Saturday, January 12, 2019

2019 UCI Sockeye Forecast

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) has released the 2019 Upper Cook Inlet (UCI)  sockeye (red) salmon forecast. Details can be found here.  To summarize, ADFG believes 6 million sockeye will return to UCI, with 3.8 million returning to the Kenai. This is considerably more than last year's Kenai forecast and 200,000 fish greater than the 20 year average.
This is good news for the sockeye fishery, but expecations should be tempered based on the fact that this is a forecast. Time will tell how accurate this estimate will be. In the meantime, it's okay to be patching any leaks you may have in your waders, and sharpening your hooks...

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Saturday, January 5, 2019


After a little break from blogging, I’m ready to get after it in 2019. The first topic of the year has to do with a Christmas gift my Uncle Mark gave me, All Fishermen Are Liars by John Gierach.

books of Christmas past
As far back as my freshman year in college, Uncle Mark has given me mostly philosophical books that examine fly fishing and life (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was the exception). They've all been good reads and I’ve enjoyed them all. 

This year’s book title piqued my curiosity and introspection, All Fishermen Are Liars.

Are we?

The answer is yes and no. Maybe, maybe is the better answer.

Perhaps Jane's observation years ago best described fisherman. She was new to the world of fishing and really hadn't been around fisherman until she met me. It didn't take her long to observe that most fisherman do not outright lie, but rather they/we "lie by omission.”

Want an example? Here’s a couple of conversations between fisherman who don’t understand this and those that do. I’ll  set the scene: it’s mid August on the Kenai River and even though there’s a run of pink salmon happening, anglers are targeting the more desired fish, silver salmon. 

Naive Fisherman. "How’s fishing?"
Fisherman. "Pretty good."
Naive Fisherman. "How many did you catch." 
Fisherman.  "Ten." 
Naive Fisherman. "Wow. That is good." 

Here’s the same conversation with someone who understands another fisherman. 

Wily Fisherman. "How’s fishing?"
Fisherman. "Pretty good." 
Wily Fisherman. "How many did you catch?"
Fisherman.  "Ten."
Wily Fisherman.  "Wow.  That is good. What kind were they?"
Fisherman. "Umm, pink salmon." 
Wily Fisherman.  "Did you catch any silver salmon?"
Fisherman.  "Nope. We had a couple on." 

See the difference?  The first example the questioner assumes ten silver salmon were caught and let the conversation end there. In the second example the questioner assumes that fisherman lie by omission and a couple of follow up questions led to the real truth about fishing. Smart/wily fisherman use this knowledge to their advantage. 

Let me just end this post by saying this: I try really hard to be brutally honest when I’m reporting on fishing. Not everyday is the "best day ever" and managing expectations is my goal. It’s a cliche, but honesty is still the best policy.  But, it wouldn’t hurt to ask a few follow up questions when asking me how the fishing was...just sayin’.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Words of Appreciation From 2018

This time of year Jane and I like to look back on our season and discuss what we need to do make next year even more successful. Some things are out of our control, like fish runs and the weather, but other things can be changed and improved upon. This is also the time of year I like to look over my photos of comments that our guests left behind.
The photos used in this post are just a sample of the comments we received in 2018. This is because most of the wipe boards were cleaned by Jane before I could snap a pic.
It’s always a nice surprise to receive these remarks. 
Because you never know if our facilities meet people’s expectation.
We try hard to explain what we are and what we provide. “No surprises” is our goal and it seems to work.
I’ll conclude with my favorite note; a homemade card. What made this even better is it was attached to a box of Moose is Loose pastries. Mmmm, Moose is Loose....

Thanks everybody for a great 2018 season!

Monday, December 10, 2018

Will Robertson

The cast of characters during the Blinn years are unforgettable. One guy that always brings his "A" game is Dr. Will Robertson. A great cook, a great story/joke teller, a great pink fisherman (pretty good with silvers too); it's hard not to enjoy his company.
Case in point. As many of you know Jane writes the names of the people staying in the cabins on a wipe board near the entrance door. Apparently, "Will Robertson" left the building and his alter ego replaced him for the week.  
Will recently shared this photo with me (it's a lower jaw of wild pig). All I could think about is what it would be like to grow up in his house. I'm sure there was never a dull moment.

Hey Will, Jane and I look forward to seeing you again in 2020 (or possibly ice fishing in 2019???).

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Break In

This wasn't the topic I planned on writing about this week, but we recently became victims of a break in/burglary.  I'm putting the word out on social media to alert my neighbors and other members of our community to keep an eye out for suspicious people who are in areas where they don't belong.
We were lucky that only our office and freezer room were broken into. The cabins were left untouched.
When I called the Kenai police department to report the break in, I was told four other properties on Angler Drive suffered the same fate. For a neighborhood that hasn't experienced this before, we're all a bit on edge.
The most significant loss was our ARY VacMaster VP215 chamber vacuum sealer. Many, many fish have been processed through this machine and I hate to see her go.....

If you see a used one of these for sale, or if you have any other tips about the break ins, please get a hold of me, or Kenai police officer Peter Fenske at 907-283-7879. Thanks.

UPDATE:  This post was written before the 7.0 magnitude earthquake happened near Anchorage, Friday morning. My son, Mac, lives in Anchorage and other than a scared dog and broken picture frames, things were fine. The Kenai Peninsula survived relatively unscathed and I'm thankful for that. Jane and I appreciate everyone who checked in to see if everything was okay.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service