Monday, August 13, 2018

Trying to reason with hurricane season

Actually it was a Typhoon, a tropical storm they say....well it hit the Kenai river at exactly 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning as we loaded up Nate's grand kinds to fish. Sheeesh....it rained so hard that my boat has never been cleaner. So now my friend Nate has fished in the coldest by all memory of any day on the Kenai which was a July day about 10 years ago and now he gets the double feature of the rainiest 4 hours in history. Bad luck.  The camera's kinda had to stay under cover but I did get one of the Kid's dad Andy Morton with a hard earned silver salmon.
I got to fish Windy Matson's family and guests. Everybody caught their silvers except the host....that's not how it's supposed to work out. In fact not only did she not catch a silver but I don't think she even ever had one on. Lot's of Pinks of course as we fished 3 hours with just her line in the water....just to remind you other so called guides, we have this rule that you must retire your rod when you catch your limit of silver salmon. Kapeesh you jerk weeds ? My advice is that you guys might take some joy in following the rules and feel good about catching all your salmon LEGAL...give it a try.  Here's a pic of J.C. Heather and Cody and then an exceptional shot of J.C holding up a nice one for Heather, she's a city girl and kinda scaredy chicken to hold them. THAT is a great pic you two.
And the group of ladies I fished I picked out just this one photo of Barb. I promised her I'd e-mail it to her so it's on it's way Barb. Thanks for coming....
And in the most ambitious fish department Amy Woltering won the category. These guys will attack anything and let me tell you there seems to be millions of them...don't tell Fish and Game or they might decide to make a management plan for them and then you know what happens.....
mmmmmm...speaking of ADF+G here's a graph of the Red run. It's a few days old but you can see that the graph is the sonar counts and the dotted line is the historical average....does it look weird at the end to anybody besides me ? In fact just yesterday they announced a sonar count of a whopping 40,000. So, me being inspector Clusoe decided I'd run up to the sonar site and do an inspection. right next to the sonar they have a fish wheel that spins and it not only verifies the fish are their but it breaks up or as they say 'apportions' the run....We have a huge run of pinks right now. So, if the wheel is working and say it runs for an hour and catches 10 salmon and 5 are reds and three are pinks and two are silvers it means something real simple...The run is half of what they think it is. BUT....the fish wheel was not running and you would think they'd make sure it would considering the dire straits the run is in.
You can see that they are going to make the magic number of 900,000 come hell or high water, even if it defies the common sense test. What ever it takes I guess. But at some point there has to be some honesty and somebody should admit they have not apportioned the run properly or at all. I guess the staff at ADF+G would rather save face and their jobs than save the fish.
So if any of you reading are thinking of doing a Silver trip in the coming months I'd appreciate it. I think the fishing is going to be A.O.K. and we have our Typhoon over with. I only have a month and a half left in my guide career so we'll be having fun....and you're invited.

Monday, August 6, 2018

It's A Miracle !!!

Or is it....we've got a river full of fish, salmon kind of fish. To try and get the escapement numbers ADF+G has finally closed all Sockeye fishing, sport and commercial. Of course it's a huge disaster for all those who are after those fish....here's what the Centennial Park parking  lot looked like on July 30th when normally the banks would be lined with fishermen with American green folded up in their wallets.
So pardon the pun here but with everything closed there's a silver lining. The first day within minutes of our first attempt to catch a silver salmon on purpose Josh caught this guy in a pouring rain. The river is full of them like it was back when I was a kid when the silvers would be here when they wanted to come and not just after commercial season closes..and that date is coming soon.
And how's about Pink salmon in July ? I had an entire crew of ladies who after fishing for Kings to catch and release decided they'd take a batch of fresh pinks home for their husbands to smoke. I've seen pinks in July before of course but not like this year, it's happening.
I got to fish with a dad and daughter who ended up with 40 pounds of silvers. They are friends of my old buddy Marty Holloran and just like him they were amazing to spend time with. My early August schedule is usually kind of light as most people know the run builds towards the middle of August so I was tickled to spend time and get a couple bonus trips in with two wonderful people. Cassidy there is water Polo player in Santa Barbara and with her approach to life you hide and watch, she'll be playing for Stanford soon.
And her dad Damien is a guy who knows the tricky navigation of a life well lived....
So as I type this edition of Mile 14 across town at ADF+G headquarters the experts are busy cooking the books in hopes of getting the net guys out to fish soon before the d-day end of season comes and the fish are managed for somebody else, like us, finally. You see to get the 900,000 number they need for escapement they are busy counting every single pink, silver, sockeye, trout , shadow, ghost and what have you to be getting the 30,000 a day they're  reporting. Never mind that it's odd and almost impossible for those kind of sockeye numbers this late in the season and especially never mind that guys like me KNOW what 30,000 sockeyes a day looks like....and they AIN'T here you dummies. Her's a pic of one of their scientific equations they use to teach the new guys who didn't take cooking the books in college.
And in the ' Things you Never See ' department I came across this. Now I'm not being  hard on the Professionals that run our River because I've done a version of this myself AND I'll admit it was my fault. So I'm hoping this poor Park Ranger was rammed by another vehicle and lost the boat or it was a mechanical failure that could not be avoided. And to have this happen right in the middle of town on one of the busiest days of the year has to bother that poor Park Ranger. I feel bad for him, I really do...I know, boats are dangerous, things can happen, hope everyone is OK buddy.