This year has been challenging and rewarding in many ways already. I've been trying to get my feet under me in the classroom. Each new batch of 7th graders that get thrown my way try to test their new teacher by driving them crazy. This years group is trying hard, but they aren't getting anywhere. Tough love! There is always so much work to get up to date for the new year as well that it takes me until about October to find my feet. I am almost there and it is still the 3rd week of September, so I think I'm doing pretty well.
As for fishing, I have been rewarded and disappointed. The beginning of the Silver Salmon season was great. My first trip out, I landed 4 beautiful silvers as bright as the sun. Unfortunately, you will have to take my word on it, because I lost the pictures when my work computer crashed. I caught a few more after that and this is a couple of older males that were caught about a week later. I've also engaged my friend and colleague Marty into some flyfishing. He picked it up rather quickly and found success with a few fish. After a couple of weeks of being in the river though, the fish just shut down. Maybe they get too skittish. Maybe they are getting too much fishing pressure from all the kids that try to snag them. Maybe they just can't be distracted from their spawning rituals and don't even bother to chase the colorful flies I throw their way. Either way, I can't get them to bite anymore. I would like to try a different river and see if less fishing pressure has an effect, but the other rivers require a fairly long 4 wheeler drive over the tundra. I don't think that I could even hike there and back in a day and still have time to fish. So I am left to fish the nearby Alukucaq.
Yesterday I hiked way up river and saw a couple of amazing things. First, there are many beavers that inhabit the river and build extensive dams and lodges along the river, sometimes backing the water up for long sections. Second, many many salmon still get up stream through the beaver dams and find spawning grounds way up river. Third, there are a couple of areas that have large groups of Dolly Varden swimming spastically around following Salmon and sipping eggs that drift down stream. On one of my first casts, I hooked with two fish at the same time. Eventually one of them shook the hook, but it was pretty exciting having two fish darting around on my line.
The fishing is starting to come to a close around here though and soon, winter will set in and I'll be forced to fish through the ice. Not a favorite of mine. This fishing season has been a good one. Maybe there will be one more adventure to Nunuvak Island next weekend for some more fishing. I'll keep you posted.
Until next time,
thanks for reading my sporadic blog