Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Big Fish

As I type we're seeing the first real snowfall of the year...time to leave 😎 I  thought for this edition of Mile 14 instead of moving along as I like to do we might look back a bit. Ya know this place has always been known for it's big King Salmon, they put us on the map...So I went through some of my old pics and quickly found a pretty good representation of what it was like back ' in the day '.  I hope some of you local guides who read Mile 14 might have a take away - we need this again - and get busy promoting good fisheries management as well as some plane old fairness in our fisheries management as well.
The million dollar boat circa 1995 or so. Those three guys have all their fish over 60 pounds.  It was an exceptional day and we released several smaller ones to get these. Right now there are those on the river advocating the release of all salmon like these and I kinda have mixed emotions about that but it sure can't hurt, there must be some sense to the gene pool theory and for those of you think that we are responsible for where the fishery is now all I can say is.... who would have guessed and nobody did anything illegal or immoral, times just changed and the big fish are harder to come by.
That fish there is the first legit 80 pounder I ever saw. I didn't guide it , my friend Carl Butcher did and we had it on a brochure that we shared in the mid 80's . This was certainly the ' golden era ' of the Kenai...many fish, many guides, many boats, pretty exciting. I think it's simple, more fish = more big fish and when we return the numbers to what they were we shouldn't be surprised to see these babies again.
That's my friend ' Latch' , Mark Egholm right here at Mile 14 in the mid 80's. We took that fish to The Maverick Club to show the guys and when a rough neck named Corky Moore asked my where we caught it and I pointed at his lip I damn near got my ass kicked for being a wise acre.
That's my dad, the Colonel with an absolutely gorgeous salmon. He was a pretty steady visitor to the world famous and I had this feeling that he felt like that every time he sat in my guide boat he was recovering another $150.00 of the lettuce he spent on the education I never used.
That fish of my dad's was so pretty I thought I'd follow up with this shiney model of Dale Einwalter's. If I remember correctly that fish was real close to 60 pounds, about as big a female as you'll ever see. Out of the thousands....yes I said thousands of King's I've seen up close the biggest female was 63 pounds...and oh baby did that salmon fight !
I'm kinda load testing my memory here....that fish was the 1st 70 pounder I ever guided. The big guy Kennedy caught it down at the pastures on one of the first trips I ever made that far down river. His buddy helping is ??????? darn it......yahooo on my proof read I just got it, Ed Walsh, he was a great guy.
If any of my friends recognize that fish it's because it's the one I have on my wall. My friend Marty Holleran caught it in the mid 80's and gave it to me mounted. How cool. The fish was an Old Hunter Fisher Skin Mount and about 25 years ago I was sitting in my recliner below where the fish was hanging and I looked up and happened to notice movement...YIKES....it had bugs living in some of the oil that was coming out of it's head. SO, I was doing business with Mark Oslund of Alaska Real Life Taxidermy and he took it and put a fiberglass head on it and repainted it and to this day it is gorgeous. The first time I met Marty he and his brother had come to fish as we had mutual friends in Redwood City CA. Well, Marty got in a car wreck returning from a halibut trip in Homer and spent the rest of his trip in the hospital. Not to be detered he returned the next year and was rewarded with that Jumbo slimey.....love ya Marty !
Neil Devaney from Helena Montana with his first King ever. I know it ain't a jumbo but I wanted you to see the boat with that awesome Merc on it....they called them the ' Tower of Power' as they were an in-line 6 cylinder. That boat with that motor was the fastest it would ever be. In the day the boats were quick enough that if you bored of the lower river or if you thought you might catch better up river you'd just check your gas and go....many a time I ran from Mile 14 to Mile 35 or 40. The custom paint work had to go when I got the Honda sponsorship , it was done by another Montanan and a friend of Neil's named Gary Allison in Homer Alaska, great people I've known along the way. That pic was taken in the spring here at Mile 14 and you can see how low the river was and that I had the riser on the stern to accommodate the Jet Unit we used to run.
I can't tell ya those guys names but I love that pic and the way they're standing in the river. Those fish are easy 50 pound class and a matched set, one boy, one girl.

This final pic is a customer of mine holding that 70 pounder that he's going to catch next year...We're pretty darn good at it but not everybody gets the jerk they desire. He doesn't look to stressed about the situation does he ??? , I like that.
Most likely the next time you hear from the staff here at Mile 14 we'll be temporarily billeted at the Mile 14 Southern Bureau...I'll fish my first morning and post a fish pic that same day, maybe πŸ˜•. Hope you come back for a look - see .

