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.I 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.The drive home was beautiful. We stopped at Tern Lake to watch the swans. A 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. I 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.One 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.
Obi had been passing out so we took him to the vet. He was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. We were told that he wouldn’t have much longer to live. I surprised Amanda with some professional pet photos for her birthday.
So I got the boys dressed in their finest bow ties and had Nancy of On The Loose take some outstanding pictures. We couldn’t be happier.
Hike 18/52. Took the guys out on another steep and empty hike. Obi did flush one bird that flew down 1000 feet in elevation to the trees. I did not want to hike down to tree line and back up. He did his job, I did not.
There were still blueberries (this was taken in late September).The views were incredible and the pictures never do it justice.
Hike 17/52. this time, we took off towards Matanuska Peak. I had never been on this trail and I tend to stay away from “The Valley” as I don’t like meth or replacing car windows. For Obi’s happiness, I decided to risk it.
It is a steep hike in the typical Alaska fashion and covers 5,670 feet of elevation gain in 4 miles. When you turn around, the views keep getting better though.Eventually, we could see Matanuska Peak.
I can never quite capture the beauty in a picture. Our hike was slowed by me turning around and “oohing” and “aahhhing” to the dogs every few minutes.
We saw one grouse on our return to the car. It flew far away very quickly. At least we saw one.
Obi seemed to have a good time and that is all that matters.
Feeling semi confident with my bow, I am looking for places where I can hunt small game. Having two hunting dogs, it seems that I should take them and put them to good use. One area open to hunting that isn’t too far away is the Powerline trail.
Near Indian Valley, hunting is allowed. I headed over there for my first time on the far end of the trail.
It was a beautiful hike and I was too low in elevation to get to any ptarmigan. I think. That is what I tell myself. We did not see any birds. At least I got some steps in. And is was hike 15/52.
Well, the Russian River is a close day trip. This trail always seems to be under construction. It gets the heart racing as there are supposed to be lots of bears up here.
This is where I start singing to myself. Loudly, poorly, and probably getting the words wrong. I sing more when I don’t bring the dogs. It is like a circus with two dogs with bear bells, me with bear spray, and still trying to fish. Sometimes it is nice to just hit it on my own. Terrifying, but nice.
The first fished I picked up was a Coho Salmon. Accidental. I was aiming for trout. It was a good problem to have. I need a bigger net.I did get into some trout. This one was fun.
Nothing special about it, but I saw a little something stuck to it.
Cool my first ADF&G tagged trout.
Having worked briefly in the fisheries industry, this was exciting for me.
There are still lots of Sockeye Salmon in the river.
They are occasionally caught as well. It is like dragging a tire upstream, but still fun on a 5 weight rod.
There are plenty of decent trout to fool as well.
I sang alone on the walk back to the car. Happy, tired, and in one piece.
We took the family out to Caines Head a couple of times. It is one of our favorite places to visit. We stopped to watch the salmon in the river. The dogs begged for food.The hike through the mossy forest along the coast is amazing.
Once you make it to the beach, you are greeted by views of glaciers across the bay.The dogs love the beach. Some never stop running while searching for birds.The wife always seem to catch fish and look good doing it.
My favorite way to spend time with family involves fishing.