Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February Sunrise
Looking Out My Office Window

Theres nothing quite like the realization that its getting light before you go to work in the morning.

A week or two ago I noticed a sliver of light over the mountains on my way to work. This picture was taken from my office window at 8:00 am this morning.

Spring is on its way :D

Sunday, February 22, 2009

When Bears Get Hungry
Dinner on the Buskin River, Kodiak

The Buskin River was on my way back from the lab in Kodiak making it a very convenient place for me to go fishing after work. I would always go down to Bridge No. 1 , a spot near the mouth where a bridge used to be. Several times either fellow fisherman down stream or upstream would holler that the bear was coming and everyone would climb up onto the old bridge approach until he passed by. The bear was happy, we here happy, life was good.

Then, one day, while I was jealous of three guys down stream and their nice Silver the bear warning was shouted from someone up stream. We all climbed to the top of the approach again but the three guys were too far down stream so they walked away from the river a ways and expected the bear to pass by.

When that bear came around the bend in the river and saw them with their nice fish he decided it was going to be his fish and started walking towards the men. We couldn't see them but as the bear started walking their way we heard splashing, almost like they were running through the water. About then the bear started trotting and just about went out of sight. I could hear them yelling at the bear. He stopped for a minute but kept going with caution. Then we heard two gun shots. The bear stopped, kind of looked around, and decided the fish wasn't worth the trouble.

The three fisherman climbed up on the approach with us, understandably shaken, and started telling us their story. One of them asked if I could get the beer from the back pocket of his vest for him, which I did.

The bear had learned that if he intimidated people they would give up their fish. These guys didn't give up their fish and they didn't shoot at the bear. They shot towards it, trying to scare it away, which they did.

The whole situation really helped me realize how real it was. It was very humbling and made me think about the chance of running into bears while they are looking for dinner. Usually all you have to do is get out of their way and they will leave you alone. But you have to be prepared for the time that they don't.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fishing Before Work

Fishing Before Work
Two Silvers out of Ship creek

I caught these two beauties out of Ship Creek in Downtown Anchorage before work one morning. A few of my co-workers and I checked the tide tables earlier in the week and decided that it would be a good day to hit river in the morning and try our luck.

Getting up early is a lot easier when you've got something fun to do. So I woke up, stashed my gear in the backpack, hopped on the KLR and headed down. I met Rich, Tanya and Eric down there and quickly reeled in the first one. Then on my last cast before it was time to head for the office I caught the second one.

You may wonder how one would transport two good sized fish like that on a motorcycle. The answer is to just strap em to the back rack!

I folded my waders on the rack, layed the fish on them, and used my bungee net to keep everything in place. Some Japanese tourists took a picture before I headed home, and a I got a few looks from people down town. But what do they expect?

Motorcylists need to eat too!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Rain, The Kodiak Expeience

My first Saturday in Kodiak

So there I was.
My first Saturday in Kodiak watching one of the two main roads in town get dug up so they could install a new water main.

It was raining hard! If you enlarge the picture you can see the stream running down the ruts, caused by studded tires, in the road. There is even a diversion to keep the water from running down into the trench.

I propped the camera up on the hood of the work truck, hit the timer, and took this picture to capture the enthusiasm I was having for the day.

My rain pants didn't make it in my bag before I left. Soaked to the bone I went and picked up some Guy Cotton bibs for the next rainy day.

Also I'm not really that big around. There are two flannel shirts and a fleece under my rain coat.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Pasagshak River
and the only fish I caught in Kodiak

Looking though a XD card from my camera that I hadn't seen in a while and found a bunch of pictures from Kodiak.

These two pictures are of the only fish I caught, that was worth keeping, the whole six and a half weeks on Kodiak Island.

Pasagshak River is all the way out at the end of the road. It takes about 40 minutes to make the drive and even if you don't catch anything the view is worth it. The silver salmon that run up it are bigger than you find in most of the other rivers. Plus I was told there are no bears out there.

This day walked down to the mouth at low tide and walked across the fast moving river. I went up stream aways and tried floating some eggs but my left hip boot got a hole in it and soaked my foot.

Since I had a wet foot I walked upstream to a hole I'd been eying up for a while. After tossing a spinner out there a few time you could see a couple nice fish following it in taking a look. Finally this one took a bite and saved me from being skunked for the whole trip.

It was pretty good size. I didn't weigh it but by the time walked back across the river my hand was tired from carrying it.