Monday, September 30, 2013

Fishing Report Week Ending 9/30/13

This past week we endured our third flood since mid August.   The rising water made fishing difficult and the few times I did get out the fishing was not that great.   Tuesday evening Dan and I got out and put one silver in the box.  My neighbor Mack and I went out Saturday morning and managed a single bite but no fish.   The best bite of the week happened yesterday.   Some friends of mine from Anchorage came down to fish with Carolyn and Franz.  These two are from Germany and they're attending the University of Alaska Anchorage on Track and Field scholarships.   They were very enthusiastic to be on their first salmon fishing trip of their lives.   We missed at least six fish but managed to land these two.  When Carolyn caught her fish she said, "I've been in Alaska for a year and a half and this is the best day EVER!"  It was her first fish, her biggest fish, and the most fish she has ever caught....a Kenai trifecta.
Franz told me if he caught a fish he wanted to take a bite out of it like a bear.   Here he is prepping the fish.
And here is Franz taking a bite out of the fish.  He said it was good and I'll take him at his word.  Needless to say I'll never forget this.

Thought I'd include this graph from the US Geological Service.  You can see the spike in the water levels this week and also how high the water levels are compared to the 48 year median average.

The boat is still on the dock and I have a half dozen sardines I need to use.  I plan on getting out a few more times before the boat is winterized for the season.  I'd like to see if the dropping water levels will help the fishing or if they 2013 silver salmon run is done and in the records books.  I'll have five more days to see.

See you next week.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fishing Report Week Ending 9/23/13

 Kenai double!

That's a wrap.   Unless I get a call before I take the dock out on October 6th, the 2013 guiding season has ended for me.   I'll keep on fishing until the dock is out but that's it for clients.   Too bad, because the fishing has been steady and the temperatures have been reasonable.

At the start of the week I had the pleasure of spending the day with Anderson, Steve, and Shihab.   These guys flew in from Texas at 1:00am, drove down from Anchorage, and met me on the dock before the sun came up.   Quite a commitment from three guys who had never been to Alaska before.   As soon as we got out on the water there was a hot bite but before too long it shut down.  I suggested they take a long break (i.e. hot lunch and a nap) and come back out in the afternoon.
We set a time and here's what they caught after they had their break.

Next on my guiding schedule was my annual fishing adventure with Team ABC Seamless of Southcentral Alaska.   The "B Team", consisting of James, Nick, Wally, and Jeff, fished on Friday and had quite a few opportunities to limit out.   What they are holding are the fish that found the net.   Not a bad day at all.

On Saturday the "A Team" showed up and put a few more fish in the box than the "B Team".   That's Brian, Jeff, Karel (Deuce), and Coop on the dock.   I'd like to say thanks guys for coming down and spending a couple of days with me.    It's always great to share stories from trips of the past and to eat a half dozen monster cookies.

My last guided trip of the year was set for Sunday with Lloyd and Kim.  Since they arrived early on Saturday I asked if they wanted to go out that evening.  With a firm, "hell ya" we headed out on the dinner cruise.   I'm glad we did because we had pretty good action in a short amount of time.
On Sunday, our scheduled day, the action was not as good but we managed to finish the day with a respectable haul.   Thanks Lloyd and Kim for ending my season on a positive note.
Finally, thought I'd show you a photo of fish that, according to ADF&G, doesn't exist in the Kenai River.   On Tuesday, Shihab thought he caught his last silver salmon of the day but it turned out to be a 29" steelhead.   How do I know it was a steelhead and not a rainbow trout?   If you look real close, in the middle of the fish there is a sea lice attached to the skin.   Steelhead migrate from freshwater to saltwater and back and can carry the sea lice parasite.  Rainbow trout are in freshwater and will never have sea lice.  Kinda cool.

This week I plan on winterizing one of my boats and a cabin or two.  I also plan on fishing as much as I can.  Come back next week for a current report on everything Kenai.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fishing Report Week Ending 9/16/13

I promised you a photo of the pink parka and by golly I got one.  Here's Judy Kingsbury holding the first silver of the day.    As one of Judy's friends so accurately described her, "she's tougher than an eight year old squirrel."   I agree.   I really have to take my hat off to Judy, Bob, and Ken.   They were here during some nasty conditions with not a lot of fishing being caught (they also crossed paths with a hungry seal and a 45lb king).   They did, however, catch enough silvers to fill up a fish box but they put in a lot of time to do it.   When they left they said, "see you next year".  Jane and I look forward to it. 

This past week I had the privilege of being invited to guide participants in Senator Lisa Murkowski's Women's Classic.   This is a two, half-day fishing event for women.  

Here's a river networking session.  Think they're having fun?   This photo reminds me of a sign that Will Jahrig has in his shop.  It says, "Fishing is the Least Important Part of Fishing."  

One thing that was fun for me during this event was watching Melanie catch her first fish ever.  She fished in the event last year but said she didn't catch a thing.   Not only did she reel this fish in like she's done it her whole life, but she also bonked the fish and bleed it as well.   She said she wanted the whole experience and she got it.  Job well done, Mel.

I'll have to say the overall fishing for the two day event was reasonable considering the Kenai River was at flood stage (once again!).    Most participants caught at least one fish with a few lucky anglers catching their limit.

