My Favorite Alaska Photo s- A Photo Essay

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Pink salmon fill the 108 Creek on Prince of Wales Island.

My Favorite Alaska Photos

This Alaska Photo Essay contains my favorite photos from the ten summers I’ve spent (so far) in Alaska.

“Count your blessings.” While actually doing just that, I realized how fortunate I was to have spent those ten summers working in Alaska. My debt of gratitude to Bob Stearns for recommending me and to Mike Gorton at the Goodnews River Lodge for hiring me back in 2007 is tremendous. I could never thank either of them enough.

For that matter I owe many thanks to Kevin Ryter at the Lodge at Whale Pass, where the last three summers were spent. Both places have filled me with awesome memories of people and places, landscapes and wildlife. I am a blessed individual!

In ten years lots of images were taken. Narrowing all of them down the three photos per year for a total of thirty that appear in this essay was difficult. The things I do for my readers!

Please take a moment to peruse. Feedback is welcome.

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This waterlogged four-foot-long log put up an epic battle on Willie’s eight-weight. The fly pattern was not recorded, sadly.

 

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Tyler Williams looks over the Goodnews River valley from the peak of an extinct volcano called Tsuktulig.

 

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A TransNorthern Airways DC-3 approaches the runway in Goodnews Bay.

 

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Sea stars in a tidal pool on Indian Creek, Prince of Wales Island.

 

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Rick Ross, a true personality in Goodnews Bay before his untimely death.

 

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The technical weather window at Yute Airways world headquarters in Bethel.

 

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South fork, Goodnews River.

 

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Making an early morning baggage run on the Goodnews River.

 

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Rodney Smith wanted me to take him to catch a rainbow trout. Mission accomplished!

 

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Son Alex looks over the Goodnews River from Tsuktulig.

 

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Ross looks over the south fork of the Goodness River.

 

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Michaela Chloe on Tsuktulig.

 

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Son Maxx on Lookout Mountain, looking over the Goodnews River valley.

 

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Me, Judy Uhde, Ross.

 

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M/V Thorne is dwarfed by the LeConte Glacier face.

 

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Chuck holds a fat, fly-caught king salmon, Goodnews River.

 

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Jim Vinalyk and a high flying silver salmon at the Swallows, Goodnews River.

 

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Jacob’s ladder grows in the Goodnews River valley.

 

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Humpback whales feeding in the Clarence Strait.

 

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A glorious, fish-filled afternoon on the Goodnews River.

 

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Jim Vinalyk fly casting on the Goodnews River.

 

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Son Alex battles a silver salmon on the Goodnews River.

 

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Notice the tiny speck of M/V Etolin, a 24 foot vessel with kayaks on the roof, in the lower right corner of this photo of the LeConte Glacier.

 

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The Devil’s Thumb looms over fishing vessels near Petersburg, Alaska.

 

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I taught Christian Ontaje how to tie a bunny leech. This king salmon is the first fish he caught on his first fly.

 

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Brown bear eating a chum salmon, Goodnews River.

 

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Paddling a kayak next to an iceberg near the LeConte Glacier.

 

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Dr. Jenny on the bow of the M/V Blashke, near the LeConte Glacier.

 

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Mr. Bill fights a jumping silver salmon on the middle fork of the Goodness River.

 

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A float plane takes off near the mouth of the LeConte Fiord.

 

And that is my Alaska photo essay, ten summers in Alaska. Thank you for your time!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski
www.spottedtail.com
http://www.spottedtail.com/blog
www.johnkumiski.com
www.rentafishingbuddy.com
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/jkumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2017. All rights are reserved.




Tsuktulik- A Photo Essay

Tsuktulik

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There are many things I will miss about the Goodnews River. The mountains surrounding the river are high on that “to be missed” list, and the one mountain I will miss more than any other is Tsuktulik.

It’s a tough hike.

You have to run up the river an hour from the lodge, to a place the lodge staffers call Toby’s Window. As you start walking toward the mountain you blow your whistle. You don’t want to surprise any bears. There is always lots of bear sign at the stream crossing, the one that gets your shoes all wet.

After crossing the stream you have to pass through the dwarf willow forest. You fall down, several times. You get up and keep going.

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If the stream weren’t there your shoes would get all wet anyway. Tundra is sponge-like. You hit many wet spots and sink in past your ankles. The grass you pass through is all wet, too. You look for game trails going your way. There is no path to the mountain.

