Homer’s Best Bets

If you’ve been seeing coworkers and friends walking around bleary eyed and in a daze, no, they haven’t been attacked by zombies. Considering we’re at high summer, there can be only three possible explanations:

• They’ve been entertaining VFRs — that’s visiting friends and relatives;

• They’re employed in the tourism industry; or

• They have salmon fever.

The Betster caught a case of salmon fever last week — big time. After reading all those great fishing reports by our own Nick Varney, yours truly decided to hit the fishin’ hole. I even snuck away on the tide last Friday for a late lunch. “Research and a photo safari,” I told the boss. 

Lots of people like to fish the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon itself, but I like the Coal Bay beach. Why stare at other fishermen, motorhomes and flocks of seagulls when you can look out on the bay? Even three days of lousy fishing can’t be spoiled when you have a view like Kachemak Bay, the Homer bench and the Kenai Mountains. You won’t find many other fishing spots in the world where you can cast a line and gaze upon glaciers.

Despite Nick’s best advice, the Betster didn’t get a nibble, although it got pretty exciting there when a squad of silvers roared through the bobber gantlet and struck. In consolation, the Betster got a little phototherapy, saw thunderclouds roar over the ridge, watched kittiwakes snag salmon and had a close-up visit with a lesser yellowlegs.

“One more cast,” said the fisherman next to the Betster, “and then I really have to go back to work.”

That’s how we roll during salmon runs. Enjoy the bounty of the bay and this awesome town, maybe with these Best Bets:

BEST SPLISH-SPLASH BET: Speaking of salmon, yup, it’s the Splash Bash, Cook Inletkeeper’s annual celebration of clean water and healthy salmon from 6-8 p.m. today at Bishop’s Beach. David Montgomery, author of “King of Fish,” speaks, and artist and musician Ray Troll entertains.


BEST GET SMART BET: Want to learn more about salmon and the oceans? Check out Kachemak Bay Research Reserve Brown Bag talks at noon today and Friday at the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. Today learn about past red salmon runs on the Kenai Peninsula and on Friday learn about ocean acidification.


BEST SALMONSTOCK SOUTH BET: If you missed Salmonstock or volunteered and didn’t see all the bands you wanted, check out after-Salmonstock parties at 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Down East Saloon. Don’t miss Salmonstock today-Sunday at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds, Ninilchik. See www.salmonstock.org for times and ticket information. You have until midnight today to buy advance tickets.


BEST LET’S ROLL BET: Hoka Hey is back, and with it some mighty tough Harley riders who have come all the way from Key West, Fla., to see our fine town. Catch their stories and congratulate them at the Unfinished Business party at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Down East Saloon. Or, just look for them at the end of the road finish line or around town — they’re the ones with a little road grime on their motorcycles.