** Gordon and Billie **

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cody in New York - 2007

My nephew, Cody, took a week out of his school term to go fishing with me in Pulaski, New York. Now, that's a young man with his priorities in proper order.

I think his fish weighs as much as he does.

We picked up my friend, Don DiCarlo, at the airport in Syracuse.

The Salmon run was late and we had to work hard for our fish; but we got'em.

We fished the far bank. Cody filled the rolls of fisherman, explorer and photographer during our adventure.

Cody took this shot from down river on one of his exploring expeditions.

I've never seen a fisherman more relaxed.

Ethan Finds a New Home - 2008

You can never replace the joy of an adventure with your only son. What made the event even more memorable was having his son, my second grandson, there, to enjoy a rugged land. It was great being with Ethan as he experienced Alaska for the first time. After a day of fishing for Pink Salmon in Valdez, he phoned his mom to advise her that he wanted to move to Alaska.

We camped at King For A Day campground in the Copper Valley. The Sockeye Salmon were late on their run up the river, so we drove to Valdez, for a tremendous fishing time.

Pinks were plentiful. Catching them is always fun, because they are so aggressive. We could have, easily, caught hundreds of them while we were there.

Ethan caught the biggest, and probably, the most. He is, already, a very good fisherman. His dad has taught him very well.

The Klutina River is beautiful from any perspective, near or far.

The view from the road, driving to Valdez, is awe-inspiring.

Bryan and Ethan became very skilled in the art of Pink Salmon fishing. They caught their limit and then just fished for fun.

Ethan seemed to have the talent of attracting the big ones. Maybe it was because he's just a "fishy" kind of guy.

Click on the picture to see the fish. Thousands of Pinks were in the river. If you can't catch them when they're this thick, then, you just can't catch fish.

When the run is intense, "combat fishing" is a necessity. These anglers along the bank at Allison Point were very friendly and helpful to one another.
The glaciers in Alaska are receding at an alarming rate. Global warming could be the cause; or, are we just in a natural weather cycle?
I guess, only time will tell.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sir James Meets The King

James and I loved New York fishing. Thirty miles north of Syracuse, we fished the Salmon River and its tributaries, learning together, as we were newcomers to the area.

Catching a King is not for the timid. They fight when you hook them. They fight while you put them on the stringer. They fight while they are on the stringer. A stronger fish is hard to find. Watch out for their teeth!

Thirty Five pound fish, knee-deep water! Who would have thunk it?

James caught the rare, almost extinct, and highly desirable "Striped King Salmon". That's our story, and we're sticking to it.

The St. Augustine Record printed our picture holding the newspaper along with our six kings (the limit) for the day.

In front of our lodging, the Deer Creek Motel. We were so exhausted and hungry at this point, that we probably could have eaten the newspapers. You may notice that the Striped King Salmon that I am holding has stripes at a completely different angle than the one James was holding in the earlier picture. By the angle of their stripes, you can determine, exactly, what stream they are migrating back to. This is a natural phenomenon, not seen anywhere on earth. Click on picture to see the stripes.

Another daily limit getting hosed down in preparation for processing.
Fillets from these six kings will fill two shelves in the freezer.

The leaves are at their "color peak" in October when we visit.

In search of the elusive "new secret fishing spot". If you find one it is usually not secret for very long. Spies are everywhere.

Beware of flying hooks and sinkers when the King spits it back at you. Fortunately, he missed my eye. True story.

James was able to take a box of frozen fish to Steve, in South Carolina, and get a hug from the grandchildren. It is obvious from the picture, that the Preslar genes have certainly been passed down to the next two generations.

It was great to spend the night in State College, Pennsylvania with Verna and her family on our way back to Florida. I miss the fun we had on campouts when we were all younger. I'm ready to go again, anytime. Her daughter, Catherine, is the sassiest angler I have ever met. Her favorite expression is, "Bring it on!"

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Lakehouse - More than Fishing

We share laughter, love and lazy living at the place where one day or one week always finds us wanting more.

Kendra "Cannonball" Baggerly - splashing all of the water out of the lake.
Beneath this old umbrella oak
We spin our yarns and tell our jokes,
Drink lemonade with country folk.
They drop by here to wish us well,
To grab a chair and sit a spell.
So, come my friend, we'll reminisce
About the bygone years we miss,
And simpler days of childhood bliss.
We'll fry hushpuppies, catfish, too.
We went last night and caught a few.
You know, we brag and stretch a bit,
About the size of fish we get.
But, it's alright. That's Southern wit!
What fun I've had and love I've felt
With poor folk from the "Bible Belt".
I think of all the Good Book said
About the fish, the loaves of bread,
And multitude the Savior fed.
If, only, they could come and share
Our shady spot, and grab a chair.
We'd make new friends beneath this tree.
The Lord would come, and we would see
His southern hospitality.
We common folk would all be fed,
When at His knee we'd break some bread.
I hate to hear you've got to go!
We sure enjoyed your visit, though.
Be careful on those muddy roads.
Your family's such a welcome sight.
Ya'll come again! God bless! Good night!
Copyright - Gordon Hand
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Lakehouse Lunkers

I Love A Bath
A bath! A bath! I love a bath!
In water clear or churning foam,
In mountain lake 'neath natural dome.
Oh, yeth! Oh, yeth! I love a bath!
I love them big, and, even thmall.
A Large Mouth Bath ith betht of all!
Copyright - Gordon Hand

Our friend, Grace and family came on a cold weekend, but, warmed up to the lake in short order. She had a nice workout lifting catfish.

Carlee kisses the fish and turns it into a handsome prince.

James' catfish "keeper"! A fish that dreams are made of!

Braden told his friends that he fought this fish, and caught him through skill and cunning. That's my grandson! He has the makings a "fine" fisherman!

Take your pick! Either will feed a "good sized" family.

At the lake there is something for everybody. Swimming, fishing, boating, or just good old fashioned "goofing off". We have perfected that last one.

Jared Johnson - He never has any fun!

Jared, Cameron and Braden with catfish catch of the morning.

Gordon and James, one foggy morning in January. Largemouth Bass and Catfish aplenty.

Boyd Ricks caught his first Largemouth. We will never forget our good friends who finished school, and, moved away far too soon.

There is always one in every crowd (or flock)! The white duck thinks he's a Mallard.

What rewarding times we have had at the lakehouse with our family and friends. We thank all of you for the terrific memories.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My "Brother" in Alaska

Not only are we friends, we are as close as two brothers could ever be.

The mist from the waterfall makes the picture look out of focus, but this was a memorable sight on the way to Valdez.

Sunset at Ninilchik, Ak. God is an artist without equal.

James is a "Yes, I can!" person and a delight to travel with. We have "white watered" the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon (where we caught monster rainbows), slept under the stars atop the majestic Rocky Mountains, fished much of Alaska, New York, Georgia,Florida, Oklahoma and many other places too numerous to list. James is very generous with earth's bounty. Unconditionally, he gives of what he has and of himself.

Klutina River Sockeye - Copper Center, Alaska. The mighty Klutina River is reported to be the 3rd fastest moving river in the world.

Halibut aboard charter in Homer, Ak. Too heavy to lift for a proper picture.

"Your thoughts are my thoughts." Underway to the fishing grounds.

Our friend, Bob, a walking miracle, given up for dead on more than one occassion. He keeps on keepin' on.

A Ling Cod to be proud of. Teeth, Teeth, Teeth! But, Tasty, Tasty, Tasty! Seward

Thank you, James, for always being there. You are a friend like no other. You are my brother.