Monday, October 30, 2017

'Just in case ' stuff

One week from tomorrow morning I'm going to role out of bed an hour before sunrise and put together the Daiwa Atrika travel surf rod that I'm taking and then I'll grab some of the ' extra stuff ' I brought along and go fish. My house in Mazatlan is looking an awful lot like mt garage in Alaska but ya know when you're a professional fisherman you gotta have THE stuff. In Maz I have about 10 different surf rods, some missing eyes and eye inserts as the heat in my closet melts the glue that holds the inserts in and when I open the case every year they fall out on the floor. So this year in my ' pile ' I also have my rod building supplies and my slow turner for doing a nice job on the farrel resin.
The Stradic is a gift for my friend Alejandro , I have a brand new one waiting there for me.  The Daiwa is for a loaner when any of you guys come down and want to go fishing, I gave last years loaner to our favorite bartender for a birthday present. And the nice Plueger Patriarch is my new # 1 back up in case I do something stupid and break my Stradic.....Then you see assorted bug dope, itch sticks, a new Kershaw fillet knife that I fetched out of the river just the other day and some cool Cabela's multi tools for gifts....

My friend Rafa runs the Surf fishing store in Mazatlan called Pesca Maz and he's for sure got ' the stuff'.... problem is that he sometimes runs out and sometimes things are sooooo expensive and sometimes I feel kinda bad for not buying it all from him so I make it up for it my being a kind of gringo liaison for him and send people there that I meet and want to fish....which is a lot. And of course me and the rest of Team X buy plenty of shirts , lead jig heads, the hottest color swim fish that you just gotta have and don't, you know the deal.
Those 3 things above for me are the essentials. Ya gotta have the Power Pro plane and simple, it's the best. Casts long, doesn't weather too badly and doesn't seem to air knot as much as some of the braided line. 20 pound for me is the ' do it all ' line but on my big outfit for the Roosterfish I have 30, Power Pro of course. I like the 1500 yard spool so I have plenty in case my friends don't and I've found that you always have your spool filled properly and you don't have to 'guess' at it when using backing like we do on big reels.That Mirro Lure Catch 5 shallow diver in 7/8 ounce caught all my Snook and Corvina last year as well as most of my Snappers. It's a 2 to 3  ft. diver , perfect for fishing the rocks in between tides and when It's high tide and those rocks are under 7 or 8 feet of water I use that 77 M in 1 and 1/4  ounce.
I can't resist a sale and Trusty Hardware has the best end of season deals known to man... I sure hope they're making money because we need them in this town. That 2 ounce P'Line Lazer Minnow is the long distance champ for me. When I see fish at the very extent of my casting range on goes the Lazer Minnow. The only problem with them is that the paint is gorgeously life like but not very durable, no problem, just buy more.... The Spro feather jigs were on sale for a buck and a half, we fish with them a lot and the home made ones in Mazatlan we call ' Pluma's '.  Speaking of homemade,  the small 1/8 to 5/8 jigs on the left there I tied up 3 dozen of.  These babies are killer when you see the water right at your feet get what I call 'nervous ''s usually snook or snapper chasing the really really small sardines, sometimes you'll even see the mini sardines's a Snook.  These little guys also work really good in the rocks and off jetties as they're so light they just swirl around and don't sink right into the rocks. Kinda rewarding to catch fish on your own crafted lures....

For only the second time in all the years I've written Mile 14 I have to mention our loss. Chris's brother and my friend Jim Fejes passed away unexpectedly last week....Alaska has lost an original. I've never met anybody as full of life as Jim. He was like a walking talking full time event. Born and raised in Alaska he had thousands of hours piloting Super Cubs. He was a master guide, a commercial fisherman, he ran a ' high fence' hunting operation in Texas, he refinanced my house when he was in the mortgage business. He raised some great kids and....well I loved that guy and I hope all of you Feje's find comfort... Happy landings Jim, R.I.P.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Gotta go

It's snowing as I type this...time to exit stage left as Yogi used to say.  On Sundays the gym doesn't open until late so me and MPeasy usually wait until light and then go walk for  one hour, 3 miles. So we did that this weekend and started our little hike at 9:10 with the temp @ 11 degrees Fahrenheit .
After 40 years in Alaska I don't know why I still find myself being surprised by the things unique to our area but I do. Trusty Hardware anchors our town and people see the reader board daily. I visited with Scott who is a co owner during Jury Duty the other day and he says they sell a ton of that stuff....I wonder if you could go into Murdochs in Helena Montana ask for 40 driveway markers and 10 bags of sand ???....of course here they would ask you if you wanted the sand dry or wet which costs a bit less.
I ain't gonna b.s ya and tell you that's the first snow of the year, it's the ice arena's Zamboni work but what is unique is that structure I'm standing in front of , a Conex palace.  There's one down by our old house on ReDoubt St. that makes this city owned model look small. My old neighbor went two stories and totally enclosed, now that's some useful engineering.
We've been talking a lot lately about retiring and traveling and Montana. In fact I've really been looking at these Class B travel vans that are kind of new to the R.V. scene. I like the idea of parking anywhere and the ease of towing a boat which you know I'm going to have to have. So whenever we see one whether it's Mercedes Sprinter platform or the new Dodges or Fords we discuss the sizes and other Pro's and Cons.... Our own local K+L Distributors gave us a great idea on one of their Ford delivery vans...Pull into the campground and you'd have instant friends I'd bet ya.
I sure wish we had more excitement going on here to report to you guys with, it's that kind of in between fishing deals. But we'll get back on track real soon and I'll have new adventures back in the meantime I'll fall back on and old/new song I'm putting together for all my Mexico I said we've been talking about Montana quite a bit, hope you like it.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

