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Thread: Adventures on Ship Creek

  1. #1
    Member Tomcat's Avatar
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    Cool Adventures on Ship Creek

    With no recent fish tales to share, thought I'd relate a somewhat humorous experience from last summer. I have a feeling that a lot of other folks have entertaining stories to pass along as well.

    The silvers were running in Ship Creek last July, so I decided to try my luck after work one evening. I started near the boat ramp and worked my way upstream until I noticed a large pod of fish congregated below the vehicle bridge.

    A lone, older gentleman was seated on the bank and still fishing with roe nearby. I asked whether he would mind me making a few casts nearby and he welcomed the company. The fish weren't cooperating, but we enjoyed a nice chat for about 20 minutes.

    During this period, the man explained that he had just undergone neck surgery and was released from the hospital only the day before. This was obviously the case since he wore a neck brace.

    Despite the pain associated with procedure, the fellow insisted on going fishing and got his son drop him off for a few hours. He said the doctors had prescribed some medication to assist with the recovery.

    As we conversed, I was surprised and concerned to see a guy in his condition consuming the better part of a six-pack of beer. His speech was clearly slurred.

    Suddenly, the gent staggered to his feet and reeled in his line. Then he arched back to make a cast, but lost his balance and cartwheeled into the river. He floundered around in the muddy water and was unable to climb up the slippery bank.

    I bolted over to help by extending an arm to pull him out. When he gripped my hand, he cracked a smile and said, "Hi, I'm Bill. **** glad to meet you." I couldn't avoid a slight chuckle before tugging him to safety.

    Once back on shore, the old boy told me that the same thing had happened the previous day! He proudly held up a gym bag filled with an extra supply of dry clothes and stated that he had come prepared this time.

    About then, the man checked the water-logged cell phone in his shirt pocket and discovered that it was dead. He grew concerned because the plan was to call his son when he was ready to be picked up. The fellow asked whether I had a phone he could use to make a call, but I didn't have it with me. Fortunately, we were able to locate another good samaritan across the river who was willing to comply.

    After making sure that the gentleman had changed into dry clothes and established contact with his son, I was ready to continue my search for the hot bite and get back to fishing. Sure made a lasting impression though.

    For many folks, I suppose it could be considered just another interesting adventure on Ship Creek...

  2. #2
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    I've had a couple of fun ones on Ship Creek as well. Obviously the place is hardly a wilderness adventure...and the fishing isn't exactly spectacular, but I had a great time talking with folks.

    I had some time between arriving in Anchorage and heading out to Bethel for my first job in AK about four years ago. A fella I met while slingin beers in Illinois mentioned that if I was stuck in town I could wet a line and gave me a few pointers on Ship Creek and to watchout for some steep banks as high tide went out and to tread carefully with the receding waters, probing ahead in the mud so as to not fall in. Well, there I was, slingin away with the mob and chatting with a guy next to me who was also new to the area. We were talking amiably about some outdoorsy topic as the tide went out and I was tapping ahead of me to find the drop off. I turned my head upstream to watch someone playing a fish when I heard this loud splash, I turned to where the guy had been standing and all I could see was his baseball cap floating in the muddy water but no fella. My eyes widened as I realized this guy had gone DOWN. A second or two later he recovered and shot out of the water like a dolphin jumping through a hoop at Seaworld. Wet, cold, shocked, but largely ok.....guess I should have shared that advice I was given.