The bugs are in your face, biting you. You apply spray. It puts them off, but only slightly. They will be with you most of the way, both up and back.

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Before you reach the mountain’s base you’re soaked from the waist down. You have fallen five or six times. But if you chose the right day you’ve eaten a pint of blueberries, and maybe some salmonberries, too. You’ve passed a field of Eriophorum, Alaska cotton.

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The base of the mountain is covered with alders. They are thick. You blow the whistle, again and again.

The going gets tough. It’s steep, maybe 45 degrees. There is no path through the alders. They impede your progress, grabbing at you and your pack. You can’t see where you are. Your world is branches and leaves, mosquitos, difficult ascension. You fall some more. You curse, but get up and keep going.

You break out of the alders. What a view! What a long way to go! But there are no more trees, just a long, steep climb. After a short rest and a snack you keep going.

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Where is the top? Your legs burn. The blood pounds in your head- boom-BOOM, boom-BOOM, boom-BOOM, boom-BOOM. You’re wet, but now it’s coming from you instead of the environment. You stop frequently, trying to catch your breath.

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The views keep getting better. You hurt, but you want the summit. You keep going, passing the old man on the mountain.

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You’re at the knife-edge now. Step carefully. It’s a long way down.

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Summit at last. Get the camera! Where are the snacks? Rest and enjoy the view. It’s indescribable. Photos don’t do it justice. That tiny speck down there at the river is our boat. We still have to walk back to it.

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This is the best picnic you’ve had in a long time, maybe ever. You’re on top of the world! You own this place! There are no other humans for miles, no trace of man’s works. What a place!

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For more information about the Goodnews River Lodge, please visit this link…

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.



Fishing Report, Goodnews River

Fishing Report, Goodnews River

To all my readers, my apologies for not posting for a month. My old Macintosh stopped communicating with the server at Goodnews and I could not get online.

If you have sent me an email since early August chances are it’s been deleted. I had almost 800 to deal with and many fell through huge cracks in my attention span. If it was important, please send me another.

This is the report from 8/13, the last one I wrote:

Unfortunately no crazy stories came out of Goodnews River Lodge this week. We must have a house full of normal guests! It has rained every day, however.

The river is high and discolored, and still rising.

The silver salmon and dolly varden are coming in like crazy, though. The dollies are still in their favorite spots. The silvers search for clean, quiet water. Finding them can require searching, but they eat well when discovered.

Gary Vasquez and Linda Martuch laid a hurt on a couple dozen silver salmon, using poppers while fishing with me the other day.

Ray-Ray and Mike tuned up dozens of dollies way up the main stem of the Goodnews on a variety of flies. The bigest was 24 inches. I thought we had a real big dolly when Mike jumped a nice fish using a gurgler. It turned out to be a silver salmon though. Ray also got a nice rainbow trout on a dolly lama fly. Both of them got fairly hooked sockeye salmon, nice red ones, too.

Generally, I take men out fishing here. This week I had the good fortune to have two lovely young women as my anglers.

The girls, sisters, were novice fly fishers. We worked on casting some, then proceeded to fish. Their casting skills weren’t great (they would have a rough time on Mosquito Lagoon) but this is Alaska. They caught some silver salmon. While they did not want to export any, we had a bleeder. We kept it for camp.

Rachel wanted to learn how to filet the fish, so I gave her a lesson. For a first one she did a fine job.

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Rachel fillets her first fish. Apparently she’s enjoying it.

As it turns out Michelle is a student at Tufts University, about five miles from the house where I grew up. We talked about Medford, about Boston.

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Sister Michelle takes a break from Tufts U.

We went fishing for dollies after lunch. The fish, as usual, were cooperative. The girls caught a bunch by using gurglers.

For one of us at least it was a delightful day, a welcome change of pace from grumpy old men (sorry, guys). Thank you, Rachel and Michelle.

Since then, silver season was again incredible. I had the pleasure of fishing so many fine people, I was blessed in that way. As the season neared its end the feeling became decidedly autumnal- shorter days, the willow leaves turning gold and falling everywhere, the silver salmon turning red, the constant honking of migrating geese. Bears made their appearance, finally. Some of our guides went hunting. The ptarmigan and ducks were delicious. A native gave one of us a big chunk of moose meat. My last night I camp I had a moose steak, quite the toothsome piece of protein, I must say.

