Daily Ramblings - September 16, 2009

Sitka, Alaska – Wednesday, September 16.

Tom and Gary Edwards (Alaska US Fish & Wildlife Service) arrived in Sitka on Sunday.  Goeff Ratte (Water Gremlin), Dwayne Anderson/Dewski (Hospitality Master), Mike Chozen/Chozey (Provocateur) and Mike Hoien/Hoiensky (Builder extraordinaire) appeared on Monday.  Aboard float planes we popped over the majestic mountains of Baranov Island.  The flight was amazing.  Amongst glaciers and jagged granite peaks we circled like living in an IMAX movie.  It was one of the most spectacular experiences we have had in a plane.  Dropping down to the sea we floated up to join Major Wager in Warm Springs Bay.

Alaska welcomed us with a day of blue skies and heart warming sun.  The precious treat was a first in two weeks and was quickly replaced on Tuesday with the steady rain that continued until Friday morning.

Thankfully the silver salmon are spawning in a setting that is truly incredible.  For two days in a row we have enjoyed catching as many as a dozen while watching the seals gorge themselves and the eagles soar in anticipation.  Two brown bear sat by the river mouth and swatted away at the jumping Coho.  With waterfalls and high evergreened peaks surrounding us – it is living a dream to be here.

We repositioned to Red Bluffs Cove and took off on a hike up river in pursuit of Rainbows and Dolly Varden.  The river was so high from all of the rain we had to purge the rain forest.  What an adventure.   At the beginning there was a a mama bear and two cubs just across the river.  Yelling, “Bear.  Bear” to scare  others away we climbed over logs and through brush in search of a gravel bar we could fish from.  After a mile or so, we retreated – the surging river giving no quarter.  Of course, safely back at the mouth we caught as many pinks as we liked.

That afternoon we repositioned to Deep Cove...a spell binding fjord.  BTW this journal is tardy due to the lack of internet all week.  With the high mountain walls and thick cloud cover - today , Friday, is the first we have been able to connect on email and telephone.

Fishing in Mist Cove – a private hatchery water– we caught our fill this morning.

The boat is always a welcome safe haven from the rain and cold.  Our evenings have been full of banter and laughter...even a bit of social debate.  Last night we treated to the crew to Chozey’s and Geoff’s cooking.

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