A Week At the Lake House

The Lake House has been appropriately broken in by our family group. It was chaotic.

The house is designed for about four people, but can hold six. Eight is too much and that’s what we attempted to do on our first week at the house.

Linda and I decided we needed to spend a week at the house by ourselves – a’ la carte. Not sure what we expected to find out. That’s why we did it.

For me it was an easy week of checking off projects, fishing and relaxing. For Linda, it was a struggle. We came out OK, but the last couple days got testy. Our disagreements grew more frequent, but they never reached the level of a full-out argument.

Right off the bat I had a successful transfer of various equipment from the Bay Area to Almanor. The lawn mower, unused at home, made a quick adjustment to the high country.

On work-day one, Tuesday, we got the heater and AC checked out. Everything appeared to be in order, so that was a big relief. We also verified that the thermostat has a WiFi interface that will work nicely once we get our system implemented.

The wooden swing which had sat in our side yard, at home for several years, fit in nicely to the lake front and we enjoyed the up close view of the lake while sitting in the shade of one of our big yellow pines.

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A group of deer passed through during the early hours and stopped next to the new swing as if to say, “What is this?”

On day two, Wednesday, a major milestone was accomplished when we got our internet connection with Digital Path, a company out of Chico. So far, we are impressed with their service. Now we plan to hook up a couple Aps that will allow us to monitor the situation while we’re away – including the aforementioned thermostat.

On day three, Thursday, I managed to hit the creek and catch my first trout of the trip, a fourteen-inch brown. Only one, but that was a start.

In the afternoon, I spent time surveying a vacant lot in Hamilton Branch – property owned by my father. With the help of one of the neighbors, one corner was clearly extablished.  That’s progress.

The lot needs to be cleared to meet the county fire standards. Since it’s nearly an acre in size and is overgrown with brush, the project will take a while.

On day four,  Friday, I hit the creek early again and broke off a nice rainbow.

I had spent most of my time fishing from one location and there were a lot of fish in front of me. I cast to fish much of the time, but after a while, I began to cast randomly as the fish I could see seemed to be impossible to catch.

One fish in particular spent most of its time right in front of me and it was quite large. I can’t say how many times I thought about that fish, but it never moved. Eventually, I forgot about it.

Then one of my random casts landed in front of the big fish. I was amazed when it suddenly turned and swallowed my fly. My strike indicator went down an I pulled up in disbelief. The big rainbow was on.

This turned out to be the largest trout of the year, a nice rainbow. The fish pealed out a bunch of line, which ended up working in my favor. The big trout tired itself out running up and down the creek and never threatened to break my 5X tippet, which was vulnerable.

In the end, I pulled the fish up against the shore and a friendly gentleman held it there so I could get a photo before releasing the fish.

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This was definitely the fish of the year. Not sure exactly how big he was, but he was definitely big enough.

After catching the best fish of the summer, I packed up and headed home not needing to fish any more that day.

At home, I was hoping to resolve some WiFi issues with my handyman.

The WiFi installation was painless. Not only that, but we laid the groundwork for installation of other Aps that will make living in two homes easier. It was a good day.

Later, I got in a fairly long hike, burning up some calories.

Saturday morning I returned to the creek, looking for another fish, but the best I could do was a small rainbow. In general, fishing was slow the entire trip, except for one special moment.

Another trip to the lot resulted in some valuable discussions with the neighbors and I became satisfied that I knew all the corner locations. This accomplished a major goal for the trip.

During my drive home, I noticed smoke on the horizon to the west of Chester – looked like an uncontrolled fire. After arriving home, Linda and I heard airplanes overhead. Four Cal Fire planes were circling overhead in preparation for picking up water to fight the fire.

I photographed them in action.

Sunday fishing was enjoyable, but unremarkable, except that there were hundreds of trout in the estuary – few of them doing anything. I didn’t see a single fish caught.

On Sunday afternoon, I decided to pull our dock up away from the lake where it will remain until spring. I hooked the dock up to my truck using 100 feet of cable. After failing on my first attempt, I revised the system a bit and managed to pull the dock out like a train. It was a sight to see.

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With the lake level dropping rapidly, I concluded that it was time to pull the dock for this season.

Sunday evening Linda and I enjoyed a nice dinner out at Plumas Pines. We were ready to go home. (I could have stayed.)

It was a fruitful and enjoyable week. The Lake House is a success.

Looks like I won’t be back until November when the Devil’s Garden and Bass Hill muzzleloader seasons open. That should be interesting.

 

 

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.

Fishing the Copper River

We were on the Copper River for five days with Jack Johnson of the Alaska Legends Lodge. The sockeyes arrived two days before we did. There were plenty of them. The trout were scarce. We spent some time trying to catch them too, but the big ones mostly broke off.

For the most part we cast pink and green sockeye flies at the fish with six to eight weight rods and ten to twelve pound leaders. The sockeyes were very fresh and very strong. They fought like crazy, jumping and cartwheeling. We may have caught 50% of what we hooked.

For trout we tried a lot of flies. I hooked a large rainbow with a cadis imitation dry fly, but couldn’t keep him on. A fly called the Dolly Llama hooked the most trout, but again we failed to land the largest of the bunch.

Typical size for the sockeyes was five to eight pounds, with a few outliers.

Best photo of the trip:

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Here are some more photos. More to follow.

Heading to the Copper River

Me and five buddies will be landing at Lake Iliamna on Friday. Were going to spend five days with Jack Johnson at the Alaska Legends Lodge. Purchased the trip as a group almost two years ago.

The plan is to catch a bunch of sockeye salmon and also some of the huge rainbows that follow the salmon up stream during July.

All fly fishing. My bags are packed. I’ll probably unpack and pack them again later today.

Hopefully I’ll have some great pictures upon return. Here’s my draft check list.

Alaska fishing 2018