After my morning trips at the Women's Classic, I got to take out Dan and Mary Meyer for a couple of hours.  I'm glad we did because the bite was pretty good.

Here's Mary proudly holding her 15lb silver on Friday.   Dan conceded that Mary bested him for the biggest silver caught during their stay.

Here's their catch on Saturday just before they had to get on their flight back to Peoria.   Look at the size of these fish!   As Dan said with his tongue firmly planted in cheek, "the second run mosquitos are much bigger than the first run."    Jane and I hate to see you guys go but it won't be too long before we'll see each other at a sport show this winter.

Finally, one of the great reasons why I like fall with Jane.   My Sunday trip cancelled which meant Jane and I could go out and enjoy the fishing and the weather.   It's a win-win for me.

This next week should be a good week for fishing.   The river has started to drop which means the water clarity is improving.   Clearer water means better fishing.   I look forward to finding more of these second run giants.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Fishing Report Week Ending 9/9/13

We're definitely between the runs.    Individuals limited out on silvers this past week but the boat didn't.   Even though the numbers weren't there the average size of the salmon being caught continues to impress me.
One of the few days with sunshine which made for a poor photo of the fish Dan, Mary, April and Duane caught.

Here's Dan with his largest Kenai silver salmon ever.   This whistle pig weighed in at 14.13.   I think Dan had his eyes closed because he couldn't believe he caught a fish this big.
An old hockey friend of mine got a hold of me and said he was coming up with his family for a couple of days.  I didn't have any openings for a day of fishing but I told him we could give it a try in the evening.   Here's Team Dobber with their catch of the day.   From left to right is Trevor, Camden, Jevin, and Rob.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to take a photo of two important parts of Team Dobber: Kim and Sophia.  Next time guys, next time..... 
If any of my readers watch the television show Alaska State Troopers you may recognize the guy that's on the left of Dan and Duane.   That's Trooper Dan.   He's a long time friend of Beaver Creek Cabins and I was happy to be on the water spending time with him again.
Here's Kenny and Bob with their fish.  My only disappointment is I didn't get Judy in this photo.  They've got a couple of days booked with me this week so I'll make sure to get a photo of Judy and her pink parka.
Here's Dan, Mary, Annie and Jim with their day's catch.   Dan and Mary played the good hosts and made sure that Jim and Annie had the hot seats for the day.   If you can't tell in the photo, Mary and Annie are sisters and I can't begin to describe the positive energy that these two bring to the boat.   Oh, Dan and Jim have the right attitudes, but there's something about sisters getting together....

Here's the A-Team with their fish on Sunday.   Not as much action but the conversations were just as lively.

That's it for the fishing report.   I will end this post on a serious note.   Many of my readers know Phil Dreyer and I regret to inform you that he lost his battle with cancer on 8/23/13.  I don't have the time to do it now but in the near future I will post a memoriam that he deserves.   You will be sadly missed my friend....

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fishing Report Week Ending 9/2/13

It's Labor Day today.  To some, it's a day off from work, but for me it's day to think of the social and economic achievements of the American worker.   I'm glad to live in this country.

So, on to the fishing report.     I'm starting off with a photo of the last day of the guide week which was September 1st.    The limit for silvers on the Kenai increases on this day from 2 to 3 fish per person.  Based on the previous couple of days I thought we would have to fish well into the afternoon to get the boat limit.   What I forgot to figure in were the people that I had scheduled for the day:  Duane and April Schuman,  Dan and Mary Meyer.   I don't like using the word "epic" but by mid morning I sure thought about it.   Some nice silvers with two fish weighing close to 14 pounds.   Wow, what a great day (epic?) with great people.  
The day before I got to spend the day with Team Laflamme.    I can't tell you how much I look forward to spending time with these guys.      We always make it day on the water and go out when it feels right (instead of O' dark Thirty).  We were just getting settled in when this beautiful fish hit Janet's lure.   As she set the hook she said, "Oh, blank, Holy blank...."   I'm still laughing at her descriptive language as I type.  
Not long after Janet landed her fish, Todd said to his dad,  "do you want to catch a fish today?"   Bob responded, "hey, if you get 'em, you get 'em".   Just as he finished his sentence I said "you got one".  Sure enough his fishing rod had doubled over with this fish.   Classic Laflamme and this is why I can't wait to see these guys in 2014. 
Janet came down from Anchorage this past June to fish king salmon with me but since it closed I took her red fishing on the Russian River.   I told her you really ought to try silver fishing and she took me up on it.   Here she is holding a morning limit of Kenai silvers.   Always wanting to experience all that she can, Janet wanted to try her hand at trout fishing.   I really don't do this but decided I should step out of my comfort zone and try it.   I'm glad I did.   We caught trout every single drift.   Although not huge by Kenai standards, Janet did land a rainbow that was nearly 5 pounds.  Hmmm, I might have to rethink this whole trout fishery thing.......
Here's Marion, Travis, and Betty with their catch.  I was little disappointed that the bite wasn't better and told them we should go back out after dinner and see if we can find two more.  They took me up on it.
We didn't get the last two but we did get one more.   Here's Betty showing off her nice 12 pound Kenai silver.

The week ahead is busy for me and and I'm encouraged how this past week ended.  Hopefully there will be a steady pulse of fish all week long.   But, if not, you know there will be a steady pulse of stories coming from yours truly....

See you next week with a recap.