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Mexico Surf Fishing 404

I used to figure what I new about it made for an entry level course, ya know what we called the bonehead course that started with a a 0 or a 1.  But after chasing for close to 20 years now and being kinda intense as some of you know I figure I merit at least a 400 level course and soon to make graduate school, I've never lacked confidence.

So I'm finally done with all the fine tuning I need to do for the 2019-2020 season. And I know that there's at least one guy who's a biker that  would be real interested in my yearly MirroLure order that came yesterday.....that's a beautiful thing.
Normally I order 1/2 dozen Catch 5 which is a shallow running twitch bait for when the tide just barely  has the rocks covered and then 1/2 dozen 77M for when it's deep and you need to dive to get down to the rocks where ol slimey lives.  But last year I got the inside dope on MirroLures newest addition to the surf casting arsenal....This baby fishes just like the Catch 5 ( which has accounted for most of my nice Robalo like this one ) but is a full one ouncer and comes in the coolest colors...You guys are gonna want some of these, he's a MirroDine XXL .
Last year when I landed in Mazatlan in early November there were Roosterfish everywhere on the beach so this year I'm landing a full 2 weeks earlier and rumor control has it that the Guyo's are in abundance as I type, they like warm water. I brought home all the rusty lures to hit with Wink and everything else that I needed to fix. My long distance champ is a 2 ounce P'Line Lazor Minnow. They come with the shiniest chrome paint but it comes off easily, way to easily. So I give them all the same paint job as my favorite Ranger Lure for Roosterfish and nice new hooded hooks.
Below the Lazor Minnow is a what I call a stinger that I tie up on a Siwash hook.  What I've been doing lately is tieing a loop knot about 3 ft, ahead of my snap with the lure on it so that it looks like a big fish chasing a small fish. I stole the idea from a guy I followed down the sidewalk in Puerto Vallarta that was rigged that way....he was also carrying a stringer full of Toro. It works great and for the Roosterfish I was able to find some big ones, most of the world calls it a " Teaser'. I've even caught two fish at once rigged this way.
And finally all the ' veterans' that I cleaned with wink and put new hooks on. Some Rangers, some poppers, a few Catch 5 in the lower right and just a myriad of proven performers....do I sound excited to be ready ?
It's gorgeous here at Mile 14 right now. It seems like our hot summer lasted into the fall, we've only had a couple frosty mornings when we usually have all of September that way...so the tree's are finally getting a little ' vibrancy " to them like we're used to. All summer and fall the tree's have been in a shock mode due to the drought but that's done and gone...and me too real soon !
I'll most likely do at least one more Mile 14 edition before me and MPeasy jump the jet so please come on back. And Aaron if you're out there shoot us line and let us know when you land in MZT, we'll go fishing, talk story, go to Taco's Martin ....coooool ?

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

ch,ch,changes

It's that time of year. Pretty soon we transition from fishing and not doing much in Alaska to fishing and not doing much in Mexico. I've been feeling good. I just had my yearly check up and my blood work was fantastic and the new Statin drug I'm on has brought down my cholesterol by a whooping 100 points. As my dad had an aortic aneurysm repaired I had that screening done and that test was normal but with a bit of swelling called ' mild ectasia ' so all in all I'm about as healthy a 66 year old guy as there is. 😎  But ya still ache a bit here and there, the price of a life well lived I'd say.
Every work season for as long as I can remember I would make a list of goals and post them in my fishing gear shed to help me keep focused and remember what I'm about. So this year with no guiding I figured I'd better keep up the tradition but maybe focus my energy on things that really need it other than just out working people and catching tons of fish...so here it is. I got a check on the ones that I have done and am happy about my progress. A few are yet to come and there's room for it to still happen, in any case I so far have 7 of 14 checked... you see I've been a  lifetime C student.
1. Well, that one is not only top priority but about as easy a goal as I have. I do have to say that helping MP rehab from knee replacement this spring was kind of a ' load test ' as Geno used to say....we passed just fine. I'm crazy about that woman.

2. Once again we decided that Mexico is just to far away to drive to and to much lettuce to get there, we're jumping the jet.

3. La Paz...  I've promised myself that as soon as we hit Maz next month I'm going to research the ferry and book a 5 day or so stay at the Blu Hotel in La Paz Baja Ca... almost straight across the Sea of Cortez from us.

