Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Soldotna, Alaska

996718_10200184636240162_242504048_n[1](Jan) It’s raining again! It’s been rainy and cloudy and in the 50’s most days for the 2 weeks that we have been near Soldotna. What a change this has been from our June weather in Denali and Fairbanks!  We found a terrific boondocking site outside of town near the airport with 30 or so rigs. We’re close to town and close to many locations on the Kenai River for fishing so we are happy campers! Kenai is known as the Salmon Fishing capitol of the world and we’re pretty excited about being here. 007Unfortunately we got here just as the first run of salmon headed up the river but the next run should start in a week or so. We have gotten in quite a few hours of ‘practice’ fishing but so far no catching. We made one trip up to the Russian River to fish.  As stated, the first sockeye salmon run was pretty much over but there were locals with lots of experience catching some fish. Chuck caught a King Salmon at the Kasilof River last week but had to release it. (There are severe restrictions on Kings.) We had a very successful clamming day on the Cook Inlet near Clam Gulch. Dean & Judy, Ron & Bernita and Chuck & I dug over 100 razor clams. It’s hard work but we had a fun time and sure enjoyed having some of them right off of the grill that evening.

One day last week we headed out to Ninilchik and Homer. It’s a pretty 70 mile drive down through the forest and then along the Cook Inlet. We toured a Russian Orthodox Church and Cemetary at Ninilchik which was built around the turn of the last century. Next up was a drive through the town and a stop at Deep Creek to watch the Halibut boats being launched and then retrieved by log skid tractors. That was fascinating!

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The town of Homer sits on the SW corner of the Kenai Peninsula on the Kachemak Bay and is famous for the 4.5 mile long Homer Spit. We walked around the spit, enjoyed Halibut Fish & Chips, strolled the Homer marina and visited several T-shirt Shops. I loved the Lupines & Queen Anne’s Lace very much along the highway.

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Chuck - Yesterday we took a Halibut charter out of Ninilchik. It was in the Alaska Tour Saver book which means that it was a two for the price of one. Our trip was a little disappointing due to the fact that Jan and I did not hook a fish. The charter company did supply us with twenty pounds of previously caught halibut to tide us over. It is vacuum packed and in our freezer. We were on the boat with Dean and Judy and another couple. DSC02692Dean and Judy each caught fish and they have 24 pounds in the freezer. We launched our boat at Deep Creek and it is a sight to see the big tractors back the boats into the surf. The tractors are actually John Deere log skidders which are used in the logging industry. The real excitement comes when the boats are recovered. The captain of the boat calls ahead and the tractor hooks up to his boat trailer DSC02688and backs into the surf. The boat comes in at near full throttle and hits the trailer and the tractor pulls the trailer out of the water with the boat on board. We proceed to the parking area and dis-embark with stepladders. 

Our trip out on the water was very rough. Our boat hit the waves with bone jarring impacts and it was a difficult ride. As we settled in our fishing area we could maneuver around the boat deck with care. Each of us had taken our preferred anti nausea medications. In spite of that I had to lean over and yack once and soon felt better. Unfortunately Jan found that she was seasick for quite a long time. She did perk up when Judy had her biggest Halibut on the line and helped her to hold the rod. Each day is different and the group that went out today found that they had calm water and a good trip. They caught bigger fish and more of them. That is fishing!

(Jan) We have enjoyed lots of walks, a trip into Soldotna to hear Alaska’s official balladeer Hobo Jim and several gatherings with our group here at our ‘Fish Camp’. It’s been a good home for us.

048Gregg’s BD Party on June 27 066Hobo Jim at Hooligan’s July 4 2013July 4th- Dean, Bernita, Gregg & Sally and Judy in front, Ron, Jan & Chuck, Keith & Sandy in back.

Chuck - At this time we are waiting for the Sockeye Salmon to start their second run. It is the biggest run and promises to be a great time. The Sockeye is known locally as the Reds. The flesh is very red and firm. Their flavor is second only to the King Salmon. In about a week we will be in the Reds literally up to our knees. We are looking forward to it.


Jim & Nanc said...

Great Post. Hope you catch more fish. Be safe!!!!!

The Roving Pollocks said...

Brought back memories. I remember when we and the Hyltons hiked up to the church and were greeted be this boy who looked at his mom and said...those old people made it up the hill. His mother had insisted on driving them up. Now remember, this was in 2001. We must be ancient now. LOL

The Roving Pollocks said...

Brought back good memories. Hope you'll catch your limit of fish.

Margie said...

Tom & I are remembering fond memories of our 2001 trip. We have experienced a lot of your trip. Such a good time. Enjoy.

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