Salmon Try

Thought Monday might be a good day to catch a salmon, so my friend, Captain Bob, and I headed to the south buoy to see what we could find.

Nobody there so we asked on the radio where everybody was. The response was “head south on 210 and you’ll find the fishermen.”

We did and we did, but we couldn’t catch a fish – not even a hit-and-run.

However I did snap a few photos of some of the whales that we circling us most of the day. That’s all I’ve got.

There were quite a few birds around as well. This gull was a pretty boy.

gull DSC_0879[1]

We also noticed that the area we fished was loaded with sea-birds eating something on the surface of the water. Maybe krill (small fish) – possibly the same thing the whales were after.

The trip back got a bit rough, which made things a bit more interesting. All and all it was a good day. From the reports we got, our experience was consistent with the norm, but a few nice salmon were caught.

 

Yes We Have Fishing Too, MDF Livermore-Pleasanton Banquet March 15.

How about salmon fishing in Alaska: The winning bidder of this awesome Alaskan fishing adventure will enjoy four (4) full days of
fishing
covering two (2) trips for salmon on the Kenai and the Kasilof rivers. Your river fishing will take place from drift and power boats, followed
up by one (1) full day of salt water fishing for halibut, and what better way to complete an Alaskan fishing adventure than to spend a full day on a fly out
salmon fishing trip to either the Kustatan for Silver Salmon or Wolverine Creek for Sockeye Salmon & Bear viewing. Included in this trip are full
accommodations and meals while on this Adventure, along with all transportation while moving between fishing areas. This trip may be upgraded for additional
days of lodging and fishing and the winning bidder may add additional guests to join him or her by making arrangements with Steve. DONATED BY: STEVE
TAORMINA OF KENAI LEGENDS FISHING http://www.kenailegendsfishing.com/

Or your choice of salmon or trout fishing for four on the Sacramento River with Scott Kenyon’s guide service.  Fully donated by Scott Kenyon. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scott-Kenyons-Guide-Service/207934385930044

Or, trout fishing at Lake Margaret for four people, three days and two nights. A boat is provided as well.  Fully donated by Wilderness Unlimited. http://www.wildernessunlimited.com/

Here’s a link to a flyer:Livermore 2013 flyer

Kodiak Part 4: Loud Snoring Has Its Advantages – Keeps the Grizzlies Away

Day four of our Kodiak adventure was very enjoyable. If only we could have figured how to reel those silvers in quicker, we could have caught a plane load – all with fly rods.

In addition to silvers, we even caught a couple dolly vardon, but no steelhead. The fishing was everything Alaska fishing can be, but the mountain was calling for me to climb it and bag another deer which would include venison for the trip home if we could figure out how to hang  onto it.

During the night of following the fourth day we could hear soda and beer cans clinking in the night. Could it be that the grizzlies liked soda and beer?

We attempted to save a slab of silver salmon by inserting it into a zip-lock bag and sinking it to the bottom of the river (by putting a rock in the bag along with the salmon) in four feet of water. No luck, the bears got it too.

On the fifth day (one day before our departure) I climbed the mountain again and this time turned to the north at the top of the ridge. I wanted to hunt an area not previously disturbed.

I was a little discouraged by the lack of deer, but eventually found a decent buck in a large brush patch. Always concerned about having time to shoot, find, clean and carry the deer back to camp before dark, I decided to waste no time and shot the buck.

It went down in the brush and before long I’d recovered it.

You’ve probably heard stories about rifle shots being like “dinner bells”  for the grizzlies of Kodiak Island. So had I, and I wasn’t a bit comfortable skinning and gutting that deer in a brush patch where I could see about ten feet.

My loaded .7mm and my .44 magnum revolver were stationed at my side. It was an eery feeling.

I reduced the deer to carrying size and moved it onto a nearby  open hillside where I could complete work on it while keeping an eye out for grizzlies.

I was a pleasantly surprized that the buck had four points on one side, a Sitka four-point buck is unusual, but it wasn’t particularly old or large antlered.

I managed to load the animal onto the back pack and carry it to camp before dark – crossing the river by raft one last time. In camp we debated our options. We decided to go with the only option that would give us a reasonable chance of saving our venison.

It was the “Lean the meat against our tent and keep our loaded rifles at our sides” option. It was a little scary (sleeping a couple feet from grizzly bait), but we figured the snoring and odors emitted from our tired bodies would keep the grizzlies away and it did.