Here’s a short photo essay that hopefully puts some of the season in perspective-

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Capt. Souza with a 23 inch rainbow trout.

 

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Leili is happy with this dolly varden.

 

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Don Kane caught this nice dolly with a bead.

 

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Maio, again with a dolly.

 

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Brittany adds another silver salmon to a load already caught.

 

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Joe Levin tosses a salmon carcass.

 

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Full circle, with Jessi and Ross.

One’s readers can show up anywhere. We were out fishing one day and some rafters floated by. One of them yelled to us, “Are you the guide Kumiski?” “Yes I am,” I called back. “I read your blog!” he said. Needless to say my head swelled like a beach ball. Susan should have been there to keep me humble. She does that well.

It was with both relief and melancholy that I left Goodnews this morning. God willing I will be back next year.

And that is the last Goodnews River Fishing Report of this season. Back to central Florida waters reports next week, assuming the Mitzi will start.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Get out and live!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.




Goodnews River Fishing Report

Another Goodnews River Fishing Report

Silver Salmon Coming on Strong; Technical Difficulties

First, the technical dificulties, of which there are two. The power inverter on the generator here at Goodnews River Lodge crapped out this week. We only have power for essentials, of which our router is not. So this report may be posted late, or not at all.

Also, my i-photo program has been acting strangely, not accepting new photos. So if the report does get posted it may be photo-less. We’ll see how it progresses today.

Silver salmon! I got my first of the season the other night on the six-weight and was stunned once again at what hot fish they are. More and more enter the river every day. Several boats have already had 20-plus fish days. Effective flies include any weighted flies containing the colors of pink, orange, purple, and/or chartreuse, usually on a size 2 or 1 hook. Effective hardware include the ever -effective Pixie spoon, 1/2 ounce, the Mepps Flying C spinner, or my own favorite, a 1/2 ounce DOA CAL jighead with a pink, chartreuse, or nite-glow soft plastic twisty tail.

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This silver was the first salmon PG had ever caught.

 

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Jess got her first silver salmon on the fly.

Dollies are coming up the river by the thousands, but not with the size reported last week. These fish are much smaller. Still, with a four-weight and a gurgler you can have an afternoon’s worth of very genteel fishing and catch 30 or 40 fish.

The chum salmon are almost spawned out already and dead fish are everywhere. Dave Kane got five rainbow trout in less than two hours on a flesh fly while fishing the Middle Fork with me this past week. On one hand it seems a bit strange to use a fly that imitates a free-drifting piece of dead salmon. On the other hand trout and big dollies eat the heck out of them. I guess I’ll keep tying them on.

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Dave used a flesh fly to fool this nice rainbow trout.

No weird fishing stuff happened this week, although Clint and Garrett McCoy both got red sockeye salmon on flies yesterday, both fairly hooked. Good going, gentlemen!

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Garrett fights a sockeye salmon.

 

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Garrett, with the fish. Nice color!

 

And that is this week’s Goodnews River Fishing Report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.

 

Goodnews River Fishing Report

Goodnews River Fishing Report

I’m back at Alaska’s Goodnews River Lodge. As always, it’s great to be here. The internet connection, however, is dreadfully slow. I was not able to load up my email protocol last week. You can see last week’s vacation report here…

The state of Alaska has closed the Goodnews to the taking of king salmon. As the photos below show, there are some fish in the river. One of these fish was taken on a Wiggle Wort, the other on a Pixie spoon. We’re at the tail end of July, so we’re also nearing the tail end of the king salmon run.

 

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This king salmon whacked a plug.

 

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This 41 pound king was fooled by a Pixie spoon.

 

Likewise, I missed most of the sockeye run. Dimitri at the weir told me that over 25,000 fish passed through their counters there. But only 200 went through the day before we spoke.

There are chum salmon, also known as tiger salmon, everywhere right now. These fish average 10 to 12 pounds and get significantly larger. They eat small pink flies (#4 or so) readily and you can get 30 or 40 in a day, incredible fishing.

Those thousands of chums will start dropping eggs soon. Then the trout and dolly fishing will go of the charts.

There are relatively few pink salmon in the river- it’s an off year. They will be back in force next season.

The dolly varden are coming in now too. Tom Olden got one yesterday while salmon fishing that was about two feet long, a beautiful fish. He also got a 24 inch rainbow trout on a salmon fly given to me by Steve Silverio, a fly every bit of four inches long.

