2019 Alaska Part 2

Let’s get this show started.

Some early season pics from Brent. Fishing at Homer.

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Every new season should begin with a pic of the iconic “Great One.”

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Foretaste of things to come? First trip to Paxson. Certainly “iconic” in its own right as far as we are concerned!

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Brent hoping we can find some of these in Sept.

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South bound. Hard to find anyplace we don’t like… Homer.

Taking RV north paying dividends already.

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One of Marme’s favorites for sure.

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Wednesday, August 21- Monday September 2

This used to be a mostly fishing oriented site but since I can’t seem to catch any fish it has become more family oriented.

Bregitte and the grandkids picked me up at the airport. And we headed to Eagle River.

What a crew!

First order of business get the old RV up and running. Thanks to Tony and Debby for letting us “store” it at there homestead. Cranked right up!

Brent got in Monday, August 26. We did get to give Willow Creek a shot for trout but it only added to my recent frustration.

Did see this on the way.

Conditions looked promising and I had two fish on but landed neither one.

We got a few rather lethargic salmon as you can see they has been around awhile.

Had an unexpected treat in that I was invited by Aaron, a friend of Brent’s, to fly with him to the Beluga River. It was a great adventure.

This is Aaron’s plane.

The Beluga River.

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You might notice the “haze.” It has been a very hot and dry summer in AK. This has made for a very late fire season. Two fires in particular have caused some real problems for the Kenai and Mat-Su areas. The fire on the Kenai has even caused the Russian River campground to be closed!

Aaron had done well on silvers two weeks earlier. He caught the only fish of the trip. B, H, H, …

Cured salmon roe was the bait of choice. I had never fished with this before.

Marme got in on Sunday the 1st. Labor day we went to the last day of the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. One of our favorite things to do.

Rosemary and Caroline participated in the Firefighter’s obstacle course.

An over 2000 lb. pumpkin!

The days finale the Lumberjack Competition.

Next stop Talkeetna!!!

We try to keep up with all the playgrounds where we go. Talkeetna has a nice one.

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Nobody does pancakes like the Roadhouse!!!

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We spent one night each on Montana and Willow Creeks.

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Not letting any tundra grow beneath our feet we headed to Paxson next.

Glenallen is the where you head north on The Richardson Highway towards Paxson and then Fairbanks. Great Thai food “kiosk” here.

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Brent had pre-selected our camping site on the Denali Highway and we were not disappointed.

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We thought we had about as great a “visual” experience as you could expect….

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Until we saw this…

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Gail and I had seen “faint” glimpses of the Northern Lights before but nothing had prepared us for this!

If you have followed this blog over the years you are well aware that Paxson and the Gulkana River mean one thing Grayling! Same held true for this trip at least for me.

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Did not catch any monsters but the average size was good and the numbers…

This is why I said at least for me…

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Caribou

Brent has taken to hunting with a renewed zeal. He was able to take two caribou with the help of some “friends.” Bregitte’s dad, gave him a proxy, and his “step-father” Tony. Tony provided the in field experience of game processing, etc.

Marme and I visited an old favorite when we visited Tangle Lakes. We liked it better before they “upgraded” it. Still very nice.

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Visited some new campgrounds also. The first was Paxson Lake Campground lovely setting a couple of miles off the road. Campsites pretty uneven for an RV but seculded area.

The next campground was Sourdough closer to Glenallen. It was really nice right on Gulkana River,

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After Gail headed back to MS I had one more stop to make The Russian River.

But before that I had to get the RV serviced and I was approaching Palmer I saw this…

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I wonder if this is something like the Pillar of Fire that God used to lead Moses and Israel through the desert?

When I arrived on Tuesday afternoon the water was extremely low on the Russian and the Kenai. This is the confluence Russian on the right (looking upstream.)

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Looking downstream.

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On the way down to the river one morning I saw a flock of ptarmigan. Pretty cool.

The fishing started out pretty slow. I could not get a single take on the Russian and not only that I did not see any trout. There were a ton of very blushed reds and a few decent silvers. Did manage a couple of bows at the confluence.

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Wednesday night the rain came. Fishing began to improve immediately. Was working the area just downstream from the confluence. Using the six mm tangerine bead. Action was steady but not lights out.

I got out each morning about 8 which is late for me. Getting old? Two days I had the place to myself until about 10 on one of the best known places to fish in all of AK!

Got some dollies as well as bows.

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On Thursday sme other folks showed up and seemed to be fishing for silvers. Did notice that one of them was fishing for trout. Turned out they were a group of friends from PA, Greg introduced himself. He has a sister who lives close by and he has been fishing this area for a long time. He asked how I was rigged up and offered some “adjustments.” He had me switch to a 6 mm “dark red roe” bead, go to more weight, and go a lot deeper form the indicator. Those adjustments made all the difference!

As Greg was leaving our discussion turned to things of a “spiritual” nature! I was able to share my testimony of how Jesus saved me almost 37 years to the day that we were talking. Greg put out his hand and offered his congratulations! He let me know he had been saved since he was 14!!! The guys he was fishing were from his church back in PA.

We just sort of had a revival right there on the Kenai! God is good!

I was headed back to Eagle River Saturday but decided to give the fishing one more shot. There was one young man fishing when I got down to the river.

His name was Ethan and he and his cousin had been up hunting. There trip had been successful and now they were turning their sites toward fishing. They were hoping for silvers but to tell the truth they were few and far between.

Ethan’s interest changed after I nailed a couple of nice bows. He actually made the hike all the way back to the parking lot to get his fly rod! I had already given him the stuff Greg had told me to use so he was catching fish by the time he got back to where I was fishing. It was time for me to go so we made a couple of more refinements to his set up.

As with Greg things turned to Jesus just before I left. Turned out Ethan’s dad was a pastor. His cousin’s grandparents had been missionaries from Wyoming to the Youkon back in the day. What can you say?

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When I arrived in Cooper Landing there was no snow on the mountains. When I left…

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Got back to Eagle River late afternoon. Brent was keeping me updated on FSU getting schooled by Boise State. Made it to church Sunday with Bregitte and the children. Took the old RV out to Tony and Debby’s for the winter. Tony was nice enough to drop me off back home on his way to work. Tuesday night found me a t the airport for the return flight home.

Another great trip. Already planning for next year. May go a little earlier in the summer?

God Bless!

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