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Trouble In Paridise................. ..

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Where to start?

That's what has kept me from writing for so long. It's been a long while since May and so much to tell, are you ready for a 5 part Blog entry? Good, here we go............ You may notice that some photos in Part One are a recap from a previous entry but I ran them anyway because I had no others to fill in with. The title for this series of entries is based on the premise that Alaska is indeed Fisherman's Paradise, for me it has been but there has been a troubling trend over the past couple years that I can only hope to begin to address at this time.

Things started to go sideways way back in February I guess. I thought I would be smart and take the boat down to the town of Kenai for a motor change. It was made there by ATEC Marine who build some really great riverboats right here in Alaska. My thinking was that since they built it, they were the natural choice to change out the motor from a Honda Hydro Jet 35 to a Honda 90 horse jet. In the end they did a splendid job even rebuilding the transom to accommodate the much larger motor. So what went wrong you wonder......Well, there's only 1 company who supplies the jet units for these motors and there was a part that they were currently out of stock on and machining them, this was late April! Now late April is when the rivers begin to open up from the winter ice and it is when you want to be able to trout - grayling & char fish in a bad way. The window of time is narrow, from late April until the first week or so of June. By June the glaciers begin to shed water and the main rivers start to cloud up with the silt load that is trapped in all that glacial ice & snow.

It took until june 15th before the part was delivered and I picked up the boat. Essentially I had missed about 5 - 6 weeks of fishing because without a boat for transport I am very limited in where I can go here. June started out well with some kings showing but many were small fish.

The fish in the picture was typical of what I was getting into averaging about 2 foot and maybe 8 - 9 pounds. Although small for king salmon I do not think they were jacks. A Jack is an immature salmon who has came into fresh water with the adults. Most jacks are not sexually mature and will only die without being able to reproduce. Since fish pictures are always popular I'll finish this part of the story with some more from the late start.

All the fish were healthy and bright but finding the big ones was a task. When I finally got tied up with a big one I was with Nancy and we ended up using the boat to follow the fish so I could wear it down. it was an exciting late afternoon for us because we got a couple glimpses of the fish and were sure it was a real trophy of a catch. As these things often go there was no fish to show at the end of the battle. I thought the time was right and had her put me on shore. With the rod bent into horseshoe shape I was hauling the big boy to the edge of the water when that little hook popped loose and sailed overhead with a zing. With that the day was done.

The fish below was what Nancy had caught a few hours earlier so we were aware that there were some bruisers in the river.

Even though things had gotten started way behind schedule I had high hopes but knew there were going to be obstacles along the seasons course.

First and foremost on the horizon was that my brother was to arrive on the 18th of June and stay through the 20th of July. It was great to have him here but he doesn't fish and can't swim needless to say he was a little nervous out on the big rivers with me so I kept the trips few and short. Actually bu the 26th of June the king season was closed by Emergency order by the department of fish & game so...... That's what led to my last entries here about Short Runs & Closures.

All of that may seem to be normal if you only look at the pictures and it wasn't all bad but I intend to continue writing about the season and you may begin to see a pattern develop that made this a less than banner year in Alaska.

Here are a few photographs from early June, we / I had some very beautiful days to be alive & in Alaska at the same time.

In the picture below I believe that you can pick out the salmon jumping in the shot.

One evening at a dinner stop along the Yetna River the party was ended early because of the storm you can see coming from the North West. I stayed ahead of it but only because of that new motor.

I'll go to another entry now because the pages here allow only so much text. So........head to part 2, I'll try to keep it interesting.


  1. mrs_fysh's Avatar
    Nice pics! I love that smile on Nancy's face!
  2. Ard's Avatar
    Well you know her now and you know how she is always ready to laugh.