Autumn of 2012 Kodiak

Kodiak Silver

When talking about Alaska with my friends, they usually say that Alaska is always covered with snow and ice, and that it is an extremely cold place. Alaska has 4 seasons like Japan. People living in Alaska enjoy flower blossoms in spring and do a lot of activities in summer. They go raspberry picking in autumn. There are, of-course, cold cities where the temperature is minus 40 Celsius degrees or much more lower in winter, but the southeastern cities like Juneau and Sitka have very little snow. Alaska has diversity.

Please look at the map below. You can find Anchorage on the map. I always visit Anchorage via Seattle. It takes three and half hours from Seattle to Anchorage on an airplane, and one hour and ten minutes more from Anchorage to Kodiak.

Achorage map

Kodiak is well known for Kodiak Brown Bears to the people who love nature. Kodiak had previously been exporting a lot of sea-food to Japan, but recently China is a major market. Almost all of the people live in the northeastern part of the island, so all the roads are there only. Please refer to the map below. We also do fishing in the northeastern area.

Kodiak Silver

Sep. 1 Saturday

I went fishing in Kodiak this year. Delta 156 flight took off on time from Narita International Airport at 4:10 pm. It arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 9:00 am. After passing passport control and customs, I got on the Alaska Airlines airplane. When I arrived at Anchorage International Airport, it was drizzling.

The next flight to Kodiak was at 5:35 pm, so I had a lot of time. Using this time, I went downtown to pay for my prepaid cell phone that I already bought in Anchorage three years ago. My Japanese cell phone, AU, worked well in Kodiak two years ago, but it didn't work last year. I guessed the roaming network had been changed.

cute flower very tiny flower

The Era Aviation airplane took off with all the passengers on time. It arrived at Kodiak Airport at 6:45 pm. I headed for Russian Heritage Inn in a car I rented from Avis.

After checking in to the inn, Mr.Shiraishi and I saw Mr.Oki at the Chinese restaurant at 8:00 pm. While having dinner, we talked about our fishing itinerary. He would guide us on Wednesday and Thursday. He said the rivers along the roads, the Busking River and the Olds River, were so bad that both rivers water were low. He offerred that we would do fly-in fishing and adventure fishing using an ATV (all-terrain vehicle). It sounded so interesting but dependent on the weather, so we decided to talk again later.

After returning to the inn, I prepared for fishing and soon went to bed.

Sep. 2 Sunday

I was awaked by someone knocking the door at 4:00 am. A drunken person staying at the inn knocked the wrong door. I had to sleep one more hour.

Mr.Shiraishi and I left the inn at 6:00 am, and headed for the Buskin River. Although it was still dark and rainy, we prepared for fishing and went down to the river. We thought the two hours between 6:00 am to 8:00 am was a special time for fishing, so we called it "a golden time". However, the water level was so low that we had to search for deeper places in the river.

My breakfast The Buskin River

I put a lump of salmon eggs on the hook by egg-loop. I cast it up-cross the river and let it drift on the bottom of the river. However, the water was so low that we could cross the river. While we were seraching for better places, we kept on casting.

When I casually looked downstream after casting a couple of times, I was so surprised that I saw a bear sitting down on the bank and eating salmon. He was very close to us, maybe within 50 feet. We quickly run away from the river to the car.

We had to give up the golden fishing time. Then a local fisherman appeared in the parking lot. We followed him and carefully returned to the river. There was no bear.

We began fishing again. However, it already got light around us, so we couldn't expect to catch anything. There were a lot of pink salmon in the river, but we couldn't find any silver salmon. After fishing for one hour, we quit fishing and decided to go downstream. We couldn't start fishing off on the right foot.

There was a pool a bit downstream of the river. I saw a fisherman just catching a silver salmon. We decided to fish here again.

My reantal car. Nissan Titan. a very shallow pool

We didn't get any bites. While looking at the guy's fishing, I figured out that he had been flipping. Flipping looks like fly-fishing on first sight. Flipping guys use stout fishing rods and reels with very strong line. They attach a heavy lead on the line, and put sparse yarn on the hooks. Do you say they are flies ? As soon as they find out the silver salmon in the river, they begin flipping. They skillfully control the line, and hook the fish. They virtually snag. Snagging is not effected by fishing conditions, especially the fish's taste.

