Monday, May 29, 2017

Houston, all systems are in the green....

That's what about a 40 - 45 pounder looks like just before the release, he's a got a gorgeous gold and red T-50 in the corner of his mouth. This fish had an attitude and as I like to use 25 lb. test for the plugs because I think the lighter line makes for more action it was a real challenge to land. Melissa from the Watershed Forum who helped us out house sitting this winter hooked this one and another almost identical and let her dad exercise the second. As you can she she's a bit on the petite side and these fish aren't.
John there fighting that second fish is some kind of guy. He's a retired Exxon engineer and knows the way.... Now me being all about everything fish as it's been  my life's work I don't meet to many people who can discuss world fisheries/ fisheries management / fisheries debacles / fisheries waste and politics but John there can. anybody who knows the books of Mark Kurlansky's like Cod or Paul Greenberg's Four Fish is in my book a well educated man. He even new the story of Orange Roughy which were actually invented for a new fishery on South American Tooth fish. We had a great day and is this a cool pic of a father / daughter team or what ?  Thanks for coming you guys, it was a little cold wasn't it. 😊 In fact it was the coldest I've been on the river since that day in infamy with Nate Morton when his friend Bobby wanted to get out and walk home.....from the Eagle Rock.
So I get to talking with Ivan who does the creel census for ADF+G and he tells me that he's seen and heard of a few fish and that the test netters have caught a few fish and they have yet to see any ' small ' Kings'  that would fit the new 36 inch keeper slot limit. Strange because in the last few years we saw so many 2, 3 and 4 ocean fish and this year nothing but whoppers, which is a good thing of course. So the next day we set up right at the very peak of a 23 ft. tide and within 10 minutes Todd Tillman has this fish on.... I love this pic of him fighting it from the bow in the early morning light.
We get him in the net and of course it's a keeper but not anywhere near 36 inches but still a nice little fish that is most likely a 3 ocean male. I always try to not give advice on the keep or release decision and Todd wanted to keep....maybe he saw the price of those fresh Copper River King's in the store eh ?  Yikes some fetched 75.00 a pound and in Anchorage they were around 30.00 meaning that the day before Melissa released over a thousand bucks worth of salmon. is awful good eating. This fish was about 16 pounds.
So guided by my theory of momentum we put the same lure out for Todd's dad Jack and went back to story telling....And sure enough when things are going good they tend to keep going good and when things are going bad.....well we ain't talkin about that part, Jack's rod goes off.  this fish fought like a 35 pound female which I think is the best fish in the river. As you can see it too was short of the 36 inch slot by a couple inches was a pretty darn noble fish. She weighed 24 pounds and had fully developed eggs in her so she was a 'small'  5 ocean fish. The Pro's from Dover were off the water at 7:30 a.m.
Jack and Todd Tillman there were golden, just my kind of folks. The next day although I neglected to get pics I had the opportunity to fish Chris Owens family, locals from Anchorage. Once again it was a bit chilly and we suffered a couple ' short strikes' but Emily finally hooked another large late in the day putting our weekly exercise regime up to 5....

May 27th, 2017....what a day at Mile 14. Not only did I get to go fishing and MP turned sa, sa, sa, sixty something or other....we had a wonderful wedding event here. Our friends Aly Cunningham and Hollis Swan picked our place to declare there love forever to each other. I wish that darn wind hadn't been so cold but these young people are Alaskan all they way, they met commercial fishing..
Hollis grew up with our kids and we consider them like family. Here's a pic of the two them reflecting on the life to come... I ain't the smartest guy around but I know this, a team approach to the nuances of life works best. The preacher told stories of their meeting on a Prince William sound salmon tender and it was wonderful.
Here's pic of MP wearing her cute as can be Kuspuk and the newly weds. If you don't think these young people are 100 % Alaskan all you had to do was notice Aly's footwear, yup, Extra Tuff's. It looks like MP is grinding Hollis about his double knits.
And whats the traditional;wedding party and family pic without a boat back trolling for King Salmon in the background ? Thank you guys for sharing your wedding and your lives with us, we love you.
And in the 'man are they into it ' department I took this pic of Jeremy's new tattoo. He says that from now on rather than tell them when asked what he fishes for he'll just show them . That's an awful pretty red salmon on a pretty cool guy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Moose Bite

 was on pretty good the other day.  Like I promised, Chris and I went fishing hard on Les Anderson / 97 pounder day.  We were one of two power boats  and one drift boat on the entire lower river....weird....and what was even  weirder was the guy in the drift boat we watched have some kinda 20 minute discussion with the State Troopers. When the Troopers left he hollered over at us that they might as well give him two tickets because he was just going to put the bait back on again....AND he did ! We watched him throw nice pretty baited lures back into the Kenai. Jeez, what a yo-yo....after 4 years of waiting for the chance to fish Early run Kings again we got this guy cheating the rules and disrupting a wonderful day for the few of us out....what a jerk.

