Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I guess this picture tells a lot about what has happened in the past five years since my last entry. Paul and I are a little older and we now have a foursome for golf. Ryan is six and Miles is going on four. Paul has been too busy at work and helping Jenny with the boys and our new addition to the family, Abby (now 18mos) to play much golf. We are however trying to get out with the boys at least once a week. It is great fun passing down this great game through the generations.

Had a milestone on June 20.  Shot my age (72) in the second round of the Senior Club Championship at BFCC. Tied for low gross (lost to a birdie on the first extra hole) but won the net portion of the tournament. I was the oldest participant in the open division, playing from the regular men's tees. Still just long enough off of the tee to compete with the 55 year olds.

Susan and I are still exercising regularly, walking and working out and maintaining our health. I still walk an average of four eighteen hole rounds per week and Susan walks three days a week alternating with fitness club workouts.  It gets a little harder each year but we are thankful that we can still be active with our young family.

I will try to write further blogs more frequently than every five years.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Randy and Alan's Great Kodiak Adventure VI

Little River Bear Camp has a magnificant natural palate with so many peaceful vistas, it was easy to relax after a hard day's fishing. Randy and I had a wonderful experience which ranks right up there with our best fishing trips. It is a trip that we would seriously consider repeating, which says a lot when you consider all our various options in the world.

Randy and Alan's Great Kodiak Adventure V

Little River Bear Camp is aptly named as we saw 2-5 Kodiak Brown Bears a day. We were told by our guide, Dick Rohrer, to never let one of the bears get our catch as once that happened, they would always associate fishermen with food. Needless to say, we had great respect for their privacy. Interestingly, they respected ours and let us have our ground, walking around us to their fishing sites. The closest we came to an encounter was about 100 feet when we walked up on the bear on the left. When she became aware of us, she ambled out of the river and setteled down in the field. The picture was taken from about 50 yards away. The bear in the display was a record Brown Bear mounted in the Anchorage airport. These bears weigh over 1500 pounds and stand over 10 feet! Magnificant animals with no natural enemies except bear hunters. Certainly not fly fishermen!

Randy and Alan's Great Kodiak Adventure IV

Fishing this late in the salmon runs supposedly is less productive than earlier in the summer (e.g. July and August). However, between the 14th and 20th of September, I personally landed 59 silvers; 4 pinks; 26 Dolly Varden; 12 steelhead and 1 rainbow. Randy and Nick did equally as well. Most fish were caught on either a Pink Revolution; purple or black egg sucking leech or a Leftie's Deceiver. Because the silvers were fresh from the ocean, and even though they were starting their spawning run, they were still on the feed. The hottest fish were caught using the Deceiver, rapidly stripping to immitate small bait fish. One day, the 20th, we had a major front pass through with driving rain, steady 40-50mph winds and bigger gusts. Randy and I actually fished for our evening dinner in that weather, two handed "wind casting" about 20-30 feet between gusts. I was lucky enough to land a nice silver which provided great salmon steaks for dinner. The weather otherwise was great with occasional showers, but several partly cloudy days with temps in the 60's during the day and in the 40's at night.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Randy and Alan's Great Kodiak Adventure III

Our cabin, while spartan and lacking running water, electricity, etc, was extremely well built and provided more than an adequate shelter from the elements. The main cabin included four bunks, a galley and an eating area. A second cabin provided the loudest snorer (Nick) privacy and the rest of us a relatively quiet night. It was called the "Jimmy Carter Carter Cabin" as it was built for a fishing expedition of the past President. (Did you notice the solar electric fense used to keep out bears when the camp wasn't in use?)

Randy and Alan's Great Kodiak Adventure II

The flight from Kodiak to Little River Camp gave us a preview of our week. We flew over vast fields of wilderness with wandering streams, bears fishing on the sandbars, pristine lakes and a couple of native settlements and fishing cabins. At least 1/3 of the land mass of Kodiak Island is wildlife refuge and we were in the middle of it. Dick's property is one of the very few privately owned acreages providing a privacy not common to fishing camps. I noticed almost immediately (once our helicopter left) the absence of sounds of civilization. The rhythm of the ocean's swells on the shore, the whistle of the wind, the calls of the birds, and later, the full brilliance of the Milky Way in an unpolluted sky, let us know we were in Nature as it was meant to be.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Randy and Alan's Great Kodiak Adventure I

After dreaming of this trip for several years, Randy McAllister and I, with the help of our benefactor, Henry Kopfinger, finally realized our dreams this September. After much research, we decided to contract with Dick Rohrer who quides not only salmon fishing on Kodiak but bear hunting trips. His Little River Bear Camp is about as isolated as you can get, sitting in the middle of a wildlife refuge with only access by helicopter. Dick takes only a few anglers to his remote camp each year so we felt fortunate to have contracted with him.

Our trip started on September 13th with Randy and I arriving in Anchorage and staying at the Millennium Hotel that night.

After a short flight to Kodiak on the 14th, getting licenses and picking up a third party, Nick Kowenko, we connected with Tom Walters, our helicopter pilot who whisked us to Little River Bear Camp.