We decided to go to other rivers. At first, we headed for the American River. After 30 minute driving in the rain, we arrived at the river. We looked down the river from the bridge, and found a lot of pink salmon and a few big chum salmon, but no silver salmon. We headed for the Olds River.

The American River A lot of pink salmon in the river

We enjoyed fishing in the Olds River last year. But there was low water in the river this year. We saw a small island in the river and many dead pink salmon along the river. I also saw many pink salmon in the shallows, and guessed they were almost ready to spawn. Many sea gulls were flocking around the fish and were picking fish eyes.

The Olds River mouth A bridge over the river. Good fishing hole.

pink salmon flocking in the shallow. You can see their dorsal fins. Sea gulls attacking salmons

We started spin-fishing soon. Although I kept on casting for a while, I only caught pink salmon. I changed spinner colors from red to orange, and yellow, but they didn't work any more. I had to move.

This is Nissan Titan! Dolly Varden

On the way back to the inn, we visited the mouth of the Buskin River. There were several fishemen along the beach, and some of them had already caught silver salmon. They did flipping, of course.

just high tide beautiful landscape

When we arrived at the river mouth, the tide was moving. I wondered if I would be able to catch silver salmon coming with the high tide. I started fishing with a spinner. When I was casting, the seal's bald head suddenly came up in the river. He could be chasing salmon. It was time we quit fishing. We would do salt water fishing the next day.

A seal This is a coast guard airplane.

Sep. 3 Monday

I recently add a salt water fishing day to my itineary. I enjoy not only fishing in but also crusing in the Alaska Sea.

When we walked to the harbor, the other guys were already in the chartered boat. The boat carrying 6 fishermen, two Japanese and 4 American people including two Colorado guys, left the pier at 8:00 am. Our targets were salmon and halibut.

morning harbor The boat stern. You can see a down-rigger.

Chris was the boat captain and the owner of the boat, U-RASCAL. Before leaving harbor, we had two jobs. The first job was to get bait. We caught a lot of herring by multiple hooks in the harbor. By shaking multiple hooks in the sea, we could catch two or three herring each time. The bait container was filled up with herring soon.

a hook for halibut the harbor

The second job was to fill up the container with ice. This container was large enough to hold 6 guys catch. The captain moored the boat to the fishery's pier. The container was lifted by the crane and was filled up with crushed ice. We were ready to leave.

a huge container the container was lifted and filled up with ice.

Because it was a very windy day, the boat needed to head for the northeast of Kodiak Island where we would be able to avoid the strong wind and big waves. Kodiak was surrounded by many small islands, so the boat was making its way through the islands. We reached the fishing hole after one hour of sailing.

calm sea very calm Alaskan sea

At first, we began trolling to catch salmon using spoons. Deckhands sank spoons by down-riggers, and the captain kept on trolling. When a bite occures, a fisherman starts reeling in. However, no bites happened. The boat headed for the different holes.

Where is salmon ? We are waiting for a bite.

Our next target was halibut. The boat was anchored, and we began fishing. Using a stout fishing rod and a stout reel, and a large hook with cut herring, I dropped the bait on the sea bottom. The secret to catch a big one was to wait for a bite patiently and not to lift the rod quickly when a bite occured. We had to wait for a while until the fish swallowed the bait.