We saw three bears yesterday, a sow with two cubs. I’ve already equalled the total bear sightings from last year. There seems to be many more bald eagles here this year as well.

No one here has caught a silver yet but before I write another fishing report someone will. They are my favorite fish here and I look forward to their arrival!

And that, folks, is this week’s Goodnews River Fishing Report!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Get out and live!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.

Flies for Goodnews River Silver Salmon

This silver salmon took a marabou streamer.

Within a certain set of parameters, silver salmon will eat ANYTHING.

OK, that requires a little explanation. Within any group of silvers (and probably any other species of fish) there is a range of aggressiveness. For example, if you find a school of 100 silvers, 10 will eat almost anything you throw at them (Please keep in mind I am making these numbers up, based on six seasons of observations. It could be more, or less.). Another five or so might eat if you show them your best fly, perfectly presented. The rest won’t eat anything, regardless of what you try. You need to find another group of fish once the bite stops. Yes, they are still there, but no, they won’t eat any more.

Most fly fishers love a surface bite. If you want to catch them on top you need to try a surface fly as soon as you find some fish. Get the aggressive ones before they all wise up!
Some folks like clipped deerhair flies, some like poppers. I think that for ease of tying combined with ease of casting you can’t beat a craft foam gurgler. Tie it on a #2 Mustad 36890 salmon fly hook or equivalent in pink or orange, with a cerise marabou tail and a cerise Estaz body. It’s a five minute tie that’s good for 15 or 20 fish before it’s torn apart.

A flock of salmon gurglers awaiting use.

The fish will eventually refuse to rise. Switch to a streamer.

My favorite is what I call the silver salmon Clouser Minnow. Tie it on the same hook as above, or on a Mustad 3407. Use a 1/30th ounce lead eye. Use wig hair (or bucktail) for the wing, and tie in a Puff-like head around the lead eyes with Estaz. Effective colors include cerise, hot pink, orange, purple, blue, black, chartreuse, and various combinations of these colors.

Silver salmon Clouser Minnows- effective and easy to tie.

Yes, the salmon will take a fly tied with synthetics.

The short list includes one more pattern, the marabou (or bunny strip) tail fly. Same hooks, same lead eye. Tie in a tail of marabou (or bunny strip) in one of the above mentioned colors. Tie in a piece of Estaz and wrap it around the shank to the lead eye. If you want to get fancy, add sili-legs. Again, it’s a five minute tie that will catch a lot of fish before they tear it apart.

When getting a bite gets more difficult, sili-legs often do the trick.

Of course, the cerise bunny leech that was described in the blog about king salmon flies is always in good taste, too.

You could go crazy tying articulated flies that take 30 or 40 minutes each. These fish ain’t that fussy. The above flies will cover almost every situation you find yourself in when fishing for silvers. Try this short list of Flies for Goodnews River Silver Salmon when fishing for silver salmon anywhere.

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2012. All rights are reserved.

 

Flies for Goodnews River King Salmon

Flies for King Salmon

This is the first in a series about flies used on the Goodnews River, Alaska.

Goodnews River king salmon typically rest in seam water that’s six to eight feet deep. There’s always a strong current. If you want to catch one with a fly rod you usually need a fast sinking fly line and a fast sinking fly.

Before my first trip there Bob Stearns allayed my fears about what to tie by telling me, “Those fish have never seen a fly before, never seen a fisherman. They will eat almost any well-presented fly.” Of course he was right. Most of the time the fish are way less fussy than the fisherman, and a heavy Clouser Minnow will often work as well as anything else.

That having been said, the old standard fly was a cerise-colored bunny leech tied on a size two Mustad 36890 hook, with a 1/30th ounce or heavier lead eye.

Bunny Leeches

Pink (cerise, actually) bunny leeches ready for deployment.

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This hen king salmon took one of those simple bunny leeches.

Articulated flies (see how to tie one here) have become all the rage since I started working at the Goodnews River Lodge six seasons back. They take longer to tie but help prevent short strikes. You can tie big, crazy flies this way. For weight some tyers use lead eyes, others use tungsten cone-shaped beads. Both work, so use whichever you prefer.

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This articulated fly, tied with both rabbit and Arctic fox zonker strips, was eaten by a king salmon.

