Friday, November 21, 2014

What the Crap?!

It's as common as mosquitoes, Hondo hogging your run and bows behind the king in the land of the midnight sun.  But on Wilson's creek and just a couple weeks after season ended?  Really?  I could just see the little dude (compared to his cousins) sitting on this rock river left, nice view from the throne, pondering the meaning of life.

Hail to the Chief

Reunited with my old Kvichak buddy Steve (big Chief).  He graciously put us on to some private water on the famed Davidson River outside of Brevard, NC.  Interesting water, reminded me of the Smith River in VA, which Pablo and I fished (so called) on January 1st about 20 years ago as naive eastern newbies.  Wide with good depth in rock and sandy runs.  The depth made spotting fish difficult but the run below the "island" was gorgeous and produced nice bow's ranging 12-14 with good girth.  Amazingly the sandy run above the island yielded bows as well.  A cold weather start yielded to sun and although breezy, cool and pleasant.  Big Chief's day wasn't as productive as his first outing on this water, but with his typical class, he took it all in stride.

Feeling full of vim and vigor, basking in new water, as Steve headed back to the grind stone, figuring I wouldn't get back this way for some time, I determined to explore the North Mills River.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn there are 5 road-less miles of DH.  A beautiful stream, definitely not a river , a stream about 20 feet wide with long stretches of shallow water over slabs of exposed bed rock.  Much like the Jacob's fork, you walk between runs likely to hold fish.  With such sallow water I wanted to hunt and peck in secondary runs with a caddis, employing my surfing the current technique.  I was pretty much done after 30 minutes, just finding the little water not as appealing on that day after enjoying big (for me) water.  Walking fast, flipping infrequently, I came to a promising run, couldn't see anything do to dimming light but got in position and started dragging the elk hair caddis across the current.  Just before I was going to pack it in and head home, an unseen strike brought a fat red stripe in the 14 range.  Good fish to end the day with (although I admit I fished more when I saw another great run and took another bow - though much smaller).

Will Big Chief ever make a return to the great north?  I've become a bogart, all vacation plans revolve around the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.  But some men are less selfish than I am, and can live peacefully, if not wistfully, knowing it was truly a once in a life-time trip.  Hail to the Chief, a gentleman piscator with his priorities in tact.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Into the 21st Century

As always, The UnGuided crew is a little slow. After reviewing many of the stellar photos our crew has amassed over the years, through countless adventures, the time has come to share those with the world! (or at least the three people that follow us)

The UnGuided is pleased to announce their Instagram Page!!!

Be sure to follow us and all photo posts via this outlet along with our blog.

Monday, November 17, 2014

2015 Sockeye Forecast

Usually it's June, fights are scheduled, gear being whored and maybe even staged, when I turn my focus to analyzing the return, the run, the spawn.  Cruising the AK fish and game website, updating charts with new counts every three days trying to surmise how this year will compare to past years and when the run will peak with steelhead in tow.   Well it's not even Thanksgiving and look what came across my network.... Visions of rainbows dance in my head!

State fisheries biologists are forecasting a run of nearly 54 million sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay in 2015, which is 40% more than the last 10-year mean of total runs.

Read more here:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Then Took the Other, as Just as Fair

JBeen a month since we were trekking the Stough Basin of the Winds, having rolled the dice and hit the weather jack-pot.  Finding new lakes, rarely if ever fished.  Catching fish till we're silly and pondering a rise in a sterile looking lake and then later, the big tail splash rise seen only by Pablo.  Exulting in hot, cold, wind, rain, sleet- repeat, and scrambling to rock shelter under blackening skies only to moments later peak out to bright sun.  Seeing one lone hiker in five days.  Welcoming a four point muley into our evening camp.  Spending a morning unable to walk but finally busting it out a day early, in record time, in the mind numbing pain of a cut foot because going was easier than stopping.

Winter is baring down on us.  Expeditions now only in memory or scratching their way on to 2015 calendars.  Everybody dreams, but only a few live those dreams- life is good men, dream on.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back 'n Forth

Weather report for Roaring Fork Mountain reads like the stock market on October 29, 1929.
Not good, Not Good! Down DOWN!  Emails begin flying back 'n forth from UT to NC. Text messages, then phone calls. To quote Delmar, "What WE GONNA DO!?"  Plan B. No. Plan A, wait, should it be B?
Cost v. Reward. Being blown off the mountain, or enjoying Cutt City in Idaho? As any sane person would do, we went with being blown off the mountain, of course. 
As I type this, Gov is in the air; and I fully expect his first words off the plane will be, "So, where are we headed?". 

"How could one possibly say "no" to this?

Monday, August 25, 2014

La lista grande

Man o man, here we go!  When the opportunity arose to book this trip, so soon after Ak 14 I knew it would be the perfect remedy for the PEBs.   And from recent recon sounds like it'll offer all the challenge and require the grit of the great wild north.  So, gentlemen.... Start your staging!

Hiking pants 1 (wear)
Cap two bottoms 1(optional if I'm bringing WP pants)
Light shirt sleeve 1 (wear)
Smart wool mid layer top 1 (could be same as above?)
Under wear 2 (one on one packed)
Rain jacket (lt wt pack able or gortex?)
Wind blocker (arcteryx venta 16 oz)
Synthetic coat (atom SV, nano storm)
Wind block balaclava or beanie
Wind block fingerless gloves (get the whole wind block theme )
Wool socks (2)
Line sock (2) (optional)
Water proof hiking boots
Water proof pull over pants (good idea)
Cool hat
Clean clothes left in car

rope for bear bag? actually mice may be the issue, ask Dixon
Map ( I have it, pablo)
Down bag (can I get a new one?)
Insulated sleeping pad
Tent (hondo) ( Group Gear)
Tent poles (per Denise )(LOL)
Lt wt or string pack for day hikes (ya ya, the gonia waterproof sling)(nope, too heavy, rather have wp pants)
Lt wt dry bag?  Dry compression for sleeping bag?
Rain cover for back? (I've needed one both trips, thinking black garbage bag)
Jet boil (1) fuel (1- 8 oz can. I have it) (GG)
Steri pen (1 each). Ya, I'm getting one (you think we need two?)
Water bottle, too that fits steri pen
Satellite rescue txt thing (mule) (GG)
Head phones
Foot warmers

6x3 = 18 dinners (share (yes) a couple?) 6 each
B jerky
10 Cliff bars
5 ramin noodles
14 oatmeals (7x2)
6 hot cocoa packs
Utensils (fold cup/ bowl, spoon)
Trail mix?

Paper/ wipes
Tooth paste, brush, floss
Small towel (I'll use yours)
Soap (liquid)
First aide (band aids, moleskin, (athletic tape works better),  cianide tablets, for crap weather )

Flies (parachute Adams)(Griffiths Gnats.. lots, wolly worm)

Just a start. Add to it