The captain seemed to choose an excellent fishing hole. There could be many active and eager fish in the hole. I heard the people shouting "Fish on!" everywhere on board. They caught mid-sized halibut and nice cod. I caught a bag limit of halibut soon.

cut herring for bait a middle sized halibut

This day, I brought a special jig I had made in Japan, and wanted to use it. The chance came up. I tied 10 meter 40 LB test leader to 200 meter #5 PE line with the stout reel, and tied the special jig to the leader. When I dropped the jig, I saw it fly away with very fast tide. The water depth around here was between 100 ft. and 130 ft., but my line was already getting out 300 ft.. The current was too fast to do jigging. I gave up jigging soon, and began bait-fishing for cod.

small cods turned to the bait no wind, no wake

Cod might be 3 or 4 foot above the bottom. After dropping the bait on the bottom, I reeled in 2,3 times. Reeling was a very hard job because we were using very heavy lead. But, if I was too lazy to reel, the bait would be stolen by fish. After dropping the bait, I had to put my eyes on the rod tip. Fish were active, so I caught three nice sized cod soon.

sea looks like a mirror rigging for halibut

As the fishing was getting slow, the captain decided to move. After reeling up the anchor, the boat headed for the southeastern area. On the way, we saw a lot of sea otters in the kelp sea. Over 20 sea otters were drifting in the calm sea with a lot of kelp.

the kelp sea sea otters

We did trolling to catch salmon again at 2:00 pm, but didn't get any bites. The captain gave us one more chance to enjoy fishing before leaving for the harbor. We would do jigging to catch black rock-fish.

We rigged a 6 ounce jig with an assist hook each, and reeled in from the bottom. After luring the fish between 10 feet from the bottom, we got bites soon. I caught three big black rock-fish. When almost all of the guys caught fish, we reeled up and quit fishing. We returned to the harbor carrying the big container filled up with today's catch.

many sea otters today's catch

When we returned to the harbor, the captain moored the boat to the seafood company pier, because the American fishermen asked the company to process and ship their catch. My fish were filleted and gutted by the captain on the board. He handed the fish to Mr.Oki who was waiting for us at the boat peir. I really enjoyed the fishing and the nice weather this day. I had the time of my life.

Sep. 4 Tuesday

As soon as I had breakfast, we headed for the Buskin River at 6:15 am. We decided to fish at the same place where the American guy had fished for silver salmon the day before yesterday. We began fishing calmly and carefully because there might be a bear around there.

my breakfast the Buskin River before daybreak

I cast a lump of salmon eggs upstream several times, but only caught pink salmon. I didn't see any silver salmon in the river. "Cliff Point", one of the productive fishing holes around here, was a bit downstream from us. We wanted to fish there, but it was so popular that two guys were already fishing.

a lot of pink salmon in the river flipping Filions appeared upstream

We fished until 8:00 am, but got no bites. A couple of Filipinos appeared and began flipping loudly. It was the time to leave. We moved to the wooden deck a bit upstream of the river.

few water before the deck there were a lot of dead pink salmon along the river.

I did fly-fishing here. I used a special fly that I had made considering my last year's experience using chenile and marabou. However, my catch was only pink salmon. We decided to head for the Olds River.

my special salmon fly

On the way to the Olds River, we visited the American River. I stopped at the roadside before the bridge. I looked down to the river from the bridge, and only saw innumerable pink salmon in the river. Pink salmon, called "Karafuto masu" in Japan, is a very popular food in Japan as well as chum salmon. However, there are few American people to eat them.

the gate tp the American River very few water in the river

There are a lot of pink salmon in the river. But, you can't see them clearly. Please visit right picture. innumerable pink salmon

There were no fishermen in the Olds River. It was still raining heavily and blowing hard. I cast a lump of salmon eggs soon, but didn't get any bites. I went to another hole downstream where I had caught a lot of fish a few years ago, but I didin't get any bites. Because it was raining more heavily and blowing harder, I couldn't cast well.

driving along the river Strong wind makes fishing hard

I also did fly-fishing, but couldn't beat the wind. I'd rather quit fishing soon.

in the rain and the wind used to be a good hole

Changing the air, I headed for Lake Buskin. The lake was upstream of the Buskin River, and there was a weir at the outlet of the lake to count silver salmon coming up . I stopped at the bank, and saw a couple of sockeye salmon swimming at the weir downstream. Their body color was already spawning color red.