On the Goodnews only single hook artificials are allowed, so you must break off the bend and point of the forward hook. Use an inexpensive iron for this work (I use a 2/0 Mustad 3407). Alternatively, purchase a special hookless hook made specifically for tying articulated flies.

Most guides at Goodnews like an octopus-style hook for the trailer, with sizes ranging from 4 to 1/0, the tyer’s personal choice. A larger hook is less likely to fail under duress. Some of us dress it, others leave it naked, again, a matter of preference.

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Another king salmon falls for an articulated fly.

Effective colors include cerise, purple, hot pink, black, blue, orange, chartreuse, and combinations of these. Flash material is in good taste, and a rattle is easily tied in on the forward hook before tying in the dressing.

That is all you need to know about tying Flies for King Salmon.

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2012. All rights are reserved.




The Twelve Best Photos from Goodnews River Lodge 2012 Season

We hear a constant chorus of honking, migrating geese as we clean up camp and put it away for the winter. Put another season in the books at Goodnews River Lodge. We had epic rains the last several days and sent our last guests out on a flooded river. The silver salmon were still biting. Then it was pull the boats, close down camp, and get me out of here!

The Photos:

An evening view from Lookout Mountain.

 

Kevin Rogers prepares for a day’s fishing.

 

Faith blowing bubbles at camp.

 

Head guide Jeffrey Dann in a whimsical moment.

Jeffrey Dann’s best quote this season- “I’m allergic to alcohol. Every time I drink I break out in handcuffs.”

 

Pacific salmon die after spawning. Hopefully this grisly-looking chum salmon produced lots of offspring.

 

The sun rises over the tundra at the Goodnews River Lodge.

 

Jeff Arnold, guide at Goodnews River Lodge.

Jeff’s best quote this season-  “Why does everything up here have to be so goddamn hard?”

Aaron Kirschen hikes across the tundra.

 

Lois Harris, looking glamorous with a morning’s catch of silver salmon.

 

Son Alex near the peak of Tsuktulik. The Goodnews River lies below.

 

Chuck Trover caught this prime king salmon on a streamer fly.

A happy Chuck Hunt (his normal state!) with a fine rainbow trout from the Goodnews River.

 

A couple of other notable quotes:

“Where’s my fishing rod?” -Curly Bob, after he threw his $1500 fly outfit in the river to chase a dying salmon.

“It was rigged properly!” -Idaho Dave, after a 10 pound silver salmon took his fly line when the backing-to-fly-line connection broke.

The season was awesome, incredible place, unbelievable fishing, outstanding people. I’m looking forward to being home, but I will look forward to returning to Goodnews next season, too.

These were the Best Photos from Goodnews River and that is this year’s last Goodnews River Lodge, Alaska Report from me. See you in Florida in two weeks!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- go fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com/

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2012. All rights are reserved.




Goodnews River Lodge, Alaska Fishing Report

2012 Goodnews Season Wrapping Up

Next week- my 10 best photos from 2012 Goodnews!

The last week of the 2012 Goodnews season arrived. Our current crop of guests go home on Wednesday. Then it’s clean up, put up, and get out, always a bittersweet time. That having been said, I am quite ready to get home. I miss Susan, and my mom, and Richard, and son Maxx, and all my friends and relatives. See you all soon!

I had a fish counter today, Patrick, a Scotsman currently living in New Zealand. Patrick carefully tallied the number of silver salmon he caught. He used a fly rod for most, got about six on a gurgler, a dozen or so on streamers, and the balance of 23 on a spinning rod. We won’t discuss missed strikes, fish that jumped off, broke off, etc. I thought the morning was slow. The last spot of the day, a favorite of mine on the middle fork, was spectacular and the day saver.

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One of Patrick’s 23 silver salmon.

Bill Kirby, Ulf Erickson, and Sir Thomas Tait are some of the other current guests, some of my favorites. I was fortunate enough to fish with Ulf yesterday, along with first-time Goodnews guest Fred Novak. Eighty-five year old Fred is a feisty guy, a quick wit with a joke repertoire, a wonderful guy to have in the boat. Again, we fished silvers and had quite a lovely day.

In the last group was Steve the Geologist and Dr. John, both Texans. Doc had many Alaska trips under his belt. Steve was an Alaska rookie, and had never touched a fly rod before.

