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Year 2013 - a year with surprises
good run, the freezers were quickly filled 
would you rather go straight to the photo album?

2013 was my/our first year in a long time without one of my dogs. At this point many thanks to the airline, which made it impossible for me to take one of my dogs with them due to their extreme pricing and baggage regulations. Unfortunately, Holly and Boss stayed at home and I flew "alone" to our adopted home at the end of June. I wasn't all alone - the plane was packed to the last seat. It was cramped, with lousy food but - thank goodness - good in-flight care.


Arrived in Anchorage, our friend Susan had booked me a connecting flight to Kenai. So off through immigration, fetched the luggage through customs (no problems, by the way), walked over to the new airport and checked in at "Grant". I was lucky again and got a window seat, which wasn't difficult with 14 seats - 7 each on the left and right -  


After the pilot babbled something about safety, he then flew us over to Kenai in just under 20 minutes, saving me a three-hour drive.Thanks Susan. 


Our friends had parked our car in the parking lot of the Kenai Airport, so I was able to change planes in a relaxed manner and was finally at our cabin in 20 minutes. Thank God everything was fine here: no frost damage, no trees on the cabin and the satellite dish was still on the roof.


The Alaskan summer was excellent again: 4 weeks of pure sun, sometimes temperatures of over 30°C and it hardly ever rained. Unfortunately that changed in August. The temperatures dropped to around 20°C and it rained for a few days at a time. Nature has thanked you. There was little news, at most the "new acquisition" of our neighbors (see pictures) and a few neighborhood construction works.


What was different this year?


On one of my first Russian River excursions, our friends, the brown bears, were quite active and didn't shy away from our closeness. I had never experienced anything like this before and it made me see fishing on or in the Russian River from a different perspective. The first run of the sockeye salmon was soon over and we were looking forward to the second run, the "Kenai River late run".

However, it didn't go quite as we - and by that I mean all "Fishermen" - had imagined it. As always, it started harmlessly with small numbers - that's 9,090 salmon/day - and then within 4 days it exploded to a number of almost 250,000 salmon migrating into the Kenai River a day. I don't think anyone can really imagine what was going on in and especially on the water. Tourists from all nations stepped on each other's toes, parking spaces were almost unthinkable and everyone was afraid of not being able to take their daily limit home with them.

At that time that was still a proud 3 Sockeye per day and with a bit of skill you could do it in 20-30 minutes, if at all. . .      _cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58dNote: If you want to see the graphic larger, just click on it.

Graphic on the left: date, entry per day and year total (click to enlarge)


The figures and graphics from Fish and Game, the responsible authority, illustrate what happened in 2013: The late run of the sockeye salmon in the Kenai River was over within a week and a half. After this time, 6 sockeyes were allowed a day, but it was more than difficult to legally hook more than one.


For "average Joe Alaska fisherman" it was difficult to get his limit for the flight, the mood was beyond bad and some will wonder if it's still worth flying over with the flight and accommodation prices . We ourselves had never experienced such a course and to perhaps illustrate the whole thing again: the late run always starts quite punctually in mid-July, lasts 3-4 weeks and usually goes seamlessly into the run of the silver salmon, who then dominate August.


Nobody knew what was going on in 2013 and even the locals, who are allowed to secure their winter supplies with "dip netting", sometimes went away empty-handed and could not explain the situation.

I think we're all looking forward to 2014


But back to this year:


A few trips by boat up the Kenai River made up for the tedious fishing, especially since you could switch off from all the hustle and bustle and fish in peace and quiet. Mostly alone and with no people waiting for you to get out of the water, we were able to spend the whole day here and ultimately fill up our "stocks" of Sockeye. It is always a great experience, such a trip on the river, which is constantly changing due to rising and falling water levels. You can enjoy nature and the panorama - just don't forget to avoid a few gravel banks from time to time   (for insiders)


We had an equally great panorama and great experiences on the Gulf of Alaska, which we fished twice this year with our friends. With the new boat of the friends we went in the best weather (both times!) in the direction of Homer. The drive there alone is absolutely worth seeing - on the way back you are usually tired from fishing and swinging on the Gulf. Unfortunately we weren't very lucky when it came to halibut - on the second trip, Klaus, Ilona, Renate and I were able to take home at least a few cod and our friends two halibut. After our second trip to Homer, our time in Alaska was already coming to an end. We drove Ilona and Klaus to the plane in Anchorage and then had almost a week to ourselves. We spent it with a trip to the Russian River, among other things. The pictures speak for themselves. The Russian River was full of red sockeye salmon, which probably won't be able to reach the lake and thus the creeks to spawn. I myself have never seen so many "red reds" in one place.


It was just a special year. . .

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