4. I have an outline done and I've worked on pictures. I've spent some time mulling over what the book will look like and what the message will be. What I've learned from thousands of fisherman through a life time of fish pursuit.....stand by.

5. mmmm.... for years my goal was 185 pounds, what the hell made me add 5 more difficult pounds that I'm most likely never going to make anyway ? Right now I'm at a pretty lean 192 so I oughta make it into the 80's before Mexico, then it's forget about it. NO WAY can you lose weight surrounded by the coldest and crispest beer, menudo, 3 cheese tamales, papa loco's.....forget about it.

6.  I think I went through the summer waaaay less stressed than when I was guiding. In fact with all the salmon shortages and emergency orders being declared by ADF+G it was a serious relief to not being explaining it all to customers...it's always hard to explain things that on a certain level you really don't understand yourself.

7. I HAD gorgeous Icicle Radishes, next year I need more space MPeasy...

8. When we flew home from Maz last year a lady we know who owns a gringo type restaurant was on the plane . So some night I'm gonna drag that Crafter guitar over and sing her Mama hated Diesels and maybe she'll just put me on the schedule, we'll see.

9. I caught a couple pretty darn nice ones last year  but I need that 25 pounder, caught from the surf of course.

10. Dodged it again....but it's in our future.

11. I did this well...I finally started to manage that Irish temper of mine.  Normally when people are thoughtless, mean, selfish, whatever I would lash out...guess I realized I can't change the world. I'm doing better ....Just breath through your nose is my new mantra.

12. I actually did this with the young guys at the launch this year and I think I helped. It's a hard job and it takes years to see what is really worth max effort and what isn't. I try to show the young guys that the trip is about the entire experience as well as comfort and safety...It's my fondest hope that the guys who come behind me have the same chance to do what I have.  In a soft and somewhat fatherly way I guess, I 've encouraged the guys to stand up, be proud of guiding, let the community know it's importance and most of all...let em know, we're here to stay.

13. Last time I did that I had two flat tires and almost didn't make it home for cocktail hour. But I'm going to try it again, leave in the dark with my fishing gear and then pedal the 10 miles home with that 25 pound Pargo in the basket.

14.  Years ago I broke with a group of friends that I came to know just really weren't my friends to begin with. They were jealous of a business opportunity I had and did everything they could to sabotage it for me. Well, it was hard to do but I quit them.. A couple of them I've never spoken to and one of them I routinely make fun of.....gotta stop that and I'm trying, I really am. Now I know, the best revenge is to just live better than they do....and I'm doing that.  I guess the reason it effected me so was that I embarrassed myself by not knowing what they were all about, I should've known, I was putting fun in front of right and wrong...but I ain't no more.
And yup, those are salmon and I caught them on Monday. A friend of mine who I think would like his privacy is going through a terribly difficult time and needed a distraction so we went fishing on the world famous. What's more distracting than me ?...mmmm.....maybe a circus, I don't know. I gotta quit typing and start cleaning house, MPeasy is coming home tomorrow !

Monday, September 16, 2019

And the rumor is.....

fishing is slow, that's what everybody is saying here on the world famous. I don't know if that's really true or if we're just terribly spoiled. In any case here is my advice for all my Kenai fishing friends, especially those who desire a future in the guiding business...if it is true and fishing IS slow keep quiet about it...the last thing we need is the word to get to ADF+G and then have them decide to try and fix it. Just breath through your nose and go fishing, change your bait, sharpen your hooks and move the boat if you don't have a bite....kapiesh ?

