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Autumn

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Arrived back in Alaska to our very own welcome home parade – honking and all. Temperatures are dipping down into the mid-40’s at night and the sun is rising later and setting sooner. The fireweed is all bloomed out.

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With the right motivation I’m convinced you can accomplish the impossible. This week we hosted G_Smolt and Ratbone on the big local for 3 solid days of fish’n. In less time than it takes to enjoy a bag of Orville Redenbacher, I managed to rustle up a drift boat to get us into the good spots and Jay a motorhome to keep us out of the rain, while G_Smolt and Ratbone tidied up their affairs and jumped on a plane. Game on kids.

Damn those 3 days went by fast. I guess that’s what happens when you’re having a hoot. No need to go into too much detail. We woke up early every morning, downed a pot of coffee, ate a little, got geared up, launched the boat, caught fish, hitchhiked back to the truck, ate a little more, celebrated, and hit the sack. Repeat…two more times.

Some highlights from the trip:

  • G_Smolt and Ratbone are good people. Can’t say enough good things about those guys. Welcome into the circle boys!!
  • Water was unusually high for this time of year but we managed to catch a good number of fish all three days. Word at the takeout was most folks were struggling. Never one to turn my back on someone in need I handed out some advice and other goodies. Karma…it’s what keeps me out of trouble.
  • There really is no bad time to take in the hops and grainy goodness of adult beverages. A must being celebratory beers after a hard day at the office – Midnight Sun 22’s…in whatever flavor floats your boat. Ours happened to be Sockeye Red and Old Whiskers. Most fitting if you ask me.
  • Doesn’t matter what time you go to bed or how much you consumed the night before. Boat launches at sunrise and you’re coming along whether or not you’re ready.
  • Wet wipes are just essential for comfy undershorts.
  • 4 fishers fit neatly in a 3 fisher boat. Just make sure not everyone is leaning to one side of the boat. Jay…get your ass back into the middle…we’re plowing.
  • You catch as many fish as you are willing to work for. Fish are there in the water. Too many incidents to count but we were run up on by other folks just cause we were hooking up. G_Smolt had some dude cast right on top of him and bitch at him for catching too many fish. Huh?!? Seriously?!?
  • Lots of idiots on the water that don’t understand the meaning of etiquette. If the shitter is occupied you don’t come busting in there. Ratbone and Jay almost got hit by a boat that decided they wanted the spot Ratbone was fishing.
  • No sense beating a dead horse. After a while you ain’t fishing…it’s just casting practice.
  • 12 hours a day of fishing just isn’t enough for some folks. G_Smolt…you are the undisputed champ of getting your fish ON! My man doesn’t eat or drink and he doesn’t ever stop. I’m sure if we left him on that gravel bar it wouldn’t have phased him one bit.
  • Ratbone bounces back like a SuperBall. Nothing…not one thing can keep this fella down. Not even a tear in the waders letting in gallons of icy cold river water.
  • Catching fish on the two-hander is the BEST!!! Can’t get enough of it. Managed to hook 3 fish on the swing. Landed the biggest on a homegrown tie from G_Smolt.

It’s been a long while since I’ve been on an extended fishing trip. It felt good to know that tomorrow I was doing this all over again. I was able to let things come to me rather than forcing the issue. Not sure when I’ll be able to do this again but I’m already looking forward to it.

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It’s no secret that by the end of next month, those peaks will be covered with snow. At this point it is a little overwhelming because it doesn’t seem like we ever had summer. The end of the season is drawing near and like the fish, I’m rushing to get in one more bite. I’m doing whatever it takes to stretch it out even further.

The forecast for the rest of the season seems good. This week we are hosting The Neil Creek CEO on some of our home waters. Next month will be devoted to the two-hander swinging flies for big rainbows and steelhead. That will most likely cap off the season here in Alaska as winter will force most everyone off the water.

On deck for November is a trip outside to chase ghosts in the Pacific Northwest. If all goes well, that will undoubtedly be the highlight of the season.

Winter is on it’s way. No doubt about that. This afternoon I watched as geese flew in formation across the gray, cloud filled sky. They pointed south. Obvious indication that change is in the air.

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