Before I could hit the road today, I had some things to do. I had to drop by and see Henderson, my puppy. Here he is above with the Rodfather. I can't have Henderson until July 5. As you can see, he's putting on weight (Henderson, not Bill.) Bill and I are leaving pronto, but I had to lecture him (Bill this time, not Henderson) on his readiness. He brought two pairs of underwear, four fly rods, and about 30 airplane bottles of various liquors. I don't like his food choices, his array of hats. After packing Bill's stuff, I have my own packing to do. Lastly. I hived my nuc of Italian honey bees. Many friends helped me get it all done. The queen was in there, doing her thing. Let's see how they do while I'm gone.
The Rodfather and I leave Sunday for The Yukon. We are going to fish around Whitehorse for a few days, then head to Anchorage where Bill wants to buy some fur: beaver, marmot, bobcat. He flies back to Wyoming on the 6th. I'm continuing to Homer to attend the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference and try for some king salmon. I'll let you know how it goes. There's no cell or wi-fi for a couple thousand miles, but I'll do a fishing report from Homer. This will be Rocket and my last trip together as a team, as Henderson joins us in July. I hope Rocket is nicer to the puppy than Sweets was to Rocket back in the day. She never liked him, and sent him several times to the vet with bite marks. Adios.
I got my "Brewer's Duck" back from the taxidermist this week. It's an rara avis for sure. Many duck hunters never see a hybrid in their hunting careers. This one was taken by me (or Jason Eggermeyer) last January in a snow squall. We're not sure who shot first. It's all very vague. But I put the cash down to have it mounted. To me, it looks like a cross between a mallard and a gadwall. But who knows. In other news, I'm heading up to the Yukon to look for arctic grayling with the Rodfather. We're driving 2,300 miles to fish for one-pound fishes. This will be my final road trip with just Rocket as his son, Henderson, will be joining us from now on. Henderson is still with his mother until July.
I'll drop Bill off at Anchorage and continue to Homer, where I have a date with a king salmon. Speaking of kings, I've been eating all of last year's salmon trying to make room for the fresh ones I am almost certain, beyond any reasonable doubt, to catch in Homer. Below is a king salmon salad that I had with my SLF. We know a guy who knows a guy at a Thai restaurant. He'll cook it for us as long as we keep it on the down-low and tip like fools.
My mushroom season wasn't what I wanted it to be. The weather bounced around too much. I managed a few here and there, but without the Rodfather, who is in Florida, I couldn't find many shrooms. I did stumble upon a wild turkey's nest with 12 eggs in it. She stayed on the nest until the last minute. She flushed right under my feet nearly causing Rocket and me to have cardiac events. The Morel is a formidable foe. Everyone has their theories. None of it seems to work unless you're willing to walk for hours in the woods for no apparent reason. And the snakes are out, just saying.
Rocket finally gave me a puppy. This week, during the constant rain and sleet, Henderson (Henri) was born. He's a scrawny, faceless, black Lab.His hobbies are few: grunting, nursing, crawling. I'll get a better sense of him later this month when his eyes blink open. Rocket hasn't met him yet. I'm hoping to have this pup out in the field this fall. He'll be in an apprentice role only.
The Casper College Bee Club got its bees. I worked yesterday to "hive" the bees. The most interesting part was putting the queen in with the workers. The whole process is really amazing. We put 28,000 bees in two separate hives. No one got stung. Chances are, we won't get honey this year. But just seeing them do their thing is worth it. These hives are at the Casper College Ranch Campus, just a few miles out of town. The North Platte looks like chocolate milk, in case you're wondering.