Last year, we did not have much of a winter. There was a sad lack of snow, unusually warm weather, and people mad about having bought a lift tickets to places with no moisture. This year, it is a real Alaskan winter. Running has slowed down and become less frequent, but ice fishing and skijoring has increased.
It has been a busy end of the summer. I love the fall for fishing though. This monster trout was gorging on salmon flesh. Quite a memorable fish for me.
Small crowd at Bird Creek in August.Amanda completed her first marathon.We still had some nice weather along the coast.
We moved out of our house that often had moose in the front yard.But we bought this house and put a fish in the front yard.
Mostly, we bought it so the dogs would have a big back yard.The trails nearby also are fantastic.
I love fall fishing.
There is a beautiful spot near downtown Anchorage called Ship Creek. Okay, so it isn’t always beautiful. It is muddy. A slippery and sticky mud that claims many boots and the occasional life. It is near the train depot. It is loud and crowded. It is always littered with fishing line, bags of salmon eggs used as bait, and junk food wrappers. I just can’t seem to stop going here. The tides need to be timed correctly. Apparently. At low tide, the creek flows rapidly and the fish stay out at seas. Apparently. At high tide the place looks like a lake and it is hard to cast to where the fish allegedly are.While there are people catching fish there, I have not been one of them. I even gave up my morals of fly fishing and resorted to flipping out spoons. I have acquired and lost many lures already this season. I still haven’t fished with bait, or tried to floss them, yet.
The season is coming to a close. This is the closest place to our house where I have a chance of catching a King Salmon. It is easy for me to strap my rod to my motorcycle, wear my boots and waders, and be fishing in 20 minutes.At least the spot has beauty in its own way. Who cares that people are occasionally murdered there.
We headed up the Parks Highway (names for George Parks, not Denali National Park, even though that is the direction it heads) to follow little blue lines that we had seen on Google Maps. We found a place where the power lines cross the creek. This is usually a good spot to access the water.
Many other places I have fished have lots of private property preventing a person from accessing the water. Here, you really just can’t get to the water. The bushes are too thick, the mud is too deep, and there are no trails. It is perfect. When you do get to the water, you might be on a cliff too high to fish properly. The other side of the river always seems to look better than wherever I am standing.
Plus, there is the added bonus that I am always looking over my shoulder for wildlife. Maybe something to see that is cool, maybe making sure that nothing is going to attack me. Either way, I feel like I am always looking out for something. We found a piece of water that looked like it would have some fish. The water was higher than we wanted though. It was muddy. There were hardly any bugs (except the mosquitoes). There had to be fish here.
It was too early in the season for anything salmon related. No eggs yet. No flesh unless it was left over from last year. These are meat eating trout. It was time to swing some streamers. The bigger and uglier the better.Somehow, we fooled them again. Total solitude. Hungry fish. The fear of being attacked by wildlife overcome. Mosquitoes swatted. Headed home, we felt accomplished. Rugged. Alaskan like. Bear spray safely in the car unused, we stopped by Starbucks for our usual chai lattes. We aren’t that rugged.As the fishing season starts to heat up, my heart races more and more before each adventure starts. Every time that we step outside, I am amazed at what we see.
With a day off, we wanted to fish with our friends. We loaded up 4 people, 3 dogs, 2 float tubes, and 1 canoe. We arrived at Beach Lake to see fish rising, no wind, and mostly cloudy skies.Fly selection began on shore. The mosquitoes were not terrible, but very present. We saw some tiny grey bugs flitting around, but I had left my Colorado style size 20 and smaller box at home. Should have brought it.I used a black gnat fly that worked best all day. It was smashed on the surface, but even more productive while being slowly stripped just under the surface.
The views were incredible, like they always are here in Alaska. Looking down, I saw fish in the net, or rising all around us. Looking up, we saw terns, eagles, loons, amazing mountains, and float planes. It never seems to get old.The wind picked up and fish stopped rising. We traded tips and tricks while not thinking about how quickly the weather can change and shut down a good day of fishing. After a while, the wind died down and the hot fishing resumed.The only thing better than having stinky hands and cold feet was the burger at the local pool hall after all of it.
Hit the frozen lake over the holidays. This is more fun than I thought it would be.
First I showed up to this beautiful place.
Then I found a hole that was already made.
Then I got home a few hours later with a bunch of fish. The hard work began. I brought home King Salmon and Rainbow Trout.