Can’t wait to go up to the Kenai River for a Fishing Trip!

I truly can’t wait. I have decided to head up to the Kenai to go fishing this summer. Kenai Fishing is about as good as it gets. Big King Salmon, luxurious lodges, and typically nice weather.

I really enjoy the taste of fresh King Salmon on the grill, so my main goal is obviously to take home a king, but the nice thing about these kinds of trips is that a bad day of fishing beats a good day of working every time! There is something to be said about long summer days, relaxing in cool but not too cold weather. Spending nights by the wood stove, and days on the river. Its peaceful. Its just what I should be doing. Fishing in Alaska is about as good as it gets… and I get to go back!

Oh yeah that reminds me… sadly I left Alaska due to work needs, but my goal is to come back. One day I will be back up in Alaska permanently to live a peaceful, fishing based life. Maybe one day🙂 Hopefully soon!

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Fishing in Bristol Bay

Just talked to a city friend about Fishing in Bristol Bay Alaska. He wants to go up and work on one of the commercial seiners for herring. We were talking about it and he tells me that he thinks that living in one of the small towns like “King Salmon” would be right up his alley. He grew up on the East Coast and currently lives in Washington DC. I just can’t see how this could work out well for him.

He has never fished commercially, and he has never lived in a small or even midsized town. He has no job lined up and just thinks he will fly out there and make it happen.

Any locals from the area want to chime in? I just think the idea is terrible.

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Steve’s Blog, The Wiquer Kingdom

So my buddy steve has a blog he has been working on for a while. You should check it out.

http://wiquer.blogspot.com

It basically the world according to Steve. Good reading, and he makes some good points.

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Big Halibut on Video… This is a true Alaskan Giant

This is a video I saw with a HUGE halibut… Had to share.

I am not going to make any statements on the politics of keeping large halibut, nor on the science that shows large halibut may not be any more prolific breeders than midsize halibut. Personally I do not even like the taste of the big girls… when I am meat fishing, I only keep Halibut under 50 lbs and if I by chance I hook into a giant, I safely release it whenever I can.

This is not me in the vid, but I hope you like it the same.

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Great place to find Vacation Rentals in Haines Alaska

So I love to travel to go fishing, and one of my favorite places to visit is Haines, Alaska.  Lets just say the motels in town are not always known for generous room sizes, so when I visit Haines I usually like to rent a house or cabin for me and my fishing buddies.

Its always has been a pain to try to find places through word of mouth, so I am excited that a new site is coming up that will list vacation rentals in an easy to find way. When you are looking for Rentals in Haines Alaska I suggest you check out www.hainesrentals.com. The site is still under development, so there is not a lot of listings yet, but I have heard from my friends in town that it is going to be a popular service for homeowners looking to rent out their place.

Good luck, and tight lines.

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Easy Home Smoked Salmon Recipe: A Sweet, Salty, and Salmony Manna from Heaven.

Smoked Salmon is one of the tastiest, healthiest, and belive it or not, easiest things to make at home, so long as you have a little patience. The process is cakework, and the time it sits makes it taste great.

Easy Smoked Salmon

Easy Smoked Salmon

There is basically only 4 totally “needed” ingredients, and only a 4 easy steps between you and Salmon Heaven. My recipe is for a dry brined salmon, which is then hot smoked, which I feel is simple, easy, and imparts a beautiful flavor to the fish.

Ingredients you will need.

Salmon (I prefer Coho, King, or Sockeye, but Pink, and Chum Salmon also smoke well. Even Steelhead Trout can work great).
Dark Brown Sugar
Sea Salt
Spices (garlic is the only “NEEDED” spice, but you could add others according to taste).

Ok here we go.

Step One:
Prepare the fish… This is easy, just filet the fish, cut some long slits into, but NOT through, the meat every inch or so, and then cut into portion size peices (about 4 ounces each). You could also use salmon steaks, but I feel that filets allow more brine and smoke flavor to get into the meat.

Step Two:
Brine the fish… Mix 5 parts brown sugar with 1 part sea salt. Then add in spices to taste. The ratios need to stay the same, but the quantity will change depending on how much fish you have to smoke. If I use 5 cups of brown sugar and one cup of salt I might add in 10 cloves of chopped garlic, and maybe a little fresh ground black pepper.

Ok you have the dry brine… now just put your filets in a glass or plastic contaner and cover them completely with the brine… thats it… stick it in the fridge overnight. In the morning the dry brine will have turned to liquid… thats awesome.

Step Three:
Dry the fish… Take the fish out of the refridgerator and rinse it off in the sink. Now lay the filets on a rack and allow them so sit at room temperature for 4-6 hours, less if its really warm in the room. This will dry the fish and will allow it to form a tacky shiny surface… this is called a pellicle. This step is crucial… do not skip it or worry about the fish spoiling by sitting out for a few hours. the salt from the brine that soaked into the meat will impede bacteria growth. The pellicle keeps the remaining moisture in the fish during smoking and allows the smoke to properly permeate it.

Step Four:
Smoke the fish… Put in a grill, smoker, or smokehouse and smoke the fish until finished (5 hours or so varible depending on the temperature of your smoker). Hard woods such as alder wood are most common and give a great flavor to the salmon. Fruit woods like cherry or apple also work very well.

Now Eat and Enjoy.

Feel free to share your own recipes for smoked salmon in the comments section, or let me know how this turned out.

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Filed under Alaska Fishing, Coho Fishing, Cooking, Fishing, Salmon Fishing

Fishing in the Chilkat River in Haines with low Salmon counts

This year was not a great year for Salmon Returns in Haines Alaska. Haines Alaska Fishing was hampered by a closer of the Chilkat River to King Salmon Fishing. Just when you thought it wasn’t going to get worse, the Chilkat River was extra high this year, the high water and high silt content made fishing even more difficult.

So what does it mean when the fishing is hard? Should you take your rod and lock it in the shed? Should all the Yukon fishermen stay in Canada? Of course not.

There are always places that the fish will be. Salmon are predictable, and even in the silty Chilkat there are areas where streams feed into the river and the water clears up. There are places where the current changes and the salmon will stack up, and most of all, there are places that you will catch fish.

With low salmon counts a personal moral question comes up: if don’t need to go meat fishing, should you take fish out of an already reduced spawning pool? Personally I don’t. When I know that I am not going to be keeping the fish I catch I use barbless hooks, and never fish with baits that will be taken deeply. Handling the fish properly also helps to ensure their survival. I always say, do NOT pull fish out of the water if you do not need to, and if you intend to release them.

Good luck next fishing season, whether you are fishing in the Chilkat River for Silver Salmon, or somewhere else, remember to conserve our resources and enjoy the time you spend on the water.

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Filed under Alaska Fishing, Coho Fishing, Fishing, Salmon Fishing