The fishing season in Alaska for Russell Fishing ended in late September and all of us…..Russell’s guides…. went back to our winter lives.
Owner Dustin and his family went home to Oregon and starting guiding salmon and steelhead in the Northwest. Pops went back to his construction work, moving dirt during the week and fishing pr guiding on the weekend. Carson moved back the Southern Oregon and continued his winter fishing guide business. Brian stayed in Alaska turning wrenches during the week and fishing when weather allowed. Dane returned to Michigan to Grand Valley State and when not hitting the books, he was hunting steelhead in the upper Midwest rivers. Yours truly drove the 4000 miles back to the mild Vegas weather to start marketing Russell Fishing and Alaska Hooksetters Lodge for 2014.
A few of us who can’t fish locally due to weather or lack of salmon/trout water, revert to tying hundreds of flesh flies and streamers. We clean and oil our plugs, replace our hooks, re-line our reels, clean our fly lines, organize our fish boxes and by now start daydreaming about the rod bending and the drag singing.
Alaska TV shows dominate the Discovery and Travel Channels. We watch and wait…..In a short 3 months we all will be back in Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula.
After the flights or drives from the lower 48, we will double check our gear, buy some new lures and terminal tackle, steam clean our boats, run our outboards and even check our waders for leaks. Arriving in early May, we get a chance to fish instead of guiding, tossing flies for the elusive Kasilof Steelhead. Dustin will take us out into the salt and get our limits of Halibut and maybe a few early Kings for our personal use. Scouting the rivers and their conditions will be key to a great start at the end of the month.
The lodge will be spruced up and the staff will start their routine. We will visit our summer friends and business associates we haven’t seen in 7 months. In what seems to be the “swish of the salmon's tail” we will be in full swing, waking at 3 AM and launching at 4, rowing the Kasilof, running the Kenai in our sleds or navigating Cook Inlet - maybe even in a brand new boat.
A hectic but fulfilling and gratifying summer of entertaining our guests lies ahead. To a person, we can't wait. See you soon!
by Cap’n Gilz
Russell Fishing Company