Kenai Fishing Academy
1 Kenai Fishing Academy
In July of 2003 , I visited Kenai again to join the Kenai Fishing Academy that will be opened on July 12 .
On the way back to Japan in June , when I was reading a fishing magazine , Fish Alaska , I found a very interesting article on it . It said the Kenai Peninsula College would take place the Fishing Academy for fly-fishing anglers in summer . From Monday to Friday , anglers study fly-casting and fly-tying , and river's eco-system and biology , and other useful subjects for anglers as lodging together at the Christian College . Of course , it includes training at the river and the lake . The rate was very reasonable .
Until then , I was interested in fly-fishing , but not good at it . However , Fly-fishing in Alaska , was so attractive for me that I applied to the college office as soon as coming back to home .
The students were coming from , of course including Alaska state , all over the country . There were 14 students including four women at the class . I was studying hard with them from morning to night .
2 Fishing is science
Dave Atcheson taught us the equipment selection and the fly selection . Dr.Dave Wartinbee taught us the river history and the river biology . Joe McCullough , an education specialist of AK Office of Boating Safety taught us how to survive at emergency . There were a lot of subjects we should learn , but their lessons were attractive and intersting very much , so we could learn delightfully not losing interest .
Kenai River was flowing behind the college , so we could practice easily . I luckily fished sockeye salmon . I can't forget my rod bended like a full moon by it .
I was very interested in fish length requirement . I have to release when I fish less than 6 inches trout in Japan . Almost all fishery cooperatives are laying down this rule . But it is entirely opposite in Alaska . For example , daily limits . According to the fishing regulation in 2004 , we can keep 10 lake trouts less than 20 inches but only 2 lake trouts 20 inches or longer . Alaskan requirement is depending on the biological statistics . The study says a bigger fish can spawn much more eggs . In my experience , I can find out this fact when fishing in autum that bigger one is holding much more numbers eggs than small one .
3 Fly-fishing practice
The forth day in Academy , we did trout fishing on the guided boat at the Kenai River . I and three brothers coming from Colorado were launched downstream of the Kenai River . Using #6 rod and line , #3 leader attached a float as an indicator , today's fly was a bead like a salmon egg . As the fly was going down with boat , it was just natural drift !
Not only the Kenai River , and other rivers in Alaska have steep banks that are encroached by strong run-off water , but also the land of banks are private properties . They make anglers approach to the banks very difficult . So , boat fishing is the best way to approach to the holes .
Sometime we stayed at the sandbank , and sometime we anchored at the shallows and fished . We could fish a lot of rainbow and dolly varden until noon . Catch-and-release was our policy , so we did release all fish carefully .
４ Bears !
The last day , we went to the Russian River to practice the rainbow fishing . Russian River is very famous for its crowds , so-called Combat Fishing , at sockeye season . There are hundred thousands sockeyes running up to spawn . However , popular with anglers means popular with bears . A lot of bears are inhabiting around here .
The hikers party was attacked by two or three bears and three people were injured the day before yesterday , a newspaper said yesterday . Really , we came across two cabs playing on the opposite bank when walking along the river . Mother bear is where cabs are . When we looked upstream , mother bear was just crossing the river , to our side !
The local people were great then . They kept quite cool , weren't confused any more , and began shouting cheerfully " Bear ! " , " We are here ! Bear ! " . I also did as well . I guessed it might be the tactics to let the bear notice humans here . But I was afraid that she would notice food was here .
As expected , she turned and went back to the opposite bank . Before I knew , cabs had already disapperared . They began fishing as usual . I noticed they were holding guns and shot-guns , but they were just amulets for them .
Attending to the Kenai Fishing Academy was just a milestone for my life . Not only I could study fishing science and get useful information , but also could make friends in Alaska . I have been associating with them ever since .