Monday, August 8, 2011

Fishing for Reds and Other Miscellany (including a Volcano): AK2011 Days 5-7

We spent a good deal of our Kenai cabin days standing in the river fishing for reds (Sockeye salmon), hip high in the water, sometimes soaking wet from our first day's leaky boots, sometimes not quite as wet from enthusiastically getting in a little too far. I really don't have many pictures of these operations; I was too busy standing in the river fishing, catching and not catching, throwing back "foul caught" reds*, and hauling in the one keeper. Also, I didn't have a waterproof camera.
One day, we walked a trail down to a part of the river that turned out to be not very far away had we walked along the bank (not possible), and fortunately, in my opinion, we didn't see any bears or come upon any unsuspecting moose on this walk. Instead, we saw a juvenile bald eagle flying overhead, and saw an adult bald eagle being hassled by a gull.

Those were two of the only four bald eagles we saw the entire trip, which seemed unusual to me, but apparently that's because I'm used to being on the Kenai during silver season in late August. The bald eagles really move in after spawned-out reds and kings start dying and floating downriver and onto the beaches, which means there are a lot more bald eagles to be seen in late August (along with a lot more dead fish and "floaters").
We ate salmon that we caught, we went to St. Elias Brewery, we went back to Buckets — where two of us were left behind by the other two, to be picked up almost immediately upon being spotted hitchhiking down on the main drag just below Buckets. That's the errant vehicle beyond and behind the Buckets sign, returning for my mom and me. Fun for the Family! :)
And we picked up a needed part for the boat, where I saw a wonderfully pink drill rig.
We also took a trip to the other side of the river, which involved driving a long way to a bridge and then driving a long way through the trees, coming finally to unmarked dirt roads. Our goal was ultimately unobtainable, so we made the long trip back. Our reward was this veiw of Mt. Redoubt, as seen from the airport runway in Soldotna (Redoubt activity and webcams).

And then down to Homer on the 8th day...


*Reds can only be caught by being hooked in the mouth, and they typically aren't biters, although they sometimes bite the wet flies on the bottom of the river in irritation, it is said, or maybe just because their mouth was open and the fly drifted in (!?). Consequently, reds are sometimes caught after being "snagged" legally in the mouth -- there is such a thing as illegal snagging, that is, you are *trying* to snag by using a "snagging motion" -- and many fish are accidentally snagged in fins and tails; those have to be returned to the river. I got one possible catch almost all the way to shore, not being able to tell whether it was hooked in the mouth or chin, before it unhooked itself. I unhooked at least one fish I brought all the way in. I'm not sure how many catches that got away from not being hooked well enough would have been keepers. (My poor fishing excuses for only getting one fish.)


D said...

That pink drill rig made me smile. I'm going off to see some (non-pink) drill rigs tomorrow!

Silver Fox said...

Yeah, I've never seen a pink one in action -- red, green, blue... not pink.