Monday, April 30, 2012

Things To Do When The Salmon Bite Is Off

Last June, Rafael Schnitzler asked if he could bring his fly rod with "just in case the king's aren't cooperating." I thought to myself, be careful what you wish for.

Well, it was a slow morning and Rafael had that look in his eyes when he asked if he could cast off the the front of the boat "just to see what's out there."

By the expressions on their faces, it was apparent that quite a few of the guides and fisherman around us thought we were crazy using a fly rod in the middle of a king troll. After hooking several trout and a whitefish, their expressions turned to envy.  Rafael was catching something when everyone else was catching nothing.

It just goes to show that stepping out of the box can be a good thing.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


What Nike is to the track and field crowd, Xtratuf is to the Alaskan fisherman.

Regular readers of my blog know my affection for the best boot made for all things Alaska. They're great for sport fishing, commercial fishing, hunting, and even getting married in. Yes, I said married in. I've been to weddings where the groom has worn them, and also a wedding where the minister wore them. Not necessarily a pretty boot but function supercedes style in the 49th state.

Definitely an icon of the North.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Fish Mounts

Our 2012 sport show season is over and as I was putting away the booth I started to think about the fish mounts that we display. Mike Thelen of Fiber Tech Productions is responsible for them. I personally use Fiber Tech Productions and this is who I recommend to my my clients. These are all fiberglass replicas, not skin mounts, and in my opinion, the best way to go when you decide you want to "hang one on the wall." I base this on first hand experience. My father had over 90 fish mounted in his life and the vast majority were skin mount. What you'll see through time are oils in the skin of a fish will eventually bleed through the paint and severely degrade the overall appearance. A fiberglass replica will not do this. They stand the test of time.
Another upside of a fiberglass replica is durability. I can't tell you how many fins on my father's collection of skin mount fish are either bent or broken. This won't happen with a fiberglass replica.

Finally, a fiberglass replica is a way of making sure the gene pool continues. When you catch your fish of a lifetime all you have to do is take the measurements and snap a few photos before releasing. CPR......catch, photo, release. A good taxidermist, and Mike Thelen of Fiber Tech Productions is one of them, will be able to make an accurate representation of your catch.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pink Slime Warning

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) in conjuction with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that for the 2012 fishing season Pink Salmon ne' "Pink Slime" has been banned from mixing with any other salmon in the Kenai River. The restriction will become effective today, April 1st.
Dr. Will Robertson, Pink Salmonologist emeritus, disagrees with the restriction but thinks that slight modifications are in order. "It's nearly impossible to keep the "Pink Slime" out of the Kenai River, but there are ways to segregate the pinks from other salmon."

"The solution to this problem," notes Robertson, "is to have Tennessee fisherman stay on the left side of the river, and Texas fisherman stay on the right side of the river. The pink salmon have an innate ability to track to where Tennesseean's are while silver salmon track to where Texan's are. It has nothing to do with the fisherman's ability but it's their color choice. Pink salmon love the color orange and, as you know, a Tennesseean will never change colors. On the other hand, silver salmon go crazy for the color red and a good Texan knows no other color. Tennesseean's on the left, Texans on the right, and you'll have a segregated river. Pink Slime problem solved."

Roberston was asked if a Georgian would upset his proposed pink salmon management plan. "Not a problem. In all my years of field research no one from Georgia has every caught a fish."