There was a large meander at Lake Buskin downstream. It seemed to be a good rest place for salmon. I caught a nice silver salmon last year. I began casting a spinner soon.

right side upstream was Lake Buskin here was also few water

The river had already changed so much and the bank had also been eroded. I walked around the meander and tried casting, but I didn't get any silver's bites.

a lot of pink salmon a large meander

Finally, we decided to visit White Sand Beach at the norhteastern area of the island. I had prepared a special rigging for shore fishing. I wanted to try it. I would cast a artificial worm that looked like a crayfish to catch flounder and bottom fish.

Passing downtown, I headed for the northeast through the suburbs in the forest road. We were a bit nervous because we came across a bear here three years ago. I felt relieved when I found 2,3 cars at the parking lot.

When we were preparing to fish, a local fisheman came close and said several silver salmon had appeared at the Monashka Creek now. As soon we heard the story, we decided to head for the Monashka Creek. We were so unscrupulous.

No snagging ! a big group of pink salmon

There were already a few fishermen who were doing bobber-fishing. A bobber was a small float and it could carry a lump of salmon eggs in the water. When a bite occured, the bobber was pulled quickly. I thought it was the best way to fish at the lazy water. However, they hadn't gotten any bites yet.

When we arrived at the river, the high tide just began. While I was looking at the river, I found 2 silver salmon coming up. Because I hadn't had a bobber, I let a lump of salmon eggs drifted on the bottom of the river. The silver salmon didn't seem to be interested in the bait. Although I kept on casting for a while, I didn't get any bites. I finished that day's fishing.

Sep. 5 Wednesday

We would do safari fishing that day. Mr.Oki had recommended us to visit the Salutary River because other rivers were too bad. It was not so easy to visit the river because there was no stable roads on the way. Only ATV (all-terrain-vehicle) could go to the river.

Mr.Oki picked us up at 5:45 am and headed for the American River.

I saw a trailer behind the car carrying an ATV. Mr.Oki bought it this year to go fishing at remote areas. Safari fishing takes you through lush vegetation, river valleys and mountain terrain to catch a trophy fish. It was first time for us to do safari fishing and visit the Salutary River, so we were so excited. We got on the ATV at the American River bank and headed for the Salutary River.

This is an ATVI driving on bad roads

The roads were bad beyond my expectation. I'd like to tell you a story later. Any way, we arrived at the river after one and half hours of driving on bad roads.

the road made by tracks. In spite of bad roads, many fishemen had already arrived here. an ATV

We looked down to the river from the bank top. There was enough water to fish, so we might be able to enjoy fishing that day.

the Salutary River looking upstream

When we climbed down to the shore, we saw a lot of pink salmon and a few silver salmon in the pool. We began casting the bait soon.

a lot of salmon in the pool a group of pink salmon

I didn't get any bites for a while. After casting many times , I eventualy got a bite. It was my first bite that day, so I reeled in carefully. When I landed the fish, I found it was sockeye salmon. Sockeye salmon usually come up in July and August. I wondered why it was here, but I was happy to catch it.

keep casting any way it was sockeye salmon

I found one king salmon among the pink salmon group. It had spawning color and went upstream and downstream in the current. King season was already over, so I hadn't expected to catch it any more. When I let a bait drift, I got a heavy bite. It didn't pull strongly but pulled heavily. When I reeled it in carefully, I saw it was the king salmon. king salmon!

reeling in carefully 20 LB female king salmon

Mr. Oki told me that this river was not a king salmon river and it was "a strayer". I finally caught the strayer in the off season. I felt happy but a bit strange.

a lot of pink salmon in the river after long journey

When we continued fishing, an American couple appeared at the river. They said they were chasing a bear and he was near here. A bear near here!? They were chasing the bear to take pictures, but we didn't want to see him any more.

Mr.Oki gutted fish quickly and took them to the car. We packed fishing gear to evacuate quickly whenever the bear appeared, and kept on fishing. After a while, Mr.Oki and Mr.Shiraishi, who were fishing upstream, shouted " Bear! ". He was coming down along the opposite river side. He looked at us. We immediately took hold of the bag each, and climbed up the bank. We knew it was very dangerous to run fast in front of the bear, of course, but we unconsciously trotted off.

