Yakutat, AK. Day 1.

When thinking of planning a do it yourself trip to Yakutat, there are a couple of important websites to check with. One is Bob’s blog. He will give you an honest representation of what is going on with fish in the river. It might not be what you want to hear, but it will be the truth of what he hears. The other website is the USGS water conditions. CFS is what was checking the most.

Now, I will be the first to tell you that I became obsessed with these websites for a month leading up to our trip. It didn’t matter. If the weather said it was raining, Bob said that there were no fish, and the USGS gauge wasn’t working, we were still going on this trip. In reality, the weather forecast changed every 5 minutes, Bob said that a few fish had been reported in the river, and the gauge showed that there was hardly any water in the river. Tickets were booked, boats were made ready, we were on our way.

IMG_4505.jpg

Amanda finally got some downtime.

When we arrived at the Yakutat Airport, our boats were waiting and everything was working out. I was starting to get excited about the fishing. The Yakutat Lodge would be setting up our shuttles and providing information from their guides that had been on the water every day.

There wasn’t much snow on the ground and we were ready to get out there. After we bought beer, flies, fuel, and firewood that is. Second stop was the Situk river Fly Shop out in a WWII hangar. It was pretty cool.

IMG_4515.jpg

We arrived at the boat launch where there are 6 elevated camping platforms free to use provided by the forest service. We arrived and were unprepared for what we found. There was still snow. More snow than we wanted to sleep on. So we got to work. This was bad for my casting muscles.20180409_100208.jpg

We set up our camp and I ran to the river. Amanda strolled over with a beer and took a couple of pictures. 20180409_131806.jpg

That night we made margaritas, talked about fishing around the fire, and tried to sleep in anticipation of floating the river the next day. Day one was done and no fish were caught.

Advertisements

With Friends Like This

When friends come to visit, I like to take them to do things. Like see dead whales.20171029_135446.jpgOr go up hills.IMG_3862.jpgCarve pumpkins.IMG_3867.jpgMake them look at tall things.20171103_144738.jpgMake them look at pretty things.IMG_3915.jpgMake them go up more hills.IMG_3914.jpgMake them take selfies with me.20171102_152319.jpgMake them like it here.IMG_3916.jpgI showed them some glaciers and told them that the water was cold.20171101_165656.jpgI guess that some people need to figure things out for themselves.20171101_165751.jpg

Dipnetting.

As real Alaska residents we are allowed to put a net into the water and scoop out fish. We previously did this for Hooligan. Now it was time to do it for salmon.

ADF&G: This popular fishery takes place from late June through July in the marine waters of Cook Inlet just off the mouth of the Kenai River. Since 2003, Alaskans harvest between 130,000 and 540,000 sockeye salmon annually in this fishery.

The Kenai River is a large glacial system draining the central Kenai Peninsula. The river begins at Kenai Lake near the community of Cooper Landing and flows approximately 82 miles down to its mouth in Upper Cook Inlet, near the community of Kenai. The City of Kenai is approximately 160 highway miles south of Anchorage.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.20.05 AM.png

We loaded onto the boat on this rainy day and stuck our nets in the water.Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.20.23 AM.pngWe held the nets in the water until feeling a thrashing fish. Then you quickly lift the net out of the water and into the boat. Your crew pounces on the fish (or multiple fish if you are lucky) and swiftly kills and bleeds them.

Occasionally, you get a monster!Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.20.45 AM.png

When you get home, the real work begins.Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.21.17 AM.png

The (borrowed) smoker was hard at work.Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.21.26 AM.png

The (new) freezer is full now!

Fly Fishing for King Salmon.

After the madness of Memorial Day, we headed south to the Anchor River to see if we could catch a King Salmon on a fly. The patriotism of the bald eagles were in full swing.Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 10.11.16 PM.pngThe night before we fished, we got to spend some time by a campfire doing the usual things. It seemed like a good omen.Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 10.11.28 PM.png

The evening was lovely.

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 10.11.44 PM.pngThe next day, we had a hook up! Hanapa’a.Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 10.11.54 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-06-19 at 10.12.37 PM.pngThe eagles were vigilantly watching to see what would happen.Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 10.12.09 PM.pngWe did it! We landed one.Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 10.12.15 PM.png

That gave us plenty of time to explore the beaches in the area. What a beautiful spot!Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 10.12.24 PM.png

Moose and Motorcycles.

As I was coming home from work one recent morning, a moose crossed the road in front of me. Luckily, I had plenty of time to stop. Then the moose stopped as well. He stood in the middle of the road and I stopped. Idling the bike, I lowered my feet unsure of what to do. If he charged, could I turn around fast enough and gun it? Probably not. Would we play chicken and I try to skirt around to the other lane? Doubtful. We looked at each other for a while. I think that he realized that I wasn’t too much of a threat. He walked down the road keeping a wary eye on me.Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 2.17.12 AM.pngHe was on the same side of the road as I was, so I was going to have to drive on the opposite side of the road to give him plenty of space. A couple of cars came by. Some stopped to make sure that he wouldn’t charge them as well. Some zoomed by either not noticing or not caring. I slowly started approaching him from behind, but got into the other lane (hoping there was no oncoming traffic) and he stopped to watch as I passed him nervously.

These giant animals are still amazing to me. To the locals, they are like dairy cows in Wisconsin. Big, never trusted, and seen everywhere. Locals don’t take pictures of moose. I still do. I got home and took the dogs on a short walk. A few minutes later, this brute come clomping down the road just like he was when I passed him. He still didn’t seem to have a care in the world. He is a true local.Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 2.18.08 AM.png