The sockeyes have returned in force to the Kenai Peninsula. I got two limits last week. My knife professionally sharpened by a Russian man, I flew through the filleting exercises with ease. I was so tired after hiking up and down that river that I slept in the back on my truck. It's going to be a sunny week, with temps near 70 on the 4th. I hear it's like Kabul, Afghanistan down in the Lower 48. And I hear there will be parades.
My friend Steve Palmquist was up visiting from Kansas. I nearly got him killed within six hours of picking him up at the Anchorage Airport. After that it was smooth sailing. We fished with Captain Kyle on the Irish Mist. It was a great time and that boat is a great boat to fish from, plenty of deck space and a heated, roomy cabin. The captain put us on a great halibut hole and the Kansan did great, hooking most of the fish that hit his bait. Later in the week we did a hike to a nearby glacier. My dogs did retrieves in liquid about the same coolness of your Crown and Coke. Good times.
I just got back from a few days at No See Um Lodge in Bristol Bay, Alaska. The fishing was off the charts. We flew in Beavers every day to find the best places to fish. It was catch and release fishing at its best. And the service at the lodge was incredible too. They actual had a hot tub and a sauna shipped up the river and installed at the lodge so you could relax after a day of fishing. I never fished in the same water twice. Each day they sent us out to new locations. You'll be hearing more about this place when I can wrap my mind around it.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: you can live like a king up here on what people throw away. Two days ago, I filched a halibut carcass that was headed for the dumpster. I spent the morning making a fumet It was made more difficult because I had Labrador Retrievers weaving through my legs. I let it simmer for an hour, then tossed out the bones and strained it. Later I added some tomatoes and parsley. It was rich and creamy, one of the best things I've ever made. It tasted vaguely of Kachemak Bay.
Here's Henderson chilling in the Alaskan sunshine while I work on the condo. The nearby rivers are closed to ALL fishing due to woefully low king salmon returns. The Anchor River, the closest river to Homer, has only 200 fish as of now. Usually, the river would have 1,500 or more. So we are biding are time and waiting for things to improve. At least I can still fish at The Fishing Hole.
The solo drive from Casper to Homer was tough. The Yukon is my favorite, but I didn't tarry to long there. Made the Alaska border on the 3rd day. 3,000 miles later and I'm at K-Bay Coffee, vaguely recognizing some of the folks here and there, blending by wearing rubber boots. I'm taking the dogs for a beach-walk.