Monthly Archives: March 2021

One week to go… 2021 Spring Steelhead

Here we are,  limping closer and closer to the spring steelhead season on the Situk.  As we’ve covered,  winter arrived and hasn’t let up much.  About 2 1/2 feet of fresh white over the past couple weeks.  We had some flurries today,  but most of the day was sunny and gorgeous.  Temperature topped 37 degrees…  Woo,  hoo!  Felt warmer in the sun,  but shade was still really cold.  Warm enough to start melting some snow off the roof,  so our water cistern is full again for the first time this month.  We were on water rationing for toilet flushes and showers.  Got to have a nice long one tonight!  Wasn’t that long ago that we were still heating pots of water on the stove that we scooped out of the fish tote at the back of the hangar and pouring cups of warm water over our heads in the shower stall…  Teen is such a patient and tolerant woman!

I know the lodges are a little nervous about the first week of April.  Although the forecast is still calling for some snow every day this week,  daytime highs are supposed to be 40F.  

Forecast

River conditions are sort-of improving…  Water temp hit 39 degrees,  so a little sunshine brought it up to where it needs to be to attract some fresh fish.  Briefly.  Flow is only 59 CFS,  so…  nevermind.  I think we’d need a shot of rain to make the fish want to come in.  It says rain and snow likely for the next couple days,  so maybe…  I think if we actually get a little rain at 40 degrees,  we’ll be in business.  Here’s hopin’!

Temp Gage

And now for a little political rant…  Move on now if you are a snowflake…

Someone  asked me about the Italio,  so I visited my own Vimeo page for the first time in a long time.  Maybe years since I went there not signed in as the user…  Hadn’t seen what the public sees in possibly…  ever…  Certainly haven’t uploaded the backlog of videos I have because our satellite internet is so slow…  Then I noticed this:

Vimeo

“They” added my “preferred pronouns”…  Correct me if I’m wrong (and I’m not),  but isn’t it a thought crime to assume someone else’s preferred pronoun based on their outside physical traits?  After all,  a father in Canada was arrested and held without bail THIS WEEK for calling his daughter “she”.  Someone at Vimeo not only made assumptions on what I’d want to be referred to as,  but changed my bio page without asking to include a ridiculous social justice warrior bullshit invented crap identity tag that I did not authorize on my personal page.  The lefties are suing people and companies for doing this crap (I’m really trying hard not to swear,  since the swear jar in my office is currently overflowing as we wait for the Lodge restaurant to open and we spend the swear money).

I’m 52 years old.  I’m a father of two,  married,  trying to remodel/save an 80 year old building,  while juggling several businesses and seeing one of those businesses and 14 years of my life flushed down the toilet due to covid lockdowns.  I’m tired of these stupid games in a country and world that believes this pronoun shit is important,  while our current president is being excused for actually locking children in cages,  starting new wars in Crimea and the Middle East and spending $1.9 TRILLION on emergency COVID bills with $143 million going to Stimulus checks (if you think getting a $1,400 check is worth them spending an additional $11,859 per taxpayer on crap,  you may be an idiot with preferred pronouns on your social media page).

Expect my Vimeo page to disappear at some point soon.  Not sure who to transfer the videos to,  but I’m not impressed with a company making detailed changes to my personal bio in a world where if I did that to someone,  I could lose everything I have.  Funny how the ever-changing rules never apply to the rule-makers.  OK,  I’m done.

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Fly Shop Opens April 1st

Situk River Fly Shop will be opening April 1st,  10am to 6pm except Sundays.

This will be the last season for Situk River Fly Shop.  It has been a wonderful run,  but the travel restrictions imposed by our heavy-handed government has killed us.  We’ll be selling down our existing merchandise and not reordering.  Although this is looking like the end…  I’m always hopeful we can come back if the world pulls its head out of it’s butt,  therefore I will be following the dealer requirements for Simms and Sage…

They require that any currently available stock from the company can not be discounted.  For the most part,  our inventory is older stock and not bound by this restriction.  We didn’t order replacement inventory last year,  since we could see the writing on the wall and tried unsuccessfully to weather this as best we could…  So…

Almost everything in the shop will be at 40% off.  40% is the mark-up both Simms and Sage allow for their products,  so we’ll only lose the shipping cost.  And the 5% credit card processing cost.  And all operating expenses.  And I won’t be getting any salary.  And…  I think you get the idea.  There are just a couple items that we can’t discount,  like lip balm and shoe laces…  but pretty much everything else is in the bargain rack.  Inventory for the steelhead run should be pretty good,  especially for flies,  but as the year progresses,  we’ll be looking more and more like our first season when we sold out of just about everything by May 1st.

If there is something specific you need for the coming season,  I can still special order most Simms and Sage products if you give me a couple weeks notice,  but anything special ordered will have to be at SRP.  Which would be the price anywhere else,  or our price if I wasn’t going under…

In April,  we’ll still have a LOT of snow around the hangar.  Tanis has been good at keeping a path along the front of the building,  but not the entire parking lot.  Plenty of room to drive and park in front of the shop,  right along the building wall.  There also should be enough room for you to turn around.  Not at the moment,  but we still have a couple weeks.  Here is the driveway from the second floor…

Thank you everyone for your many years of support.  Teen and I appreciate you and your friendships.  This is a tough time,  but we’ll get through it.  We are continuing to work on the hangar and don’t have any immediate plans to escape Yakutat anytime soon.  Maybe I’ll even get to see you on the river once in a while…

Spring Steelhead – Two Weeks to Go

We’re gettin’ close!  Just talked to Kraig at the Yakutat Lodge and he said the tree blow-downs in the rover are nearly all cleared.  After the early winter wind storms,  the guides had their work cut out for them,  cutting out the logjams.  Say thanks if you see him…

It was feeling like there was some genuine heat in the sun,  on the rare occasion it comes out.  Then it got bitterly cold again,  dumped a bunch of snow,  cleared up and dropped back into single digits…  Then yesterday we woke to another foot.  This morning,  two more inches and another inch throughout the day between short sunbreaks.  In other words,  sure doesn’t feel like spring is going to show up for real yet…

Roads are clear to the river though.  DOT has been keeping up on that throughout the winter.  Kraig also did mention he did see a handful of fish in the river while cutting.  They are present,  but not in fishable numbers yet.  That could change at any time with just a little more warmth.  Water temp has been dropping back to 32F every night this week,  with daytime spikes up to 35.  Flows are well below 100CFS.  No point in fishing this coming week.  We’ll need some warmer weather and/or rain before we really see the start of the run.

As I said before,  the lake ice should be pretty thick.  Deep cold before we had a layer of snow to insulate it,  so probably froze really thick,  then the snow covered it to keep it cold.  I’d expect the spring run to come in a little early,  since we still don’t have a lot of snow cover and once it starts to warm,  it’ll warm up quickly.  Spring fish in early April.  Then,  the winter fish will get out of the lake a little late.  Toward the end of April.

That’s my guess anyway…

And this is the view at the airport today…