Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pre Memorial Day Report

My group on Tuesday canceled and I was hoping to give a first hand report about the start of the run this year. So far my only reports have come from a few guys that have been out and they've described the bite as fair.

Today was my official first day and within the first hour Pat caught this beautiful 35lb female Kenai king. We caught it at Fall In Hole on an orange spin 'n glo. That was it for our action today. I spoke with a Fish and Game officer later in the morning and he told me he counted 14 boats on the river and 4 fish had been caught. Not a bad percentage considering the low counts on the sonar. What a great first group and a great first day and my egg curing season has officially begun!

I'll be guiding the next 3 days so expect another fishing report soon.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Red Salmon Gear

A question that Jane and I are often asked is what gear do I need to fish red salmon? If you are a person that prefers a fly rod a 7wt or 8wt is a good fit for Kenai red salmon. If you are a conventional fisherman a 7ft to 8 1/2 foot medium to heavy action rod with either a spinning reel or a baitcasting reel will work fine. The line that I prefer is 17lb test monofilament for my mainline. Some people use heavier line in the "combat zone" or a braided line but through the years I have found 17lb to be a good weight overall to catch red salmon. The terminal gear that you'll need will be sinkers, I prefer split shots because you can add or subtract weight instantly, a crane swivel to prevent line twists, a leader from your swivel ranging from 18" to 36" using 25lb-30lb monofilament, and a Coho/Russian fly or 2/0 hook with yarn attached to it. Other equipment you will need are chest waders or hip boots. Red salmon run within a few feet of the riverbank and you'll need to be out in the water and how far out will depend upon the fish. Miscellaneous equipment but not essential would include needle nose pliers, a stringer, a net, polarized sunglasses, bug repellent, and sunscreen.

That's it. Pretty simple fishing gear. If you don't have this equipment there are plenty of stores in our area that will sell you everything you'll need to catch a red salmon (my personal favorite is Trustworthy Hardware).

I suppose you are now asking yourself "when do the red salmon run and what techniques do I use to catch them?" Have no fear. I will address these topics in the not so distant future.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Les Anderson Day

It was 25 years ago today that Les Anderson of Soldotna, Alaska caught the world record king salmon on the Kenai River. Les is no longer with us but his legend still lives on. The mount of his 97.4lb fish is in the Soldotna Visitor Center and a chainsaw art statue honoring him is out in front (pictured above).
I won't be out on the river today paying my respect to ol' Les because it's "drift boat, non-guided Monday" day. But you know, I'll be out this week trying to do my best to set the next world record.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Digging Razor Clams

My friend Todd called me this week and asked if I wanted to join him on Saturday to dig razor clams. I thought, why not? It's early in the year and it's always fun to walk the beach on days when you have nice weather.

A little background for those of you who are not familiar with razor clams. Razor clams are found on the Kenai Peninsula on most sandy beaches throughout a fifty mile stretch between the Kasilof River to the North and the Anchor River to the South. The most popular area is the Clam Gulch Recreation Area located about 30 miles south of where we are located. The best digging is generally one hour before to two hours after a low tide (it must be a minus tide). Waterproof footgear is a must and rubber gloves are essential. Other than that all you need is a fishing license, a bucket, and a shovel, or a "clam tube". Your limit is 60.

I've been told that the razor clams found in our area are some of the finest in the world. I'm amazed that people will come to Alaska not to fish or sightsee but they will come for the razor clams. I suppose you're wondering what people do with them. The best uses for razor clams are either frying them (ah, what isn't) or using them in a chowder.

Today the clamming was good and the conversation better. If you have an open day when traveling to Alaska you may want to give clamming a try. It's easy, it's fun, and they're great to eat. As my dad would say, "that's a heck of a deal."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Open For Business 2010

They water was turned on yesterday and the cabins have been cleaned. It's official: the 2010 season in underway.
George, after your comment about how you enjoy walking down the dock early in the morning I couldn't help but post a picture I took today of Jane taking a picture of a moose from the end of the dock. This time of year the moose spend a lot of time on the banks of Beaver Creek. It's the first green grass of the year and after browsing all winter on willows
I got to imagine it's a lot like you and me going to the Dairy Queen.