Sunday, May 20, 2018


Everybody in town is complaining about it. Day after day of cloudy wet / blowing bone chilling Alaska. Like anywhere in the world we have certain things that signal spring, Robins , green willow bushes, the Indy 500....and ice out. As you can see, we STILL  have plenty of that.
That shot I took yesterday in Slowdotna. Behind the ice is about 100,000 bucks worth of aluminum stairs and elevated walkways all designed and partially paid for by the government to protect salmon rearing habitat. To me it's bad enough that no attempt what was  made when this program started to make the projects look nice or blend in with nature, they stick out like a sore thumb if you ask me...but, we the USA taxpayers pay part of it to a guy who is lucky enough to afford the trophy river house and could pay for it entirely himself....OK, done with my first Kenai rant of the season.

So on May 17th, the 33rd anniversary of Les Anderson's world record King salmon catch I got up at 5:00 a.m. to help Keith get his dock in the water at Beaver Creek. It was great to see him and all of my old friends that came to help. As I headed home we decided we really did need to make a troll or two, after all I've fished on that day every year for the last 33 years, it's one of those rites of spring kind of thing for I got the old black #003 boat in the water and we went.
So Roland Cusson showed up to check out the river so he went along with Keith and me to make our Kenai debut. Keith and I reminisced and he reminded me that is was two days after the world record was caught that we met when his dad chartered me to see what all the hoopla was about. We went fishing and his dad Bert Holtan who falls into the ' one hell of a guy ' category caught an expertly guided King. 33 years later his son caught the first fish of the year for expertly guided hooligan. The river is full of these darn things. We had one on almost all the time making for a difficult if not impossible King catch.
The other day when I came home from the gym I drove down to the launch to check on it like I routinely do. Darn est thing, there was a break in the clouds and the sun was actually shining and the ol Kenai was alive with birds and fish. In Alaska fisherman's circles we have a term called ' sea gulling ' that's what some people do just like the seagulls do....they follow the other guy rather than find the fish themselves. The Arctic Terns were working hard to capture out migrating salmon smolt in the shallow riffles below the launch where they can see and catch the fish. The Eagles were trying and catching a few hooligan and the seagulls, well they were squawking and looking for left's a 4 second video.
With an artist's eye MP fished these Beaver chewed sticks out of the river one day thinking she could someday ' do something ' with them. They are kinda cool and we both wondered where they came from .
Well I solved the mystery MP....remember that thousand dollars worth of Felt Leaf Willows we planted 25 years ago of which we have only about 4 survivors from the moose and the beaver ?...well make that about 3 survivors
So this week we start in earnest. Memorial day is the traditional ' kick off' around here and there will be some King's caught. It really needs to warm up, I've told people that as many early fish that I've caught I don't think I've ever caught one with snow in the background. And it's weird, ADF+G on Friday released the first 2 days of King salmon sonar counts....they were both zero, that's right , zero. I've NEVER seen that before. And Kings have been caught and we've seen them roll in front of the strange is going on, it's the Kenai way I guess. Maybe all the hooligan are fouling the sonar beams, who knows ? They'll get in figured out or at least come up with a good theory like we always do.

And in the ' something you only see in Alaska ' category ....some of our commercial friends were using the parking lot at  the Sports center to hang new seine web. You know how I feel about nets but I gotta say, these are kind of pretty.....mmmmmm....

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