Wednesday, September 25, 2019


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 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'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, 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.