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The Bad & The Ugly, Part 3;

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
I hope this is the end of it for this year.

I have no picture but I think you'll get the idea. I went fishing today June 15, 2011 even though it was raining when I left for the river at 4:30 AM. It was also only 40 degrees down on the water and the rain was a cold one. The past two days have been good with a 28 pound salmon caught on Monday followed by a 40 on Tuesday so I figured to go 3 for 3. You are only allowed 5 king salmon annually in Alaska and only one may be harvested on any given day so if you find fish you better stay on them.

I'm not the kind of guy who gets all bent up because I don't find fish but today I saw no trace of any. I fished some runs that I know will hold fish and didn't have a bump so we spent a couple miles just sneaking up the river as slow as the boat will go. Once I had covered about 5 miles of water and saw no trace of them I turned and idled back down channel stopping at a few last ditch spots to swing a fly with no result. By 10:45 Am Boss and I were both smelling like wet dogs so we headed to the boat launch.

Once at the launch area I figured it would do no harm to check a few pools down river, after all the salmon are coming upstream so I passed the launch and motored up. It's been at least 12 months since I've been down that way and I seldom go down rivers unless I have to; my thinking has always been that if the motor quits and I'm above the boat launch I can always float back so................ Well did I say it's been raining pretty good for two days and the waters up a bit? After about 3/4 of a mile I was on the right side of the channel and here comes a boat up the other side of the river at top speed, I stayed sort of center / right on the river to allow him to have the deep side. This was a huge mistake because I was only moving at a crawl and I went back to looking for fish in the turbid water. He passed me and I suddenly realized that with the cloudy water the submerged sand bar I was driving onto looked just like water. In a blink I was run aground! Now getting stuck on a sand bar in an 18.5' semi V bow flat bottom boat with a 260 pound motor on the stern is not a good thing, no not at all. When you get a flat bottom on this glacial sand it creates a suction and there is no way to drag the boat. Getting free is an acquired talent, believe me! I carry a rope sling that will fit around the foot of my jet intake just for special times like this. These are the special times when you better still be able to lift both the weight of the motor and the stern of the boat enough to break the suction and skid it sideways about 4 - 6" at a clip. Essentially you have to spin the whole boat on the midship as an axis so you drag the stern around 180* and then drag the bow 180* to complete the circle. If you do it right you have moved it closer to the deeper water. I think you get the idea.

By the time I had boss back in the boat and we were floating I was exhausted but the best was yet to come

This is not the first time I've been stuck but it's the first time that after working and I mean WORKING for at least 20 minutes to get it free and to where it would float that I drove it right back onto the same sandbar! Don't ask why but instead of going down river and crossing to the opposite side to get back upstream I went about 100 yards down, did a 180, hit the gas and went up the left side hugging the bank. There was plenty of flow against the bank but with the overcast sky the glare of the smooth surface, the turbid color, and all the rain spots on my sunglasses I turned away from the bank and tried to cross over to the right side of the river about 20 feet before I should have! IT WAS WORSE THIS TIME! I kid you not! I was stuck twice as bad and had half the strength I had left home with this morning

I don't know how I did it but I got that boat off of that suck mud twice, spinning and dragging it even farther the second time. I'll never pass the launch again! I was so whipped when I got that hull back on the trailer and headed home I could not believe it.

I'm not sure if I'm going tomorrow or not

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Thank you,


Updated 06-17-2011 at 05:52 PM by Ard



  1. fyshstykr's Avatar
    Great reading, awesome scenery.

    Continuing on to the next part......
  2. mcnerney's Avatar
    Ard: Another great story with some awesome photos, thanks for sharing!