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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fishy Women and 42 Rainbows....

Nanci and I with a 22 inch rainbow at the start of the fish-a-thon.  Look at that blue sky!

Clear sunny skies marked the beginning of our fish-a-thon at 7 in the evening on Sept 9th. We started in the beautiful weather hooking rainbows on the upper Naknek.  Our dear friend, Susan Johnson, joined us on the river too.  Once darkness set in, our lodge chef, Christian, brought us hamburgers (the best we've ever had) and beer all the while chasing bears out of the area.  After discussing with our Fish-a-thon coaches, we decided to call it an evening.  Pitch black, bears, and huge river rocks make for impossible nighttime fishing.

Clear sunny Alaskan skies in the evening undoubtedly forecast fog for the next morning.  This rule of thumb was on point Saturday.  We re-convened before first light in the morning under a thick blanket of fog.  Because the temperatures had dropped, fish were pretty silent in the morning.  A few fish hooked while beading then we switched gears.  Thirty minutes in, Nanci swung up a fat 23 incher and we were wearing smiles after toasting some victory scotch. (18 yr old Balvenie, actually) {oh snap!}

Swinging all day and listening to Erin Culley's indie rock mix was unbelievably rewarding for this fishing guide.  I welcomed the change and the chance to swing and cast a two-handed rod.  I'm so thankful it is now fall.

 I spent most of the day hoping for a big pig and in between wishing I contemplated my role in not only this fish-a-thon, but in the fight against Pebble Mine, and my activism in the future of my sport not only here in Alaska, but in the Pacific Northwest, Canada, Mexico, and everywhere that faces the issues threatening healthy fisheries.  This has been an eye opening experience for myself and extremely encouraging. 

We set a goal August 1 to raise $5000 for our cause.  At the time it seemed an exorbitant sum but I liked the challenge.  Thanks to the following generous and encouraging souls, we met this goal the morning of the fish-a-thon!  Furthermore, donations keep coming in and we have until Sept 16 for the final talley.  Donate today HERE.

I did stick a big fat pig too.  With white socks and mosquitos quite literally swarming my face, I gritted my teeth and swung a light tip with a juicy black leech.  She hammered down.  Ran out forty feet of my running line, jumped two feet out of the water.  Yes, she had a booty.  She hit the water running and zipped another twenty feet of line then catapulted out of the water even higher this time and did a flip.  I'd like to think she wanted to get one last look at me.....Nanci's loud voice broke the silence barrier, "Kate! That was an awesome fish, tell me you didn't lose it!"  I just hung my head.

 Our final talley I will post on Sept 16th (the last day for donations) but I will leave you with the fish talley:  42 rainbows over 10 inches, 4 Dolly Varden, 5 Grayling, and 1 token Sockeye.  (because of the importance of Sockeye Salmon to the fishery we felt obliged to include one in our talley....yes it was caught in the mouth!)

Nanci and I with a swung up 27 inch rainbow! Yeah, Naknek!

With sincere appreciation to the following folks, thank you so much for your support, encouragement, and generous donations:

Jim Fuller
Kris Fausti
Frank and Jackie Coppel: Tundra River Adventures
Curtie Wilson
Rick and Kristi Allen
Bill Lore
Richard West
Adam Bernero
Whitney Gould
Alan Moore
Lance Rava
Erin Culley
Kate McCulloh
Jordan Crump
Eric Moody
Susan Johnson
Sanford Morehouse
Brian and Marie Bennett
Chass Kuhn
Aaron Scott
Green Highlander Productions, Inc.: Greg Heister
Heath Lyon
Christian Benvin
Justin Crump
Karen and Eric Crump
Teeg Stouffer
Sam Snyder
Tim Bristol
Paul Dempsey
Carlisle Trucking Co.
Gene and Rusty
Gene Carlson and Co.
Rick Johnson
Nosal Family
Danny Robinette
Joe Chandler
Paul Manuel
Bruce Cross
Jim Klug
David Duppler
E. William Gillula
Ed Blanks: Adventures on the Fly
Chass Kuhn
Rob Cushman
Thomas Taylor
Bill and Jan Purdy
Heidi Weaver
Steve and Jenny Weiner
Frank G.
Todd Russell
Mike Hummell
Nick Cortezi
Dan Dunaway
Peter Mow
Jeannine Earhart
Bob and Carmen Bray
Bill Thurman
Gordon Bryan
Karen Cushman
Terri King
Annette Wilson
Joe Metes
David Gordon
Hannah Belford

And special thanks to the 24 Hour Fish-a-thon Sponsors:

Dragon's Custom Rods: Arron Slater
Scheels: Joel Frye
Griffin Fishing: Raymond, Belinda, and Dea
Spring Bay: Joe
Fish Tales: Mike
Curt Redden

For more information, please visit Recycled Fish: Our lifestyle runs downstream.  Become a steward today.

Wrong Mine, Wrong Place.  Help us in our fight to maintain this healthy and economically sustainable fishery by donating today!