Winter

Salmon, but not Salmon…

This came up on a forum I post at, about how tasty the small king salmon I caught ice fishing had to be. I felt compelled to clarify there, and I should here as well.


They are Extremely tasty, and Are indeed king salmon. But I you can’t really think of them as a salmon when it comes to the eating. Not like most people are used to salmon tasting.
These are hatchery fish that are stocked into several lakes here. “Real” wild salmon get their pink color and flavor from their ocean going diet… So a land locked salmon is a very white flesh, and a mild flavor.

To me, they taste like the rainbow trout with a slight salmony hint to it.
Here is a piece of one I fried for lunch today, notice how light the flesh is;

SUPER tasty fish! But not what most people think when they think salmon. 🙂

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Categories: Alaska-Life, Fishing, Food, GetOutdoors, Ice Fishing, Life-Philosophy, Outdoors, Wildlife, Winter

Ice fishing report, 12-1-18

Look what I got!

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Here are 4 more, random samples of the fish I caught. 10 total keepers, all but one were like this, big and plump!

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Great day on the ice, 25F, clear and sunny, 8″ of ice on Cushman lake– Ice report said 13″, so we parked on the lake… 2 full size pickups side by side on 8″ of ice was pushing our luck, but thankfully God is graciou- no issues.

We were over the deepest water, 25 feet, the ice is usually thinner over the deeper spots, so the ice report was probably right. There were lots of other tracks, an ice skating area and trail to huts has been plowed too. I wasnt really worried about it, but technically it was a little on the skethy end.

Anyway, back to the fun!

My buddy, his son, and myself all limited out (10 fish per) on these “little” king salmon.

Their piles of fish;

About 4.5 hours out, we just couldn’t quit, it was so much fun! Action was great too, not just the catching, but the fighting. Had to work for them not just catch them(easy fishing is boring fishing!).

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Ice Fishing, Just Plain Fun, Outdoors, Winter

Ice fishing report, November 24th, 2018

Got out to Birch Lake the first time this season last Saturday, I didn’t get anything but a buddy and his kids did great. I didn’t care I got skunked, I got all the fun I needed watching those kids(7 and 9)catch their first cold fish (and I think first fish ever)!!

Most of those are rainbow trout, a couple small silver salmon. They could have limited out, but put a lot of little ones back.

I had Something about twice that size on the line once, as did my buddy… Bugger got off just shy of the ice both times, stayed just long enough for us to see him each time! Bloody teaser!

Getting ready to hit another favorite spot this coming Saturday. About 13″ of ice according to F&G ice reports, up from the 8″ last week. Usually a lot more by this time of year but we’ve had the mildest fall/winter so far that I can remember in 25 years..

He got a new auger, one of those gear boxed suckers that goes on a cordless drill (works phenomenally! ).

They wanted to give me something as a thanks for helping out with some stuff last month, so they gave me his gas auger. Absolutely floored me!

8″auger, 43cc motor, Eskimo, came with an extension bar too.

I’ve been ice fishing 3 or 4 years now and have Never had an auger, even a hand one or even a ice chisel! Always go with someone that has gear, or use a hole already open that someone’s vacated, ask a favor of someone to drill me one etc.

Big game changer for me, really opens up where and when I can go now!

Sizing up to be a good season. Got a couple gear mods to make posts for soon, and some other new gear too.

Should be back with another trip report in a couple days, hopefully with at least one fish of my own this time!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, Field gear, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Ice Fishing, New Gear, Outdoors, Winter

Ice fishing tent fix 2.0

Some of you might remember fix 1.0 last year. A friend was given an Eskimo Quickfish 3, but he doesn’t (ice)fish, so gave it to me. It had 2 broken poles. The ends had snapped relatively clean off, so I made connectors to reattach the ends for the hubs to the poles.

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Done in brass because it was the only stock I had bigger diameter than the pole end pieces.

This year I had it set up before first snow to dry out (outside storage over the summer) and 8″ of snow load collapsed the top; I broke a pole getting it cleaned off...


This time it broke the pole mid length, and it exploded, long slivers of fiberglass everywhere… Couldn’t salvage it, and handling it to salvage the end/hinge piece was too hazzardoes.

So, I made a new pole, and the end this time. Machined the hinge end from aluminum, with a steel cross pin. And mounted on a fiberglass driveway marker rod. Works great!

(These poles are only $10 new, but shipping something 49” long to Alaska is rediculously expensive!)

Categories: Alaska-Life, Aluminum, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, Fishing, Ice Fishing, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repairs, Repurpose, Winter

EDC, mid March, to mid April 2018

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Categories: Daily-cary-log, EDC, Flashlights, Hanks, knives, Multitools, Pens, Pocket knives, Pocket Watches, Spring, Watches, Winter

Auxiliary truck lighting and 110V wiring. 

I now have a 110V cord hard wired, or permanently mounted anyway, in my truck. Run from under the center of the dash in the cab, out the firewall, and ending in the drivers side inner fender. Should come in handy for any 110V current tools I might want to run off of my power inverter. 


I’ve actually wanted to wire a setup like this in both the front and back of the truck for a while, just never got around to it.

