Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Becoming an OutdoorsWoman spring 2006

We've mentioned this before, but it's worth another note here:

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Hunter Heritage Foundation of Alaska is hosting a winter Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshop March 24-26, 2006 at Victory Bible Camp, Alaska (Mile 94.8 Glenn Highway). Registration forms and class descriptions are now available online. There is substantial information about this program here.

For Alaska women who long to learn about fishing and other outdoor activities, BOW is a good program. It is run in many states, and it has earned rave reviews for good reason.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Fairbanks outdoor writer wins national awards

Chris Batin, a Fairbanks outdoor writer has won a number of writing awards in the Outdoor Writers Association of America Excellence-in-Craft Competition for 2005. Batin, well known for his Alaska fishing and hunting books and other information products, was awarded the first-place award in the magazine category for Humor, and a first-place award in the magazine category for Camping/Backpacking. He received a second-place award in the Technical magazine category, as well as other awards and prize money. Batin's material can be found in many bookstores. More information about his outdoors information products can be found on his website. Congratulations, Chris!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Alaska fish stocking plan complete

ADF&G has completed its five year plan for stocking Alaska's waterways. The agency plans to stock 7 million fish per year at hundreds of locations around the state. The plan is divided into southeast, southcentral and interior Alaska.

Recent threads on the Alaska Fishing Forum

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Alaska State Parks raises cabin rental fees

State park nightly cabin rates went up in December, but a discount is in effect for off peak nights. The rates are going up $5 to $10 per night to help keep up with the costs of cabin maintenance. Alaska State Parks is also making available two new cabins out of Whittier and Homer, beginning the summer of 2006.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hot threads on the Alaska Fishing Forum

These recent forum threads have started some good discussion. These are just a few of the topics posted recently:

Learning fishing at school

Where did you learn to fish? Probably not at school like 400 Kenai Peninsula students will be this month. The educational program, "Salmon in the Classroom," is part of the Department of Fish and Game's aquatic education program. During this hands-on event, elementary school students are taught ethical angling practices, such as proper techniques for both harvest and catch-and-release. The students will be fishing in a stocked lake, and both high school age volunteers and ADFG staff will be assisting the kids.

Fewer sockeye in 2006 - forecast

The Alaska Department of Fish & Game is forecasting a lower than average sockeye (red) salmon run in Upper Cook Inlet for 2006. Last year's huge runs will not be repeated this year, the agency predicts, with a total run of 3.6 million fish. Compare that with a commercial harvest in 2005 of over 5 million. The large run in 2005 was due to a stronger than expected return of 5-year old sockeye salmon to the Kenai and Kasilof rivers.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Russian River sow shooter gets jail time

An Anchorage man will spend 10 days in jail, pay a fine of $2,800, and lose his firearm for illegally shooting a sow brown bear at the Russian River in late July, according to the Anchorage Daily News. The bear was frequently seen by anglers, and the shooting outraged the fishing community and others in the area. Michael Oswalt, 27 pled guilty to the offenses. The judge suspended part of the jail time.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Fly Fishing Classes - Anchorage

Women's Flyfishing is offering Beginning Fly Tying classes in Anchorage during January. Both classes are 9-hours long and the cost is $90. The dates are: 1) Friday Jan. 13th 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 14th 9-5; and 2) Friday Jan. 20th 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 21st 9-5.

Students will tie some flies for salmon, trout, and grayling. The instructors provide all the equipment and all the materials. Class sizes are limited. Call (907) 274-7113 for more information, or email pudge@womensflyfishing.net

Friday, January 06, 2006

Where are the fish?

ADFG maintains a "fish distribution database" that can provide basic information about various Alaska waterbodies, according to Alaska Wildlife News. To make the information in the database more accessible and useful to the public, a publication called the Alaska Anadromous Waters Catalog has been developed. In addition, a set of maps detailing the presence of anadromous fish in most areas of the state is available as well. These can be accessed online through the Division of Sport fish website.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Scout Lake access improved to help pike anglers

As part of the effort to increase the catch of northern pike in the lake, Alaska State Parks has opened the gate and is plowing the parking lot at Scout Lake. Pike were illegally introduced to the lake and are damaging native fish populations. For additional information, see "Pike fishing encouraged at Kenai Peninsula's Scout Lake" below.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fishing Shows

January begins the annual cycle of outdoor shows for anglers (and others) around the US and Canada, Pudge Kleinkauf points out in her January Women's Flyfishing newsletter.

