It has been a classic summer so far with stunning sunscreen weather blanketing the peninsula encouraging a significant surge of visitors.
Even the few stretches of rain episodes have been a boon to the local economy. Once they dissipate, cumulus storm clouds of mosquitoes explode into the atmosphere sending thundering herds of residents and tourists diving onto stores in a panic search for insect repellants so saturated with Deet that their skins morph into something translucent enough to qualify as an internal anatomy display.
Weather aside, even the silver fishing at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on the Homer Spit made a spectacular comeback during July after a so, so, king return earlier in May and June.
Unfortunately, my wife and I had a rough start trying to nail the flashy torpedoes because of initial egregious ensemble indiscretions. Once they were rectified, the slaughter was on. I know, I know, what apparel problems could possibly have dire consequences during a typical angling outing unless we were auditioning for an episode of Naked and Afraid on the Discovery Channel?
Trust me that would never happen. At my age the au naturel trial video would be startling enough to set off seizures and hysterical blindness in the test audience along with lifetime flashbacks and nightmares for the film crew.
What basically transpired was that we relearned an old lesson during the embarrassing angling sojourn and it wasn’t pretty.
Since The Fishing Hole has been handing out silvers like a short circuited slot machine in Reno, we decide that we’d slip out there and pick up a couple of the high flying fighters for the bar-b-queue.
Over the years we have developed a super secret, decoder ring encrypted, unique angling technique that hasn’t failed to fill the freezer.
We were convinced that we would saunter home after an early morning frontal assault on the multitude of ravenous Cohos with a cooler stuffed with fresh fillets.
Not a chance. Things didn’t go well and our egos took a hit so hard they regained consciousness in Kodiak.
As the tide meandered up the rock banks, the submerged fleets of silvers were soaring out of the water like they were being goosed by highly annoyed spiny bullheads disgusted by the rowdy interlopers above them.
The hits were vicious and our floats continued to shoot down like the bait had been snatched by a starved mutant squid that would be coming for us next.
It didn’t matter what system we tried, we couldn’t get solid hook sets.
On the gloomy way home for a dinner of day old chicken salad with a side of humble pie, I discovered that I hadn’t worn my ancient, lucky, and appallingly debris encrusted boots that have been known to walk on their own and stalk helpless woodland creatures. It was no wonder I got skunked.
Jane, on the other hand, had forgotten to layer on her, “never go fishing without it,” #13 talisman Seahawks jersey so we both were liable for the doomed expedition.
Needless to say, we now have a pescador ensemble checklist that would stun a commercial pilot and it’s meticulously scoured before we launch from the driveway armed with enough fishing gear to supply a party boat.
Yeah, I know there is a drove of naysayers out there snorting “Nick, you’re full of gull guano. Fishing superstitions are feckless and ludicrous and other big words we need to look up.”
Well, maybe so, but lately our grill has been smoking with fillets like a salmon bake early bird special at a seasoned seniors center so we’ll stick with what works for us.
Oh yeah, before I wander off for another month, I’d like to lay something a bit disquieting on you. My buddy Turk called yesterday to announce that his mules have stopped shedding.
He claims it portends an early and possibly a rip roaring winter. He also solemnly noted he has observed the early ripening of wild raspberries, premature browning of Pushki, fast topping of fireweed, heavy conning of the pine trees and shrews storing their stashes faster than Justin Bieber loading up on tokables before his next tweeny tour.
I told him to lay off the home brew and that he was full of muleshed.
He grumbled something intelligible and hung up.
Yesterday when pulled into the driveway, I discovered an old snow shovel on the deck with a note on it.
All it said was “Better safe than an idiot”.
Come to think of it, our Pushki patch was a lot greener around this time last year and there are all of those ripe wild berries in the gulley.
Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if he isn’t in the basement organizing his foul weather gear.