Hooligan Fishing.

Hooligan (Thaleichthys pacificus), otherwise known as “eulachon” or “candlefish”, are a type of anadromous smelt that makes its way into a number of rivers in Alaska during the spring spawning run. They arrive in some river systems in the hundreds of thousands, and are an important forage species for eagles, gulls, bears and other species. The fish is found from the Pacific Northwest to Alaska, and the name “eulachon” is thought to derive from the Chinookan language. “Hooligan” is thought to be a derivative of the Chinookan name.Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.56.57 AM.png

Hooligan are of interest to subsistence fishermen, who net them out of rivers in the spring. The fish are eaten dried, smoked, canned or pan-fried. In years past, they earned the name “candlefish”, because when dried, the oil content of the fish was sufficient to allow it to burn like a candle. Hooligan were formerly harvested and rendered for their oil, which can comprise 15% of their body weight during the spawning run.Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.57.06 AM.png

Hooligan make their spawning run in May, with the males usually coming in first, followed by female fish a few days later. Males develop two fleshy ridges along their sides, and most hooligan die after spawning. They lay their eggs in sand or gravel, and the eggs hatch in roughly a month. The fry make their way to saltwater immediately, where they live for four to six years. They do not always return to the same stream where they were spawned, but they do return to the general area. They prefer slower rivers without a lot of current velocity, as they are fairly weak swimmers.Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.57.53 AM.png

Hooligan average between eight and ten inches in size.Screen Shot 2017-05-29 at 9.58.21 AM.png

Hooligan are typically caught by dipnet, a long-handled net with a bag that has fine mesh in it. The fish school up in deeper pockets, and in these places hundreds of hooligan can be caught. At this writing, a dipnetting permit is not required, and anyone with a valid sport fishing license can catch hooligan. There is no bag limit on hooligan.

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Bow Hunting for Rabbits.

Went out looking for rabbits when we still had snow on the ground. Had to switch from field points to bludgeoners.Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 4.44.38 PM.png

Saw a Golden Eagle on ice on the way there. Took a cool (haha) picture with my phone through the binoculars.Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 4.45.19 PM.png

We had a good time sitting in the woods without seeing any rabbits. Only saw some moose. Not a disappointment.Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 4.45.54 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-13 at 4.45.28 PM.png

Birthday Boy.

Birthday bash was bakery, bows, bikes, and burgers. Fire Island is hard to beat for pastries, bread, and cakes.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.35.16 AM.pngBow and arrow practice will now occur in our backyard. Please announce your presence before arriving. It is for your safety.Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.35.26 AM.pngBicycling all winter is a blast. Kincaid Park has skiing and biking trails.Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.35.36 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.35.53 AM.pngBurgers seemed like an appropriate finish to an awesome day. That might be wine and a margarita in the same picture. Birthdays can be trouble.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.36.04 AM.pngOh and pie. Everyone needs pie.Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 10.36.13 AM.png

Hiking Bird Ridge.

Hike 12/52. Bird Ridge ain’t no joke. Especially in the winter. It is only 2.5 miles each way, but 3400 feet of elevation gain. Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 6.34.06 PM.png
4 dogs and 3 people made it damn near to the top.Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 6.34.34 PM.png

We went up, up, and up some more. Like a snowy stair stepper.Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 6.35.54 PM.png

The views seemed to just get better and better. Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 6.37.03 PM.png

We made it as close to the top as was safe and returned to the car.Screen Shot 2017-04-19 at 6.37.12 PM.png

Walking was a little tricky for the following few days.

Eklutna Hiking.

Hike 11/52. There is something awesome about being on a frozen lake. It can be slightly terrifying. I felt confident that we wouldn’t fall through the ice, but then you see a big crack running the length of the lake and your mind starts to think, “what if?”Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.02.05 PMWe headed out down the middle of the lake with the wind in our faces. It was sunny, but not very warm. Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.01.46 PM

The mountains don’t seem very far away when you are hiking here. It is only because they are enormous. You walk for hours and the things in the distance don’t seem to get much closer. Alaskan scale is different than other places I have visited.Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.02.17 PM.png

After a few miles, there is a cabin on the left side of the lake. There is a road that you can walk on to access to the cabin. We returned on the road.Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.02.30 PMIt has a bit of a higher vantage point. We saw cyclists, dog sleds, and skiers out on the lake.

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Reflections Lake.

Hike 10/52. This was a new one for me. Just north of Anchorage, we left early one afternoon to go and see what we could see. It was a beautiful sunny day and we parked at Rabbit Slough. Having just got a bow and thinking about hunting sometime, I spent a little too long following rabbit tracks, but didn’t see any animals.

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The day was gorgeous and I couldn’t stop taking pictures. There were moose tracks all over the place. Also, there were lots of trails from people snowshoeing.

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It was cold and it made the scenery even more spectacular.

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From Rabbit Slough, we headed to Reflections Lake and spent the rest of the afternoon there. Even with the water frozen, it was a beautiful spot.Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 7.36.20 AM.pngThe sun was amazing poking through the trees. Seeing our breath and feeling the sting of the cold air made me really appreciate the warmth of our house and a good cup of tea.Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 7.36.34 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-02-05 at 7.36.52 AM.pngI even found a tree that had been decorated just for me.Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 7.37.11 AM.png