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I’ve been neglecting this place and it shows. I guess it’s about time to jot down a few notes.

Hit the river once back in April with Tuber and The Pastor. Hooked up a few times but was never able to seal the deal. Cool to know that one of the fish parted 10# Maxima like it was nothing. As usual, good friends and good times.

Back in May I broke my casting hand. I broke my hand on a Friday but didn’t believe it was broke. Monday the x-ray told me otherwise. The PA who checked it out told me it was misaligned and would try to straighten it out before casting the hand. Ohhh he did alright. The PA, ex-military and ex-UFC fighter, grabbed a hold of my hand and straightened things up. Hurt like a mudderfuker…hurt more than breaking it. The two techs waiting to cast my hand thought it was painful too. One of them told me not to hold my breath and to keep breathing. I didn’t listen to him until it was over. Too busy trying not to make a sound or shed a tear.

Just finished up physical therapy in July. It’s been a frustrating couple of months. I’ve been cleared to resume some normal activity. I was told let pain be my guide.

I’m anxious to get back out there.

Word is that Simms is putting felt back into the lineup in 2012 and getting some shit for doing so. That’s fair. They tried to play the market and it didn’t quite work the way they hoped. That’s old shit now. On to more pressing matters.

Come January 1, 2012, Alaska will ban felt from its waters and everyone who lives here or will visit here will have to pony up and pick up another pair of wading footwear. Thanks Trout Unlimited for pushing this one as hard as you could. We’ll just take the $$$ out of our For Charity bucket to make this new purchase. Kids are going hungry tonight and the fish will just have to make do with the plastic bag/beer bottle/cigarette butt “habitat restoration project” which comes free of charge along with a free McDonald’s Happy Meal toy.

Invasive species are just going to have to hitch a ride on the laces, gravel guards, waders and our boats now. I wonder if that’s how pike made their way into the Susitna Drainage and Kenai Peninsula. There’s a f-ing invasive species for ya. Trout Unlimited…where you at?

No matter what type of sole is on your wading boot…Inspect -> Clean -> Dry all of your gear.

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Another set

Another set from the tying bench. Got rid of the tail, added some peacock herl, and a little heavier on the chute.

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Lamprey Revival?

Frozen lamprey | Photo by Kwik’pak Fisheries

Wonder if it tastes like chicken. I don’t really wonder that because I don’t plan on finding out. I imagine that is what flashed in your mind. At least that’s what flashed in mine.

As reported in APRN, Kwik’pak Fisheries is hoping to build a market for lamprey.

A western Alaska fish buyer is trying to build a market for an ancient creature that might otherwise swim unnoticed at the bottom of icy rivers this time of year. The lamprey is a long, boneless fish that looks like an eel. Millions of them enter the Yukon and other major rivers this time of year to spawn.

Maybe in the near future we’ll see these things pop up at Pike Place Market.

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I’m definitely not an insider so I don’t know the details but one thing I do know is that Ryan Davey isn’t part of the crew at AEG anymore. I know I’m not the first one to notice this. So what happened? Can someone shed some light on this? Was it over who had first dibs through a sweet looking run?

Whatever the case is I did stumble upon this the other day. Seems he is now a Lateral Line Ambassador.

Ryan Davey

laterallineco.com

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At War

War was declared about a week ago. The battles have been fierce but I feel we are surging ahead. They’ve come in waves…8 to 10 at a time. Their determination is unwavering and they are proving to be a formidable foe. They march across the land laying to waste everything that may have the misfortune of crossing their path.

Who is this enemy I speak of? None other than Arion Distinctus aka the common garden slug.

The Enemy

The Enemy

Slugs can consume half their body weight in a 24 hour period and leave a path of destruction in their wake.

A week ago my wife came back into the house after spending some quality time in her garden. I’ve never seen someone on the verge of tears and almost throwing up at the same time. After composing herself and a couple of dry heaves. She grew angrier and angrier and cried out, “Those *BLEEPING* *BLEEPS* have messed with the wrong garden!”

As any four star general would do, my wife rallied the troops and we stormed the garden armed with beer, tweezers and a prayer. Anyone who has ever tangled with Arion Distinctus knows that beer draws them in like fat kids to ice cream. Unfortunately for us, Arion Distinctus was more of a Budweiser kind of slug. Our offerings of Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale went unchecked. My wife and I concluded these must be Whitous Trashus Arion Distinctus aka Trailer Slugs.

Much to her dismay, which only fueled her anger, the Trailer Slugs marched on by the beer garden and headed straight for her prized Delphinium.

The Carnage

The Carnage | Photo by C. Yi

Every night the mission is clear…stop the invasion by any means necessary. Unfortunately the most effective method of removing slugs is to hand pick them. If you’ve never plucked slugs from a garden before with tweezers you just aren’t living. If you don’t clamp on them the first time they curl up in a slippery snot ball, making it that much more difficult. Now that’s fun.

As I was tending to the yard last night trimming the grass near the fence where the mower couldn’t reach. I managed to shred a slug with the weed wacker unknowingly. Bits of slug richoted off of the fence and pelted me on the face. Gross doesn’t even begin to describe it. This happened to me twice.

After four long nights of battle, the enemy is beginning to retreat. If they had legs they would tuck their little, slimy tails between them and run for cover. Run slug RUN…she’s coming to get you. You can run but you can’t hide.

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Happy Anniversary!

From all of us here in Alaska…Happy Anniversary Mandu and Kimbop!

Happy Anniversary

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Cheney Lake

When my brother and I were young kids, we use to head out each day during the summer to a lake near our house. Rods in tow and a cup full of bait, we use to hang a right at the end of our driveway and head towards the baseball fields at the end of our street. We would follow a bike trail behind some houses that ended across the street from the lake. We would fish until 2pm when it was time for us to head home.

Every summer the lake would be stocked with thousands of 12-inch rainbows. All summer long the rainbows would travel in large schools around the lake eating everything in their path. We would wait for them and then ambush them with salmon eggs, cheese and corn. Many summer days were spent at the lake catching 12-inch rainbows one after another.

I found out a few years back that pike were found in the lake and that ADF&G is no longer stocking it with rainbows. It is sad that someone would illegally introduce pike into a watershed. I use to tell myself that I wanted to bring my kids to fish for rainbows just like dad did. Maybe someday.

cheneylake.jpg

Cheney Lake | Photo by M. Hopson

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