Thursday, September 13, 2012

Alaskan Salmon

I don't think there is a fisherman alive that has not dreamed of wading the pristine rivers of Alaska for Salmon. I had always heard of the insane August salmon runs where the Pink, Sockey, Chum and Silver Salmon fight their way in droves, from the ocean to the streams they were born to spawn.

It is said, that in many cases they return to within a few feet of their birthplace to drop and fertilize their eggs. That type of homing instinct blows me away, considering I can barely find my way downtown and back!
Our main goal when we climbed on a plane to Anchorage was to shoot an episode of "Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors" at the Talstar and McDougall Lodges on the Talachulitna and Yetna River drainage. Well, that was was my producer Jim Kramer's main goal anyway. My goal was to fulfill a longtime dream of catching salmon on a Fly!

 The conditions were perfect throughout the week and we boated and released well over 100 Salmon with a few beautiful Rainbow Trout thrown in for as well in our 4 days of fishing. My guide, Josh Bearden, was very knowledgeable and put up with my me while I worked off the rust in my fly-rodding skills. While we didn't encounter any Alaska brown bears, it was evident they were fishing too by the huge tracks we saw in the sand nearly everywhere we went. Needless to say, I packed my 44 magnum Smith & Wesson everywhere I went. It had taken nearly three years to coordinate our schedule to hit the water conditions and the salmon run just right, but it was definitely worth the wait!

Saturday, June 30, 2012


This week, I had the privilege of appearing in a Chevrolet commercial for Outdoor Channel with my eight year old daughter, Gracelyn.

Gracie on camera! Yeah, that's my arm.

Getting all made up for the camera!

It was 106 degrees in Tulsa by the time we finished the shoot, but she was a real trooper and did a great job! It was also her first trip on an airplane and she actually got to sit in the pilots seat after we landed.

I hope everyone will watch for Gracie and me next month when it hits the air!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

West Virginia Bass Festival Tournament.

This past weekend, I was in St. Mary's, West Virginia, just north of Parkersburg on the Ohio River. I was there to MC the West Virginia Bass Festival Tournament. This event is one of the longest running annual Bass Tournaments in the Sport and 2012 marks 28 consecutive years! The Ohio River has never looked better, and I was amazed by the number of Smallmouth Bass being brought to the scales. The leading team after day one had a whopping 14.90 pounds for six fish. I am amazed how successful the efforts to clean up the Ohio River have been over the last 20 year and the fishing has surely responded to it. I enjoyed having the opportunity to hand the winning team a check for $10,000!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Greatest Day

Today, I got to win a few points as a dad and an uncle in one day and had a good time as well! I played a little hooky from office work... literally ..... and took my daughter Gracelyn and nephew, William, fishing for the day.

William looking very cool driving my Ranger Boat.

 It wasn't the best fishing day by any means, with high-blue skies and zero wind. Our lake of choice was a 25 acre reclaimed gravel pit near our home. Gracelyn only made it about 20 minutes casting before jumping into the water with her lifejacket on to cool off and paddle around. William seemed happy to just be casting and winding. I'm not sure if Gracelyn swimming hurt our fishing efforts, but it was pretty slow. In three hours, we only caught 5 small Bass, but the kids were proud and wanted pictures of them all.

William and Gracelyn score!

At the end of the day while pulling the boat I said, "Sorry it wasn't a good day" (speaking of the slow fishing). Gracelyn quickly spoke up and said, "Dad, you are wrong. It was the greatest day ever!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Slam Packed with Muskies!

We shot another great Smallmouth Bass Show for Stihls Reel in the Outdoors on Lake St. Claire near Detroit. Michigan. I hooked up with my good friend and St. Claire guide Gerry Gostinek of Great Lakes Bass Guides. The fish are coming off the spawning beds early and were already out in 12 feet of water. We caught them on a variety of baits, but the best lure was definitely the Lucky Craft Pointer 112 SP. We caught over 20 Smallies between 2 and 4 1/2 pounds.

The most interesting part of the day was the fact that we stumbled on an area of grass about the size of a football field that was slam packed with giant Muskies! We could see those big torpedoes suspended in the clear water everywhere we looked. It was something neither Gerry and I have ever seen. I ended up catching one 15 pound Musky at the end of the day on my Pointer. It took almost 10 minutes to land him on the 10 pound line. It was a very cool end to an already great day!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Black Bear Hunt

I just returned from my spring black bear hunt in British Columbia. I spent a week there with my cameraman, Gerry Addison shooting a show for the 2013 Season of our Outdoor Channel hunting Show, "Scent Lok's High Places".

It was like a homecoming for me, as I was hunting with my old friends, the Hooper's, at Babine Guide Outfitters. It had been nearly 5 years since I had seen them and it was sure great catching up. I have hunted with them several times in the past, taking two beautiful mountain goats (the one with my bow is still my most prized trophy of all time) and a beautiful black bear.

Their lodge and cabins on Babine Lake are top shelf and I always have to go on a diet when I get home, as their cook, Diane, prepares amazing meals! Dave and Marilyn Hooper have now passed their outfitting business on to their sons, Lloyd and Jack.

Lloyd was my Guide for the week. We saw over 60 bears in the six days by glassing timber clear-cut, non-active logging roads and meadows from a boat on Babine Lake. After we would locate them, we would attempt to stalk within bow range which was exciting as well as frustrating. What was more impressive than the number of bears was the incredible scenery around every corner. The snow capped mountains were everywhere you turned! When the dust had finally settled, I had taken two great black bears with my bow and came away with several hours of amazing hunt video. I don't think I'll be waiting five years to get back up there this time...

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Last week, I traveled to Buffalo, New York to shoot an episode of Stihl's Reel in the Outdoors with my good friend and guide, Tim Braun. Now the Buffalo area of Lake Erie holds a special place in my memory, as that is where I won the $100,000 All American Championship early in my career. Yeah, when we still had to paddle our boats and my shorts were way too short (for a guy anyway..)

The fish were just moving up on the beds and we caught over30 bass in four to six feet of water, primarily on a Lucky Craft Slender Pointer 112 SO in. Misty Shad color. That color is nearly dead on the Emerald Shiners. The Smallies feed on that this time of year. We caught several over five pounds, and all beneath the Buffalo skyline. Fishing in Buffalo is without questuon, better than it has ever been!

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