Monday, June 12, 2017

From Magic to Tragic

That's the kind of week we had here at Mile 14. We started out with the most wonderful young men fishing with there mom in excellent conditions. Burke Anderson booked me and I was duly impressed with this group....first off it's a great family that fishes together and cajoles and laughs as easily as these guys. The second thing to me was this, how often do you meet men in there early twenties that know exactly what they're doing in life ? Austin on the right is an accountant and his brother Burke on the left just graduated from St. Thomas in Minnesota and will take his ' Boards ' and be an accountant come September, this was Burke's celebration trip.
First thing in the morning with perfect light and enthusiasm Donna hit her fish, a legal keeper. As you can see the water is Gin clear and still no boats around. So we just cut the motor with nobody to work around and let her play that fish to the net with no chasing from the boat as we frequently do.....and it turns out she's fish smoocher.
So seeing that slimey come aboard got the young guys kinda pumped and low and behold Austin hooks a dandy and it spits....yikes....then 30 minutes later he hits again and it's a jumbo. It's so big that there was no need to measure , we just landed him quickly and released him, about a 60 pounder. So then we fished, and fished, and fished and.....just as we make the last 20 feet on the very last troll the rod goes off and the graduate lands another keeper. It just goes to show that anything can happen at any time so always keep the faith , be optimistic, believe.
And Then....that's what I hear the gamblers say in Las Vegas when things haven't gone right. " I hit 3 bars on a dollar machine,,,,but then....And that's what happened on the fickle ol Kenai River. It finally warmed up the snow melt and as the week went on the water got chaulky and then more chaulky. It happens every year and every year I'm still not used to it. Here's the graph and as you can see it's trying to level out and recover. Fingers crossed that it's soon.
The worst part is that my friend Ty came down with his soon to be son in law Nate who is one cool guy and moving to Oregon soon. I'd have loved to send him off with ' the picture ' but notta, two full days hard on the troll with no bites....But, they did a mini score, a kinda ' fat of the land ' deal but not too much when  they went mushroom hunting. Yup, that's 4, count em, 4, tasty Morels . Ty cooked gorgeous Fillet steaks and we each had a Morel....who says this Alaska don't fork up the goods.
In the ' you're going to get a lecture ' department, here goes. I took this pic the other day of an Eagle chowing on a washed up fresh, beautiful 40 pounder.... It could only have gotten there one way so any of you fishing guides or boat captains that fish here listen up.... We're finally able to fish again, nurture that please. Go easy on the release of these creatures. I know you want the pic but don't do what I'm seeing where they get slimey in the net and then idle over to the shallow where they get out and hold the fish for the pic. It take to long . Please, let these guys go as fast as possible with as little stress as possible. I think we can make catch and release mortality almost 0 % if we think of the fish as much as ourselves. C'mon you guys, do it right !
I'm kinda known as an ' idea guy ' but boy did I miss one here. At the River Festival there was a guy selling this. Now I've come up with some good ones like the Refrigerator that magnets won't stick to but this idea is solid.
Pure genius. The big problem with water is that it's bulky. So you dehydrate it for back packing and when you get thirsty you just add some water to your dried water and walla, your thirst is quenched. And think about your lawn, if you live somewhere that water is expensive you just sprinkle dry water on the lawn and when it rains you're in business. Dang I wish I'd thought of that. The possibilities are endless. I gotta quit writing and think about this deal, maybe there's uses he's not thought about ....maybe.......wonder if he has it patented ??


  1. Looks like you're off to a great season Jeff!! Glad to hear it and for that matter, see it in the pics. I miss this time of year up there. Tight lines my friend! Give ol' slimey a big kiss on the lips for me! LOL.

  2. Understand the quick release lecture, some people just need it. Maybe the city can have a range of graphite reproductions at a designated area so you can have your picture with a big fish. Here in Minnesota they count the hooking mortality as part of the quota for walleyes on Mille Lacs. It's a mess for sure and the guys that brag they were on a launch that went out for 3.5 hours with 20 guys, caught and released 374 walleye doesn't help.

    1. Alaska misses you to Nate.....I know Dave, some people act like they only want to go fishing once. I'm convinced that hook and release fishing mortality can be close to zero and needs to be embraced, they do it all over the world and it's credited with ' saving ' fisheries. It's kinda funny, the commercial guys here for years have been critical of C+R but the new Fish Board decided to give them more fishing time during times when we might be on C+R so I bet they view it a bit different now ...just $$$$$$ to them

  3. Yes Jeff, it's always.............Follow the money!