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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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

Steelhead Fishing in Alaska.

This was my first attempt at steelhead fishing since moving to Alaska. I have been talking about it and hearing stories for a while. I was told that we should have pumpkin pie for breakfast to keep the fish gods happy.

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Finally, it was time to make the four hour drive to the place I have been hearing all about, Anchor Point. Ninilchik River, Deep Creek, and the Anchor River are all on the road system and have great access. This means nothing if you don’t know anything about the area. The first stop was the world famous Fly Box.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.06.26 AM.pngOnce we had the hand drawn map (it costs extra) and the magic flies, we were on our way. The first stop was the Anchor River. Mark and I took a lot of selfies.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.06.59 AM.pngWe both caught some fish right off the bat and felt pretty good about the trip we had made. They were not however, the Steelhead that we had come looking for.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.07.38 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.08.15 AM.pngScreen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.11.31 AM.pngNow we were in an area that they apparently don’t like people getting too close.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.11.59 AM.pngI know why they don’t want you around. Because they really do have big fish in Anchor Point! My very first Steelhead and I could not be happier.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.10.12 AM.pngOf course we kept fishing and kept getting luckier and luckier.Screen Shot 2016-10-20 at 9.12.59 AM.png

I was feeling pretty chuffed by the time #3 grabbed a hold of this magic fly.

The next day, we got up feeling like we might know what we were doing. The lack of pumpkin pie for breakfast proved us wrong. The next day, all of the fish were gone. So we left. Ready to return next year. I am starting to feel like the fish themselves. I will be returning to the same rivers around the same time each year.

Hiking Eagle and Symphony Lakes.

Hike 7/52 for the 52 hike challenge. This is a popular trail and quite an easy hike. Most of the mild uphill is in the beginning.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-39-39-am

Eventually, you make it into the valley below. The creeks that drain out of the lakes are two different colors.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-42-14-amI am still addicted to panoramic photos.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-40-38-amThe further into the valley you walk, the more boulders begin to appear.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-41-03-amEventually arriving at the lakes, you can see why the two creeks are different colors.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-41-17-amOne lake (Eagle) is the turquoise color of the glacial silt. The other (Symphony) is snow melt and precipitation. They are separated by a narrow ridge. It is a beautiful hike near Anchorage.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-41-33-amThe creek crossings were easier for some of us.screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-8-42-48-am

Olympics

I have not watched any of the Olympics. Well, actually, I was picking up a gyro from Mr. Gyros and they had it on the television, so I did catch a bit of it while I waited for my food. The men’s triathlon wasn’t really too surprising. Soccer is fun, but it isn’t the World Cup. But then I saw this:

Too bad, we don’t have more of this in the US.