For me, there’s nothing like the walk down the dock for the first guided fishing trip of the year. It’s the giddy anticipation of the day ahead and for the season that will come.
I guided on the river twice this past week. My conclusion is this: it’s early, and you can’t catch what’s not there.
We weren’t completely fish less, though (cough, cough). The first three trolls produced three hooligan. Not exactly what makes the Kenai River world famous.
My first guests of the year were Davis and Allie. When they booked their trip for early May, we told them we wouldn’t know if the cabins would have water, if the river would be ice free, or if the salmon run would be underway. That didn’t matter. They had their airline tickets and they were coming.
It was a great day on the water, even though the fish didn’t get the memo that we were fishing. Hey Davis and Allie, thanks for making us part of your Alaska trip. I look forward to your return.
My other trip this past week was with Dave, Ryan, and Blake. Same results as the first trip of the year. The only difference is I didn’t take any photos. I’ll be fishing with these guys later this summer, and I promise to take photos then.
Besides adventures on the Kenai River, I spent a couple of days helping my friend Boo Kandas of Tall Tale Charters get his saltwater boat to Homer and water ready for the season.
The plan was to trailer the boat to Homer, fish, hunt, and sleep overnight in Port Chatham. It’s an annual shakedown cruise to make sure all the gear is working.
Port Chatham, is a 30 mile boat ride from Homer. On our way there, Boo asked if I knew the history of the area. Since I didn’t, he proceeded to tell me about natives, miners, loggers, Sasquatch and mysterious, unexplained deaths. He said Port Chatham has been described as the creepiest abandoned town in Alaska. Hey, Boo, thanks for taking me to such a swell place for my first time sleeping overnight in a boat…..
During our two days on the water, Boo said if a situation presented itself, he wanted to take his son hunting for black bears. When we came into a bay near Port Chatham we glassed six bears on the mountainside. Boo and Oliver jumped into the Zodiac and rowed to the beach to hunt while I stayed with the boat. If you look closely in the photo above, you can see a black bear in the brown grassy area.
The two hunted for several hours while I watched from the boat. They came back without a shot fired.
I asked Boo if they made it to where we sighted the bear. They did and got within 140 yards of it. His son, Oliver, chose not to shoot. He told his dad that they didn’t need the meat, and he wasn’t comfortable taking the shot. Boo was extremely proud of the decision the eleven year old Oliver made.
Overall, we spent the two days mostly fishing. We had a lot of action and caught quite a few black bass, kelp greenling, Irish lords, and ling cod.
We also caught several halibut. No monsters, but a perfect size for eating.
For the week ahead, I have no other fishing plans other than to be on the Kenai River.
See you next week.