In early autumn of 20041 Goes to Kodiak
On August 27 , we visited Alaska . It took one hour and twenty minutes from Anchorage to Kodiak by the twin-engined medium size plane crossing the Cook Inlet . Since I couldn't have booked the flights beforehand this year , almost all discounted tickets were sold out then . I felt relief when I could buy the tickets after trying everything .
２ Salt water fishing in Kodaik
I always think , there are a lot of information and discounted flight tickets for the tourists , but very few for the anglers . Only a couple of travel agencies are selling a few fishing package tours in Japan .
For the people who have been to Alaska once or twice , it is not so difficult to deicide next fishing plan . But for a rookie , it must be difficult to decide where he goes to and where he stays , etc . Through the exchanging e-mails , I can expect something slightly .
What kind of fish you can fish now , or how to fish big one , and what you should bring may be quite easy matters for local people . But for me , whether I can get a container easily , how I do shipping , how about lunch , and whether I can pay by card are important matters . They are very different depending on the places and the guides . After confirming in advance , we can enjoy fishing very much .
The fisihing expedition in Kodiak was a little bit different from past expeditions . It was much more interesting because we did some part of the fishing by ourselves . The meeting with Mr.Ohki who is the only Japanese fishing guide in Kodiak , made our expedition more impressive . We have been gone expensive fishing tours ever since . A guide prepares everything we need , putting a bait on the hook and landing and processing our catch . This time , of course we use a rental rod and reel , we should find holes and put a bait on the hook , and land our fish . They are active and amazing jobs .
The encounter with silversalmon , so-called Acrobatic Salmon , impressed us very much . I wonder this encounter has changed my policy of salmon fishing . When making a next fishing expedition plan , I might always have been haunted by kingsalmon consciously or unconsciously . Can we fish kingsalmon then ? Can we fish kingsalmon there ? might have been hidden view points to make a plan .
Of course , my goal is to fish kingsalmon by bank-fishing . I've been preparing for it steadily . But , just moment . Silver is not bad , you should remeber its fighting . You can enjoy very much and can fish by a lure and a fly anyway . Landing is less difficult than king . Its taste is not so different . Above all , its daily limit is two , double of king , and you can fish three somewhere . My choice range is expanded far and away .
Millions of pinksalmon explosively rush to the rivers in Alaska in every even year . 2004 was just the year . After hatching , pink stay at the rive one year . After that , they go down to the sea , and grow up as eating a lot of prey in the Alaskan sea . They will be back to their home river after two years .
Pinksalmon is called as Karafuto Trout or Humppy Trout in Japan , and is very popular . However , there are not so many rivers salmon coming up in Japan . The rivers that many salmons appear every year are Oirase River and Mabuchi River , and Akka River and Hei River ,and others . And only a couple of the rivers , we can fish salmon under the pretext of investigation . A lot of anglers do combat fishing at the season .
4 Saltwater fishing in Kodiak
on August 28 , our fishing expedition in Kodiak has begun from saltwater fishing . We fish kingsalmon and a halibut by jigging . King is swimming at the middle zone in the water . We are jigging from 30 feet to 50 feet depth . The fighting suddenly starts when sharp and strong bite comes . Halibut is a bottom fish . We have to put down the jig on the bottom , and reel in the line's slack . The bite comes slowly as jigging .
I fished only one ringcod . When hooking it , it didn't move any more like snagging . It didn't fight so much , but was very heavy . Finnally , I hooked very big kingsalmon . However , it broke down the 40 pounds test line and went away .
On August 29 , today is the day of fly-out . We went fishing to the next island , Afognak , by bushplane . There was few river where a lot of silver were running up then , Mr.Ohki , a fishing guide , choosed Afognak River , so-called Ritonik , among the rivers .
We walked 30 minutes from the landing place . Many blackish masses of pink were swimming here and there in the river . I used a Pixy green , and a spinner was okay , too. The pink entering into fesh water is not delicious , local people say . They think pink salmon is the target of only sport fishing . Pink is also school fish , so if someone meets its school , he can fish easily .
When the lure hooks its dorsal fin or tail fin , it fights very strongly . An angler may be very delighted with pinksalmon in Japan . After fishing several pink here , he will say " Shit ! Pink again . " Anglers are always selfish .
The picking up plane came to the riverside at 4 pm . We started for home keeping only one silversalmon that Mr.Shiraishi fished . We had dinner at Old Power House that Mr.Ohki recommended to us . The fried nuddle was very delicious that reminded us of Japan .
6 Expected bank-fishing
On August 30 , the bank-fishing day has just come . We have to do everything from casting to landing by ourselves . The result of fishing is depending on my skill , makes us excited . While high tide comes , we did warming up at the American River near the downtown . We could fish chum and pink , but couldn't fish silver salmon in spite of swimming there .
We arrived at the Pasagshak River just before the tide stopped . We began fishing at the river bank hundreds yard upstream mouth of the river . Mr.Yagihashi fished a Jack (2 years silver) immediately . Although I did fly-fishing , fish was very slow . The local angler before me fished with fly easily . Then , fish on ! I reeled in carefully , but it was a flounder . I fished a flounder by fly-fishing !
After lunch , we went to a mile upstream of the river . We tried to fish with a mass of salmon eggs . Salmon egg is the best bait for the salmon fishing . Using a medium action casting rod reeled in a hundred feet 16 pounds test line , 4/0 octopus hook attached a mass of salmon eggs by the egg-loop , we throw them into the river . We always move the tip of the rod up and down to let a mass of eggs bounce on the bottom . Then , the bite comes strongly and the long line is reeled out at one stretch . The battle has just begun .
The spinning reel is almost its limits , and the line is creaking . Strong drag can't stop the fish . We do pomping several times and lead it to the shallows gradually . Because we don't have a landing net , we try to slide it up on to the bank . Silver never gives up until landing . Its powerful fight attracts a lot of bank-fishermen very much , maybe .
The peak of silver in Kodiak is 2nd week or 3rd week in September . We luckily met the early run-up . It might be one silver among hundreds pinks , the fight with silvers in Pasagshak was unforgettable event for me .
7 Unguided fishing
The last day in Kodiak , we do completely unguided fishing at the American River . Twenty minute driving from the downtown takes us to the hole . We can see chum and pink swimming in the river . I pick up a #8 fly-fishing rod and a #8 floating line . I tie a 20 pounds leader to the line top , and attach a sprit-shot at the middle of the leader . I choose a pink egg-sucking leech .
Method is same as the sockeye fishing , I throw the fly upstream and keep it drag free . When the fly reachs the end of leader , I give a strike to the line . Before long , a bite comes . Fish on! Hooking not dorsal and tail fin , the fly is usually hooked at its mouth for fly-fishng . Silver salmon runs at full speed to downstream , and the rod is bended like the moon .
I already fished strong Kenai sockeye by this rod , so I'm not worried about its broken down . I carefully increase drag power , and lead silver to the shallows gradually . I believe the strength of the leader , and land it at one stroke . It is about 15 pounds female silver .
Chumsalmon is very charming fish , too . It still has spawning color , but may be bigger and stronger than silver . It is same as white salmon in Japan . Generally speaking , salmon after entering into the fresh water is not delicious , so we didn't bring it back to Japan . I don't know whether it is true .
We could enjoy the weather and the fishing very much this time . We got three 40 pounds waxed boxes of fish , and got on the plane to Anchorage .