September Blog
Posted By Linda Branham on September 10, 2012 @ 6:50 pm
September, my favorite month of the year.  Ripe red berries, intermixed with the blue and black berries of the tundra. The wild mushrooms are prolific and between rain showers and bursts of sunshine, we are supplying the dinner table with feasts from the tundra.   I took Chloe out for a walk this morning and heard the sharp cry of the Sandhill Cranes high above us, as they move Southward looking for forage and a winter respite. I think some of us feel the same urge.  Some of the staff are making their winter plans, some heading to Southern Countries far away from the cold of North America.  Time to take stock and see what is amiss after guiding and working hard all summer.  Nothing like a little relaxation on the beach to soothe those aching muscles that slung a 75 pound pack around the mountains and streams all summer . . . they are a tough breed. 

However, storms are forecast for the next two days and all that implies.  We have patchworks of blue in the sky, intermingled with angry streaks of stormy gray.  The wind is teasing us this morning, starting out with warm Southeast gusts of 10 mph, but with stronger hints of things to come.  Far away Pilot Point is already blowing 36 mph and the weather service warns that Anchorage has two nasty storms building in the Bering Sea that are more common in the middle of winter.  Perhaps the fish feel the change, atmospheric pressure, or the call to feed while they still can until winter locks them under the ice with a few pockets here and there to last until June. 

The storm is over and Anchorage got the worst of it with winds on the hillside over 100 mph.  Trees split open, landed on cars and some float planes were flipped over like tinker toys in a bad boys playroom.  It wasn't that severe here, but we were not able to fly out two days in a row.  Of course guests were disappointed, but we were able to fish the home river and everyone had a good time in spite of the weather.  Good old home river, sure grateful we have it at our back door, windstorms or not.

Another week has started and we see old friends that come every year.  Always great to see their smiling faces and their eagerness to find that big rainbow, hopefully exceeding the year before.  But most all are satisfied with not only prolific rainbows, but the experience of seeing big brown bears with bellies full, satiated by their rich protein feast of salmon and are now grazing on dessert amongst the berries.  We love the frequent rainbows, arching above the reds and yellows of the tundra floor.  We are not only famous for our rainbow trout, but mother nature loves to frequently toss her kaleidoscope of colors across the Katmai hills, creating images that make the most apathetic person open their eyes in awe. Nature, our most avid entertainer, never disappointing us with the mundane or banal.

We are excited to have Denver Miller and Mark Hopkins with us this week.  Denver is getting some outstanding aerial footage of the lodge and the surrounding areas we fish.  We hope to show you the product of his expertise and discerning eye on our website in the near future. What a glorious night we had, clear blue skies with a group of  guests out on the deck enjoying cocktail hour after a great day of fishing; Chris circling the lodge with the door removed entirely from the plane so Denver could have an unobstructed view of the lodge and surroundings. We were told to "Not look up, and absolutely no waving!"  It was hard not to.  Mark Hopkins is helping me become literate on our website so I can bring you more photos and change things around more frequently . . . so we all don't die of boredom.  Two great guys and such passion for what they do, nice to see in anyone.

The rivers are changing along with the cooler fall season, amounts of rainfall and wind.  What fished well yesterday is more challenging today and who knows what tomorrows river or stream might deliver.  Always fun not knowing exactly which river is turned on every day but the expectation level must resemble what the early gold miners went through. . . surely the next sift of sand, the next cast?  Believe it or not, we are still fishing dry flies in several streams, which is always so much fun. I love to hear everyone's story at the end of the day, see the excitement reverberating from an area within them that needs to be restored. Fly-fishing is a healthy thing.  Nothing wrong with being out in nature all day, watching the clouds pass by, learning to read a river and being rewarded with a splash of brilliant greens and pinks arching into the air . . . the zing of line going out at an incredible rate.  I might just add more to September, it is a month that deserves more.