The Wrangells from Lake Louise

The Wrangells  from Lake Louise

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Patience at 17 Mile Lake

Patience and I went to Seventeen Mile lake this weekend. She out fished me once more.

I baited the hook but she caught the fish. She did not want to take it off the hook though.
We put the Ice house up and got inside to stay warm. She used a three single eggs to catch the fish. She was so excited when she caught jumped up and down.

As you see the ice shanty is red not green. The last time I used it at Byers Lake I set it up at night. The sky was clear and there was no wind, so when I went to bed i left it out. Unfortunately in the medal of the night the wind kicked up. When I got out of bed in the morning it was no where to be seen. I tried to scout the lake for it but the over flow was to deep. I stepped In a spot that was up to my hip and became soaked in cold water. i gave up at the point that I started to shiver. I had to go back to the cabin to dry out. My snow boots are still wet.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

more Byers

Byers Lake January 17 & 18

Patrick and I went to Byers Lake this weekend. The fishing was better than I expected. We caught seven Lake Trout and a few burbot. We put out a few sets for burbot and got two small ones that way. Thought it was interesting that we caught a few Lake trout on the sets. One swallowed the hook so deep I could not see it. The other laid on the bait and as Patrick pulled it up the hook caught under the gills. Both sets had been sitting on the bottom of the lake for several hours and had not moved until we touched them. We stayed at state park cabin three. This one is the newest cabin and in great shape. You have to walk a mile to the cabin down hill through a few feet of snow. The walk back up the hill was fun. The weather was too warm, in the 40s that's 80 degrees hotter than at Hidden lake. There was a foot of water over two feet of ice and my feet were soaked the whole time. I had to ring my boots and liners out and hang them to dry Saturday night. They felt warm and dry Sunday but after a few hours out fishing my feet were drenched and cold so I had to go back to the cabin to dry out. While I was drying out Patrick caught the biggest fish; a 31 inch lake trout. He deserved the fish as he hiked back to the car for a second load on Saturday and did not get as much fishing time as I did. I prefer to fish at -40 over +40.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The moose is back

Wile I was out ice fishing last weekend the moose from last year came back to say hi. Heidi got a video and some photos

When I got back from fishing Patience showed me how to walk like aaaaaaa

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Hidden Lake

After my friends and I pulled that big lake trout from Lake Louise We immediately made plans to make another trip there for new years. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had different plans. We checked the forecast after Christmas and it said -50F for the temps during new years. We hoped the forecast would change but as the week wore on it stayed the same. We had to get the chance at more lakers so we changed our trip from Louise to Hidden Lake on the Kenai. We thought heading south would be warmer; we were wrong about that. I didn’t know that cold air settles into the Kenai river valley like a blanket of fog settles into Anchorage. We thought it was a bit cold when we got out of the car at Sunrise. We checked the ice thickness to see if it was safe to drive on. We had been told there was two feet of ice on the lake but after the trip to Louise we thought it was best to check. We found fifteen inches by the launch and thought it was adequate so we drove out to the center of the lake to check one more time. In the center of the lake there was only 11 inches. There was another set of truck tracks going across the lake so we reluctantly followed them to Explorer Island. At the west side of the island the tracks turned and went back to the launch. We stopped there to drill a few holes, we were happy to find 15 inches of ice. The bad thing was our hooks kept getting caught on weeds so we moved down the island to the south side. We got out and drilled a few more holes. Soon I caught a lake trout and thirty minutes later I caught a second laker. We thought we had a good spot to stay for the day. It was not bad when the sun came out from behind the mountains. Unfortunately, as quick as the sun comes out it went right back behind another peak and it became even colder. Later in the day we both got cold so we thought we would get in the ice shanty. Unfortunately, the cold air makes things a bit brittle and we broke the heater. We stayed out and fished all day anyway. We did not catch any more fish where we were so we got in the car and moved to the east side of the island. We drilled several more holes and fished for a long time when I started to think I should stop and eat. As soon as I got my mind set on eating slam another trout hits my spoon hard. Soon I land the biggest fish of the trip around 6 lbs. The hook was deep in the gills and it was had to get out. After I got the hook out I tried to release it but as its fins and gills were froze I kept it. We did not get any other bites at that spot so we moved to the shore where a cliff shot up from the shoreline around 200 feet. Right off this cliff only five feet from shore the lake was 80 feet deep. All we got there was hung up on rocks as we jigged so we moved to the access for the last part of the day. Around five in the evening I was starting to shake uncontrollably so I climbed into the truck to warm up and soon Patrick had to get out of the cold also. We planned to stay in Sterling so we made our way to moose run resort. When we got there we found out why we where so cold as the temperature was -40. The owner said it was warmer at hidden lake. Patrick and I bought a thermometer and parts to fix the heater. Then hit the hay so we could get to the lake at a good time the next day .
We woke in the morning to find that it had not become any colder or warmer over night. Of course the thermometer did not go any lower than -40. We ate some breakfast, hooked the new temperature gage to the car, checked out of the hotel and headed to the lake. We watched the cold air readings change as we drove on the thermometer. At the intersection of Skilak lake road and sterling hwy it was -17. We were starting to think we were wimps the day before. As we round a curve in the road and headed down a hill to the lake the mercury dropped back down to -39.9. We drove to the spot where I caught fish at the day before to start out, but after a few hours we did not get a bite so we moved. We drove to the south side of the lake off the small island but we did not get any thing there so we moved inside a bar and still nothing. We where starting to get concerned we where going to get skunked. We were planning to put the shanty and heater out so we could stay warm but we could not find the fish. We looked over the maps and chose a spot to give it one last go; the sun came and went the temps did not rise over -26 we where hungry, cold and our sprits where crashing. We drilled a few holes at the new spot and started fishing. We fished there for a long time and were talking of leaving when Patrick said he got one. Soon he pulled one through the hole about the size of mine. As we could not leave after catching a fish we stayed for a longer. We finally said that we would in fifteen minuets. Sticking it out until the last second some times makes the difference of getting skunked or not. This was one of those times because just as we where thinking of leaving my jigging rod was smacked by a fish. Soon I had a fat little lake on the ice. I would have let it go on most days but after standing on the ice in weather no warmer than -26 I thought I deserved this one for dinner. Now I can’t wait to get back there to fish under warmer circumstances.