He is a bear! coming close

While we were looking at him from the cliff top, he was composedly walking down along the river side. Although we were looking 20 feet above the river and there was the river between the bear and us, he would be able to attack us easily if he wished. We calmly kept on watching his back for a while.

three times bigger than Japanese bears, maybe going downstream

We had no fight left in us, so quit fishing. After loading bags into the ATV, we turned back. I have to tell the roads story here. At first we had to drive on the muddy road with many pools in bush. The pools appeared one after another in the road, and the windshield got muddy soon.

pool and pool we had to go through the bush and pools

When we passed through the large pools, water rushed into the car. Unless I was wearing a chest wader, I couldn't stay in the car.

a huge pool water came up

Mr.Oki easily drove on the gravel road, but the road turned to be too rocky soon. He avoided big rocks and drove carefully. You might not see how steep the road was.

a gravel road rocky and steep road

driving and splashing a huge pool

The car crossed the river many times. This area was the headwaters of the American River. It could be easy to loose the way in such a place. We wouldn't be able to return without Mr.Oki.

passing thriugh the river taking a rest

After a long time hard driving, we managed to return to the American River bank. I guessed Mr.Oki was so tired after hard job. Owing to his guidance we enjoyed fishing and driving this day. If it rained heavily, we wouldn't be able to return easily.

It's fine weather in Kodiak my dinner

Sep. 6 Thursday

We would visit Afognak Island by an airplane that day, and would fish silver salmon in "the nameless river". Mr.Oki picked us up at 7:20 am and we headed for Near Island, on the opposite side island of the main island, where Andrew Airways was. We would go to Afognak Island in a 4 seat seaplane.

delicous meal Andrew Airways new office

The Andrew Airways office was recently re-built, so it had a nice wood smell. We paid the admission fees and arranged the flight schedule. The island is owned by the native people, so we couldn't enter without permission. We paid $50 and received a permission paper each.

getting on the seaplane After loading, we depart

The seaplane with 4 people smoothly took off after a short glide on the sea at 7:50 am. We could see many beautiful houses and roads through the window.

beautiful houses beautiful day

After 10 minutes flying, the small island appeared in front of us. It was 4th time for us to visit the island, and we enjoyed fishing very much every time. As we were coming up on the island, we were very excited. You can see the inlet in the right picture. The inlet was Marka Bay where the nameless river was.

You can see Afognak Island far away You can also see two inlets

I visited here three years ago, and I saw a lot of trees cut down. When I saw a bald field along the inlet, I guessed the cutting had been going ever since. Our pilot was looking for a good landing place and circling over the bay, and shortly after landed on the water. The seaplane gets buoyancy from the floats. When they are beached, they lose balance easily and can't move any more. The pilot has to avoid the shallow. Becasuse the Marka Bay inlet was so long, it depended on the tide how far the seaplane could get into the inlet. We were so lucky that the high tide had just finished but the tide level was still high.

a bald field landing on the water

The seaplane returned after three guys got out. It saw heavy use all day carrying people and a lot of things. We reached the hole after walking for ten minutes. It would have taken at least 30 minutes or more if it was at low tide.

taking off you can look the hole

We began fishing at 8:30 am. There was enough water in the river, and could be a lot of silver salmon.

looking upstream opposite river side is a good fishing hole

As expected, as soon as I cast a lump of salmon eggs, I got a strong bite. When I quickly lifted a fishing rod up, it strongly pulled. It was my first sliversalmon this year, so I was very excited and enjoyed fighting with it. This was the reason why I have visited Kodiak every year and spent a lot of money. I tightened my reel drag and carefully reeled it in. It was a big bright silver salmon.

