Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Riding the Russian and 90 pound halibut

Ok no reason to beat around the bush on this one, there's big fish, like 90 plus pounds big, in this post so lets get it going.
Wednesday the Kenai opened for bait after a protracted and slow start to the season. After spending the morning in a few holes looking for elusive kings near camp, I jumped in Adam's boat with a client and headed up river for trout.
While typically on these trips the goal is to get the client on some fish, which we did without fail, inevitably you catch a few yourself, in this case a five-ish pound rainbow for myself. That's a lifetime fish for most trout fishermen, and it still swims freely in the Kenai.

Monday's fish was far more impressive though. On Monday Angelo and I got a free trip on Cook Inlet with Capt. Collin on the Gamefisher. We went 26 miles out and got swarmed by a bunch of canabalistic gray cod that were eating piecesof their bretheren off the hooks. I pulled at least a half dozen to the boat but we couldn't seem to find any halibut. Then literally minutes before lines up my drag started screaming and the pool stick rod doubled over the freeboard.
Fifteen minutes later Collin pulled out a .410 and shot the fish in the head so we could get it in the boat!
Even after the long fight I was so full of adrenaline I didn't want to put this thing down.

More on Halibut later in the post though.

Sunday was a beaut so I split camp for a few hours and did a 40 mile, four and a half hour ride on the Russian Lakes Trail.
I started at the Russian Campground overflow lot and heded up the highway to Snug Harbor Rd. 15 miles of dirt road later I was at the top of 25 mile single track back country descent. Enjoy.
Kenai Lake from Snug Harbor Rd.

Said Road.

Cow parsnip. Poisonous like poison ivy and obnoxious this time of year as it covers the trails, but I don't blister up, just get a little irritation.

Columbines are and always have been my favorite wildflower. I'm a sucker for the color red.

Lower Russian Lake

Skilak Glacier

Here's stuff from fishing out of Anchor Point on Monday.

The morning charter's catch. Probably not a single fish is under 40 pounds, that's a kick ass day.

Here's a gray cod, in the bait bucket, where it belongs. These fish are generally lousy eating, especially compared to halibut.

The launch

You couldn't pay me to do this!

Mt. Augustine, another active Cook Inlet Volcano that blew in '06.

Angelo's first halibut.

Collin takes aim at my fish.

BOOM! A new definition for whacking fish!

Hauling the beast aboard.


An Irish Lord.

What a great day.

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