    I also played my first king salmon there (noted played, not hooked....read on). Later that evening, we were all watchin a young man playing a very acrobatic and sizable king with the classic WalMart wonder rod and reel complete with bright neon green line. Well, the guy is gettin his butt handed to hiim in the crowded conditions and with probaby a 25 to 30 pound king. He hauls back on his 21.99 set up and this crack like a .22 report shoots though the area followed by a bluestreak that I must admit I am still jealous of....but he looked way too young to be a sailor . Anyhoo, there I see floating down the river, about 20 yards of this bright neon line. I hate seeing litter anywhere and figured I'd snag the line and rolle it up and save a bird some pain and some people another eyesore. Upon snagging and retrieving the line, I started to roll it up and lo and behold, there is still a king on it. The guys on either side of me heard me holler with glee and the thing vaulted into the air and the fight was on. I attemped to play it for several minutes and the crowd all stopped fishing to cheer on this modern David vs Goliath. But, with just my hands to play it, it was soon having it's fishy way with me and starting to foul up between people's legs and causing quite a ruckus and soon it made a huge run broke the line again...luckily close to the lure. I got slaps on the back for tryin and we all had a good laugh. Now, living in Bristol Bay, I don't have to face the issue of crowds but I still remember my time at Ship Creek fondly, I really had a good time and met some great folks.

  3. #3
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    I generally avoid ship creek but I do have several funny fishing stories. It maybe a little off topic but it's a fun one.

    Back in Michigan I was fishing the Hex hatch on the upper Au Sable river. This is a may fly hatch that occurs only at night, the Hexagenia Lambada(SP?) is a huge bug, about an inch and a half long! They hatch off in huge numbers and everything comes out too feed on them, I mean everything from bears to walleye, yes this is the only time I've ever seen that you can catch a walleye on a dry fly! Well I was casting into the darkness trying like mad to get a good drift going when I felt a strong pull at the line, funny I didn't hear a rise. So I started to play my fish, that's weird never had a brown trout jump that high and I didn't hear him land. After a few seconds it was obvious I didn't have a monster brown on the line so I began to reel in ernest so I could release this dinker and get after some of the big browns I could hear feeding all around me. So I started too reel in quickly and my line shot strait up! And stayed there! What in the world? The fish must have spit my fly I bet I'm stuck in a tree I'll just give this a good hard jerk, that's when my adventure really began. I was instantly struck in the face by something fury, scratching and flailing about madly. So I began flailing about madly and screeching, and running towards the river bank. Luckily thanks to the darkness a nearby tree branch removed the offending object from my face with minimal damage as I ran head first into it. After resurfacing from the cold waters of the Au Sable I pulled myself together and started to reel in again. Much to my dismay my mystery quarry was still hooked. Slowly I reeled the thing in close enough that I could see it, it was a bat, still screeching and flailing about madly. This immediately presented a problem, how dose one release a bat. I held the critter at bay while debating my next move, this only agitated him further. In the end I decided that self preservation was more vital in this case than sportsmanship and I drowned the little brute, a much longer and more difficult process than I had at first expected. After all if I had just cut the line it would have suffered and died slowly. I stopped fishing the Hex hatch alone after that. My Wife and I are hopping to time our next visit to Michigan too coincide with the hatch, but I'm sure not going to tell her this story!....... Until were on the river.

    Just for fun
    Rick P

  4. #4

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    I've seen some wild things down at Ship Creek. Here's a few quick stories

    I was fishing down past the culverts when a rather large fella was walking down the opposite bank. In this nasty mud I never stop moving until I find a solid spot to stand on, but this guy was taking his time and was obviously struggling. People in the area warned the guy but he brushed it off and continued on. About half way down the bank he made a bad step and fell waist deep into some nasty suction cup muck. People in the area tried to help him out but that didn't go as planned. The fire dept. was called in and lifted him out.

    On another day a obnoxiously vulgar old man was noticeably yanking fish out of the water right in a crowed section above the culverts. The troopers were called several times but no it was a show, his license plate was reported though. With the tide coming in this guy was standing on a jagged looking muck covered rock. With the water at his feet and a water depth well over anyones head inches in front of him he continued to rip fish. He was fighting a fish and finally got it within reaching distance. He bent down to grab the fish, slipped, and fell head first right into the cold tidal water and then completely disappeared. A few seconds later his head broke the surface while he gasped for air. Trying to swim like a hydrophobic cat he made it to shore about 20 feet down from where he fell in. The laughter from the bank anglers seriously enraged this guy. He grabbed his stringer and left soaking wet.