From the river that brought you the biggest King Salmon....

how's about the biggest ( floating ) snag I've ever seen. This guy is a dandy.  We watched it grow all summer starting with a feat of nature with just one big ol log landing perfectly balanced and sideways to the current. This guy grew so big that even a near flood event with the glacier spill didn't phase it a bit so I figure it's going to be around on the world famous for a while. Years ago Brian Lowe hauled a snag off the bottom of the river at Beaver Creek that was a waterlogged stump/tree with some of that Marston mat inter weaved....being in a very popular fishing hole it  had 300 pounds of sinkers on it, true story. So that's why I've awarded this guy the biggest 'floating ' snag award.
Here's a pic of it looking upriver, kinda pretty the whole scene I'd say. This new Moto G phone of mine takes a pretty good pic.
I can think of about 4 jillion things I'd rather do than stand at the main intersection in Soldotna Alaska and protest the NFL players. I stayed on the other side of the street during my walk and shot this pic so it's not so clear but this guy was just glaring at people in the weirdest way, almost angrily.
So I went and did the river walk and then cut through Soldotna Creek park on my way back to the intersection and low and behold in the 20 minutes I was gone it had collected this wonderful woman protesting the protester....Yikes, I think MP and I are about ready to find a smaller town.
Speaking of MP, she's home from Mooooontana and all is right with the world. With her came the first sunny nice weather we've had in 2 weeks. Here's the sunrise through the tree's at Mile 14, fall is gorgeous when it ain't raining.
I din't use the ol truck all the time she was gone but yesterday I had to hook up the guide boat and get it to Danny for new lower unit seals that I noticed were bad when I winterized. Well I guess I know not to park it in a bow done location....the bed liner held about 3 inches of rain....
And when I get to Mexico I wish I could find an identical rig to this one that was parked at Sportsman's Warehouse. My buddy Trucco had one and it's beach performance was amazing. It's so light it just floats over the soft stuff and it it were to get stuck it only takes a few guys to lift it and get unstuck...This one is perfectly oh man she's just what I need.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

And on to new adventures.....

But first a few thing so to do....Putting the Minnow 4 away every year is a sad day and a bit of work. I have found that if you want your motors to last a person should winterize before winter, you just do a better job of getting the fluids changed and the fuel stabilizer ran through the motor. This year for the first time ever I have some h2o in the lower unit so it's a pressure test and new seals for the old girl. All summer when I'd first lower the unit every morning I would notice a bit of an oily sheen....well, mystery solved.

I used to build elaborate tents to keep it dry and they'd collapse with the snow so I've learned to just get everything out and get it tilted in a good bow up configuration to let it drain  well and simply kiss her good night.....she looks a little used with a side order of empty thrown in doesn't she ?
Ya'all that follow this blog have seen this before...every season I keep a list of reminders and goals to help keep me on track and remind me why I'm working so hard and not sleeping enough. This year I got new markers from MPeasy so it's multi-color and just inspiring, I see it every morning in my gear shed as I prep the boat for another adventure......lets see how I did so far in 2017...
1....well number one is number one every year eh ? What can I can you love somebody more and more and more all the time ? I don't know how it works but I know you can.

2....ahhh, the elusive oh man. No matter how hard I try and how much cardio I do I have real trouble dropping pounds so it looks like once again I'm going to Mazatlan around 190...maybe your body kinda take s a 'set' as you get older.

3.... We made enough $ this year that I have a mini fund set up to buy a Volkswagon Beetle in Mexico if I find the right one. If not we're getting some new bicycles.

4...2018 is my adios amigo's tour for guiding. My Coast Guard license expires and I've promised MP I will not renew it and be tempted to keep tripping. As cool a job as it is all of you who do it or know me well know how much works it me and MP can do the things we talk about, adventures.

5.... Yup, every year I hope to do more and more. At this point in my life if I want to see how my music stands up as they say I better be for getting it done now..

6...I still have not added to my guitar collection but boy howdy do I ever have the urge. If I want to perform more I really need a electric in Mazatlan to go with my acoustic and I hate to take one of my good guitars from Alaska/  There was a really great value on a Godin like my new in Missoula and maybe MP will surprise me with it when she gets home on Thursday...

7....Yup...I took over project Icicle Radishes and had great success. MP being a bit a.d.d. just didn't take time to plant the seeds individually and then they'd crowd each other. They were great and next year I'll plant more.

8....I hooked one last year when I was casting and chatting with Stan, I told him ' Stan I can't land this fish" and I didn't....maybe this year I will .

9....Now I hope you know that's rhetorical as I'd never kill anybody....but this guy in our condo building is such a jerk and makes life awkward for everybody there that I'm  learning to just ignore the pest.  Ernie says the lord gave you two ears for that very reason, so it can go in one ear and out the other.

10... I'm working on a new song and a re building of one I tossed in the garbage a few years back. The work title is ' Luggage for Christmas'....why'd ya give me luggage when I ain't goin anywhere.

11....yup, I'm 64...and what that means to me is stay healthy and happy. Keep moving brother or they'll catch up to ya !

12...Man it's been a long time since I've surf casted a roosterfish so this is the year I'm gonna work harder at it. I need to carry my big rod more often and blind cast guys who read Mile 14 will be the first to know..

13....😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉😉 that's part of staying healthy to ya know......see you guys next week.