Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mark Stopha

During the flood in September a couple of college buddies came down to fish for silvers.   The timing for catching fish was lousy but getting together and swapping stories was priceless.   Todd Laflamme took this photo of Mark Stopha.  Now, according to Mark, the reason he's sitting down and casting is he has a bad back.   Do you think Todd and I bought that?

It was great spending time with the Big Man.  Todd and I hope to reciprocate the trip and get down to Juneau next year to do a little fishing and hunting with him (hmmm, wonder if he hunts sitting down too?).

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fishing Report Week Ending 10/14/12

The one that got away.....

And the one that didn't.....

The photos above from this past week kind of summarize the 2012 season.    Up and down, lucky and unlucky, hot and cold.  Pick your description. It was just a weird season and if you didn't roll with the punches most likely the only things that will get you through the winter are therapy or self medication.

2012 was a season of under abundance and over abundance;  not many king or silver salmon, a whole bunch of red and pink salmon.   It was an unprecendented year for the people that manage the fisheries.   A June/July closure for king salmon and a September/October closure due to high water.    My hats are off to them for trying to juggle what is best for the resource versus sport, commercial, and subsistence interests.    Not a job I would want because no matter what decisions you make at least one user group will be angry with you.

The good news is I'm looking forward to 2013.   One year does not make a trend and I'm optimistic that mother nature will take care of herself and the Kenai will continue to be an international destination for recreation.

My final thought about the 2012 fishing season.  I want to thank everyone that booked a trip with me.  I'm humbled by the people that keep coming back and for the people who, after having the choice of hundreds of guides on this river, decided to take a chance and chose me.  After all these years, my goal is simple and has not changed:  give you the best day on the river that I can.

See you next week.     

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fishing Report Week Ending 10/7/12

After closing to all boat traffic on September 24th due to flooding, the Kenai River reopened on October 3rd.  I had several groups affected by this closure, but now I can officially say my 2012 guiding season has come to an end.   This, however, doesn't mean I've stopped fishing.
I got a call from my friend Boo and he said he was having a lot of silver success in the middle Kenai.  There are a lot of guys I don't always trust to give an accurate fishing report, but Boo's word is as good as gold.  He asked if I wanted to go with him the next day.  Needless to say he didn't have to ask me twice.  Well, I'll never be the guy that says you should have been here yesterday, as we  had a good trip, but not like the day before ( when 14 silvers were caught).  In a couple of hours we caught 3 silvers and had that many follow ups.
Since fishing with Boo I've fished a couple of times on the lower river.  Believe it or not there are still a few pink salmon biting out there.   I did manage to catch one nice silver that will taste great on the grill.
Finally, in the world of photoshop, often it's hard to believe photos that are passed around on the internet.  The photos of this brown bear were taken with an iPhone and I will absolutely verify it's authenticity.  That's my friend Kyle posing with his trophy which measured just under 10 feet.  He shot this bear last week near Fallen In Hole on the Kenai River.  For Dan and Mary Meyer and all the guys in the Blinn group, there's no doubt you've probably seen this bear.  
Kyle has a great story about shooting this bear and learned that this bear was tagged near Tustumena Lake in 1999 as a 6 year old.  That makes this boar 19 years old.  It's amazing that it in all these years it hadn't become a casualty of DLP (defense of life or property) considering that it's been living in close proximity to two communities.  Kyle says he plans on having a full body mount done.

It's sad but this will be my last week of fishing before the boat and dock come out for the year.  Make sure to check for one last river report before Jane and I shut everything down.  See you then.