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Thread: My first fish in AK.

  1. #1
    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Default My first fish in AK.

    I went on a "suicide run" with a few friends after hearing that the reds were hitting in record numbers in the Russian yesterday. Up until yesterday, I had been completely skunked in all fishing attempts. I caught a few lake trout, none worth keeping but they were enough to keep me trying.

    I suppose I should admit that I am very much a rookie fisherman. I have caught quite a few fish in the "outside", but anyone here knows that's nothing like fishing in the Greatland.

    My luck seems pretty low when it comes to fishing here in AK. All of my attemts have been sad at best. But my luck seems to have made a turn for the better.

    I rode south with three friends from my unit, with hopes of a full icebox. We stopped at the parking lot at the Russian, and the attendant told us we were better off heading to Bing's Landing on the Kenai. So off we went. We found the action in what can only be described as typical Alaskan "combat fishing"

    Here's where things get interesting. As soon as we found our way through the trail to the river's edge, I noticed one after another angler hooking reds, as far as I could see in either direction along the river. They were thick! I envisioned tossing out my line, catching my limit and having plenty of time for a nap before limiting out again after midnight and heading home.

    Boy, was I in for a shock! Picture Barney Fife trying to catch fish shoulder-to-shoulder with a hundered other anglers and you might be close to what actually happened. I was wearing my hip waders, and I found that they can hold almost exactly half the volume of water running along the Kenai when I lost my footing and sat down. I just kept fishing as though I intended to take a seat. (I don't think anyone was fooled though.)

    So now wet and cold, I tenaciously continued to cast and pull, hour after hour hoping to hook a fish like everyone around me. My first bite was actually a very nice red - I had a good look as it jumped twice, heading down stream over 100 yards since my drag was set way too light. It shook off the fly, and I doggedly cast away, snagging either the bottom, or another angler's line every other cast. Serious credit is due to the patience of those who had to repeatedly untangle their line from mine.

    I lost several flies, weights, had to cut my line twice to eliminate tangles and used pliers to dig a hook out of my thumb, buried past the barb. (Make sure you hold the hook, not the eye when pulling the knot tight.)

    I finally got my rhythm going, and hooked on to a small male. He was my only catch, and by far the smallest of all six reds we caught. But I couldn't be more proud. My buddy showed me how to fillet it, and my family had him for dinner tinight. Even a small Red is ebough for a meal for my family of six. I am HOOKED. (pun intended.)

    That little red was my fist fish worth keeping since arriving in AK. Here's hoping it will be the first of many more to come!

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  2. #2
    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    Good post and fun reading! Good job!

  3. #3

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    I hope you took a photo of that well earned red. Great story and post. Tight lines.
    Only those that can see the invisible can do the impossible.

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, as for a picture - I was so exhausted by the time I finally caught my fish that I forgot I had brought my camera. I caught him just before midnight, at which point I had been awake for over 20 hours. I'm getting old. ;-)

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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    Great story - still have a smile on my face. :-)

  6. #6

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    That was an excellent story and reminds me of my first year of fishing for salmon. The military brought me to Alaska and after retiring from the Army I decided to stay. I too had to endure the salmon fishing learning curve, but I had a good teacher who taught me well. I live in Wasilla, fish often, and if you ever need some help in learning how to master this game, be sure to let me know.

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    Member AKsoldier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdkodiak View Post
    That was an excellent story and reminds me of my first year of fishing for salmon. The military brought me to Alaska and after retiring from the Army I decided to stay. I too had to endure the salmon fishing learning curve, but I had a good teacher who taught me well. I live in Wasilla, fish often, and if you ever need some help in learning how to master this game, be sure to let me know.
    Thanks! I just might take you up on that.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsoldier View Post
    I envisioned tossing out my line, catching my limit and having plenty of time for a nap before limiting out again after midnight and heading home.
    Be careful on what you say there

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    I feel your pain, Just made that trip with my daughter for the first time and only caught 2 reds in 3 days but that was back on the opener,and yes I'm hooked now as well. I will mention that one was on a fly rod so I'm doulbly hooked.

  10. #10
    Member bnkwnto's Avatar
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    Sounds like my first trip. Shoot me a PM and you are welcome to go with me next time. I need to get Ralph and his son out there out there too.

    Travis

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by y0gee View Post
    Be careful on what you say there
    Yeah, I realized my error - I failed to adjust my knowledge with the river change. On the kenai, it's " 3 per day, and 3 in posession". Thanks for the catch. Gotta be on your toes around here!

    tboehm - Thanks for the offer. I'm headed back to work Monday, but I'm always up for a weekend trip. Ralph is out after sheep tomorrow - hope he and his boy get one!

    An update on my fishing experience thus far:

    17 reds, 2 silvers, 1 pink and about 10 or so "keeper" trout. I confess all the salmon save the first mentioned in this thread were dipnetted in Fish Creek though.

    The greatest lesson I have learned about fishing this season: I NEED A BOAT! I think I'm going to start with a scanoe and small motor, since that will be the most versatile craft for local fishing. I don't get out to the big rivers very often. Dipnetting Fish Creek was a nightmare fighting the mud. I looked on with envy at the folks in the canoes slaying the fish, and not once setting foot in the mud. And then there's the Nancy lake canoe trail system I'd love to try for trout and pike... Good times are coming!

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

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