I ran the black boat the other day with Bill and Ed and really didn't think it was all that slow. Although I never had a bite Bill caught his 3 and Ed caught one. We didn't start fishing until mid morning and I'd say that catch ain't all so bad for retired guide #003... and we had at least 2 others spit the hook.
Naturally Bill quit fishing when he kept his third as per regulations and me , well I kept experimenting with this and that so we really only fished  well for a couple hours. Of course it's the middle of September and generally this this week signals the inevitable down turn in our Coho Salmon fishery...No worries. The only weird thing for me was the simple fact that I was out in the rain when I'd told everybody in town I'd never fish in the rain again...well , never say never and you know what ???? it wasn't so bad.
My lover/ friend/ life coach and conscious left for Mooooontana at 5:00 this morning. We put all the garden to bed and I'm in for 10 days of music (loud) food (healthy) exercise ( twice a day ) and even figured I'd catch up on my writing. I got a new song that will be ready for ' human consumption ' soon is the way MP puts it so I'll publish that soon. Promise.
In other news the town is becoming quiet.....we see some of this headed down the road. I just hope they weren't so put off by the fire and slow fishing that they won't come back...see ya next year, we love ya and need ya.
We toured the fire......mmmmm....wow, where to start with that deal. An entire summer of tolerating smoke and who knows what the overall business losses will be for people, especially in Cooper Landing. MP and I have a friend that has severe C.O.P. and that poor woman spent the entire summer in doors. Ya know when the Wildlife Refuge was established and the no suppression burn policy was adopted for Moose habitat this area was only wilderness. Anchorage was less than 100,000 and Soldotna was 500 people....So, I really think ALL of our policies as they pertain to Wilderness , Wildlife and Fisheries need to be really looked at with an eye to having them meet the era we're living in....It's 2019, let's quit running everything like it was still 1965, O.K. ?  Here's the view of what they HAD to protect, the Kenai River in Cooper Landing, a special place on this planet, beautiful.
This is what our visitors and us will see on every trip to Anchorage. One thing I have not heard when all the Moose people say how good it will be for the browse is just what effect did it have on adult animals. Guess I sound like a tree hugger.


The Anchorage Daily News had a great article in Sundays paper. 164,00 acres and the cost as of now is around 100 million...Thank goodness we have well trained professionals who went after it hard when the weather rekindled it in August. The planning and resources they used like the Canadian Scooper planes were really darn incredible, the peninsula is breathing easy again so my hats off to all the fire fighters like our friends Alli and Christa....Mucho Gracias.... And as you can see, when they tell the public to stay off Skilak Lake Road, they're darn serious.


Monday, September 2, 2019

The sun's coming up,

there's a smile on my face,
My half empty cup, is half full today.
I Know the right turn is just around the bend,
off in the distance, I see my ship coming in.
Well, nothings for ever on this ol trip around the sun. The glacier damn flood waters are receding, it's rained 2 days in a row now and the fire is not growing and is 27 % contained as I write. For the first time in 10 days the wind is favorable and we can breath clean, cold , normal Alaskan air. 😌 I think the Swan Lake fire with 800 people fighting it is finally going to lose. The impact here has been tremendous and once again I'm reminded that I'm glad I didn't have to guide through it all. The river has been quiet from cancellations and those that did wait through the pilot car escorts to get here have fished through what the government calls ' unhealthy' conditions. We went fishing on Monday and the smoke increased as the morning went on until we quit at 11:00 when it was really bad... caught my fish though.
We've been getting our exercise in the gym because of the air quality but the walks that we love are soooo much more interesting. We only got one hike in last week but still stumbled upon the quirky , weird and unexpected that I look for. ....I always thought that shooting signs with a high powered weapon was a kinda rural Montana deal but no, it's making a comeback right here in downtown Slowdotna.
As we walked down Lingonberry I spotted this is the trees....I got NO idea. But it's exactly what it looks like...and why ?  Maybe some kind of inter space signal to the Forrest travelers kinda like the do, do, do, da  in Close encounters of the Third Kind. And oh, this thing was off the beaten path pretty good, the kind of ya ' gotta want to do it ' deal
Well I got me a bit of writers block so how's about a new song I just worked up for my friends in Mexico ? It's a Cody Jinks song about people that like to get high, I like the way this song swings....It's kind of funny, for all my life people have just expected that I was a pot smoker. In Mexico I routinely have people try to sell it to me and here in Alaska people seem to notice my hair and liberal ways and just assume that I get high...and I don't. Now as a kid I was a pretty good pot smoker for a while but because of my Coast Guard License and my approach to guiding I went for nearly 40 years without smoking any, ever. So as I closed in on retirement I told people that when I was done being in a random drug screening program I was going to role be a big ol hooter and get high, after all it's legal here...and I did...and I didn't like it. I didn't like the way it made me feel. I didn't like the way I'd lose track of my own songs so I guess I won't be doing that again, ever. Funny how life goes eh ?  And ya know what , I feel good about things like that, it's called freedom if you ask me.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

