Monday, October 31, 2016


Legend has it the name came from one of my old neighbors who decided to take his boat fishing back in the 1960's while under the influence of alcohol. People had seen him fall out of his boat and scamper back aboard so you know in this little town of ours that was really  really small back then word got around pretty good. Somehow or another he had the feeling that the only people who knew something had happened were the people at our boat launch that saw he was soaked to the bone so for years he said he's been chased into the river by a Brown Bear...I like that part best, and as you can see they're still around. We walked down to Fall-in-hole on Sunday to say good bye.
This wonderful mini wilderness area is 1/2 mile below our house. When I first started fishing the river if you weren't at Fall-in-hole you weren't fishing. Here's a pic of me with some of the fishiest water on the Kenai River behind me. This stretch of river is protected from development by Mother Nature herself. On both sides the wetlands and swamps sweep and turn through hundreds of acres that make up our back yard.
Stewart's island used to have many huge cottonwood trees that the eagles just love. Me and MPeasy started to notice about 20 years ago that the Beaver were taking them down so protected several with chicken wire and now there's only about three big ones left....and the Eagles still love them.
As we're on final approach here for Mazatlan we just kinda horsed around this day. My favorite Ornithologist says that this guy here is one of the first migratory birds to arrive every spring....and it looks like this particular guy is the last to leave as well. He's an American Dipper.
Everybody's seen what the Mile 14 looks like either from the river or the road but here's a shot of it from downriver. I was standing right at the top of the island , our house is way up that bluff to the left. Where I'm standing there is 4 ft. of water in July.
So we had a couple beers and took a nice long's something that is easy to miss while we're away and something our house sitters love to use. With the sauna down at the river it makes it an event....look at this mug getting out of the 180 degrees....Oh, I'm getting haircut when we hit town.
Here's me and my running buddy saying good bye to the Kenai River at Mile 14...So I hope ya'all come back to this blog, we'll be catching some fish real soon..... I hope.
And of course ya know....we'll be singing some new songs, I got several all worked .

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


That's a word my French speaking friend Jacque Lizin made up to describe the wonders of Alaska. So this morning that was about the best word I could find to describe how bright the Northern Lights were. It's by far the best I've seen on the Peninsula and rivaled the night Chrisco and I drove our Snow Machines home from the Petersville Roadhouse at 2 a.m. without our headlights on. Something strangely humbling about seeing the sky move....

I love this pocket camera I have. It's actually my second Lumix dmc-fh25, I dropped one in the sand a couple years back so I have a replacement as well as a new waterproof Lumix that I can't wait to use in Mexico. I always have the camera set at " Intelligent Automatic'...that kinda describes my life. But this morning with the Aurora just a burning up the sky I found the pre set features and settled into the 'Starry Night" mode . I set the camera on the tripod and hit the 1 minute choice and Walla....I think I not only hit homer but maybe a grand slam.

The Camera has a Leica lens and I think for a pocket camera that makes the deal. I'll put these two pics onto my picture program and do some manipulating and should be able to enhance them some.

It's been cold and crisp here at Mile 14, 11 degrees when we went to the gym yesterday morning. So it's perfect weather to frame the beauty of Alaska. My old friend Jimmy Taylor is a camera expert and these are the kind of sunsets he captures for all his friends.
Once again as hard as I try it looks like I won't make my goal of 185 pounds before Mazatlan. Right now I'm at exactly 190 with ten days to go....I know the way. I've been walking 2 hours everyday for a total of at least 5 miles. I'm keeping my calories down to about 2000, give or take a cocktail or two....But ya know the deal with goals is this, ya gotta have em, ya can't hit without swinging. Here's pic of me this morning at our new gym.
It's called  the River City Wellness Center and boy howdy did the owners spend some lettuce on equipment. It's as nice as any gym we find in our travels. It really illustrates how it's going in our town as it matures into a city...It's long ways from the dirt road's of  Soldotna I found 45 years ago.
I don't want to bore you with big long drawn out opinion piece about our recent Alaska Board of Fisheries meeting here in Soldotna, I'll let Craig Medred do that for me, here's a link to his on-line newspaper. He has two articles of interest for us sport fishing folks . One is 'Disorderly and Safe' and the other ' Counting Big Salmon'.....  I especially like the remarks, they say a lot. You see Craig Medred was fired from the Alaska Dispatch News for shining the light on a Board of  Fisheries appointee who was / is  a cheat claiming residency in two states so he could kill more stuff cheaper than a non-resident. The owner of the paper didn't want Craig to run the story and embarrass the new Governor by pointing how crooked the B,O,F. process looks sometimes....well guess who I sat next to at this meeting ? Yup, same guy, still peddling influence, still grappling to hold onto the past like all commercial fishermen.