About five minutes after leaving camp Steve caught his first Alaska fish, a 12 pound silver salmon that ate a DOA CAL jig. Doc enjoyed himself by watching Steve get fish after fish, hooting and hollering while doing so. That’s what I call a good friend!

Later in the week I took them way up the river for dollies. Steve was now an accomplished fly caster, having gotten numerous silver salmon with some of the other guides. We gurgled and streamered dollies all day and got some nice fish, several pounds in some cases.

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Steve the geologist with one of many dollies he caught upriver.

Another upriver trip is scheduled for tomorrow. I suspect it will similarly be a smashing success.

Fish Story of the Week-
On Wednesday the new guests came. Lance and David, from Idaho, fly fishers both, fished with me for silver salmon that afternoon.
David hooked a silver that took him into his backing. When the fly line was almost on the reel the backing somehow got wrapped around the reel handle. The fish chose that moment to surge. The fly line and backing parted ways, and the fish made off with the fly line. You just can’t make up this stuff.

Of course David started yelling. “Hurry! Go get it!” The anchor and 50 feet of line are out. The motor is trimmed up. There are seven salmon already on two stringers, hanging in the water. We are not going anywhere in a hurry, regardless of how fast I go.

By the time we’re under way the fly line is gone. David starts thinking out loud whether or not he has another fly line. “Don’t worry,” I say. “If we don’t find it someone else will.”

We search for the line for less than five minutes when I spot it, long and skinny and bright green, strung out parallel to the shoreline about 15 feet off the bank. We idle over. I pick it up. The fish is still on!

Somewhat rested, the fish is ready to resist. I fight him on an expensive, bright green handline, and David nets him when the fish is next to the boat. We get the entire fly line back, as well as catching the fish.

Less than five minutes later, the line is properly re-rigged, the salmon is on the stringer, and David is fishing again.

Son Alex does a water ballet while fighting a silver salmon.

And that is this year’s last Goodnews River Lodge, Alaska Fishing Report from me. See you in Florida in two weeks!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- go fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com/

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2012. All rights are reserved.




Goodnews River Lodge, Alaska Fishing Report

Silvers Already on the Downswing?? Rubber Raft Hatch Going On

Autumn, still a month away on the calendar, is in full swing here. The Arctic terns and swallows are already gone. Geese fly over in formation, honking loudly, heading south. The chums and most of the kings are dead, the pinks and sockeyes are dying off, and even a few colored-up silvers are being caught.

We are still catching plenty of silver salmon here on the Goodnews River. Perhaps, just perhaps, I’ve been spoiled by past runs. This run is weaker than recent ones and we actually have to do some work to find and catch them. C’mon! This is the Goodnews!

That having been said, fishing is excellent by any yardstick you could use, except for past runs here. Fish counters (and I am not crazy about fish counters) have been hitting 15-20 salmon by lunch.

Afternoons have been a little slower because all the spots got beat up in the morning. Still, 20 or more salmon a day is not bad by any standard except for our own history of excellence. silver salmon catch, goodnews river alaskaDollies- dollies are definitely slowing down. Dolly trips need to go way up the river to find success. The fish are more scattered now that most of the early salmon have finished spawning. You can still find and catch them, it just takes more effort.

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David Harris with a dolly varden.

Rainbow trout- again, more effort is required to find them. Flesh flies have been very successful. John Wilhelm got a nice fish while out with me fishing for silvers. The wayward rainbow hit a fly not intended for it.

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John Wilhelm with a beautiful rainbow trout.

Bears- Never showed up. I’ve seen only three all season, all running for the nearest bushes. I don’t miss fighting them off with rocks while I’m trying to clean fish, but it would be nice to see them fishing again. Maybe next year they’ll be back.

As close as I’ve been to a bear this year- Goodnews River, Alaska.

Rafters- Rafters fly into Goodnews Lake to float the river. We see them every year, and try to maintain a good relationship with them.

There are an extraordinary number of them on the river this year. They must get in each other’s way. They certainly get in our way sometimes.

Today there were nine rafts between camp and Upper Landing, about eight miles upstream. Everyplace I wanted to fish this afternoon was occupied. I know we don’t own the river, but sometimes it does seem a bit excessive.

Mosquitoes- crappy, rainy, windy, cold weather equals no bugs. We have not had any bugs to speak of this week, thank goodness!

And that is this week’s Goodnews River Lodge, Alaska Fishing Report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- go fishing!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com/

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