ENOUGH

You look at that river pic I took at sun up yesterday and you'd think that there's something eerily beautiful about our Forrest Fires... I suppose there is but I think I can speak for all of Alaska when I say we're real, real tired of it all. The reality of it all is more like this pic below.
I spent all of yesterday indoors. It seems somehow or another in my social security years the asthma that I had as a child has returned and the air quality has been horrible on my lungs. I've done all the pulmonary tests and we've decided that it's an environment induced asthma that rekindled when I burnt my lungs with chlorine in Mexico. Now I seem to be hyper sensitive to smoke, dust , pollen which is really just every day life....jeez...Just for the sake of this report for any of you non Alaskan's : the Swan Lake Fire whose western front is 25 miles from Mile 14 is now a stunning 140,000 acres making it bigger than all the fires burning everywhere else in the states combined. It's in the Wildlife refuge and they were excited for more Moose browse when it started over 2 months ago...well gentlemen, you got moose browse up the ying yang now. At one time they had 400 people on the fire. Then they decided it had gone about as far as it would go and removed all but a dozen firemen and in true Alaska style our drought continued and then the wind came....OK, call the fire fighters back ! Did I mention that it's still unnaturally hot here and hasn't rained in over a month. We have 3 fires locally now and the Willow / Talkeetna area is under attack by huge devastating fires...
MP's gorgeously lush yard is browning up nicely in the drought. In our attempts to save everything we watered so much that it drew our well down and filled up the system with sand. We are far from having a first frost and all the birch and cottonwood trees are dropping their leaves trying to go dormant. As for the spruce trees the situation is code red...we already have a spruce bark beetle infestation going on and now that the trees are stressed from no water they're dieing by the day....we must have at least 40 new ones on the property, I hate to go look. In the second pic the tree on the right passed away about 2 weeks ago and the one on the left is on death watch...to bad because that tree is a favorite of our Bald Eagles. Any of you that need easy firewood, give us a call here at Mile 14 on the world famous.
And Fishing you say ??? Well, that ain't normal either. The silvers seem to be just OK, not good , not bad. In the valley they are saying that the low river and warm water are impacting the coho's upriver movement. It makes sense and I suspect a certain amount of the same is at work here. Here's a pic of Ernie with his catch the other day....rather photogenic ain't he ? 
And here's my pro guide tip / public service announcement for this edition of Mile 14...If you're to cheap to hire a guide don't be so cheap that you want to split your boat rental fee in as many ways as possible... you could drown.  If you have so many in your rental boat that the boat plows and won't plane...you could drown. If you don't wear your life jackets....you could drown. If you've never operated a tiller handle boat in an Alaska Glacier fed river running at 7 mph...you could drown.  6 people......way tooooo many.
I hope you come back next week and we'll do more fishing, I promise. In the mean time help us out with the rain dance eh ? As we walked and talked this morning MP had an observation about one of my pet conspiracy theories , you know the chem trails we all see behind airplanes on clear days. She said " where's Monsanto when we need them ".
And yes...that's a haircut you see.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Well, at least the boat stays clean....

it's a long story how we got to this place in time where it's almost mid August and we're under yet another arbitrary ' no bait ' rule....But first here's a pic of our first silver of the year. It was last Monday and me and MPeasy got a late start but there were few boats on the river and I found a good place and threw the anchor right on top of the mother load. We caught this silver and released a couple so we could continue fishing when the phone rang....Chris telling me that the ADF+G had closed the river to the use of bait.
They closed bait to conserve King Salmon that are on the way to the very worst return ever. We actually never catch Kings fishing for Silvers but never mind that, and never mind that we in river sports people are the ONLY user that can selectively harvest AND release  fish to live on to the spawning ground... But our community works this way, if we commercial guys can't make money nobody should make any money...so there, take that.....it's mean, it's unfair, old school and just plain stupid to deprive people of opportunity out of spite. So here's the graph of our King escapement 2019 in black and previous years in colored. We're now at 10,900 and we need 13,500 at a very minimum, as you can see that black line is going to drop off the chart real soon. Of course with no set netting going on the river is full of Reds and Silvers and they argue that they should be able to fish because having to many reds in river is worst that not enough Kings....Does that make sense to anybody ? That having no fish is better than having 1.6 million ?
So me and MP went upriver to trout fish and check on the ADF+G fish wheel that catches the fish so they can ' proportion ' the run. We watched it for several fish worth and in this pic you can see the tail of one on the aluminum slide...just before it fell back in the river instead of the catch tank. Yup, we watched it scoop 4 of which only one didn't fall through holes in the system...I think they better hire a fisherman who knows the value of keeping what you catch. And and a pic of MP with a Dolly Varden, I gotta work on that trout deal, we didn't have much luck.
The coolest thing ever arrived in my Mail box the other day. I kid you not , it's the best gift I've ever gotten in my 37 years of guiding anglers on the world famous. About 2 weeks ago we ran into Seth and his mom at a garage sale and Seth who has fished with me as you might remember many times asked me about flossing reds and which rod / reel he needed. It was perfect for me as getting rid of the tools of guiding for me has been both fun and in a strange way, freeing. So Seth and I went to the house and I gave him a Lamiglass Kenai Special and Shimano levelwind.  In the lower left pic I was encouraging him to take a snort if he was sleepy. Later that day I had an old L.A. Lakers T-shirt that I was using for a bait rag and I offered him 10 bucks if he's put it on for a picture...his mom drew the line on that deal. Thanks Kath and Seth, it makes me feel so good about this crazy life I've lead. Ya know, I think I really did important work after all. Fish On Seth !
So we are allowed bait again on the 16th and Ernie arrives tomorrow so please come back and look see....we're going to full military power on this silver fishing deal.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Relief