On Saturday we loaded the Grummon Beaver and headed back to Kodiak with a couple silver salmon and one Sitka blacktail to take home to California. The venison and the fish were both excellent table fare.

Kodiak Part 1: Blacktails, Silver Salmon and Grizzlies on Kodiak Island

One of the top hunting trips of my life took place about ten years ago in Alaska. The original trip was based upon a caribou hunt I purchased at the MDF Convention in Sacramento.

Ironically, it was the self-guided blacktail hunt on Kodiak Island (which  followed the caribou hunt) that topped the list for excitement.

our-tent

We arranged for a float plane to fly us from Kodiak (on the Island’s east end) to the Ayakulik River on the Islands west end. The plane, a Grummon Beaver, was quite loaded with our gear as we climbed over mountain tops of the central island and then landed on the river at a remote location.

Although we were not alone (a fishing guide occasionally drifted past us while guiding salmon and steelhead fishermen and one other camper joined us for a few days) most of our company was grizzlies, silver salmon and blacktail deer.

We spent the first day of the trip hunkered down in our tent as 50 mph winds battered our site. It was a good thing that we were prepared and had “tarped” our tent down in case of bad weather. After many games of cribbage,  the weather finally settled enough to allow us ta catch a couple silvers in the afternoon.

rich-fights-salmon

Note the well worn trail in this photo. It was made primarily by grizzlies not humans.

On day three we used our small raft to cross the river and climbed the ridge to the west of our camp. Although we spotted no deer from camp, we were surprised that the ridge top was well stocked with sitka blacktail bucks – and also grizzly bears.

raft

More on the deer and the bears later, but here are a couple fishing photos. We were using nine weight fly rods and steelhead flies. It took twenty to thirty minutes to land each fish as they were fresh and strong combining their efforts with the current of the powerful river.rob-with-salmon

rich-with-silver

Day three produced blacktails like the one below. But there’s much more to the story.

robs-buck-after-the-miss

Fishing at Joe’s Salmon Lodge, British Columbia

The lodge is tucked away in an Island Cove just off the coast of northern BC and seaward of the inland passage. Although protected and calm, it’s only about a mile run to the surf and maybe 10 miles to actual deep water fishing for halibut.

Each group of two fishermen received use of a 16 foot Boston Whaler that appeared to be brand new and each was powered by a 50 horse Yamaha outboard. We were led to the fishing grounds by the fish-master each day and had a lot of freedom to do as we pleased.

boston-whalers-cropped-and-resized

We were provided box lunches so we could fish all day or we could choose to return to the lodge for lunch. Food was very good and ample.

food-was-very-good

The salmon fishing was very good and we landed several nice salmon each day including sockeye, king and silvers. The largest king we landed was about 25 pounds and the silvers ran in the eight pound range. The sockeye were the smallest of the group.

The key to success seemed to be locating fish (boats were equipped with fish finders) and determining the best depth to keep you bait. We fished mooching rigs and most of our salmon were caught at around 25 to 30 feet.

fishing-cropped-and-resizedking-salmon-cropped-and-resized

On one occasion we followed the fish-master out to sea a few miles in heavy swells (about ten footers) to fish for halibut. The halibut fishing was pretty good and we caught our three-fish per person limits rather quickly, but none were large fish with the best one in the ten pound class. After about an hour of halibut fishing in the heavy water we were ready to head in.

halibut-cropped

The three-day stay was too short for us and we would have been happy to stay a few days longer. This is a good trip for hard core fishermen.

Flying in the Grumman Goose to Joe’s Salmon Lodge in BC

Joe’s Salmon Lodge in northern British Columbia is a fun place to fish for salmon. I purchased a trip for two at our MDF banquet a few years back and took my brother along. Our dates were in early July and we fished for about three days.

The trip is an interesting adventure, traveling on three different planes between Oakland and the lodge. The last was a “Grumman Goose” Seaplane, one of serveral classic  planes that’s been in use in BC and Alaska for many decades.goose-cropped-and-resized

This is how the Goose looked on the runway at the airport on wheels.

goose-in-water-cropped-and-resized

The “Goose” arriving at Joe’s Lodge on water.

Because the Goose floats on it’s hull and not floats, it’s not a “float” plane it’s a seaplane and it is capable of landing in swells up to three feet (according to my research).

An interesting fact is that the Goose seaplane has been out of production for over 60 years but a company on the east coast is planning to build new planes starting this year.

More on this trip later….