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Independence Day Whale Pass Fishing Report

Capt. John Kumiski
July 12, 2016
Whale Pass - Saltwater Fishing Report

Independence Day Whale Pass Fishing Report

Yesterday was July 4th, so this is the Independence Day Whale Pass Fishing Report. Some fly fishing, at last!

All of the guests we had at the Lodge at Whale Pass left en masse yesterday morning, leaving us with only minor maintenance items to take care of. I asked lodge owner Kevin Ryter if I might take the jet boat up into Sweetwater for some scouting. Not only did he say yes, he also told me to run the rapids that line the shortcut to Coffman Cove to explore the feasability of using that route as a trip option for guests.

When I thought the tide was right we left. Passengers were son Alex, Miss Allison Bowman, and Mr. Dean Savage.

When we got to the first rapid on Indian Creek the flow had already reversed. We were a little late on the tide, although that proved to be of little consequence.

We came to the first fishing spot and disembarked. Alex and I began casting. It took all of two minutes to hook the first trout, a cutthroat of 12 inches or so, which Alex did using a pink streamer.

I hooked and lost a couple of fish, then stuck what at first we assumed was a big trout. It turned out to be a Dolly varden of about 20 inches. We killed it, with an eye to our dinner that evening. The fly was a chartreuse over pink Clouser Minnow.

The bites continues steadily until the spot got flooded out by the rising tide. Dean got a trout, his first ever. Alex got several more. Then we went further up the creek to spot number two.

It was not as productive as the first spot. I got a small trout. Alex and I both stuck and lost a hefty fish. Then the tide flooded this spot too. While we had a high and still rising tide we decided to head through the as yet unexplored rapids to Coffman Cove.

At the water level we encountered the rapids were mostly flooded out. My understanding is that at lower tide stages they are impassable. At any rate we cleared the stream, entered the Clarence Strait, and made our way to Coffman Cove. Burgers and milkshakes danced in my passenger's heads.

We tied the boat to the dock and entered town, all decked out in our waders. The Fourth of July Parade was going on- trucks of all sizes (some towing boats), ATV's, a lawnmower, and a strange-looking tracked vehicle, driving the route, honking horns. All were decked out with banners and bunting, stars and strips in red, white, and blue being the dominant theme. Drivers and passengers had painted faces, outrageous hats, and many threw candy at onlookers. Fun stuff!

We made our way to the restaurant. It was closed for the holiday. My hungry passengers were very disappointed. A kindly resident told us to make our way to the float plane dock, where the greased pole was, and where we could get a reindeer sausage. Food! We were on our way.

We had no idea what the greased pole was about, but we found the weiners and each bought one. They were spicy and delicious, all decked out in mustard and relish. The pole, yet to be greased, was attached to the dock by its base. It extended out over the water, parallel to its surface. At its end was a small American flag. The entire population of Coffman Cove was there. Beverages were flowing freely.

We learned from the locals that the greased pole was a contest. Participants took turns, each attempting to slide to the end of a wooden telephone pole that was coated with Crisco, to capture the flag. The person who did so won a cash prize. The cash was collected from the onlookers, who donated toward the prize. A cheap investment in some live and fun entertainment!

Needless to say, most of the folks who tried, crashed. Some of those crashes were quite spectacular. Some looked pretty painful. All the time this was going on the cash prize kept growing, reaching and exceeding $1000.

Finally, during the fourth round, a local young man named Eric made it to the end of the pole and snatched the flag. His prize was a handsome 1091 US dollars, not a bad take for getting greasy and falling into the water a few times.

At this point the party moved to the ball field for a potluck. The Whale Pass contigent had to return to Whale Pass, so we missed that portion of the festivities.

The return trip went through the South Entrance of the Whale Passage and was uneventful. No rapids!

At the Lodge the barbeque had been fired up. Hot dogs, hamburgers, and oysters were on the menu. We added a fresh Dolly varden, grilled over charcoal and very delicious. Peter fired off the requisite fireworks. This reporter, quite exhausted, retired before the festivities ended. I trust nothing of import was missed!

This morning found me on a solo quest for silver salmon on fly. A school was quickly located. The first cast of the day, using a chartreuse bunny leech with chartreuse rubber legs, resulted in a boated fish. The second cast of the day, to a different school of salmon, using the same chartreuse bunny leech with chartreuse rubber legs, resulted in another boated fish. I should have quit then. Three more shots came my way, but none of them resulted in a strike. The caught salmon, filleted and vacuum packed, are now in the freezer.

And that is the Independence Day Whale Pass Fishing Report.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- Go Fishing!

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2016. All rights are reserved.

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