In the Medred article you'll see that the board  entertained an agenda change request and then debated their own proposal to limit boat size in the dip net fishery, out of  'safety' concerns. But when you give it the old sniff test you see that it's just a left handed way to limit harvest by the people of Alaska so the the salmon can be harvested commercially, by a minority.  Good work Craig !

This came across the Internet and I got a hardy chuckle. I tell people that when I was in elementary school that I was actually educated by the janitors because they moved my desk out into the hall so often. So please come back to Mile 14....where I'm going soon there's gonna be plenty of interesting people to talk to and I  talk to em all, it's the way I am.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Final Approach

I hate to be in a hurry for fact I counsel the young guys around Mile 14 all the time to  not get in a hurry but I have to tell you that the first week of November brings two things I can't get to soon enough. We jump the jet the jet for Mazatlan and this election cycle will be over !  I have to say that I haven't seen anything as tacky as this election on CNN since Joe Hanes and I were glued to the O.J. Simspon trial some 20 years ago.

Without giving you my view on who's best or what oughta happen I'll just say this...what the heck happened to plane old American civility, tolerance, respect and just simple politeness ? I'm afraid that the biggest effect this election will have on America is that it further distances us from understanding and caring for others like we already see so much of today, more alienation and more of the me, me , me, me, mentality . So here's my political signage...this election is driving us all a little nuts I think.
So I'm staying busy in prep for surf fishing. You've all see the piles of gear that I take to an already overstocked tackle's a short list.
10 Line strectcher's
60 small jigs (more in a sec)
15 Lazer Minnows, 2 ounce
1200 yards Power Pro 20 and 30
Sabichi rigs
15 B-2 squids
5 pencil poppers....well , you get the idea.

Last year I had a real breakthrough after watching my friend Alejandro down size his gear when he'd see the tiniest of sardines right in the surf being chased by Pargo or Robalo. He'd throw out a tiny white feather jig with his hand line and let it just kinda bounce around in the rocks. The genius of it is that it's so light it won't just sink and get hung up. Here's a pic of one on the left of the bigger lures.
That particular jig caught these cool looking Grouper of some sort and the nice little batch of Amarillo Pargo's . These fish are excellent eating and you'd never know they were around until you learn to see the 'nervous' bait right ion the foamy whitewater on shore and usually in the rocks.
So this year as I was tying up flesh flies for my trout fishing I figured while I was at it I'd tie a bunch of those feather jigs myself. I hate to not buy them from Rafe at PescaMaz but no worries, he's got plenty of other stuff I'll be needing. Here's a few of them done and some really small rubber swim fish from Bass Pro that oughta work pretty darn good to. Just like the trout at Mile 14 it should be rewarding to catch fish on my own flies.
So I hope you all hang in there with me....real soon I'll have adventures and catches to report on...And cheer up America...

Monday, October 10, 2016

Los Anchorage

I've heard it said that Anchorage is only 20 minutes from Alaska, it's true. On Saturday I made a quick trip up to get MPeasy as she returned from 10 days in Montana and we made a Cosco run, new spectacles. When I make that drive I'm always reminded how lucky we are, it's just gorgeous and just the right distance from Anchorage the city can't commute to work and live here but still close enough we can all still easily visit.

