Saturday, May 20, 2017

Deep Creek Fishing Report

waiting for the tractor to launch the boat at Deep Creek
The plan for Thursday was to meet up with Boo Kandas in Homer and spend the day chasing halibut and rock fish. That plan quickly changed Wednesday night when Boo called to say he had mechanical problems and had to take his boat out of the water to get fixed. Just after I spoke with Boo, I received a call from one of the other guys who was scheduled to go out, and he said since Homer was cancelled, we should haul his river boat down to Deep Creek and try for halibut and king salmon. Not a bad plan B I must say.

Ken, Murray, Pat, and I left Soldotna at 5:00 am and made it to Deep Creek fifteen minutes before the first launch of the day. We were second in line to go out and that was a good thing. If you look over Ken's shoulder you can see the boats staging at the launch and the line of traffic coming down the hill. Uff da!
Because of the tide cycle it was better for us to start out halibut fishing rather than king salmon fishing. The halibut fishing was steady and in a couple of hours we kept our 8 fish limit. They were all nice eaters with the largest weighing 30lbs. Not a bad haul for guys looking for fresh fish.

We then turned our attention to king salmon fishing. We got our rigs set up to troll and headed to the Happy Valley area of Upper Cook Inlet. Close to 20 other boats thought this was the place to be king salmon fishing as well. We gave it about two hours before the weather detoriated enough that a small boat like ours should not be out there anymore. We caught two halibut trolling for kings and that was it. As far as we could tell, no other boats had any luck for king salmon either. It was just one of those days where the fish weren't there, or they weren't interested in our bait.
I got home that afternoon, filleted the halibut, and couldn't pass up the opportunity to have fresh fish for dinner. A little Shore Lunch fish batter, oil, and a cast iron pan is all it takes.

The final product before being devoured....

This week I have plans to wet a line on the Kenai River. Hopefully, I won't have to have a Plan B and fish somewhere else.

See you soon for the next fishing report.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Silver Salmon Derby 2017

The Kenai Chamber of Commerce has announced a Kenai River Silver Salmon Derby to be held September 6th-18th. There will be categories for adults and for children. Specifics of the derby are not known at this time but will be made public soon. When that announcement is made, I will be sure to post them here.

I've checked my calendar and I do have availability during this time. Feeling lucky? Send me an email,, and ask about the Derby Deal (fishing and lodging package).

September is perhaps my favorite month on the Kenai River and this derby could make a good thing even better.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Salmon Celebration

In the beginning of the week I received a call from a friend of mine, Jenny Gates, who is a fisheries biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Jenny was looking for volunteers for the Salmon Celebration event being held at Johnson Lake Campground on May 11th. I asked what I could do and she said she could use help teaching elementary students how to cast a spinning rod.

What? Kids? Fishing? I'm in.

Students trying to cast a lure into the cutout holes
From 10:00am until 2:00pm, over one thousand elementary school children from the Kenai Peninsula Borough participated in this event. Besides learning how to use a spinning rod, there were over 30 educational, hands on, activities for the students to participate in. The activities ranged from water quality demonstrations, waterfowl identification, juvenile fish identification, stocking rainbow trout, boating safety, first aid, and understanding the salmon life cycle

The weather was great, the kids were enthused, and it was fun to teach students how to use a spinning rod.

I do find it ironic that, on this day of celebrating salmon, the first confirmed Kenai king that I'm aware of was caught and released (a video was forwarded to me). I've got a few boat maintenance issues that I'm dealing with right now, but my first trip should be happening very soon...very soon.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. To all the mom's that read this blog, enjoy the day!

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Second Step

So much for patience.

The day after the dock went in the call of the river proved to be too great. I loaded up my cataraft and headed up river for a nice six hour float ending at our dock at Beaver Creek.

Five minutes into my float I spied this Hawg Nose lure stuck on the bank. Hey, this is going to be a great day.

For the next hour I continued to find fishing lures and not much else. It wasn't until I walked a gravel bar that I found the Holy Grail of river salvaging. That, my friends, is a bona fide RL anchor. My good fortune is due to the previous owner not fastening the chain correctly, or tying an inferior knot. Either way, finders keepers, losers weepers.

With the anchor firmly secured to the back of my cataraft, my adventure continued. Just around the bend this shiny object caught my eye. That is an Abu Garcia 5500 reel attached to an 8 1/2 foot Berkeley rod. Not a bad follow up to the anchor.

This find made me a little sad. My guess is a child was fighting the largest pink ever and the rod was pulled out of their hand and fell to the bottom of the river. I base this theory on the fact that the line was snapped just above the reel (as the fish swam away with the gear, it eventually got hung up on the bottom and the line snapped). If there were a bunch of line out, the little angler would have either dropped the rod when casting, or it was caught on a snag and the child was unable to hold the rod and dropped it into the river. If any of you CSI types have a different theory, let me know in the comment section.

This is the final haul of what I kept. A first for me, and perhaps not that unusual, was finding a golf ball (just to the right of the anchor). I guess a person can have a hobby other than fishing...

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Journey Of A Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Step

6am Friday morning, dock staged and ready to install

And so it begins. The 2017 season is officially underway with the annual ritual of "let's wake Jane up at 5:30am to help me put the dock in".

At 6:05am, the largest tide of the month occurred. I was worried that if the creek wasn't ice free by today, I wouldn't be able to get the dock in until June. Not good considering I have guided trips scheduled before then. No question, going to a boat launch daily defeats the purpose and advantage that we have on the creek. After all, our tag line says it all: "Out of Bed....and into the Boat!"

7am Friday morning
I was thankful that the last ice flow exited Beaver Creek Wednesday evening. It was near perfect timing for a Friday morning dock installation.
11am Friday morning

So, what's the second step of a journey of a thousand miles? I would say a nice river salvage float, but I think it's going to be getting the cabins ready for the season ahead instead.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Another Blog Milestone

Since I'm pretty confident I will never receive an Oscar, or an Emmy, this will be the only place that I'll be able to make a thank you speech to my "fans", i.e. readers. Wow. I'm amazed that over 200,000 views have happened on this blog. Just, wow.

So, who to thank? First and foremost, I want to thank my mom and dad. I owe everything to them. Secondly, I want to thank my kid sister Heidi for convincing me to do this blog (sorry Heid, I still haven't got on board with that Facebook thing). Finally, I want to thank Jane for being my wife, partner, editor and guidance counselor. I'm not always the most coherent blogger when I'm in the middle of the summer fishing grind, and your perspective and patience has saved many, many posts. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

The music is starting to play me off so I better end this by thanking all of you for coming back week after week to see what's going on. If it weren't for you I wouldn't continue to to this....Oh, oh, oh, and thank you Mac for being a great kid. I love you and go to bed!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Release a King, Get a Free T-Shirt Offer

With the new early-run Kenai king salmon management in place for 2017, I decided it was time to try out a new program as well. Starting May 1st and ending June 30th, any client of mine who releases a king salmon larger than 36" will receive a free t-shirt.
This is not just any t-shirt. This is a one of a kind "I Released a King with Kenai Keith" t-shirt. Who knows what the secondary market for this baby is going to be.
Francis Estalilla, The King of Catch and Release
Depending on how successful this becomes, there's a good chance I'll extend this offer into the month of July as well. Stay tuned...

Long live the kings!

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service