9/16 September Fishing
The days are getting shorter, the crowds have gone back to the lower 48, there are no more “road barns” on the highways (huge, slow moving RV’s), and it’s getting colder. Time for us to get some fishing in! The salmon runs are pretty much over, but there are Dolly Varden and Rainbows to be caught.
Two weekends ago we went camping down at Cooper Creek on the Kenai. Labor day weekend, but we had reservations, so had a nice campsite. Most of the Sockeye and Coho salmon had spawned out and were dying off, which left dead fish everywhere on the river banks. The smell reminded me of the fish wharf we used to hang around at as kids, down on the coast of Maine.
There was still a lot of salmon in the stream, but they’re spawning and will soon die, and aren’t fit to keep. It was hard to be wading in the stream with 5 to 8 pound fish all around me and trying not to catch one. They don’t eat after coming into fresh water, so won’t take a fly, but snagging one while drifting a fly through them looking for Rainbows was a problem. You’d snag one, and then it was like trying to drag an old tire in. We frequently lost our flys when that happened. We each caught a couple of nice (15-17”) ‘Bows, but nothing to write home about, other than the nice weather and beautiful scenery.
Last weekend we camped out in Talkeetna and fished Clear Creek with a guide. I was interested in taking this trip as the same guide service also provides a drop-off service. They’ll take you up the river to where the fish are and drop you off, then pick you up later in the day. In between you’re on your own, out in the boondocks.
I’m thinking about doing that next year, but was a bit concerned about bears, so I asked the guide. He said it’s all according to how the year goes; some years they’re all over the place and some, like this year, there’s only a few. I asked if the guide service would mind if I brought a gun along and he said “Not at all. In fact, we encourage it”. Inspires one’s confidence, doesn’t it?
Anyway, we both got some nice Rainbows, and Cecelia, just as we were getting done, got a very fine 19” Dolly Varden, the biggest fish she’s caught yet. The next day we went fishing on one of the local lakes and got into the Rainbows, catching a bunch around 18”
This week, I’m on vacation and Cecelia has a conference to go to, so I took the camper up to South Rolly Lake. I managed to get the nicest campsite in this 99 site campground. Right on the water and the canoe is 10 steps out the door. How did I manage that, you ask? Turns out I’m the only one here. Why’s that, you ask? It’s cold (below freezing this morning, then a high of 46), it’s windy (the chill factor thing), and as far as I can tell, the lake is completely uncontaminated by fish. I’ve been out a couple of times and haven’t had so much as a nibble, and have seen no rises. Leave it to me to pick a “winner” for my last fishing trip!!
As I said, the campsite is absolutely beautiful, and reminds me very much of North Otter Pond, but I think the cold, wind and the lack of fish are going to do me in. I’m writing this on my laptop sitting in the camper with the furnace running, mid-afternoon. I was going to stay three nights, but will probably cut it short and go home tomorrow. If for nothing else than I’ve got to drain the camper’s water system before it freezes! We’ve already had temps down into the 20’s and have snow on the mountain tops around us, so it’s time to put the summer toys away.