Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kenai Profile: Gary Blinn

I decided to start a series of profiles of the many people that I have had the pleasure to fish with and get to know at Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service. I can only "profile" one person or group at a time so don't be offended if you don't show up in the first few profiles. I should let you know my intent is to continue to write about a wide variety of topics regarding the Kenai. This will continue to include current fishing reports, and will intersperse profiles of the people that have left a lasting impression on me.

When I came up with this idea the first person I wanted to profile was easy: Gary Blinn. I first met Gary 12 years ago when I was guiding for the legendary Jeff King. Gary, who calls Tennessee home, comes to the Kenai Peninsula every other year in August with friends, family, and associates to experience everything Alaska. Gary stays for three weeks and everyone else will come for a week at a time. They utilize all of our cabins and fish nearly every day. How great is that? Most everyone will fish the lower Kenai twice, work in a trout trip in the upper and middle Kenai, a saltwater combination halibut/silver trip, a fly in silver trip to Big River Lake, or an all day fly in silver trip to a super secret location on the southern peninsula. I think the guys at Talon Air blindfold everyone before they take them there. Anyway, the majority of the people that make the trip with Gary do so year after year. Many of them will be profiled at later date.

In addition to the great fishing trips Gary organizes, a highlight of each week is seafood night. Gary will put together an unbelievable dinner which includes king crab, salmon, halibut, and chowder. To accomodate the Texas contingency during the final week, seafood night becomes seafood/Tex Mex night. Jo Ray and Will are the expert grillers so they help Gary put together an incredible spread. The night usually ends with a campfire and music provided by the "Fishin'Musician" Jeff King, and Chuck "Rocky Top Tennessee" Sanders.

At the conclusion of the three weeks Jane and I are sad to see it end. I can't say enough about how much we enjoy spending time with Gary on and off the water. It seems he has the perfect blend of work and what is important in this and friends. Speaking of family, I should also mention his brother, his son Justin, and his wife Laurey have all come up as well. Laurey always adds to the fun because she loves to laugh and enjoys getting the most out of life. What a great duo.

Gary Blinn, hats off to you! Know what I'm sayin?

Monday, January 17, 2011

MN Sportsmen's Show 2011 Recap

Jane and I would like to personally thank Rick Zweig, Ron Sellnow, Ed Bauman, Dave "Fishin' With Dave" Anderson, Al Dombrowski, Fred Glidden, Ed Bunning, and especially Peter Medchill for all finding our booth and hanging out with us for awhile. It sure does make the show go by faster. We would also like to thank everyone else who stopped by to talk "Alaska" and we look forward to helping you create memories of a lifetime in the Last Frontier.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Little Fun Before the Sport Show

Just before the first sport show of the year I try to plan an ice fishing trip to Lake of the Woods which is on the border of Minnesota and Ontario. It's the 6th largest freshwater lake in the United States and has 65,000 miles of shoreline and over 14,000 islands. The reason I go is to have fun and to fish for one of my favorite fish to eat and catch, the walleye. Lately, this has become an annual trip with my friend John Ohlin and occasionally we'll add people that we feel will fit in with our personalities. After all, we are sitting in a 8x16 fish house staring down an ice hole for 8 hours a day and you sure don't want to do this with people you don't like.

I thought I'd share a few pictures of the adventure. The first photo is the house we were in for 3 days and the nearly 60 year old heated "Bomber" that transported us 8 miles out from shore to the fish house. The second photo is 4 out of the 60 houses that Wigwam Resort rents. The third and fourth photos are of the "Igloo" at Zipple Bay. This is a fish house/restaurant/bar that is operated by Zipple Bay Resort. It is located about 8 miles out from shore and has become a favorite destination of many ice anglers. You can get a bite to eat, have a beverage, watch a game of football and rent an ice hole to fish in for $5 and hour. As my dad would say, "that's a heck of a deal". Finally, the last photo is yours truly with an above average walleye.

As always, whenever I can fish it will be a great time. The catching this year, on the other hand, was so-so. The commraderie? Hard to beat. I can't wait until next year to do it again.

We're off to St. Paul tomorrow so hope to see you at the sport show.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sport Show Schedule 2011

As of right now we are scheduled to be at the following shows:

Minnesota Sportsmen's Show, St. Paul, MN January 13th-16th
St. Cloud Sportsmen's Show, St. Cloud, MN February 11th-13th

For directions and hours you can check out the show website at

We have extra tickets for the shows and if you would like to come and see us send and email and we will leave them at the Will Call booth. As in the past the tickets will be given out on a first come, first serve basis and when they're gone.......they're gone.

Hope to see you soon!