Can’t Stop on the Kenai.

This fall has been incredible for fishing the Kenai. Maybe it is always like this. It seems like I made the right choice moving up here. We have made friends with our incredible neighbors and some seem even more fanatical about fly fishing than I am.

Dolly Varden and Rainbow Trout have been caught and released by us more times than I can count. Here are a few pictures of the events.Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 12.31.48 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 12.32.24 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 12.31.29 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 12.33.23 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 12.32.49 PM

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Fly Fishing at Beach Lake.

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.Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 8.42.05 AMFly 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.Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 8.42.22 AMI 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.

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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.Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 8.42.52 AMThe 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.Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 8.43.05 AMThe only thing better than having stinky hands and cold feet was the burger at the local pool hall after all of it. Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 8.43.25 AM

Food lately.

We have been spending a decent amount of time cooking. I am inspired after getting The Food Lab. We caught some trout at a nearby lake. I wrapped them in foil, stuffed them with onions, tomatoes, garlic and lemon, and threw them on the grill while I seared my steaks. I have been using the sous vide method of cooking as much as possible lately. It has been incredible.

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I  have also been making pasta from scratch. It is a fun and delicious thing to do. The use of a stand mixer with pasta attachments makes it happen a little faster than if we were to roll everything out by hand and then cut it.

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For a fast appetizer, I made asparagus with poached eggs and walnut vinaigrette. It was probably the fanciest sounding thing I have made.Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 10.48.58 PM.png

Of course, half the fun of cooking is making something unhealthy. I have also been dabbling in frying things. Frying fish and chicken with a side of potatoes was delicious, but really made the house smell like grease and nothing feels very clean for a couple of days. Leftover fish sandwiches on homemade bread.Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 10.50.37 PMNone of this would be complete without dessert. Amanda made an insane gingerbread hollow cake lined with melted chocolate. Then we added homemade eggnog and whipped cream that we make minutes before stuffing our face. It has been a good first winter in Alaska. Who needs many hours of daylight when you can stay inside and cook!Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 10.51.40 PM.png

Idaho Cutthroat.

Idaho trout.Last ‪#summer‬ we took a trip to ‪‎Montana‬. We stopped in Idaho‬ along the way. The ‪‎cutthroat‬ ‪‎trout‬ were hungry until we saw giant submarine like‪ chinook‬ ‪ ‎salmon‬ swimming by. All the other fish hid as these giant, dark, spawning beasts returned to the ‪ ‎hatchery‬ nearby. I threw a few flies over their head but they were not interested in my offering. It was amazing to see these ‪# fish‬ hundreds of miles from the ocean. It took us a long time to drive to our destination, I cannot imagine what the salmon had to go through. At the end of the day, we had ‪ ‎wine‬ from WallaWalla‬ and food cooked on our campfire. What more do you want?

2014 Review.

January last year started a lot like this year. Cold and clear. We had moved to the Maple Leaf neighborhood.Maple Leaf Park.In February, we had some cool adventures (puns are ridiculous) including a trip to the Big Four Ice Caves. we weren’t sure if we really believed the signs, but it turns out that we were lucky to witness only a small avalanche.

Big Four Ice CavesThe shoulder seasons seem to be the best for travel, so in March we headed to Ireland.Cliffs of Moher.

When we returned, it didn’t take long for the first minor disaster to occur. I was lucky and I am thankful everyday that I am still loving life. It was one hell of an April.Broken neck.May was full of recovery and photoshoots.SCC nursing program.In June, the weather got better and we were able to spend some time outside with good friends. SUP Rainier.Girls.July was full of surprises, things like Amanda’s appendicitis threw us for a loop, but we pulled through.Amanda flowers.Luckily, I have friends willing to go fishing with me while Amanda recovered.Guys fishing.I explored more places in Washington that I thought were hidden gems.Waterfalls.There was more fishing with friends. There is never enough fishing or friends.Yakima.As my beard got more and more awesome, I also got a chance to check out the Olympic Peninsula. Luckily, I was with one of my most loveable friends.Lando and Rory.

He brought good luck and good fish.

Troot.Amanda and I did crazy things like hike to Lake Serene and drink wine at the zoo.Lake Serene hiking. Woodland Park Zoo wine night.August is the best time to be in the Pacific Northwest. We even went to a Mariners game.

Mariners Game.September is the hidden secret up here. You can read about our amazing vacation, here.

Canada.For Amanda’s birthday in October, we went skydiving, but she was happier buying pumpkins and gourds.Pumpkin girl.November is the time for Chum Salmon and pretty pictures.Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.29.56 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.30.15 PMadventureDecember brought the cold and the holiday season. I am glad that is over. Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.36.47 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.36.57 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.37.36 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 7.37.04 PMHere is to an even better 2015!

Camping and fishing on the Sol Duc.

I had never really been to the Olympic Peninsula. A couple of stops at the ferry terminal in Port Angeles doesn’t really count. I still have not been to the Olympic National Park. Until I am allowed to take my dog wherever I want in the park, I probably won’t be going there. I found out about the Klahowya Campground and had to visit it. It is on the Olympic National Forest land making it cheaper and dog friendly. The drive along US 101 wasn’t very impressive until I turned off the highway and into the campsite. Tall trees shaded the whole area. The beautiful, low, clear, and cold Sol Duc River was flowing near a bunch of the campsites. We arrived hot and ready to fish. Before unloading the car, Lando and I need to see the water and take a selfie.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.16.44 PMThe trees are as enormous as you would expect them to be. With so few inhabitants, there aren’t many (if any) trails beside the rivers. This is half of the reason I went. Even though there are places where it is easily accessible, most people aren’t willing to leave the campgrounds. Ferns, moss, and berries were everywhere. the smell of Christmas was everywhere. It felt 20 degrees cooler once you were in the forest.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.17.20 PMFollowing the river, I came to a very deep hole. It would have been a great place to swim if it weren’t full of fish. I was sight casting to some of the largest wild trout I have seen in Washington. It was a bit of sketchy hike to get to this area. I had to remind myself that if either one of us got injured, it is a long walk back to the car and there still wouldn’t be cell service for another 15 miles.

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It is always good when you can’t hold the camera far enough away to get a decent picture. Watching this fish eat my fly, swim upstream, jump, swim downstream, and force me to scramble over logs and rocks was a thrill I won’t soon forget.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.18.08 PM Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 2.18.21 PMThanks for reading and feel free to leave your comments!

Ireland Day 5.

Today, we began our road trip. We left from Dublin and headed to Dingle.

We stopped along the way in Adare because Uncle Leo told us to. It had a beautiful river and castle right in the middle of the village. I couldn’t help but to look in the water and see if I could find some trout swimming along. I couldn’t.Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 9.12.07 PMAt least the weather was great!Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 9.10.56 PM

Driving to the left, we avoided collisions and arrived at Dingle’s First Cottage. We stumbled into this amazing B&B and it couldn’t have been better.

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Along the way, Amanda picked up a book about Irish wildlife.

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