Once again we find ourselves in deep Southwest Alaska to start another season on the Kanektok and looking forward to the spectacular scene about to unfold in front of us. We welcomed back quite a few return guests for the first week of the 2009 season along with some new blood.
Photo: Cameron Miller
Marty Herman came back for another go at the freshest kings of the season along with guys like Jason Koertge, Joe Sugura and the guy that brings us all together at Deneki Outdoors, Andrew Bennett. Jeff Hickman (a.k.a. Mr. Hanky) a past AK West Guide also joined us this week with a few great guys like Rob Elam and Tom Larimer. Our father and son team this week was Jim and Landon Fowler who were here for a shot at early season chrome. We also welcomed Scott Hagen and Jim McRoberts to the Kanektok for the first time though they have been to both Andros South and BC West in the last year so they have become well known to the Deneki family.
The weather this week turned out to be quite nice through the week with some roughness around the edges. We had some days with fog in the AM and sun in the PM and then we had a bit of rain sprinkled in the week for good measure. The one unfortunate outcome of the nicer weather is that the infamous Southwestern Alaska mosquito came out in numbers that were hard to fathom. Lots of bug dope was the norm! Temps ranged between 50 in the morning to 65 in the afternoons, which is quite nice for this country.
Along with the nice weather and mosquitoes came some of the best first week king fishing we have seen in quite a few years. All the guests this week landed kings though some had to work more than others to bring them to hand. We even saw some chum and a sockeye make it to the table this week so we had no shortage of fish in the river.
Even our first timers to spey fishing landed some beautiful fish to help keep the focus on getting better with the spey. Our spey instructor Dec Hogan worked most of the week with any guests that needed the help and all the care he gave paid chrome dividends to each one of them. It is always a pleasure to have Dec join us and he is so free with his knowledge that it is a mistake to not spend time with him while he is here!
We did some early season fishing on the Arolik as well this week which turned out to be some prime trout fishing (with some kings caught too). The river was in beautiful shape and the guests knew they were the first of the year to cast a fly into this famous Southwestern Alaska stream. Even little mousey mouse made an appearance this week and rocked some fish, but not all, because you have to let them eat it, as the following haiku from Matt Hynes attests.
Throwing the mouse fly
Goddamn it! Let him eat it!
Mammal munching bows