Monday, June 19, 2017

SPORT fishing

Directly out of the 8 inch thick Websters unabridged it says , sport ; an activity or experience that gives enjoyment or recreation : pastime : where am I going with that ? Well, it seems that in this harvest orientated Alaska/ guiding /fishing  it's easy to sometimes lose track of what we're really doing. ' Men fish there entire lives without knowing that it's not fish they're after '....Enter Brian Mildebrandt, the guy with the thumbs up. Brian hired me to fish himself and his son Austin although the rest of his larger group was with one of the bigger guide services. Brian chose me because he read my webpage and this blog and was all in. Here's a pic of him after he released about a 30 pounder so he could continue fishing in hopes of a bigger one as he'd fished here before and new the rules and wanted a jumbo that he just  didn't catch that day. Great guy, no releaser's remorse, sportsman.
Sitting behind Brian is Chris Kinzy who was so impressed with these gorgeous fish and the chase that he spent two days camping here at Mile 14 in hopes of the catch. Chris just finished college and is touring Alaska and Canada in a 20 year old Subaru before he heads to a career. I don't meet many young people as interesting as Chris. He's a World War 2 historian like me as his grandpa was a Sherman tank commander in Patton's 3rd Army. Chris is what our lives here at Mile 14 is all about, he shared his life with us and we with him, as you can tell, we're new friends. What cool guy.
And as the mystery of fishing goes just as soon as Chris left the boat at 10:00 a.m. when his license expired and he went on to Denali his fishing partner Jeremiah caught this beauty and is taking it to a barbecue in Seattle. I had a great week with great sports people .
Maybe it was just coincidence but I had a couple strange conversations with people in the last few days that were way toooo focused on the catching rather than the fishing. As I changed oil on my outboard yesterday with the U.S. Open on in the garage and doing one of my favorite things a rental car drove up with a Texas couple in it. They had bought a ' package ' from one of the fishing Lodges I know to be great. The guy caught a King salmon AND and an 80 pound Halibut and was disappointed. Yikes !  The very day before I had a conversation with a guy on his way to Alaska driving to be here when the reds hit and, well, his questions were all about harvest.  I'd always thought the stories I hear of people coming here and canning cases of salmon to sell at flea markets were exaggerated but I'm beginning to wonder. I even think we kind of bring it on ourselves as a fishing destination, where else do you see this many fish boxes in one place ?
So here's the deal and I guess I should have spit this out a long time ago....If keeping the very most amount of fish possible is the most important thing to you, don't call me. If you have a generator and a chest freezer in the back of your truck, don't call me, If you do the math and figure a King salmon of 40 pounds at 10 bucks a pound is worth $ 400.00 , don't call me. If you want a guarantee, don't call me. If this picture makes sense to you, don't call me.
BUT, if you appreciate fair chase, please call me. If you know we don't always catch them but we do always give 100 % effort to find them and trick them , please call me. If you love nature ( i.e. ....the things you don't kill ) please call me. If you want to share our special lifestyle here at Mile 14 of the Kenai River , please call me. If you're the type that goes to Las Vegas and doesn't win money but had a great time and returns to Vegas, call me, we're simpatico. So how about this feat of mother nature, I don't think we could have balanced that thing if we tried.
And in the ' she'll never ask me to mow the lawn again ' department, Here's what happens to your sewer clean out when you don't pay attention....the good news is it didn't knock out a window when it hit the wall.
One more just caught my eye last night as Troy and Tammy were down red fishing ( and Troy caught his limit ) . The 'stuff' of sport fishing is just cool, just getting, having, maintaining of it all is a cool part of the hobby, the SPORT.


  1. that sewer cap will mess you up!!!
    i chew one up every year or so.but thanks for the lawn help till I got my knee up to snuff

  2. ahhhhh baby, it just LOOKS better when you do it.

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