Thursday, May 30, 2019

Something's wrong with my rod !

That's what MP's sister Paula said 30 years ago when a 72 pounder stopped her spin and glow drifting down the river... This one on memorial day happened so fast that it almost got the same response, I've seen the rod go off literally thousands of times, but this one was sooooo quick it had me and MPeasy wondering.

And what a day it was. Sunny and warm, memorial day when we can fish on Monday and it coincided with MP's  ss;;;;;th , ah forget about that, it was just also her birthday and she finally felt good enough to sit in the boat for a couple hours. We launched at the civilized hour of 7;00 a.m. and I just had to run down the river to Eagle Rock where I expect there has been more King salmon sport caught in the last 40 years than any other place on the entire planet. I set up the troll and handed MP three lures, two  t-50 flatfish and a brand spanking new K-15 Kwikfish. She grabbed the chartreuse Flatfish telling me that the gold Kwikfish had never caught a thing....that's the difference in our perspectives I guess, I like new, she likes proven just kinda like the guides who show off the teeth marks...We ran it out 54 feet, it dove and started to wiggle and then as is the typical flatfish strike it stopped wobbling as ol slimey touched it and then the hook got him and wall...feeesh on, that quick.
 Not a person or boat in sight as we float down to beaver Creek with this fish pulling hard. We actually see him right away and of course I thought he was bigger than he turned out to be but he's certainly a noble fish right at 45 of the new 'large' targets that are now the total of our sonar counts.
She's fished enough that I do no coaching at all. Only thing I said was at one point she had the Lamiglass a little to high and I mentioned she might break the rod and she replied with a " no I won't" which is good enough for me because we have enough rods that we could break one a day and not run out...a collection I just don't need anymore. The fight timing and netting was text book and within 10 minutes we had him in the net and released, swimming away healthy as can be.
She came to the stern of the boat and gave me a kiss and we both agreed the fish was a gift to us, a wonderful surprise driven by the joy of sport fishing, the chase , the mystery , the people and of course the river....
Now that she's getting ambulatory I hope to get out more but she's told me she most likely won't want to go as much as I will. It's the strangest thing, it was easier to find people to fish with when I was charging a couple C notes for a trip than it is find people who want to fish on the right day for free....mmmm....I'd never have guessed it and just more stuff I'm learning about being retired.
We only fished for another 45 minutes and we actually had another good chance that never got the hook good enough and I also saw one role ahead of the boat. So just based on that I think there's quite a few fish in the World Famous... But that's not what the sonar counts are saying so it's going to be interesting to see what happens as we move through this early run management plan. You know me, I'm of the opinion, and highly educated opinion I'll add that C+R fishing has absolutely NO negative effect on this salmon run. As I've said many times  that with single hooks and educated fishermen mortality is virtually zero. So if the numbers don't project I really hope the ADF+G will maintain the C+R fishing...who knows some day it might be all we have. Having said that if they do close it to all fishing it will really underline just how little understanding of sport fishing there is at ADF+G...maybe really not such a surprise when you consider they're all commercial fish guys in all aspects of decision making in our state. We'll see what happens, I have my fingers crossed but I'll tell you this....people are getting real tired of the status quo around here on the commercial / sport front...So my advice to ADF+G is simple, throw the people a bone. Quit taking and give something, anything...don't poke the bear toooooo much.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Driving Ms. Daisy

Yup, that's my job. We're at the 4 week mark from MPeasy's total knee replacement and I've been gardening, cleaning , cooking ( we've both lost 3 pounds ) chauffeuring , pharmacy tech , morale booster and with a new twist the victim of her new passion for playing Gin Rummy. But, the end is in sight. We're over the walker and onto just a cane and I expect that she has cabin fever as bad as I do so real soon she'll be pain pill free and driving again....THAT will be a big day for retired guide # 003.
On  Sunday night I just couldn't take it any longer, I've NEVER gone this long in the spring without running the river. It wasn't even a nice evening, it was a bit rainy so I told MP I'd be gone an hour...I didn't even take a fishing rod, I just needed to breath the Kenai. The tide was pushing as I rounded Beaver Creek and I had counted just two boats on the river, one of which was the ADF+G .....mmmm.... so on the way back I stopped and chatted with the other boat. They're some young guys in a smaller riveted boat that I've watched from a distance for years. They fish so much that at one time I told MP they reminded me of myself in the 1970's. I should have got a pic but Mike who ran the boat turns out to be Spence DeVito's grand son and he's also married to guide Bill Neiderhauser's sister...just as I thought, this guy has Kenai green in his blood. I shoot a short video to give you an idea of what this place is like when it's quiet and the river is low, just like I like it.
I've been a little blog lazy I's  Pro Guide Tip # 77 ... I've sat through many a water haul in my life so I learned the hard way that to much focus on the fish and not the fishing can be stressful, real stressful. So the elixir for that is simple and one of my moto's ' The Joy is in the Pursuit'. Or as my friend Willy said a few months ago " today it was for the soul and not the stomach". So instead we enjoy it all, the small things, the ...yup, wildlife. So here's my ' I didn't catch any fish' pic of the week. It really is a special place here at Mile 14, I took this pic from Mp's greenhouse yesterday...Please hang in there with me and I 'll see you next week with sonar counts, fish pics and maybe a an ADF+G  critique.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

