An Amazing Summer

Fall has arrived and there’s a lot to look forward to, but this past summer has been an exciting ride.

From the start, I knew that the summer held two fishing trips to Alaska – my first two Alaska fishing trips ever.

What I didn’t know is that I’d also have leg surgery and then purchase a house on Lake Almanor, a dream I’ve had for many years. I wasn’t sure I’d ever get Linda to go along with the idea.

The fishing trips were great and I’m almost completely healed from surgery. I’m grateful for my good fortune. The house at Almanor is the most exciting event of all.

It was mid-June when Linda and I decided to look at lake-front properties on Almanor. Our agent showed us just about every house on the lake under $1.3 million dollars. I concluded that in order to afford a home, it would have to be under a million.

We had most of that in the bank, some anticipated income and a home equity line of credit of our primary residence. We made a $950,000 offer on a house listed for $1,050,000 and they countered at $975,000. We accepted the counter and began inspections.

The house was nice, but had its flaws and as the inspections continued we began to have our doubts. Not only was the house in poor condition, but a western exposure and a steep incline to the water discouraged Linda.

We decided to exercise our right to withdraw.

Another house came on the market. The price was over our limit, but I told Linda we could figure out how to afford it. I knew in my guts that the house would sell quickly and I didn’t want to experience the pain of failing to make a solid offer and losing out on this rare find. After much debate, we made an offer and it was accepted.

I was ecstatic about our luck in finding this house. We could afford to buy it, but could we afford to own it? We closed escrow on about August 1. After consulting with my accountant and attorney, I decided to consider several options for owning the property and holding title.

My accountant believed that I should make the house a rental and take advantage of the two weeks per year that I could stay in the house. This option would be best if we wanted to get the most out of our money. But, I wanted to be able to stay in the house a couple months out of the year – not two weeks.

My attorney suggested creating an LLC, but he wasn’t sure about our ability to make the house a rental and also gain more time on site.  An LLC could be a  partnership, but the house would still end up being a rental – limiting personal use.

There was a posible Trust situation that would allow Linda and I to use the property as much as we wanted, but we would have to committ the property for our life time. I decided not to look further into that idea.

Another option would be to find a partner, get some of our money back and have somebody who would share in the expenses. I’ve been in many partnerships, but never on a vacation home. Ultimately, Linda and I have chosen the partnership route. We haven’t closed the deal, but it looks like we have found our partner. I’m happy with this plan and financially it is definitely a good option. We are in the process of creating a parthership agreement that defines how the property will be shared.

The view from the Lake House

This panoramic shot shows the back of the house, the deck where we spend time, the back lawn and the key feature – Lake Almanor.

Last Weekend A-Zone Deer

Headed to the ranch this morning, but not to hunt.

Needed to pick up a lawn mower and an ATV. Also decided it was time to shoot my  muzzleloader.

Did all that, and managed to take photos along the way.

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Took this photo through my windshield, so the quality isn’t great, but there are about eleven pigs in the photo. They ran across the road in front of me. Two are mature sows, the rest are piglet.

 

Three bobcats crossed the road in front of me, but not of them slowed down for a photo.

Managed to fire the muzzleloader. That’s the first step towards hunting Devil’s Garden come November.

Deer Season About to Start

Deer season could have started in July, with the A-Zone archery season, but a series of mishaps and also some planned trips wiped out the A-Zone season for me.

The last weekend of the A-Zone starts tomorrow. I’ll probably go to the ranch, but mostly for purposes other than deer hunting. With about 150 pounds of fish and assorted other game in my freezer, the last thing I need right now is a deer carcass.

So… I’ll gather up some stuff stored at the ranch, pick up the Honda Rancher ATV, shoot my muzzleloader and maybe my .30-06 and then return home in time for dinner.

On Monday, Linda and I will drive to Alamanor for a week of relaxing.

The real season begins on about November first when, with my Open Zone Tag in hand, I’ll make the first trip of the season. My objective will be X-2 where the Devil’s garden muzzleloader season will be open. It runs until November 11th so I should have a chance at a nice buck.

If that doesn’t work out, I’ll hunt the Doyle muzzleloader hunt and maybe the Bass Hill archery hunt. I can reach those areas while staying at the, newly aquired, Lake-House at Almanor.

It has been a full summer. Now for a full fall – without any surgeries.

Did make some progress today by taking the Airstream trailer down to the grasslands where it will remain at the Kerry Club until February. It’s looking pretty good for (it’s age) – 62. I’ve owned it for 32 if those years.

More on Fishing Southeast Alaska

 

 

 

 

Fishing Southeast Alaska

Our week with Wild Alaska Cruises was spent along the southern edge of islands known as the ABC Islands of Alaska. There are many other groups of islands in the world’s oceans with the same name.

The three islands that make up the AK-ABC group are Admiralty Island, Baranof Island and Chicagof Island. Our fishing took place south of Admiralty and west of Baranof Island to the east of Petersburg where our flight landed.

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The mother ship, the Perseverance, is specifically designed as a luxury private yacht. It is 90 feet long, carries a crew of six and eight passengers. Two skiffs ride atop the fantail and two guide boats are towed behind. Every detail has been carefully thought out by the owner, Larry Larson.

Our trip on the Perseverance was slow and steady. It traveled at about seven knots. Most of the time, the two guide boats either led or followed the mother ship to our destination, as they could travel at greater speed. That gave us time to fish along the way. Stratham Straight is a large body of water with heavy ocean influence. There we found halibut, salmon, lingcod and rock fish.

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Here’s a picture of the Patience’s depth finder after it passed over a school of pelagic rock fish.

Our host was Larry Larson, Captain and owner of the Perseverance. Our fishing guides were Robert Elliot and Chase Martenson. They knew how to find and catch fish. It is a very large area with plenty of voids and also nooks holding numbers of fish.

Overview of Wild Alaska Fishing  and Cruises, September 2018

Overview of Wild Alaska Fishing and Cruises, September 2018

Got home at midnight last night. No time for details. Here’s a representative photo from each day of our trip.

We flew out of San Jose on Saturday and landed in Petersburg about 3 PM. Spent the night in town and were underway on Sunday morning, September 9.

My plan is to expand on this post as I find more time. Lots of photos and lots of fish.

Halibut and rock fish were landed on Sunday afternoon.

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Mason checks out our first fish of the trip, halibut.

On day two, we landed limits of coho salmon and saw our first brown bear.

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First brown bear of the trip, day two.

Day three produced salmon limits again and perfect weather in the cove where Perseverance was anchored.

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The cove was quite calm when cousin, Wes, and I approached Perseverance, with coho limits, mid-morning, on day 3.

We had a lot of fishing action on day four.

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Robin hooked big halibut on day 4.

Day five produced more fishing success and some variety.

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Chase holds Cathy’s huge lingcod on day 5.

Day six was our last chance to catch salmon.

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Wes with his day 6 coho (silver) salmon.

On day seven, I found this dog sleeping on an island in the bay, a prelude to some fishing excitement.

More to come.

Will Robin land the halibut?

Stand by.