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Goodnews River, Alaska report 8/22

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Goodnews River, Alaska report 8/22

Postby jkumiski » Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:35 am

Goodnews River Fishing Report from Spotted Tail 8/22/10

I have photos on my website at

Last week I wrote: “It rained heavily last night. The river looked angry today. Brown and swollen, four foot waves stood in places.“ The water continued rising for two more days. Most of camp is on stilts. Good thing. There was over a foot of water under all of our structures. The water was as high as I’ve seen it here. All the sloughs were blown out, as they had all become braids.
Fishing for silvers was still excellent. I had Don Boardman out on the worst flood day. The water everyplace was real high, muddy, and flowing hard. In the morning I didn’t know how to approach it, and we didn’t have a touch. A lunchtime discussion provided some insight, and we caught fish, if not rapidly at least steadily, all afternoon. Other guides did very well, though.
Even with the flooded conditions fishing for silvers had been excellent. When a concentration of fish was found in many cases poppers and gurglers were very effective.
Trout and dollies were out of the question for a few days but the river is dropping quickly. I had dolly trips yesterday and today and we did well. We had to do a little work for the fish, but they were running big. They’re coloring up and are gorgeous.

One of my concerns while cleaning fish here in Alaska has always been having a bear walk up on me. My head is down and I’m concentrating on my work, and the bear could easily approach while I’m busy. It happened to me this week.
I looked up and there was a bear about 120 feet away, looking right at me. There were six salmon surrounding me and I was feeling pretty vulnerable just then. Yelling at the bear didn’t move it, so I walked over to the boat and pulled out the shotgun. The bear just sat there, looking. He wasn’t approaching, so I got my fish and one by one put them back in the boat. Save the salmon!
Yelling again didn’t make him leave, so I blew the whistle several times. The bear walked over to the river and went for a swim. He may have picked up a salmon carcass I had already discarded. I couldn’t be sure. But to my relief he swam across the river.
“Damn! That went pretty well,” I thought. I pulled a fish out of the boat and went back to filleting. The bear was on the far bank of the river, still watching. One by one the fish got filleted. I kept a sharp watch on the bear, and because of that cut myself. Better cut than mauled!
B’rer Bear kept his distance. Now feeling more confident I finished filleting all the fish. After cleaning up and starting the boat I motored over by him. He stood up to check me out, then wandered off into the bushes.
No shotgun needed, mission accomplished. While I didn’t get any photos, it was a good encounter with the bear.

I’m short here, down to 11 days, and am looking forward to getting home. Tarpon! I can’t wait to get out of rain and cold and see some sun and temperatures in the 90s. The mullet will running and there hasn’t been any tropical weather. Fishing should be awesome through the end of October, both in the lagoons and along the beach. Yeah, let’s do a little work on the tan…

Embrace simplicity.

Life is great! I still love my work, lucky me!

Life is short- go fishing!

John Kumiski

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Re: Goodnews River, Alaska report 8/22

Postby bhorsley » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:52 am

thanks John
growing old ain't for sissies

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