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Return to Naknek

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:00 am
by oldranger
Despite a fractured humerus I managed another trip to AK, this time with my son matt and two friends. Unfortunately we hit the last few days of the Alaska heat wave and consequently the water was low and warm. That had little impact on fishing for rainbows or sockeye but made catch and release fishing for king inadvisable since the water conditions had already diminished their viability. Even Bristol Bay kings seem to be diminishing in numbers, apparently due to ocean conditions because the headwaters are currently virtually pristine, though the proposed Pebble Mine may soon change inland conditions.

At any rate with a good casting arm and a somewhat feeble reeling wrist and forearm I managed to hook and reel in maybe a little more than my share of sockeye. My guide even named one productive spot "one arm rock" because of my success.
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The chuck and duck method of fishing for sockeye was perfect for my limitations because until there is a fish on it's all just flipping the hook and bead or fly with one arm. When casting for rainbows with my 8 weight fly rod my casting arm would get worn out and I'd switch to spinning rod. Then I discovered that the circumference of the reel handle was greater than the the circumference of the handle of my 8 weight reel handle and was uncomfortable to reel in. So I held the reel handle steady and moved the rod in a circular manner to reel in. It looked pretty funny.

All in all a good time with good people. Lots of bear sittings including watching two cubs boxing for about 10 minutes while momma bearer lounged on the beach. on another occasion we saw a momma bear with 5 cubs (looked like 2 different age classes) attack a young boar bear that got a little too close.
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Now as to the Rainer Beer. I did not buy it! On arrival I bought a 12 pack of a craft beer brewed in Alaska. It cost $37 and that was the last beer I bought since I shared it with the others it didn't last a day. During the remainder of the trip the others bought about 1/2 dozen 18 packs of Rainer. I have no idea how much the Rainer cost. Given that the first 5 days the temperature was over 80 an ice cold, somewhat watery, beer went down pretty easy.
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Re: Return to Naknek

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:56 pm
by rlown
Nice you were able to get out with Matt and produce some great results, despite the injury. :thumbsup:

Re: Return to Naknek

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:22 pm
by gary c.
Now thats a good trip despite the bad arm.

Re: Return to Naknek

Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:16 pm
by rightstar76
Gosh, Mike, those bear pictures are amazing. Especially the one with the bear fishing in the waterfall. That's a real treat. Glad you had a great trip.

Re: Return to Naknek

Posted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:38 pm
by bobby49
The bear fishing at the bottom of the waterfall is good, but the bear fishing at the lip of the waterfall is more iconic. It took me two days of photography to get the shot of the salmon right at the bear's open mouth.

Re: Return to Naknek

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:48 am
by Harlen
Congrats Mike. All green with envy.
I commercial fished on a gill-netter out of Dillingham long ago.

Re: Return to Naknek

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:51 pm
by oldranger
bobby49 wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:38 pm
The bear fishing at the bottom of the waterfall is good, but the bear fishing at the lip of the waterfall is more iconic. It took me two days of photography to get the shot of the salmon right at the bear's open mouth.
Last year my daughters and i got several pics of bears on top of the falls with fish in their mouth and one slow mo video. this week the water just wasn't right and the only bear to venture to the top of the falls was a young one and he gave up after a couple of minutes.

Re: Return to Naknek

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 2:27 pm
by bobby49
This is the way to catch sockeye salmon.

Re: Return to Naknek

Posted: Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:09 pm
by windknot
Sounds like a fun trip, thanks for sharing! I'll be up in Anchorage in September for work and am planning to spend a weekend on the Kenai Peninsula. Hoping to get into some rainbows, dolly varden, and silvers.

Re: Return to Naknek

Posted: Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:03 am
by oldranger
windknot wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:09 pm
Sounds like a fun trip, thanks for sharing! I'll be up in Anchorage in September for work and am planning to spend a weekend on the Kenai Peninsula. Hoping to get into some rainbows, dolly varden, and silvers.
bring flesh flies and egg patterns for the rainbows.