It has been a rainy week in middle Alaska. Blah.
A little after 6:30 p.m. on May 29, a black bear attacked 53-year-old Wasilla resident Mike Becwar, who was out jogging near Pump Station 5, where he works as a wastewater treatment specialist.
High summer is here in middle Alaska. North of Fairbanks, in bright sunshine, alder flycatchers are perched in spruce tops, just arriving from Bolivia and Peru. A few steps away, accompanied by the smell of sulfur, dozens of carrion flies buzz on and above a moose carcass.
After the final steps of a long run in early March, Greg Finstad took his pulse rate. His heart was at 38 beats per minute. Perfect. The reindeer biologist and marathon runner was in top shape to run this year’s Boston Marathon.
Last night I went out for a drink with a couple of friends. As we arrived, the band was just leaving after playing for an empty room all evening and we had our choice of, well, all of the tables.
On the cusp of Interior Alaska’s springtime, Melinda Webster will not experience it this year. She’ll miss most of summer, too. Webster will soon head north of Earth’s land masses, to spend the next half year cradled in ice.
Nate Becker lives with his family on a quiet stretch of the Yukon River as it flows into Alaska. On a recent ski trip, I visited the Beckers’ home along with two geologist friends. Nate had a question for them.
Today, I was woken up by the sounds of playing children. There is a lot of shouting and screaming involved, a lot of stomping of running feet, doors opening and slamming shut, and a lot of energy. As the kids were outside in the snow, I spent some time watching as they were totally engulfed …
We just skied 100 miles of the frozen Yukon River, two friends and I, until it got too cold for our skis to glide, and we flew back to Fairbanks on a plane that landed on both skis and wheels.
KODIAK — Most of us have heard of the great trout fishing in other parts of the country and around the world. If you’re a fishing crazy like me, you’ve probably even dreamt about them.
KODIAK — I’m delighted to report a momentous weekend. My wife and I visited a favorite beach and connected with our first pink salmon! They’re few and scattered now but with each passing day more and more will be converging along our beaches. By the end of the month, there will be hordes alm…
KODIAK — After a long winter and wet spring here on Kodiak, warm sunny weather can create a problem. Should you face up to your accumulation of outdoor chores or should you play?
I confess that I’m fascinated with king salmon, and it’s not just their potential for large size. They’re different than other salmon in many ways. And, frankly, fishing for them is more like hunting.
KODIAK — It’s one thing for the halibut to be moving shallower now, but another altogether to find them. We’re catching ours here and there in the shallows, but it will take more time for their numbers to build in the usual hotspots.
KODIAK — A quick glance at the calendar should reveal a surprise. Though most folks haven’t caught their first salmon or halibut for the year, deer season is only 10 weeks away.
KODIAK — We had some interesting surprises on the water over the weekend. Most notably, the water was really warm. Wherever we went, the faithful little gauge on our fish finder continued to read 47 degrees!
KODIAK — Kodiak summers entice us outdoors to enjoy time with family and friends. From fishing and hiking to picnicking and grilling burgers on the BBQ, it seems like every activity is an opportunity for picture-taking. But how to capture memories and create good photos at the same time?
KODIAK — With summer fast approaching, people will be itching to start combing beaches and scrambling along mountain forest trails to take advantage of the Emerald Isle’s sunshine. Among the plethora of outdoor activities available is the opportunity to forage for nature’s bounty of healthy …
KODIAK — Now that spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner, Kodiakans have been gifted several hours of extra daylight. For many, that means one thing: more hiking opportunities.
KODIAK — Any day now, I expect Dolly Varden to get serious about their annual spring migration to the sea. After a long winter on limited rations in lakes, the warming water and promise of plentiful food will launch them on their way.
KODIAK — With the prospect of herring, then capelin or “grunion” and needlefish or Pacific sand lance spawning around Kodiak over the next couple of months, it’s high time to get serious about king salmon fishing.
KODIAK — It’s always fascinated me that a great big roast turkey is central to our annual Thanksgiving feast. The truth of the matter is that by historical accounts of the event, they shared the billing with quite the array of domestic and wild meats along with wild and domestic produce and fruits.
KODIAK — This time of year can be challenging for duck hunters. The resident birds are wise beyond measure while the early migrants are already south in warmer places.
KODIAK — Hunting Kodiak’s road system can be a treat, but in fact it’s only a small fraction of the lands in the entire archipelago. There is a long list of exceptional destinations beyond the reach of your car or ATV.
KODIAK — Call me a duffer or a geezer, or just plain old fashioned, but I’ve always held a special place in my heart for single shotguns. I doubt I’m alone in starting my youthful shooting career with single shots.
Rotten winter weather and long hours of darkness spell one thing for me. I do my serious fly tying in winter, saving precious summer daylight hours for fishing.