So we pulled the gear well and hard and never had a hit. But you know me, the joy is in the pursuit and the rest of the trip was pretty darn good, except the weather of course.....plenty of wildlife, fellowship and nice coffee.
Seems like the older I get the colder I get....kinda musical eh ?  Doesn't Chris look likes he's a grizzled veteran of the Alaska experience.
So I decided to take a rest from the chase so this weekend we'll have our traditional kick off. I have days booked and we Will have some fish....As I cleaned up the other morning I had King salmon rolling around the launch, and not just a couple. So that day I did my part and between Mile 14 and Fall-in-Hole I took 500 pounds to the dump.
With everything going on these days I thought it was a good idea to take some time and build a new addition for our front gate. I want people to know what we're about and hope the flag helps get us like minded people. Like I've said hundreds of times through the years....where else in this world could a guy like me go fishing everyday and own / live in this remarkable place that is Mile 14 .
I got this neighbor that bought the vacant view lot on the civilization side of Mile 14. He pretty much clear cut the entire acre and a half but left this scraggly old Birch that's dangerously leaning over MP's greenhouses. So when I saw him the other day I diplomatically pointed out to him that it could be a problem and although I'm not one of 'those' guys I'd sure hate to see us have a problem....( and the darn tree would sometimes disrupt my satellite signal once the leaves are on it ). So....enter Steve.
Watching a craftsman work like Steve is like watching Derek Jeter field grounders. Steve is no young guy but with a passion and athleticism that comes from his dogged hard work ethic he went up that leaner and limbed it as he went. Then he set all his ropes for best leverage near the top of the tree and used his high tech pulley systems to get what he calls the ' mechanical advantage ' and walla.....end of problem. I was duly impressed, Steve is my age and if you need him call Steve's Tree Service 907-394-4778 .
And in the ' It's a good thing we've got the government looking out for us department ' how's about this...would you walk off that baby if the caution tape weren't there ?....mmmm
Hope you come back...we're gonna have fish real soon.

Monday, May 15, 2017

That boats waiting for YOU

I took that picture just a couple of hours ago of the Minnow 3, feet wet. I launched it and it will be sitting there quivering for anybody that wants to enjoy the spring fishing. The rivers quiet and a challenge to run as you can see the low level.  That boats like Michael Phelps before the Olympics, Mohamed Ali before the Rumble in the Jungle or the famous rodeo bull Bodacious just a hankering to get out of the gate. So if any of you are scanning the Internet and come across this give us a holler, if it sounds like I'm begging, well, it's because I am..... I have no pride , I just want to go fishing.

Speaking of fishing I got this pic from my friend Adrian Martinez and it has to be about as good a fishing action photo I've ever seen. Adrian has a nice Robalo on the line at a place we go to called Chametla or he may be across the river at Caminero . I've wade fished there many times and it's some of the most exciting fishing I've ever done. You can see why I consider the Robalo ( snook) the ultimate surf fishing challenge.
MP's surgery went fine. Two pieces of floating Meniscus removed and a sharp bone fragment that most likely came from her osteo arthritis. She was a little testy for a few days as she really didn't want to rest and keep the swelling down but we got through it and today it's feeling better. In typical MPeasy style when we got her home from the surgery center the doc told us the first two hours with the leg elevated and I run off to get ice for the machine and Papa Murphy pizza and when I get home she's in the green house checking on the kids...yikes....stubborn woman.
So Chris is coming down Weds. and he and I along with another friend are going to fish the 32nd anniversary of my old friend Les Anderson's world record catch. I wrote the whole story this same month of May a few years back so if you search the archives you can find it. When ever I'm allowed to I fish the 17th we do it, I believe in connectivity, I believe in tradition... I just believe.  So with a little luck we'll have fish on and a nice steak dinner like the one we had several springs back...This is Chris and Melinda's daughter Ashley holding our ritual first fresh salmon dinner of the spring....Stay tuned.

Monday, May 8, 2017


Last night me and MPeasy walked down to the river as we always do after supper. As I looked down from the sand spit I could see that the current was dead , high tide and I could see the tell tale Vee of Seal swimming upriver....and we all know what that means....he ain't here for a haircut. When we got down to the launch there was a huge splash and commotion just 30 feet off the launch where he'd chased a salmon into the shallows, pretty darn cool. Then he came up in mid river and stared at us for awhile and even if the camera was ready that's a hard shot to get so.....Well, I'm ready.

I got the boat launch all shoveled off and went fishing as I did it for the 1st time in 3 years. It felt soooo good. Here's a pic of my set up, a rod on one of the fence posts and the side planer board mid river towing a k-15 Kwikfish. No strikes but we'll get one real soon.

So today I splash the boat. I've got a new water pump installed. I have new line on  newly rebuilt reels. As I'm in the waning days of my guide career I've shot the locks off my tackle drawer and I have new Flatfish, Kwikfish, Magnum Hot Shots and Cheaters...It's showtime.

But....I guess as we get older we're all going to start hearing what I heard from my  Eye Doctor the other day ' get used to it ' . There's nothing to be done about the Posterior Vitreous Detachment that hit me last week. Anyone that's had floaters know that they're a nuisance to say the least and he tells me that in the next month they will dissolve some and your brain gets 'used ' to them kind of like the Tinnitus I have in my ears from Jet Units, power tools and loud Country Music....First hundred years is the roughest eh? Here's a semi creepy pic of what I have going on.....and oh, MP is going in for knee surgery on Wednesday but she'll heal up fast I'm sure. ' Get used to it ' , my new mantra.

As I was getting the new ( 10 years now ) boat ready I got to thinking about the old one that really made it all happen for me. I posted this pic on Facebook of it right before I took it out of the water to have factory logo's put on it when I got my Honda Sponsorship in 1991. I hated to cover up that custom paint that my friend Gary Allison did for me but the Honda deal was huge  and it had to happen.
Well my friend Jacques Lizin saw the pic of the old Honda Boat and came back with a pic he had of us on the Dock at Beaver Creek with an impressive load of Silver's. It must have been 1988 and a few things jump out at me....It was before the no fishing for the guide rule as we have 14 fish for 4 people....and YIKES !, I've got a cigarette . And how's a bout the Johnson 2-stroke motor. That was my second one and that baby was a coughin, smokin, loud fish chasin machine. It had all the best features, power trim and tilt, a 'bigfoot' lower unit and direct oil injection and it cost  $2400.00. And about that Laker shirt ?  It was when they were at their best, James Worthy, Magic, Kareem, Curt Rambis and my favorite, Coop, for 3 from far outside.
We'll have fish pics real soon here at Mile 14, come on back.