Meet Chad and our guide, Andy
Yesterday was one of those near perfect days when almost everything went well. I already mentioned in a previous blog about the long ride from our campground to the fishing area. That was all my fault. I left the campground at 8:45 AM to run an errand before meeting the guide at 11:30. Shortly after 9:30 my phone rang and it was the fishing company. The morning fishing went so well, that everyone had their limit in no time and they were ready to go back out as soon as I got there. Oops, I was still almost an hour and a half away. I sped much more than I should have and got to the boat at 11:00, and off we went. We were soon out on a river that looked like gray paint with a visibility of less than an inch. I was disheartened. I cannot remember the Indian spelling of this river. We continued downstream and made a right turn into another tributary of this stream, the Dashka River. Here the water was so much cleaner that it seemed miraculous.
I was joined on the boat by Chad, above, and his mother and father, Sharon and Stan. They seemed like a very nice family. Andy took us to the first spot, where he was having so much luck in the morning and we all baited up. Stan hooked up twice and lost both. Other than that it was quiet for a long time. Then Chad had a bite and he followed Andy's directions to a Tee and soon he had the large King Salmon you see in the picture. After that it was really dead and we eventually moved to another site, further upstream. No luck in a number of locations found us back at square one where Chad had the luck. Soon his dad, Stan, hooked up and eventually landed the twin to his son's fish. Sharon and I remained fishless. We got a couple of bites, but landed nothing.
After a while, Sharon's bobber went down and stayed down and she was on to a nice fish. She also followed Andy's directions and eventually she had a very nice King Salmon. Her fish was much larger that the other two and was also a bright silver, showing that it was fresh from the ocean. They turn red as they make their way to the spawning grounds. Now the pressure was on me. I asked Andy how much time we had and he said I had as much as I want. He had paperwork to do, recording the fish caught on his guide log and also on the fishing license of each person. I said I'd take ten minutes after his paperwork was done. When the time was up I elected to go. The Kelson family assured me that they didn't mind waiting awhile, but our six hour trip was already over seven hours. On the way back to the dock we stopped at a cleaning station on the river and Andy filleted all the fish.
As we said good bye, Andy gave me a plastic bag with a huge fillet in it, saying that the family appreciated my company and didn't want me to go home empty handed. So now we have salmon in the freezer and I really had a grand day. It was sunny almost all day and the temperature was warm enough that I almost got down to a Tee shirt. O saw some awesome fish and met some terrific people. When I got home after 8:00 PM, I was bone tired.
Today Helen and I moved from the Grandview Campground at Milepost 109 of the Glenn Highway to the Bayside Campground in Valdez. We had oodles of pleasant sunshine and temperatures above 75 degrees. I heard of a place with a lot of fish and went to investigate. There were tons of fish and even more people. What I found most interesting is that there were also a dozen sea lions there feeding on the salmon waiting for a tide change so they can go upriver. The sea lions kept coming in for the fish, sometimes within 50 feet of me, and I was surprised with their size. They had heads as big as a grizzly bear I hope to have more to say tomorrow..