The nurse can see you now

What a life. I've been busy...but not to busy to work up a song that MP and I fell in love with. If or when you see Clint Eastwood's new movie The Mule do not leave before the credits role as you'll miss this Toby Keith song, speaks the truth.  Ever since we saw the movie a few months back at the Platino Cinemex in Mazatlan whenever I get toooo serious or start acting like a jerk or especially a mean old jerk MP reminds me...don't let the old man in.
Just this morning after I cooked bacon and eggs then washed the dishes I had the bright idea to dry the cast iron skillet by putting it on the stove on high for a few minutes and then put it away in the cupboard...what do you suppose I forgot to do ? Yup, I helped MP into the shower and then closed the doors behind me and started to the daily move of the plant starts from the house to the greenhouse. On about my 4th trip I heard the yelling and then the smoke alarms....damn....I will say however that the cast iron fry pan is about as clean as it's ever been.

Since I last reported into Mile 14 here not much has changed. But my patient is doing way better and I expect she will be released from 24 hour care soon and maybe even be able to drive by the end of this month, what a great day that will be ! And I mean really drive, not one of these geriatric bumper cars.
This next picture falls into ' holy moly, he didn't catch any fish so he posted a sunset picture again' category.
Give me a break huh ? I just never have seen cauliflower like that before, gorgeous huh ? just like a 35 pound shiney King salmon that I didn't catch.

And in the ' holy moly, he didn't catch any fish so he posted a sunset picture again ' category, phase 2...
Jeff's Soap Box :  When MP reads this she's going to say this is one of those ' don't let the old man in ' moments but I'm going to risk it. I suppose you all remember that a few weeks back I said I was worried about our town when I posted the pic of the massage parlor right nest to the gambling store which is next to the pot store which is next to an 'adult boutique...Well when I ride my bike at 7 a.m. I'm noticing a fairly new and growing sector of our town, homeless / vagrant peoples. Now I get the homeless part, misfortune and life's curve balls can get anybody at anytime and with another Alaska summer coming on what better town to camp in than ours, along the banks of the world famous.  It's gorgeous here and we have wonderful people to help everyone traveling through this planet....what I don't get is the loitering and public drinking / smoking / rudeness / part that seems to go with it.  Jeez you guys be a little cool O.K. ? And here's the ' don't let the old guy in ' moment...For all my neighbors, we need to stand up and get this all stopped. Is this how we want our visitors to view us, is this what we want our kids seeing as normal ? Do we want our old folks fore go their daily walk along the river because they are intimidated ? Here's a couple pics I took right in the middle of town. If any of my readers are Soldotna Police give me a call if you want and I can show you the jungle, but I suppose you already know....
See ya in a week...we WILL go fishin....

Thursday, May 2, 2019

What I've learned ....

is that I'm a jerk.  MPeasy's new knee is now one week old and for what I think is the first time in my post children years I'm thinking and doing things for other people way more than for myself, and it feels good. It's love. I guess it's human nature as  I've gotten so use to it that I've been taking it for granted. One of my maxims in life has been the recognition that no matter how cool a job you have, no matter how cool the spot you're living in is and no matter how big and plentiful the fish are it all becomes routine at some point....even love. So it takes awareness and insight to renew our experiences through appreciation and affirmation and I'm getting plenty of that right now....Post op.
She can't drive, She can only move with a walker for an hour a day. The ice machine has to be refreshed every six hours and all the meds are measured and laid out. She needs help into and out of the car when we go to rehab short there's a lot to do. AND then there's the things she normally does that I do also ....I guess I had forgotten or just got to be a jerk about noticing just how much she does here at Mile 14 everyday, and she makes it look easy. Cooking, cleaning, plants in, plants out, don't forget to compost and recycle....boy howdy....Here she is going to check the 'kids ' in the greenhouse.
Yesterday Dr. Reyes said she got a B for her hard work getting  range of motion. It's a painful procedure as well and she tolerates a lot now but will lose the pain eventually that she's endured for years. Of course she's doing it for herself but in our lives it's an 'us ' thing as well.... We want to live well, be active, squeeze this ol life real well until the bitter end, together. Improve her life, which improves my life which improves our life. Thanks MP, I love you.
Here's a pic of the meds that nurse Jethro Ratchet administers 3 times a day and then pain meds every 4 hours. What we've learned about pain is that prevention is the key. The health care professionals that I'm so impressed with use this term : you need to stay ahead of it.
I guarantee that real soon we'll fish mania again here at Mile 14 so I hope you all keep coming to visit. If I'm a little late with a blog entry ya know I got a good excuse, I'm busier that a 10 year old at the trout pond.

On our last walk before her surgery we came across this uniquely Alaska deal. This guy obviously has problems with a soft clay area during break-up just like we do at Stewart's Landing. One year MP suggested I just park the truck over it to keep people from driving on it and getting it all screwed up. Bad idea. The truck sunk 8 inches over night . So the second pic is how we handle that deal no, glad to see I'm not the only one with the improvisation.
So I'm looking forward to a GREAT fishing season and being able to do it like we did 37 years ago before I started to professionally guide fishermen. I'm in the process of looking for a boat with fewer seats and one of those rain covers I've kinda envied for years. ( If any of you Kenai people are interested in #003 the big black Alumaweld Super Vee just holler ) Of course there'll be some in season ADF+G management adjustments and the usual sport / commercial discourse....I'm just relieved to know the Feds are in town to take care of everything...or am I ? .....mmmmm.