Day 2 – On Our Way To Kodiak
Friday, August 19, 2011
4:00 AM. Well looky that, it’s dark outside.
4:45AM in taxi, headed back to airport to catch a 6:30 flight to Kodiak Island where hopefully we will be staying for a couple of days and what I mean by hopefully is this…..
6:00AM we board the plane, find our seats, settle in. Chad proceeds to talk to the very nice man next to him about fishing and lures and size and fishing and more fishing, did I mention fishing? I’m chatting with the little girl next to me who lives on Kodiak Island and I hear this man telling Chad that this is his 3rd attempt to make it into Kodiak. Whuuuuuuut? Apparently the weather in Kodiak yesterday was not conducive to the plane landing and the plane was directed back to Anchorage until the weather let up. Another attempt later on in the day they tried again and nocando. wTF? I hate flying first off and listening to his tale of the plane trying to land and the flaps pointing down, landing gear set and to have to pull back up and turn around and try again and again to only be routed back a 2nd time started to get my stomach all up in an uproar. Oh man, this is it, I’m going to die.
I listen intently to him say on top of all that, at the end of the runway is a big mountain so the captain needs to make sure that there is plenty of room to break and halt the plane before you hit smack dab into it.
This is not looking good I think to myself.
Well we take off and the flight is not so bad but coming into Kodiak my palms started to sweat and my heart started beating abnormally fast. We land! Pheww! Everyone on the plane starts clapping. The airport is a tiny little building with one gate. There is no jet way and the plane literally lands and you pull right up to the building, exit the plane and walk from plane to the building which is crowded with people that from the murmurs I hear, have been stranded on Kodiak for 2 days due to the horrible weather. Chad and I look at each other and say “what do we do now?.” we ask a few people about lodging but are told lodging is very limited and most likely booked. Maybe we should rent an RV. I pull out my handy dandy iPad and start a search for RV rentals. No such luck. Looks like were tenting it….in the rain. We collect our luggage, pick up rental truck and first stop is to Mack’s Sporting Goods shop for fishing supplies then a drive which is a short distance to Buskin State Park where we set up camp…..in the rain. Campgrounds are beautiful. We select campsite #4 which is very wooded, secluded and serene. Across from us is a huge field of purpley colored flowers about 4′ high surrounded by enormous Christmas tree looking pines. It is a gorgeous site to see even “in the rain.”. Like a mystical setting in a fairytale book.
After camp is all set up we head into the town of Kodiak to grab more supplies….fuel for cooking, charcoal, firewood, some food necessities. We explore all over and drive down to the docks and check out the harbor and all of the fishing boats. It is such a cool scene. This is truly a fishing town. People are very friendly and there are lots of tourists, mainly men from all over the country looking to fish, hunt, explore. We find a small restaurant and grab some breakfast before heading out to our first fishing spot. The Olds River which is about a 20-30 minute drive. On our way to “Olds” we see bears! Yes bears! Right there on the side of the road playing in a big field adjacent to a river. 3 bears! Oh man they are soooooo cute. They are very playful and we observe and take many pictures of them. We watch them in the river snagging salmon after salmon. They could care less that people have gathered and are watching them. It’s as if we are not even there. 30 minutes go by quick and it is time to mosey on our way.
We get to Olds river and set up our spot which we will spend numerous hours fishing this river that leads to the ocean, and is actually packed with pink (Humpy) Salmon. It is so packed you can see them one on top of each other and you can see them above the water and they are just everywhere. Chad aka….”The Fishin Magician” he dubs himself as, hooks up the poles and the fishing begins. Personally, there wasn’t enough of a challenge for me to want to fish. The river was so abundant, most every time you cast a line, you’d hook a fish, but Chad didn’t mind that at all. The Fishin Magician was on a mission to catch a silver salmon which we now learned don’t start swimming upriver for another 2 more weeks, and also he was wanting to hook a King Salmon as well. After hours of this, he ends up with a pink salmon which he cleans and fillets right there on the bank. We wrap it up and stick it in the cooler for dinner. By this time it is 6:30 and we pack it up and head back to camp.
Oh and btw….it is still raining!
Campfire is started, in the rain, and we prepare our dinner which consisted of steamed broccoli, a very large New York Steak we bought at the grocery store earlier and the fresh caught salmon. Everything tasted delicious. All of this done……in the rain!
We retire to the tent at about 12:30 and we are asleep before our heads hit the pillow. It has been a long, long day.
Day 3 – Day 2 on Kodiak Island
Saturday, August 20, 2011
SATURDAY August 20
7:30AM-This is what I hear as I’m curled up under my sleeping bag……”Brandman! Time to get up!”. Uggghhhhh I sigh, I’m not getting up right now I think to myself. I was freezing last night and I’m tired! No way am I getting up!! But after about 15 minutes of listening to him hustle and bustle outside the tent, I crawl out from my cocoon, throw on my what seem to be seven layers of clothes and slowly crawl out of the tent. It is still raining! Rained all damn night! I am soooooo tired and soooooo sick of the rain! Another day of rain, great!
We make coffee…..I drink coffee…. I feel much better. Clean up our campsite and we are off again to go fishing.
We first head down to the docks again cuz Chad wants to find a place to buy some fresh halibut for dinner. We find a cool place and not only do we buy fresh halibut but some huge ole Alaskan King Crab legs that we also purchase for dinner later tonight.
We are soooooo excited for dinner.
On today’s agenda, we decide to take a drive to the Pasagchak river and see how the fishing is going out there. Pasagchak is about a 30 minute drive past Olds River. Again on our route, we see bears….Yes! Bears. Kodiak Bears! They are the same ones we saw yesterday but they are maybe 20/30 yards away this time. Super close. It doesn’t get any closer than this.
We shoot more pics and head on our way. We get to Pasagchak and learn that the fishing is horrible and nobody is catching anything. We decide to forego the fishing there and check out a place called Surfers Beach a little farther down the road. After that we head back.
We make a stop along side the road cuz we see tons of salmon jumping up out of this bay.
Chad, The Fishin Magician, hooks up his fly pole, throws on his waders and heads down to the banks and is in the water quicker than the blink of an eye. Ultra fishin’ Dork!
Back at camp the rain has finally let up and we organize and get the fire going to prepare our delicious dinner of Halibut and King Crab legs! OMG! It was truly the best halibut and king crab we have ever had. We wrap it up for the evening which is now 1:30AM and we have an early morning alarm set for 5:45AM. Uggghhhhhh…….need to catch an 8:30 flight back to Anchorage for our 2nd leg of our trip! We are headed up to Nancy State Park where we will hike about 3 miles to our canoe that awaits on Red Shirts Lake and canoe out to our cabin that awaits us.
Kodiak Island is a very unique place and I highly recommend visiting if you ever get a chance. People were very friendly and if you like quaint real deal fishing towns, this is the place!!!!
Bye Bye Kodiak…..We will miss you.
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