  5. #5

    Default Ticketed on ship creek

    I just thought I would remind everyone about righting down there king salmon on their license IMMEDIATELY upon harvesting a fish. I showed up just after high tide, made about five casts with a silver vibrax and wham a nice 22 pound hen was on the line. Got it netted in about 5 minutes. I was in a rush when I showed up and forgot my pen in my truck. Regretably I decided to carry the still flopping fish to my truck 50 yards away. I met a trooper half way there. My first words were, do you have a pen? He immediately said I should have asked a fellow angler for a pen. $100 ticket and a good lesson learned. DON'T FORGET YOUR PEN. He did let me keep the chrome bright fish. Good luck fishing!

  6. #6
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    You might not always catch a fish on ship but you will leave with some memories of that place. I have seen stuf there that I would never of thought of.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  7. #7
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    have not been back since my last episode in 1997 -- first cast resulted in five lines crossing-over mine, then next cast an eight line cross-over -- then I went elsewhere -- to Darwin's theory for a few cold ones. I have not felt like going since but may be i'll try it again -- if for entertain value rather than fishing.

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    Default Going for the goo...

    I love to sit and watch the action during a drop in the tide; not the fishing, but those who get caught in the morass of goo and then try to crawl their way out!

    I defray to the locals; they've figured Ship out and it's their spot. Sure do love to watch the out-of-towners when I'm between flights...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

  9. #9
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    I was down at ship creek entertaining myself by watching all the tourists fish for kings. All of a suddent his guys yelss and obviously has a good king on the line. That fish took off down stream with the guy frantically trying to keep up. However he tripped and winded up in deep water. The fish was towing him along and the only thing you could see was the pole and the top of his head causing a bow wave in the creek. Somebody finally grabbed him by the belt as he went by. Then, of course, the line parted and he never did get the fish. Poor guy looked like a drowned cat.

  10. #10
    Member Tomcat's Avatar
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    A couple more...

    I saw a guy get stuck in the muck last summer. The poor fellow became totally exhausted trying to work his way free. It took two people to finally pull him out. They ended up yanking him from his boots, which remained firmly entrenched in the mud and had to be left behind.

    Another time, a friend and his son were visiting from out of state. We decided to take a break from fishing and watch the antics from the pedestrian bridge. Right below us, a guy hooked a big, red king that soared out of the water and tossed the hook, triggering cheers from the crowd.

    Suddenly, my buddy's seven-year-old son developed a bad case of salmon fever and immediately charged down to the riverbank. To our surprise, he boldly squeezed in among the line of anglers and secured a spot right beside the man who had just lost the king.

    In his highly excited state, he nevously attempted a cast and managed to wrap his line about 100 times around the rod of the person who had briefly battle the king only a mintue earlier. The next words out of his mouth were "Dad, I need help!" Uh oh...

    Another story offered up by a co-worker...

    The silvers were thick in the Eklutna Tailrace and my friend was fishing at the mouth with at least a dozen other folks. Some big fella comes floating downstream while plucking lost lures and other gear from submerged tree branches along the shoreline.

    When he reaches the mouth, he decides to swim right out in front of the masses to snorkel around and scoop up the bounty of lures snagged along the river bottom.

    Evidently, he was totally oblivious to -- or had complete disregard for -- the fact that he was disturbing the fish and making it impossible for people to cast.

    Annoyed by this rude behavior and having lost patience with "moby" porpoising about in the fishing hole, my buddy shouted that he better get out of the water before someone accidently buried a hook in him. Ignoring his pleas and the gripes of other anglers, the guy kept up his antics until he had collected as many lures as he could find.

    As the treasure hunter exited the water with a big grin, this gent told my friend that he had just as much right to the river as the anglers and that the folks with rods could always fish somewhere else if they didn't like it. Go figure!

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