Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Fishing Report

Hope everyone is enjoying the long Memorial Day weekend. Make sure to take a moment to remember those who have served and those that we have lost.

I had a couple of trips this past week and I would say the fishing is starting to shape up nicely. On Wednesday I fished the Wynschenk family. What a great crew. The day started out with frost on the boat seats but by mid morning it was a gorgeous day on the water. We saw a moose, plenty of eagles but unfortunately not a king salmon. For about 10 seconds Alexa had one on but it just wasn't meant to be. It was the proverbial "fish that got away" day.

On Saturday I fished long time friends Grant and Jake Watts. Since I first started fishing with these guys Jake has grown about two feet. Jake has had quite a few king salmon on in the past and for some reason or another I haven't been able to net one for him. That changed on Saturday. Although not a huge king salmon for the Kenai it provided the first fresh salmon fillets for the Watts family (photo above).

The other report I have is for the Anchor river which is about an hour away from our cabins. You may recognize this guy from posts in the past or perhaps you recognize him from the hit TV series Alaska State Troopers, but my friend Dan Brom sent me two photos of king salmon that he caught this past week from the banks of the Anchor River. Nice, nice fish Dan and I look forward to fishing with you in a couple of weeks.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dock Is In, Let The Fishing Begin.

The dock went in on May 17th and wouldn't you know it a moose stopped by to see what was going on. Actually, some of the best moose viewing happens in the spring. The first green vegetation of the year pops up on the Beaver Creek banks and after a winter of browsing on saplings and bark this area becomes a magnet for moose.

Moose aren't the only animals hanging around here in the spring. I took these caribou photos on May 16th. They too were attracted by the new vegetation, and by the looks of things, the warm sunshine.

Now back to more important things.....Through the grapevine I have heard of a few kings being caught on the river. This is good. I have a couple of trips scheduled this week so the first official on the water fishing report will follow soon. I can't wait.

One last thing, a shout out to my mother who came up for Mac's graduation last week. We all had a lot of fun and hated to see the week end so soon.

Monday, May 16, 2011

McKinley Taylor Holtan

For regular readers of this blog you know the topics can be boiled down to two: fishing and the Kenai Peninsula. Although most of these photos involve fish, bear with me as I brag a little about my son, McKinley.

On May 19th Mac will graduate from high school. Wow, where has the time gone? He is the class president and will graduate 10th in his class. He was accepted to several colleges outside of Alaska but has chosen to attend the University of Alaska Anchorage to study business. I think it's a good idea that he stays close. When he figures out the studying part of college, I'm all for it if he decides to transfer.

Here's Mac holding a silver salmon caught on the lower Kenai. You probably recognize this photo from the blog home page and from our website, At an early age he knew how to take a fish picture. Sun in your face, hold the fish away from your body, and smile!

Here's one of my favorite photos of Mac and me holding a northern pike that we caught in Minnesota in 1997. A few of the things that strike me about this photo are how blond Mac's hair is, how small he is, and where did all of my hair go? Sheesh, a lot can happen in fourteen years.

Mac, Jane and I congratulate you on all of your accomplishments, are proud of you always, and love you very much.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kenai River Salvage Run 2011

Every spring I like to dust off my one man pontoon and float the river. It's a peaceful time of year and the only other watercraft I'll run into are other pontooners, canoers or kayakers. At the very most I have seen two other people when I've been out. The river is just too low for powerboaters. However, in the next week or two the river will begin to rise and when that happens the big boats will start to come out and play.People that float the Kenai in the spring usually do it to connect with nature. Yeah, that has little bit to do with it for me but the real reason is pictured above. I am proud to say I am a dumpster diver. Every spring when I get the itch I tell Jane I have go do my duty and clean up the river one anchor at a time. Lures are child's play and they're fun to find but the holy grail of Kenai scavenging is finding an anchor. As you can see, I found three this year. No pun intended but the King of scavenging is my buddy Jeff King. He mostly searches around his boat launch but has no need to go any further than that. With his trusty metal detector he's been able to fill half his garage with stuff other people have lost. He's found lots of tools, rod holders, oars, and one year found a 15hp Johnson outboard. The two keys to his success are location and the fact that he gets out before anyone else can. That is why I float the river. I have to get to spots that other people can't get to easily.

So, I thought I'd include a few photos of the "nature" part of the float. Above is a cormorant mid flight. Below is the ever present bald eagle.

If any of my Alaskan buddies want to join me in the future I'd be happy to have the company....and the extra set of eyes to scan for more treasures.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

2011 Season Has Officially Begun

For the last two weeks Jane and I have been working feverishly on getting the cabins ready for the season. After repairing a burst pipe from improper winterization (that would be my fault), fixing a leaky faucet and toilet, I'm pleased to announce that we are now open for business.

About a week ago I snapped these photos of the icebergs in Beaver Creek. Since then we have had the right mixture of sunshine and rain and they have disappeared.

This Friday I plan to take a break from working on my boat (I'll blog about this adventure later)
and float the lower river in my one man pontoon. I'll be looking for fish but my main objective is to recover lost gear. It's always a fun time and you know I'll be bringing my camera along for the ride.