But don't think I just daisy sniff on the way. For forty years whenever I make the drive in the fall I stop and recon the East Fork of the Moose River to see how our Silver Salmon spawn is doing. Some years we've seen lots, some years none....if any of you at ADF+G are paying attention, make a note right here. If you see Silvers paired and spawning in a major contributor to the overall run it means our future runs are at least going to get started well, if you see none, well then we've got a problem on down the road a few years. It's simple. And this year I was pleased. It wasn't chalk full of spawners but in this one section I saw at least 50 to's a pic of pristine salmon spawning habitat. The two white spots in the foreground mid river are two Silvers doing their thing. Great news.
It's that time of year when the birds know it's time to get south. But for some reason these Trumpeters are always slow, seems like the last to leave. As I got to Tern Lake which is normally a Swan spot there were none...well, they were all at the Marsh, a stone throw from Crisco's house.
Just like us, they mate for life. Bottoms up. Pretty cool.
I stopped at the Russian to see how the morning float fishing was going and ran into an old friend. The fog was starting to lift and it was quiet and gorgeous and for a bit I was wishing I was going fishin....the best I could do was head north but I did open the sun roof and turn my Pandora onto Kevin Fowler nice and loud. You see that drift boat there ? Well I think it's the future of this fishery. I know that's not popular with the thousands of Willie Boat Predator owners but... I think.....
So me and MP are back together after a 10 dayer. I guess like most things in life you gotta find the good with the bad, lets start with the bad.
1. I didn't harvest all the tomatoes. I ignored the Kale a and abused the Brussel Sprouts but I only froze one Pumpkin.....and oh, I let the carrots get soft some how or another.
2. I didn't mow the lawn.
3. I missed her.
...........mmmmmm.....guess that's about it for the the GOOD.
1. I never watched P.B.S.
2. I didn't lose the dog
3. I worked up 2 new songs
4. I missed her...............end of we are on our first walk back together.
One day while she was gone we were on the phone together when this guy came through the yard with two cows he was grunting and chasing over. Well they went to work on a couple of MP's fruit trees that we have wire around and I told her what was going on and offered to run them off and she said " don't worry, they can't hurt anything" oughta see them now. It's Alaska, that's all.
mmmmm....well.....So maybe by the response ( none)  that wasn't the best song I've ever written. The only comment I got was from Tim and he's talking Mexico, oh well....But I'll keep trying, that's how it's done. And while I'm doing that I'm gonna head south, get comfortable, catch a few fish, meet new people, play some songs......stick around

Monday, October 3, 2016

34 seasons

I've never been to a party that didn't end. So with MP gone come Oct 1st it was up to me to close the gate and break the news to all those that love this place, Mile 14. I got two last trips in this week and met Bill Enkhausen and his family. Here's a pic of his wife Marty with one of the last silvers of 2016. It's pretty cool, Marty is an Alaska Native that grew up in the village and Kotzebue and then moved to the 48 as a teenager. They have tons or relatives in Alaska and visit frequently so I know I'll see them again....just come when it's a little warmer next time my new friends.
The next day we started at 0-chilly thirty and Ron Smith caught the very last silver of my 34th season of guiding. Thanks for coming Ron and we'll leave the light on.
Even with 34 seasons in I managed to see something I've never seen before. This pic doesn't do it justice as I was slow with the camera but you can make out that bird hitch hiking down the river on a stick just big enough to hold it. And of course with few people out I was able to get this ultra Eagle close-up.....
The other day on my walk I just happened to be on the boardwalk when this guy landed his silver. Kinda thought  my surf fishing partner and Team X member Tim Lockwood would get a kick out of it.....he's all about dead fish.  I'd take video of action shots in the boat but as a guide it's kinda goosh to be taking pics when you oughta be netting or helping...
With MP gone I've been playing the dickens out of my new guitar. As you know I'm a sometimes frustrated song's so hard to get stuff you like. Well, I put together this song I call ' A Thing or Two' and I need your help. I know I don't get a lot of comments but if this time you can help me out I'd appreciate it. You see when I first sang it for my number one critic and life navigator she told me it wasn't very good. A lot of the stuff I write tends to be to dark so I likes the upbeat in this song,it's 'snappy' as they say in Nashville. I think MP thought it was about gossip which it is but it's also a love song. It came from a discussion I had with a casual friend who really doesn't know us well a while back and in the conversation she said everybody knows that MP and I have a great relationship...mmmm.....I thought that was cool little town talk. I only published one verse so it's short, give it a listen....if you like it maybe just a short comment, if you don't I'll know by the comment absence ...thanks....