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Alaska’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 07 Aug 2012

Location: USA

MapIt's 7:37 a.m. and I am on my first cup of coffee after fishing at Deep Creek from 4:30 to 6:30. It took a bit longer today to get two, but I did it! Again Alton was fishless. Pobrecito! Even though daybreak is about 6 minutes later everyday, we continue to go fishing at the same time everyday. Gene went an hour earlier....at 3:30 a.m., so I went and picked Alton up in Gwynne's car and we were a bit earlier than 4:30....still dark....still scarey. Alton left me at my hole to go fish another hole (in the dark). I tried to discourage him, but he wouldn't listen. I hate for him to traverse the rocky banks and shallow waters w/ slippery rocks. He managed well, though, so I have to give it to him. The reason we must get there early is to establish our fishing hole before others. So far, the word has not yet spread that the fish are in. However, The Frenchmen arrived. Every year they come to Deep Creek and, although they shake hands with Alton and seem to be friendly enough, they encroach (sp?) on our space and make it very uncomfortable for you to fish, hoping you will give in and leave. I did not! As they cast and reel, cast and reel, etc....one relocated, one remained next to me. After about another 30 minutes, the one remaining Frenchman hooked one and played around with it letting it go up and down stream....showing off! He lost it! On my next cast, I hooked one, didn't dilly-dally around, and brought him/her into shore. I had hooked and brought in my first one about an hour and a half earlier, in the dark (before dawn). I was pleased to show the old Frenchman up! Nanny-nanny-boo-boo! Enough said.
Another reason why we fish early is because this 'fish camp's' train of thought is that the Silvers can see the fishermen once the sun hits the water.
I'd like to explain the baiting process. Gene and BJ process their bait differently. But both use the same bait. The bait is the roe, eggs from the Sockeye, caught the previous month. I will make an effort to show you what the eggs look like in an upcoming photo page, so please be patient. The eggs are placed in gallon containers with a concoction of different chemicals/cleansers/etc. and refrigerated until ready for use. Gene contends the Silvers can smell the bait and go for it. I know that my hands and clothes smell awful when I return home from fishing. Gene, however, also says when they come into the river, they starve themselves as there is nothing in their stomachs when he 'guts' them. Before fishing, the sacks of eggs are cut into cubes/sections approximately 1 1/2 inches X 1 1/2 inches. These are placed in zip-lock bags OR in yogurt containers for each person's daily use. The fishing line is rigged with a flexo-sinker weight (BJ handmade product) and the leader consits of a fat-yarn hook which has been tied in such a way, there is a loop with is pulled to fit the cubes of eggs on. The loop tightens and you're ready to go.
Once the eggs are secured to your hook, you pull out the desired length of line from your reel, then cast upstream and let your bait drift down, gently pulling in the line and keeping the line taught, rod up. A Silver will typically take the bait and run. Smolt and Dollies just play with the bait....you can tell the difference. You do not reel in the fish. You back up on shore until the fish is on shore. The fish are hard to control on shore, so it is necessary to cut one gill. (Jennifer)