a few days and then upgraded to a regular canopy. These guys are machines and although they saved money from not needing a guide they made up for it by spending on gourmet wines and cheeses...nice work gentleman.
It's really not much different that a guided trip as the lower stairs at Stewart's Landing is the place and people come early to ' get the spot '....just like my guide friends who leave the shore hours before light. Here's a pic of our labor day weekend crowd at ' the spot '.
And up in the town of Slowdotna it's the bankies time of year, they got it going on. At Centennial they catch em pretty good and I guess when you're  bank fisherman the long arm of the law gives you some discretion to bend, massage and interpret the rules yourselves, that's pretty cool. Because I don't know, every morning when me and MPeasy do our walk it sure looks like there are more fishing poles than fishermen, maybe it's just a mirage effect....and how about this guy that has not one but two closed to fishing signs right in front of that can't mean ME could it ????
Up at the bridge they have it going on. They have a system where they walk along side there bobbers on the board walk as they slide downstream, it looks like good exercise and boy do they catch them pretty good. It's a little like being with a guide in that you need to be social. I got the people pictured pretty good and this lucky fisherman who's fishing buddy was being kept warm and dry, very cool. But I think our city and Kenai Classic Boardwalk people envisioned people having a nice riverside picnic lunch at this table and not a Superfund clean up site....oh well.....that's fishin.
Just today we went fishing with Chis x 2 for big Chris's 55th birthday, double Nickels. Man did we ever throw the anchor out on top of a bunch of fish. We released as many as we could and I'm happy to report that we've finally arrived as the guys that don't kill em just because we can. Here's a pic of the only customer I listen to's advice getting ready to net a fish for Chris....oh, it spit the hook at the net. And another pic of Chris getting set to net a nice silver for MP, she hooked it, she landed it...but Chris had to gut it....she had to hurry off to work when that part of the day arrived.
Then the excitement hit fever pitch as we hit our first double of the day. The lines were rushed in and for the first time of the day everyone took care to make sure we landed these salmon.....just one problem....ain't she cute ?
There's always something new to see. These Eagles next to us were scrounging away as usual happy to be getting fish guts and spawners that would float up on the gravel bar. Well out of no where a shiney bright silver salmon kinda ran out of water and beached himself in front of at least 10 Eagles. This guy here was the brave one that decided to deal with a live fish and promptly got his talons stuck in it as he tried to get it farther from the water. He got it away from the river alright but it was pretty chuckly watching him try to get loose from it...for a bit there I thought the silver would win, but he didn't.
And in the why we really go fishing department here's a few pics to let you know just how beautiful it is here this time of year. The moose swam the river and you can just feel the thick air that morning. I took the foliage shot on our walk, gorgeous....I wish all of you that aren't in Alaska right now were...I really do, this place is stunning.