Yakutat, AK. Day 2.

We woke up a little sore, but eager to get going. The rest of our party was a little slower to get going. We discussed the idea of postponing our float a day and simply walking some more this first day. We had brought inflatable kayaks and they were pumped up and ready to go.

With the low flows, we heard that most of the fish would be in the lower half of the river. A decision was made to paddle the first half of the river and then fish the second/lower half. By the time we launched our boats, it was about 10:30 am.

We thought that we were about a third of the way downstream when we reached the forest service cabins. It had taken us 2 hours. This put us on track for a 6 hour float. I had heard the guides talking about 12 hour floats, but I assumed that they were stopping to fish a lot. We were going to skip the first half of the river.

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The boats at the cabins.

It was all quite enjoyable at this point. We took time to leisurely explore the area. We fished half heartedly not seeing many fish. We knew that they would be down lower.20180409_133517.jpgWe floated lazily. There were a lot of downed trees, but we had time to see them coming. Being in inflatable boats the thought of a puncture was always somewhere in the back of my mind. The low flows meant that we were moving slowly, but we had no idea how slowly. IMG_4518.jpgWe eventually found some fish and we thought that we were about halfway down the river. We stopped to fish when we thought we were in the right spots. A few fish were biting, but we were not able to land any. Just when we thought that we had it figured out, a couple of kids came floating down in a motor boat.20180410_084652.jpgThey were very nice and trying not to scare the fish. They asked where we were staying. When we mention that we were camping at the boat launch, they informed us that we still had 8 miles to go the take out. It was now 6:30 PM and we were not even halfway downriver yet. We put our rods away and paddle for the next 3 hours. We saw lots of fish as we paddled hard past them. We were still paddling in the dark when we arrived at the boat take out.

8 miles our first time on a river in inflatables with known log jams and snags in the dark made us appreciate the dry land! We can’t thank Yakutat Lodge enough for leaving a vehicle at the takeout for us. That would have been a long 8 miles to walk back after that day.

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Lynx Lake Cabin.

Hike 21/52 was out to Lynx Lake Cabin #1. We planned on skiing, but the beautiful weather meant more ice than snow. The cold temperatures at night made for quite an uneven surface. Walking was more productive. So we walked.IMG_4444.jpgIMG_4458.jpgIMG_4435-EFFECTS.jpgIMG_4421.jpg

Tonsina Creek.

Hike 20/52 was to a place that is special to us. Leaving Lowell Point and heading towards Caines Head, you cross Tonsina Creek. From here, you can walk to the beach or continue through the woods. This was a trip of firsts for FN-2187. It was his first long car ride. His first creek crossing.20180301_141301.jpgHis first time to the beach.20180301_141520.jpgHis first time in the ocean.20180301_142332(0).jpgIMG_4375.jpgIMG_4379.jpgHe seemed to love all of his firsts, so we will make sure to bring him back in the summer!

Beach Lake, Chugiak.

Hike 19/52 was to Beach Lake in Chugiak. We have been here before in the summer and caught some trout. This time, it was snowy and everything was frozen. We had never walked out to the “beach” so we thought that we would check it out. There are lots of dog sled trails and icebergs moving in and out with the tides. As usual, we didn’t see anyone out there and that was fine with us.IMG_4341.jpg20180221_104702.jpg20180221_104124.jpg20180221_103455.jpgIMG_4340.jpg

Dear Sweet Obi.

Our little English Pointer, Obi Wan, passed away recently. We knew that he had dilated cardiomyopathy as he had fainted a few times. We took him to the vet and eventually a dog cardiologist and were given the bad news.  We hoped that we would have a little more time with him, but he lived a great life full of adventures. He taught us not to slow down unless you are cuddling with loved ones. He went to sleep one night, tucked in with a blanket over him. When we woke up, he had passed away and was in the same position. No suffering, no pain. We are sad that it happened, but he brightened our life while he was in it.IMG_3999.jpgIMG_4007.jpg

Alaskan Steelhead

I just can’t seem to help myself. October rolls around and the thought of standing in cold water not catching anything gets very appealing. The previous year was very good to me. Catching 3 Steelhead on my first Alaskan outing made me feel like a pro. This year, the rivers was blown out.IMG_3755.jpgI was still able to manage to land one which required being out at the river before everyone else. It was cold and as the water level dropped, my expectations rose. The fishing was probably great the day after we left.IMG_3786.jpgThe drive home was beautiful. We stopped at Tern Lake to watch the swans. IMG_3775.jpgA couple of weeks later, I thought that the water level had dropped enough to make the fishing a little better. I knew that it would be cold, so I rented a hotel room instead of camping. I feel like I am getting older smarter.

The day started with a few feet of ice on the bank. It was tough to release fish without taking them out of the water. This Dolly Varden looks small compared to the giant bird prints in the ice. IMG_3822.jpgI realized that the old get up early trick might be in order. A few weeks ago there would be 6 people in the popular spots when the sun rose. This time I was the only one there. I did see one other person fishing, but he was walking over to the restaurant to get breakfast as I was heading to the river. It paid off.IMG_3834.jpgOne fish per day turned out to be the most I could get. It was more than I could ask for. I will be back next October to do it again.IMG_3829.jpg