Sunday, October 22, 2017

Guess Who Won?

Back in July, I had an incredibly memorable afternoon of fishing with my old buddy Gary Crawford. Gary and I go way back and I really enjoy our time on the water. A companionship of a like minded friend if you will. Anyway, Gary is unique guy too and what I mean by unique is that he is the only person that I fish that brings his own rod. It's not just any old rod mind you, this is a mooching rod. and it's caught a ton of of fish on the Kenai River. If you don't believe me, all you have to do is look at the wear and tear on the cork handle in the photo above.

So, back to the memorable day in July. When Gary gets in the boat the rod he brought was rigged for using a kwikfish lure. I told him the bite all week has been on eggs and I'd gladly rerig his rod for him. He said he's always done well with a kwikfish lure and wanted to fish that way. Fine. I'm always big on hunches and if that's what he wanted to fish I'm okay with that. We must have been on our second troll of our trip and Gary has a nice take down. The fish gets off. Rats. A couple of trolls later Gary gets another bite. He takes the rod out of the rod holder and sets the hook hard. He set so hard that the rod exploded into four pieces. Al Witte was sitting directly behind him and had to take cover because of the flying bits and pieces. Even after all the fireworks I thought we still had a chance to catch this fish. Nope. This fish won and in the process broke a cherished piece of equipment.

I couldn't help but laugh, and laugh a little too loud when this happened. Several guide boats around me thought I was crazy. Why would I be laughing when a client lost a fish? I told one of my guide friends  I would normally be very upset if my gear failed, but in this case Gary brought his own rod and it's all on him. My guide buddy started to laugh too.

Gary, sadly, had to use one of my rods to finish the trip. He did catch a smaller king salmon but chose to release it. I think the fact that his wife Nikki kept a nice fish led to this decision.

That's Gary in the back row on the left. Not quite sure if he was smiling or crying in this photo...

Gary has another mooching rod that I'm sure he'll be bringing along in 2018. It'll be fun to start another run of memories with Mooching Rod #2. I can't wait for that to happen.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


chalkboard outside the office door
Thought I'd share a few of the many thank you's that Jane and I received this season. The truth is we both need to thank all of you for making 2017 an enjoyable and successful year. We both feel very fortunate that we are able to make a living doing something we enjoy so much.

The wipe board on the front of the cabin was a popular place to leave a note.

I know Jane always appreciates seeing a note like this when people check out. So do I.
Hand written notes were popular this year too. 

We received a nice package in the mail recently (Beaver Nuggets!) and these notes were in it. This was from mom and dad.
Oldest son.

And, the youngest son.

Thanks again everyone for a fantastic season. We can't wait for the spring of 2018 to arrive.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fishing Report Week Ending 10/8/17

This will not be my last blog post, I plan to continue posting weekly, but it will be my last Kenai River fishing report for 2017.  As they say, "all good things must come to and end."

How was it out there? Well, on three consecutive days I fished the lower Kenai River for a couple of hours. I had one bite. That's a pretty good indicator that the bulk of the silver salmon run has definitely passed our part of the river. My fishing fortunes were reversed when I got a call from Boo Kandas asking me to join him on a trip Thursday to the middle Kenai River. Fishing the middle Kenai River with Boo has become an annual tradition in the fall and one I really look forward to. Along with Boo, old friends Brad, Clyde, and Kevin joined us. We hit the river mid-morning and only fished until the early afternoon. The final tally was nine silver salmon. Not a bad way to end my year on the river.
Thought I'd include a series of photos of the various stages of the tide influence on Beaver Creek. On Friday, the tide was 23.3 feet which is plenty of water to take out our dock. Beaver Creek Cabins is located 9.5 miles from the ocean and a tide this size will affect the river up to river mile 14. Here's a photo at 4:00pm, just before the tide change.
5:00pm. Tide is coming in.
6:00pm. High tide.

6:10pm. Dock is disconnected, in place, and waiting for the tide to go out.

Done. Sad.

Come back to the blog next week for a few observations about the 2017 season. Hope to see you then.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Fishing Report Week Ending 10/1/17

My last scheduled guided trip for the year was set for Wednesday. I was excited for this day up until the river started to rise and turn chalky. Would the last trip of this year be a bust? Tim McFerron called on Monday and said he and his crew would be down to the cabins at 5pm on Tuesday. I asked if he wanted to go out that evening to see if the river was fishable. If it wasn't, I had another guide lined up to take them to the middle river on Wednesday. Of course, he said they'd love to go out. So, Tim One, Tim Two, Greg, and I left the dock just after 5. I was definitely relieved when the first silver salmon bit within the first 10 minutes. Would that be it? Nope. We caught four more in the next hour and half of fishing and even had a double.
I couldn't wait for Wednesday morning to come and the Kenai River did not disappoint. Hey guys, it was a heckuva way to end a really good 2017 season.
I got home that afternoon and didn't have long to reflect on a fortuitous season before my buddy, Boo Kandas of Tall Tale Charters called me. He had wrapped up his season in Homer and wanted to know if Jane and I would help him take his boat out. Before that could be done, he said we needed to catch enough halibut to get us all through the winter.
What a great day. Boo, Jeff M, Jane and I boated 8 halibut between 35-60 pounds. It was one of the best fishing days I have had on the ocean in a long time.
The next day, Jane and I hooked up our travel trailer and headed north to camp and unwind from the season. We decided to go to an area were we've spent a lot of time: Trapper Creek.
There are spectacular views of Denali in Trapper Creek, and as you can see, we were so fortunate to have clear skies (they say Denali is shrouded in clouds 3/4's of the year).
What an incredible three day run. Limits of silver salmon for my clients, a freezer full of halibut, and breath taking views of Denali. I'm one lucky guy.

What's next. Well, the not so fun part of our season will be happening this week. Besides taking the dock and boat out, it's time to winterize the cabins. It won't be all work for me. I do plan on getting out to fish a few more times. A few more silvers for our freezer would be nice.

See you next week.