Thursday, May 31, 2012

Get off yer duff

Now's your chance to weigh in on whether the EPA should use its authority under the clean water act to protect Bristol Bay, or whether we are willing to sacrifice one of the world's greatest salmon fisheries so a foreign corporation can get rich off copper and gold.

The EPA is holding a series of public hearing on the issue starting today in Seattle and Monday in Anchorage, with additional in-region meetings all next week.  Now's the time to give them an earful.

Seattle: Thursday, May 31 2:00pm, Jackson Federal Building 915 2nd Avenue 
Anchorage: Monday, June 4 5:30pm, University of Alaska, Wendy Williamson Auditorium 
Dillingham: Tuesday, June 5 11:30am, Middle School Gymnasium 
Naknek: Tuesday, June 5 5pm, Naknek School Auditorium 
Levelock: Wednesday, June 6 4pm, Rainbow Hall 
Igiugig: Wednesday, June 6 5pm, Igiugig Airport Hangar 
Nondalton: Thursday, June 7 5pm, Nondalton Community Center 
New Stuyahok: Thursday, June 7 1pm, Cetuyarag Community Center

More information is here and here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Now that I've totally alienated my readership* by taking yet another prolonged hiatus, I figured it's well past time to get back on the blogging horse and provide some sort of update.  Things are starting to crank back up in Southcentral and it's already late May so I'll gloss past our epic snow year and stick to the fishing.

As I mentioned in my last post, this year was all about fishing--even in the dead of winter.  To that end, Sam and I kicked things off with some very early season fishing.
We turned down a powder day for this?
We both had hall passes from our familial obligations and met up with a bunch of friends the night before that had rented a house outside of town to catch a concert.  Suffice it to say that I can only pretend to party like I'm still 20 . . . and standing in 32-degrees water when it's snowing is a great hangover cure . . . even if the fish aren't cooperative.

* * *

Our first day out with the drift boat came sometime in April, and was a success.**  Grandma Jan was up visiting Mason and, once again, set the bar.  We ultimately tied into three fish that cold day, which was spectacular given the conditions and the short amount of time we were on the water, but only got one fish to the boat.
Jan, working on her grip-and-grin.
The Wife, taking advantage of Mason napping.
The Wife and I have been trying to think of a name for the drift boat.  Given the fact that Jan was about the only person on the entire river to catch a fish that day, and the success my mom had out of the boat last year when she came up to visit Mason, we might need to think about this developing trend as we consider our options.

* * *

Moving ahead in the calendar, not long ago I found myself down south a ways for work and had the opportunity to get out for the day.  It was classic Alaskana.  At various points we saw snow, rain and hail--and I still managed to get a mild sunburn.  We dodged humpbacks on the way out, chased steelhead in very skinny water all day, then had to evade a grizzly family on the way back.
Always fish the undercut bank.

* * *

The last real development is that I'm committing myself to spey casting for the next month or so.  I have a longer switch rod that I'll be using with the hopes of focusing on slightly different water than I usually fish.  It's early season, so you never know.

I've also been hitting the vise a fair amount this past week and tying up various tube flies, so we'll see how that turns out.  It's all new to me, but I came across this post and figured I'd give it a whirl.
Meet Mr. and Mrs. Sculpin.  The cones are separate from the rest of the fly.

* * *

So there you have it.  Now let's see, what got left out . . .

Well, for one thing, Mason now crawls and can't stay away from The Pooch's water bowl, which is constant entertainment--for Mason, at least.  I'm pretty sure he looked at me and said "dad" yesterday, but since he's only nine months old it was probably a coincidence. After all, "dad" sounds awfully similar to every other sound he makes.

I have a new job as of last week, which promises to be a significant upgrade as far as actually getting shit done.

And finally, The Blog is undergoing a bit of a revision.  Nothing formal, but if all things go according to plan you should notice a subtle change in content.  Although I take care not to specify where I fish, I'm a bit tired of providing the local fishing report so it's time to shake things up.  Stay tuned.

* Hi Mom.

** Hell, every day in the drift boat is a success--I could float circles in a mud puddle day after day and not get bored.