One of the golden perks associated with writing this column is the cornucopia of remarkable posts that land in the R.E.I. gmail inbox.
Sometimes the missives are so colorful that their only printable components are the quotation marks. Others have run the gamut from palpably 90-proof enhanced rants to hysterically funny yarns worthy of “Depends recommended” status.
In between those extremes are requests for tips on fishing techniques, charters, housing, food establishments and sundry information as to where the fishing is sizzling or deader than a dawdling rodent after an ill-timed encounter with a cement truck.
When it comes to where to eat, with whom to charter or where to stay, it’s pretty much an impossible task because Homer sports a plethora of fine establishments and fishing guides. So, I usually list some sites where they can garner as much information and reviews as they need to make their own decisions.
Once in awhile an email gives me pause, such as the one from a perceptibly irritated but cool lady I’ll call “K.”
She had a noteworthy grumble going on about having to deal with some clueless cretins she encountered while fishing on the Anchor River two weeks in a row.
Her first run-in came during a slow day around the peak of the incoming tide when she and her hubby hiked into what seemed to be a deserted and quiet spot.
Just as she cast her fly into the stream, some dipstick came out of nowhere and proceeded to chuck his spinner in the exact same spot and then continued to hurl in front of her.
She expressed her curiosity as to what the hell was going on since there was the whole river to fish and no one else was around for a quarter of a mile.
The peppery inquiry seemed to jack up his testosterone level and he hiked over for a little bullying session.
She wasn’t impressed by his attitude, yelling and move toward her so she suggested that he could go, “$&*(^&*%&^% in the river!” (I hope I spelled those spirited terms correctly).
The gentleman had second thoughts and decided to move on while his manhood was still intact but the incident pretty much ruined her trip.
The next weekend she ended up being hassled again up to the point that she didn’t get a chance to fish because she was scared that a nearby rambling malcontent would do something to her leashed dogs.
She was mystified as to why some men don’t realize that women have as much right to fish and enjoy their space as they do.
She put it simply. “Fish eat the bait no matter who’s on the other end of the line.”
It is unfortunate that “K” ran into the rare exceptions rather than the polite norm when it comes to the behavior of the dude piscatorians roaming the Anchor River’s banks.
I’ve seen some dust ups between guys when the fishing has been smokin’ and lines ended up tangled like a Gordian knot, but this was the first report that I’ve received about a lady angler being hassled.
Hopefully such idiotic behavior won’t raise its ugly countenance again lest some misogynist ends up having to retrieve his gear with the aid of a sharp-eyed proctologist because he ran into the latest distaff graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School.
Now let’s take a look at the fishing report for this week.
Areas upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep and Stariski creeks remain open until Oct. 31 to fishing for Dolly Varden and steelhead/rainbow trout. Salmon may not be targeted or harvested upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers.
Familiarize yourself with the differences between a silver salmon and a steelhead so you won’t show up in the trooper report as an oblivious dork.
Steelhead/rainbow trout have black spots all over both lobes of the tail, while silvers have black spots only on the upper lobe of the tail. A myopic mole could tell the difference.
Steelhead/rainbow trout may not be removed from the water and must be gently released immediately.
Saltwater Fisheries: Halibut
Halibut fishing remains pretty fair with limits being common although the fish have been somewhat smaller.
Sampled fish harvested out of the Homer port averaged 11.9 pounds (range 4.25 to 48.8 pounds).
Herring exquisitely impaled on a circled hook continues to enhance the possibility of whacking a flat.
Saltwater Fisheries: Salmon
Trolling for feeder kings and coho is reported as quite good around Silver Ridge and near Bluff Point.
Fishing for silvers at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon has kicked into low gear but there are still some fresh brights roaming around. Your best bet for a strike remains when the tides are moving in and out of The Hole or in the early morning hours. Snagging at the lagoon opens at noon Friday.
Other Saltwater Fishing
Anglers still are mumbling about getting into swarms of spiny dogfish.
Doggies seem to be insecure because they travel in large schools for emotional support while highly annoying fishermen in Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay during August. Jet off to where they’re not if you slam into a horde of these critters.
Lingcod fishing has cranked down as the fall weather stirs up storms and higher seas.
You can still nail them and other rockfish in the waters surrounding the Chugach and Elizabeth Islands if you are on a craft able to safely motivate through the unpredictable fall weather conditions and are immune to professional class power hurling.
Although it’s getting somewhat chilly at times, the end of the Homer Spit continues to offer all kinds of fishing opportunities.
Standard baits and junk your cat wouldn’t touch are still bringing in walleye pollock, Pacific cod, various flat fish, and creatures that would love a chance to scarf up your feline.
Freshwater Fisheries: Streams
Silvers continue a slow roll into area streams and fishing is reported as fair to good.
Fish the gloaming hours and/or near the mouths of the streams when the incoming tides arrive, especially if you are chasing silvers.
Salmon roe clusters and plug-cut herring are still the primary pole benders. If you are a metal head, bright spinners are cool; if not, streamer flies will work too.
Steelhead fishing on these streams typically peaks in mid to late September.
Fly fishers find success by dead-drifting a variety of streamers, leeches and salmon-egg patterns. Other effective tackle includes spinners, jigs suspended under bobbers, and corkies with yarn. Remember. No keepsies for the steelies.
Dolly fishing will continue through late summer into ice-up. They can be caught on the same fly-fishing tackle used for steelhead and provide some righteous action on light tackle.
The Kenai Peninsula stocked lakes fishing conditions are quite good. Most of these lakes are stocked with rainbow trout which, this time of year, are taken on dry or wet flies, small spoons, spinners, or bait. A brochure listing the locations of the stocked lakes is available on the Sport Fish website and at Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices.
Clamming tides run Aug. 28 through Sept. 3.
All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches from the Kenai River to the tip of the Homer Spit are closed to all clams and mussels through Dec. 31.
Razor clams can be found on beaches along the west side of Cook Inlet where they can be accessed by boat or plane.
Trendy razor clam beaches include Crescent River and Polly Creek.
Boaters should keep their head up before traveling across the inlet because of the strong currents and sudden weather changes. Always check the weather forecast before traveling.
Littleneck (steamer) and butter clams can be found in gravel beaches on the south side of Kachemak Bay from Seldovia to Chugachik Island.
Herds of butter clams can be found on the islands in China Poot Bay and can be located chilling up to two feet deep.
Littleneck clams prefer a multiplicity of haunts from Jakolof Bay to Bear Cove and are typically hunkered down shallower in the substrate, up to eight inches deep.
Try looking around somewhere else if these prospects bore you.
All shrimp and crab fisheries in Kachemak Bay remain closed for 2015.
The Cook Inlet and North Gulf Coast sport, personal use & subsistence Tanner crab fisheries will not open for the 2015-2016 season.
Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org unless you want to try and convince him how tasty deep fried spiny dogfish are with a side of slaw.