This past week’s weather has become a little more fall-like which makes this writer very happy. I will always welcome the cooler days and nights with open arms as I have pretty much had my fill of high humidity and high dew points. Bring on the fall season with its cooler weather and vast array of colors! I am aware of what comes next but for the time being I will savor the moment.
My brother-in-law, Lynn Johnson, who lives in Nome Alaska ,periodically gives me updates of his hunting and fishing experiences. This time of year the weather in and around Nome is usually cool and rainy. A few weeks ago he was fishing for red salmon and then he took hook and line to the rivers in search of silvers. He said the number of silvers is down this year but he did catch a dandy Arctic Char.
When I was talking to him a few weeks ago he voiced his anticipation of the upcoming moose season. He called me a couple of days before the season to tell me that he had his tags and was ready to go. I didn’t hear from him for a couple of days but then he sent me a picture of a nice bull with a 59.25-inch spread. He was hunting with a friend of his and when they hunt together they split the meat.
After they had secured this nice bull Lynn called his wife who drove up to where they were with bags for the meat and whatever else they would need to bring the meat back. They used 4-wheelers to get to their hunting area but once they bagged the moose they needed more than ATV’s to carry all of the meat; this is where the SUV comes in. You don’t want to leave moose, or any meat out in the bush too long because of the bears. After that hunt Lynn said that he was satisfied that he has enough fish and red meat in the freezer to last them the winter.
They have a cabin about 70 miles from Nome and some of his friends who had visited that area recently, told him that there were bears everywhere. After he had checked it out he told me that the cabin had suffered some damage from bears trying to get inside so he did the necessary repairs and enough extra to discourage them. Boards strategically placed with nails sticking out will usually discourage a bear from any mischief.
From the river that runs right past Lynn’s cabin he can catch trout and grayling and it’s not uncommon to latch onto a trophy grayling not that far from the cabin’s door. A couple of weeks ago he was still planning on doing a little pike fishing but he said his freezers are about full of moose, caribou and salmon. When we spoke earlier about his really wanting to get a moose I told him that I didn’t want to see him on the Discovery channel whining like some of those folks do when they don’t get one.
Although Lynn is retired he is still plenty active in the outdoors; especially when it comes to hunting, fishing and flying his planes. Last week he drove to a friend’s mining camp using his 4-wheeler to cross the river to get to the camp. He said it was a little hairy because of strong current and high water but he made it without incident. As far as wildlife goes his friend told him that there were many wolves in the area but that he had yet to see a bear. Lynn said that you should always be aware of your surroundings because a bear can appear without warning and you don’t want to be caught with your guard down.
I myself have slowed down in the last few years because of bad knees and arthritis but even when I was in my prime years I never have had anywhere near the adventures that Lynn has. He moved to Alaska hungry for adventure and he has surely found his share over the years although I do believe that he has slowed down some with age but not enough so that anyone would notice. Yes, he is in his element living in a state that allows him to enjoy what he loves to do.
Until next time: There is still plenty of open water fishing to be done; the small game hunting season has started and the waterfowl season is just around the corner. It’s a great time of year and a great time to make your own outdoors memories.
Please take some time to honor those that have sacrificed so much for the freedoms that we enjoy today. Take a little time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, those who served and those troops that are serving today.