The best hore around here a bite came up soon

I guessed there were many fish in the river and they seemed to be very active. I got a bite almost every cast. The silver salmon tried to run away and went upstream and downstream, but other salmon didn't seem to care. We caught one after another.

catch didn't depend on angler's skill. a bag limit soon

Shortly after, I caught the bag limit of silver salmon, 5 salmon, in two hours. I didn't smoke any more during fishing, so I broke off a little bit. Mr.Oki killed and drained the blood out of the fish soon to keep them fresh. I guessed it could be quite hard to bring back so much fish.

the time of my life 3 guys today's catch

We still had lots of time to fish before we left, so we began catch-and-release fishing. I did fly-fishing using handmade flies. I had been tying diverse flies and studying the ways to cast since the last season. I wondered if my flies would work well. I chose a yellow green fly.

my fly worked very well a good sized silver salmon

My flies were made of chenile and marabou, and their colors were yellowish green and orange, and pink and yellow. Some of them had a lead head each, called "a hammer head". I used a hammer head fly in the deep river and used a no lead head fly in the shallows. They worked very well.

It was our third time visit to this river and we hadn't see any fishermen so far. The river had been like a reserved river. However, this year, two groups appeared at 11:00 am and each group had 6 people and a fishing guide. Would the fishing festival be held here ? They came here riding on rafts.

One group was the guests of Raspberry Lodge and another was coming from Port Lion, Mr.Oki said. One group did bait fishing and another did fly-fishing. Although the bait fishing people seemed to be novices, the fish were so active that they could catch silver salmon easily. Of course, not every person could catch, but they seemed to enjoy fsihing in their own ways. They were shouting with joy at every bite.

fishing is fantastic! delighted women it's not so easy to catch big one

My flies worked very well, but I decided to do bead fishing. I was not familiar with bead fishing yet, and only had done it in Hokkaido, the northern part of Japan. My targets were dolly varden and silver salmon, and steelhead, but I was not sure whether I could catch any of them.

I tied a hook at the tip of the tippet and fixed a bead two inches above the hook. The bead looked like a salmon egg. At first, the fish swallows the bead as an egg and spits it out soon because it is fake. Then, the hook catches fish's mouth. The bead is uaually used in craftwork. I had painted it to make it look real. Can I catch with it ?

bead system fish on!

After casting several times, I got a bite. It was a silver salmon. I was so surprised that I'd never expected to catch a Silver with such a small bead. After landing, I saw the hook firmly catching in its mouth. I was very happy to catch a nice one, and the first catch encouraged me very much.

I got a strong bite soon. As soon as I lifted my fishing pole quickly, it fiercely tried to run away. At first, I thought it was a Silver, but it was something different. The fish strongly pulled the line and went upstream and downstream, and right to left. My fishing pole, Sage FLX #9, was standing strongly. While reeling it in, I led it to the shallows and managed to land it. Surprisingly it was a steelhead. I had already known that many fishermen in America are chasing steelhead using beads, but I didn't expect to catch it while using one.

catching it by bead a fine steelhead

While we were fishing, the high tide was coming up. A lot of silver salmon appeared with the high tide, one after another.

you can see many silver salmon in the river Japanese fishing guide, Mr.Oki

I tied a new yellow fly to the tippet and cast it to new silver salmon. They were so active that I got bites easily. I did catch-and-release fishing. The seaplane would pick us up at 4:00 pm. Considering we had to walk to the landing place and process, we should quit fishing soon.

fish on! yellow fly worked very well

We moved to the landing place, and Mr.Oki gutted the fish there. We found a fishing boat off the beach. One of the two groups came to the bay by the boat and changed to the raft there. Cool!

gutted off a fishing boat

While Mr.Oki was gutting off, I did fly-fishing at the river mouth. When I was casting on the sandbank, I saw several silver salmon coming with the tide. I cast the fly to them and saw one of them bite it. As soon as I lifted my fishing pole up, a strong pulling came back. It could be my last silver salmon of the tour, so I carefully and pleasantly reeled it in. It just came from the sea and looked so fine. I removed the hook from the mouth and carefully released it.

river mouth just high tide

The seaplane appeared at 4:05 pm. Luckily it was just high tide, so it could approach so close to us. After we loaded the fish into the floats, the seaplane took off soon. I did everything I had expected to do that day. It was a perfect day for me.

the seaplane coming perfect!