Some of these start today. Others will be starting in the next few weeks. The Great Lakes Sportfishing Council has compiled a list of sport fishing, outdoors, boating & RV shows around the world. Another listing of shows comes from LandBigFish.com

"Shows provide you with a great opportunity to attend educational and informational seminars, see new products, and learn about fishing opportunities," Kleinkauf says.

Here in Alaska, the shows start in March in Wasilla, then Fairbanks, Kenai and Fairbanks. More on these as they approach.

ADFG looking for lakes, streams info

The Alaska Departments of Fish and Game and Natural Resources are looking to users for some information about some specific waterbodies.

ADFG's ANILCA program wrote this to us in an email: "...(We are) collecting information on specific rivers, lakes and streams throughout Alaska. Information is needed on many of the state’s 14 million acres of inland navigable waters so we can catalog historical and contemporary use, as well as hydrological characteristics. Any personal observations and concerns are also helpful and appreciated. At this time, January 2006, we are particularly interested in boat use on the Nabesna and Chisana Rivers and on Moose Creek and Scottie Creek (emphasis added) near Northway, Alaska, however boat use on any river, lake or stream will be very useful in establishing the state position. Thank you for your help."

ADFG also sent a cover letter and a form that focus on what they are specifically looking for.

Is this important? Here's what the cover letter says, in part: "The information you provide will help the Departments in addressing access, management, and ownership issues that are increasing throughout the state."

David's translation: if you want to keep using these rivers, this information is important.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

TIPS: Attractor colors and fish

Since most of the sport fish we target are sight feeders, information as to what color to use in your lure or fly and when to use it can at times be critical. Though fish don’t have a favorite color, they need to see whatever you’re pitching in order to strike. Moving objects that you present are affected by a variety of factors and that’s why during varying conditions some hues are “hotter” than others. Identifying what these conditions are and adjusting your selections to them is the key to catching more fish.

Water Temperature Fish are cold blooded and their metabolism changes along with temperature. When the water is cold, metabolism is the lowest and fish react more slowly. At this time a bright lure is more likely to stimulate a strike. Inversely, as the water warms lure offerings can be toned down.

Water Clarity Water is rated clear (blue), moderate (green), or turbid (brown or gray). Fish must see through these conditions much like see through colored glass. In order for them to see the lure, you need to select what reflects through their environment. Obviously, you’ll need to select the brightest attractor for the darkest conditions. The clearer the water becomes, the less reflective intensity is needed. In general, the rule of thumb is this: light lures for dark conditions and dark lures for bright conditions. Pick your light lures for the overcast days, and use your darker ones for the bright sun.

Color Filtration Some colors change markedly once they reach operating depth. Fish will see red as black under just a few feet of clear water, while other colors like silver, gold, blue and green seldom change. And to make it even more confusing, colors reflect differently in open sea as compared to tight streams. Fret not. The following color guidelines seem to work best in Alaska’s varied opportunities:

• Trolling for salmon in open water. Silver, gold, chartreuse, fluorescent green and the color blue do well.
• Fishing moderate water. Silver, fluorescents in pink, red, and orange, and chartreuse will suffice. Glacial runoff is rated as moderate water clarity. (green)
• Fishing clear water in low light. Combine reflective metallic with dark colors.
• Fishing clear water in high light. Tone it down completely.
• Fishing turbid water. Combine gold with blacks and fluorescents.
• Using the salmon egg attractor. Match your presentations to the spawn; new eggs are bright and old eggs are pale.
• Fishing at night. Go with black.
• Fishing turbid water. Again with black.

Note that Alaska fishermen have a tendency to overuse the fluorescent colors of reds, oranges, and pinks. They are fine during the immediate spawn, but afterwards when the eggs pale in the stream, so should your color selections.

Be advised! New technology has brought artificial luminescence to the lure via chemical or battery operated light. Results from these attractors are still being investigated, with promising results.

And most importantly remember this, tackle manufacturers package products to tempt you and not the fish. Buy what appeals to you, but never forget that it must appeal to your quarry when you cast it.

This month's tip is by Bernard Rosenberg, an Alaska fishing enthusiast and author. Rosenberg has been a prolific poster on the Alaska Fishing Forum, and author of
Alaska Fishing on A Budget.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Remember to buy your 2006 license...

This is the time of year when it's really easy to forget an important part of your fishing gear: a license for the current year.

Be sure to purchase your 2006 Alaska fishing license before heading out for fishing for winter kings or through the ice!