Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ice Fishing Part 2

After posting about ice fishing in Alaska, I received a few photos from friends of mine with fish they've caught this winter. I might as well start out with the biggest and it's a photo of my buddy Andy with a monster northern pike.
This is Andy's son, Drew. A chip off the ol' block, wouldn't you say?
Here's Peter with a great eating size northern pike.
 Esko Bill with a sturgeon.
....a steelhead,
...and a monster walleye.
Thompson Kenny with a beautiful winter sturgeon.
Had to include a few photos of my old buddy Dave. Here's a nice eating size walleye. Pretty good multi tasking for an older fella to take a selfie and hold a fish at the same time....ha!
...and here's a HUGE perch. Uff da!

I'm sure a lot of my southern friends are confused about why anyone would want to ice fish. Well, quite simply, we do it because it's a lot of fun and it's not as cold as you would think. You either fish in an ice house that has all the features of a comfortable home (propane heat, satellite tv, bathroom, couches, etc.), or you wear the right clothing and fish outside. As my grandma Ina use to say, "there's no such thing as bad weather, it's bad clothing." That's sage advice no matter where you are in this world.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Ice Fishing

In an earlier post I asked for reader input about topics I should cover. An anonymous poster said I should write about ice fishing. Well, this post is for you.

A popular spot to ice fish on the Kenai Peninsula is Sport Lake. It's conveniently close to town (Soldotna/Kenai), and ADFG has stocked it full of rainbow trout, king and silver salmon (kokanee). If I've conditioned you to photos of large fish on the Kenai River, you'll probably be disappointed with this size of these fish. A large king or silver will be between 1-2 pounds.
Stocked lakes in Alaska usually equate to small fish and non stop action. Although there are a few large trout in Sport Lake, the previous description fits this lake to a "T". Above is a rainbow trout at the top of a 10" hole. This is a typical size fish found in a stocked lake. The bait of choice is usually salmon eggs on a small jig or spoon.
A rather petite silver (kokanee) salmon.
On this day I was out ice fishing with my neighbors. To the left is Evelyn, and on the right is Rusty. They're checking the depth and getting their lines baited up.
Here's Jane proudly displaying one of the many Sport Lake rainbow trout she caught.
Here's another photo of my neighbors. Rusty is on the left, Charlie is in the middle, and that's the Fish Whisperer, Barbara on the right.
Yours truly with a rainbow trout.  All in all, we probably caught over a 100 fish on this day and released everyone of them. It was a great day to get outside and spend quality time with friends.
I wanted to end this post with this photo. As I left the lake I looked over my shoulder to see this wonderful sight. It's never a bad thing being in the outdoors fishing with your children.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super Bowl LI


Today is the Super Bowl. I'm a bit impartial to the Stanley Cup but there's no way the commercials during the NHL championship can compare to the NFL championship. I also prefer Doc Emrick calling a game to Joe Buck, but I digress...

Who's going to win? I will pick the opposite of what my neighbor Barb is picking. When I asked her who she's rooting for she said, "offense". That means I'll take the defense.

Enjoy the day.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Ken Smith

My neighbor, Ken Smith, along with his wife Elizabeth, own Drifters Landing. Since 1989, these two have been running a first rate bed and breakfast and guide business on the Kenai Peninsula. What makes their service unique is they only offer drift boat fishing on rivers and on the ocean for halibut. Yes, you read that right, drift boat halibut fishing on the ocean. Where I see Ken the most is at the end of the day rowing his drift boat by our dock on his way to his place. That can be seen in the photo above.
So, this is the real reason for this post. I believe I am the only person in possession of photos of Ken Smith running an outboard motor.
Seeing Ken run a boat that is not being rowed is like finding out that Superman is really Clark Kent. It's just something you don't want to believe.

If my revelation has put a chink in the legend of Ken Smith, than I offer my sincere apology.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Boat 149

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game requires Kenai River guides to display on the side of their boat a rather large green and yellow, watermelon shaped ADFG sticker, and a three digit number assigned to the guide. The purpose of the green and yellow sticker is to identify that the boat is being used for commercial activities. The three digit number is to make it easy to report a particular guide if illegal activities are being done (at least that's the best explanation I know of). My number is 149.

Licensing of guides on the Kenai River began in 1982. 207 guide boats were registered the first year. Since then, the numbers have been up and down with a peak of 396 guides registered in 2006 and 2007.  In 2016, the total was 267. Give or take a few percentage points, approximately 75% of the guides are Alaska residents, 25% are not. Other interesting statistics of the guide fleet include 29% of current guides have been registered for 15 or more years, while 17% of guides were new in 2016.

I'm not sure what the stats are for illegal guides on the Kenai River, I have my suspicions, so I'll save that topic for another day...

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Bad Luck?

Renewing the annual debate on whether or not bananas are bad luck in the boat, I would have to answer with a resounding "NO". If you're new to the banana in the boat issue, click on this link , and this link and you can read all about it.

photo compliments of Francis Estalilla

I've always felt that saying bananas are bad luck in a boat was just an excuse to blame poor fishing conditions on something else. I also find that certain people will use a banana on board as a reason to mask their own inability to be on fish. It's way easier to say it was a banana rather than admitting fault.

All I can say, if you're in the boat with me this summer and you bring a banana, make sure to bring me one too. I could always use the extra potassium (and I've got plenty of other excuses why we aren't catching fish).

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Friday, January 6, 2017

Rear View Mirror

With 2016 in the rear view mirror, I want to say thanks to all the anonymous and not so anonymous readers of this blog. It's apparent with thousands of views this past year I have a lot of loyal readers. I am truly humbled by your curiosity and interest in my rambling, some times less than coherent thoughts and observations.

So, what can you expect from the blog in 2017? One topic that I will focus a lot of attention on will be the upcoming Board of Fishery meeting in February. Every three years the seven member panel meets for two weeks to discuss and adopt rules and regulations for our fishery. It can be a contentious battle between commercial fisherman, fishing guides, and the average "Joe 6 Pack" fisherman. Some times, what gets lost in the allocation battle are the fish. Let's hope there are enough board members looking out for them this year.

Photos. Lot's of photos. That's something else you can expect in the year to come. My calendar is filling in nicely and I anticipate many photos of smiling guests spending their day on the Kenai River.

Tips, tricks and techniques for salmon fishing in Alaska. I hope to pass along even more proven methods this year to help the DIY angler be more successful in their pursuit of all things slimey.

Humor. Hey, if you're not having fun, what's the point?

Well, that's about it. If you can think of other topics I should be covering, feel free to leave a comment below.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service