We had dinner with Mr.Oki as usual. While talking about the two day fish story, we enjoyed dinner very much. I ordered a fried polk bowl, and Mr.Shiraishi ordered a cod set. This restaurant, Old Power House, is owned by the Japanese and very popular in Kodiak. There were many people enjoying Japanese cuisine.

a fried poke bowl a cod set

Sep. 7 Friday

We usually fish on the last day of the tour, and move to Anchorage at night. The flights between Anchorage and Kodiak are operated by Era Aviation using small airplanes. They do visual flights, so that the flight schedule is always depending on the weather. We had to wait for the boarding for three hours last year.

Kodiak morning Russian Heritage Inn

We decided not to fish the last day and to move to Anchorage in the morning this year. The airplane took off from Kodiak airport at 11:10 am on time.

On the way to the airport, we visited the Buskin River. There were two Filipinos fipping in the river. Era Aviation

I was very surprised when looking out the airplane window. I found a shadow of the airplane on the distant cloud being enclosed by the rainbow. It could be "Broken spectre". It was the first time for me to see it. I knew it happens when the sun and the object, and the cloud are lining up straight,then the object is reflected on the cloud being enclosed by the rainbow. I'd never expected to see it here.

you can see the shadow of the airplane the shadow being enclosed by the rainbow

I also saw the Kenai River. The river flowing into Cook Inlet is well known for the world record king salmon that was caught in 1986. However, the number of king salmon coming up in the river has been shrinking year by year, and it has been difficult to catch them. It's a tradgedy.

meadering river you can see Soldotna and Kenai along the river

We arrived at Anchorage International Airport at 12:15 pm. We headed for the hotel on the shuttle. After checking in to the hotel, we had lunch at the neighboring Mcdonalds. I called Ms.Takada after lunch, who is an offical of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anchorage Office. She took a half day holiday and would show us downtown Anchorage. We met at the hotel and headed downtown in her car.

I asked her to take me to Ship Creek and Cambell Creek. These rivers were flowing in suburbs of Anchorage, so I wanted to see them.

Cambell Creek was flowing in the suburbs and in the park, and people could easily fish at permitted sections of the river. The residents could fish in front of their houses. The river was so clear and and had enough water.

the Cambell Creek upstream the Cambell Creek downstream

A powerful storm hit Anchorage two days ago and destroyed many houses and caused over 20000 blackouts. The power was already restored, but I saw fallen trees around Cambell Creek. Ms.Takada and I talked together, and decided to go to Alyeska.

Ms. Takada told us that we would pass a special place where we could see wild beluga. After a while passing downtown, we saw many people stop their cars at the road side and looking at the sea. She said they were looking at beluga. We decided to watch it.

The Beluga Point you can see the beluga back

People said this was "Point Beluga" and they often watched the beluga here. When we crossed the rail of Alaska Railroad and approached the point, we fortunately found a couple of beluga in the sea. I saw their big backs clearly. It was the first time to see the wild beluga for me, so I was very excited at watching their backs.

white back Alaska Rairoad

Alyeska ski resort was developed by Alyeska Ski Corporation in 1959, and the corporation sold it to Seibu Alaska in 1980, the subsidiary of the real estate corporation of Japan. Seibu Alaska also sold the resort to John Byrne in 2006. It takes 45 minutes driving from the downtown in summer and one hour in winter.

Now there was no snow, of course, but many people came and stayed at the luxery hotel to relax. Ms. Takada parked her car in the parking lot and we went to the hotel coffee shop.

ski resort headed for the hotel

The distant mountains' tops were already covered with fresh snow. I guessed the very cold winter would come soon. After having cups of coffee and cinnamom rolls, we returned downtown.

mountains were covered with snow Alyeska hotel

We had dinner at the seafood restaurant on the bridge. The restaurant was really on the bridge over Ship Creek. I hadn't ever seen such a restaurant in Japan.

The entrance the restaurant on the bridge

She and I ordered a mixed grill set each, and Mr.Shiraishi ordered a fried cod set. These sets included salad bar, so we ate a lot of vegetable and snow crab legs. We finished our tour with a delicious meal. A very steamy summer could be waiting for us in Japan.

a mixed grill set a fried cod

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