That's what the river, the town and the semi- friendly staff here at Mile 14 are feeling right now.  The Sockeye fish fest of 2019 is almost over with July 31st signaling the end of Dip netting and the sport fishery starting to move upriver. It's intense and I have to say that being gone in the boat for all of our years here at Mile 14 I have new appreciation for what it's all about and how hard MP works to make sense of it all along with making $$$ for us while everybody remains safe. To give you an idea here is a 5 a.m. shot of the dippers and the flossing line up at Centennial Park...salmon fever.
For the first time in all these years I was able to ' put up ' our own salmon and that felt good. I caught a total of 14 on my new fly rod and we canned 3 and froze the rest for the smoker. By Kenai standards 14 salmon isn't very many but for us it seems like just the right amount....begging the question, what the hell is everybody doing with the dozens and dozens they kept ? Here's the gutting table on a typical day here at Mile 14 and one of our customers running a sockeye through the last minutes of it's life.
Strangely enough it all goes pretty smooth except for the daily off river trespassers that act like the property is there only for their personal convenience...and they're mostly so called professional fishing guides. Forget your license and didn't notice until you had a dead King salmon in the boat ? Go to Stewart's. Need a pizza delivered ? Go to Stewart's. Wife needs to bring you dry socks ? Go to Stewart's....So if any of you know this clown please tell him that I'm actually a nice guy and this is how business works around here on the world famous. If you want to use our business it takes three things if you're a fishing guide, money, a signed liability release on file and Be Nice ! You see if you stop here without  permission or paying  it's like shop lifting, we certainly want  business but if there's no lettuce in it for us it Ain't business....kapeesh ? ....whew, I feel better now.
In July the truly dialed in stay away from the local Fred Meyer store...it's a frenzy and a good way to get your arm chewed off during sockeye season. But ol guide 003 had a lapse of attention and found himself there one morning, these three photos tell the story. The empty wall was once full of fillet knives and now that the shipping boxes are all gone we're working hard on the cooler supply...


I've always wondered how long it would take for sport people to follow the commercial guys lead and start using aerial spotters. Well, it's something new here. Not only can you spot the fish you can fly right over the road construction delays and even med e vac yourself if you get a hook in the wrong place.
Our people are serious...hows about stealth mode for your snaggin wagon ? Yup, they never see you coming cause it's just another school of fish headed up the world famous. I used to look at the thousands and thousands of hooks and nets in the water and tell people that if I were a salmon I'd take the road... well now they are.
Rick and Cath use Mile 14 every year and so we've become friends and I really enjoy seeing / being around their grandson Cam. This guy ain't no scaredy chicken. He hooks his own, kills his own,  cleans his own.... I took this pic right after all of us sought shelter from a cloud burst, all of us except Cam that it is. Carry on buddy, you have a lifetime of fishing, the mystery and wonder of it all ahead.
Maybe it's the warm weather but we have Spruce Grouse everywhere here at Mile 14. We've always had some but this year it's group after group of them. I took this pic last night without getting up from watching the ( yawn ) Democrat debate.  Kinda crazy, we got it all, fish eagles , grouse, gulls, terns , seals , moose, caribou.... and a few humans. 😎🐟🎸🎡