So, Why now? your asking…

Weeeeelllll….

What do you get if I’m bored, not feeling the season, wanting to do something festive, and just plain silly fun, and have a brand new 20′ spare set of Christmas lights just laying around?

😀  😉 

Cut up a couple old cords, one from a dead fan, the other from a dead string of lights, to make a small extension cord. Cord ends wouldn’t fit through the hole in the fire wall, and I needed a custom length anyway, so I put it through, then installed the 2nd end, thus my now permanent cord.


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Dug out the old power inverter I cary in the truck;

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Lots of zip ties;

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And voila!

😀 


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Yes, I know I’m a total redneck… And that I’ll Never live this one down. But its just so freaking cool to drive around! 

One guy that passed me on the 4 lane, as he went by me slowly, his passenger suddenly did a double take as they came up even with my front fender… The guy just about Garfielded himself on the window! Just so hillarious! 

That reaction alone was worth it if no one else noticed… And a lot of other people noticed. Got lots of smiles out of people on our quick trip to town last night. 

If nothing else I “lightened” up a few folks evenings, hopefully for the better… Definitely got me feeling a lot better

Next year I’m thinking I’ll hang a wreath in the middle of the grill, and light it, and run the other lights on out down the full bed length.  😀

Merry Christmas everybody.  🙂

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, Christmas, Custom, Customized, Decorating, Fabrication, Funny, GetOutdoors, Good Times, Just Plain Fun, MacGyver, MacGyverism, mechanical, Modifications, Sillly, Silly, truck, Truck gear, Winter

New ice tent fix & first ice fishing of 2017

Last summer a buddy of mines neighbor gave him an ice fishing tent… Brand new, in box. The guy had got it as a gift or something, and didn’t need two.. something like that IIRC. But unfortunately the guy was a little drunk when he was giving it away, and insisted on showing my friend how to set it up. 


Uhuh. Broke two poles in the process. And I’m really not sure how… These tents are so simple and idiot proof.. well, I guess not drunk proof.. lol. 

These things operate on a simple tension system, a X of poles, anchored at the outer corners of each wall, and the roof, a pivoting hub in the center attached to the wall. The X is a few inches bigger than the dimensions of the wall, so when you snap it out rigid it bows the wall out against the pressure, and it pops into place and stays under the tension. Super slick and easy. 

He managed to snap off two of the poles from one hub, snapped right at the end, flush with the metal pivot ends that fit in the hub. 

My buddy doesn’t ice fish(yeah, a weirdo, I know…), so he gave me the tent.  I just got around to going and getting it from him a week ago yesterday. 

New poles I found are $10 each plus shipping. They’re 49.5″ long, I hate to think what shipping to AK was going to be. But I figured there had to be an easy fix. 

My buddy thought PVC pipe over the breaks. I can’t remember seeing PVC that small. (3/8″ ID for the pole, 1/2″ ID for the end fitting.)

And I was hoping to not buy anything 😉  

I took it apart and took the end pieces out, headed to the shop. 

I had a plan, would just make a sleeve to join them, set screws to hold them in, long over the pole side for support against it torquing out, or snapping again. 

Didn’t have any aluminum big enough dia, that wasn’t 2″ Dia, so I used a scrap of bead stock brass. Ended up 5″ each sleeve, bored through at 0.375″ and counter bored on one end at 0.5″. Cross drilled, and tapped 6-32 for some brass screws I had. Cross drilled through the end fittings (aluminium), and ran the screws through instead of just against them. 

When you break a fiberglass rod, as you know if you have ever broken a ski pole or tent pole, it “blooms” on the end, sort of a spreading, or swelling to larger dia.

That made it perfect, I fed the fittings over from the opposite end, and it formed a press fit over the expanded area, I had to drive them on, down to the right length to end at 49.5″. Perfect! 

First assembly I had the end of the sleeve too close to the cross pin the ends pivot on in the hub, it wouldn’t fold. Went back and trimmedthem down a touch, now they’re fine. 

Sorry, only took pics after it was back together… In place, and in use;

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That was a week ago today. I’d been needling another buddy about going fishing some time soon on that Sunday. Day after I fixed this he sent me a message, lake name and date.  😀 This last Saturday. 

So, we’ll before first light we loaded up andheaded out;

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Two hour drive to the lake, short hike across the lake, we’re set up just after dawn. 3.5 hours of fun later; (yeah, so much fun I never stopped to take pics!)

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Little silver salmon. (Stocked lake). We had hoped on some big lake trout or pike that are usually easy in this lake, but they weren’t biting. I ain’t complaining! It was still great!

I came home 1 short of the daily limit! I’d caught 6, but put 1 back. Another guy caught 5 or 6 he kept. The other guy got 4 that he kept, but has a freezer full of salmon, so he let me have them. Had lots more bites we missed, and some that got off half way up etc.. Good times! 

We didn’t freeze either, and actually fished comfortably outside the tent, only setting it up with the buddy heater to wam up once. 5F with a 5 to 10 mph wind. Dreamy weather for a first trip of the season. (Always a bitch to acclimate yourself to the ice, wind, andfishing at -20F for the first trip out! 😉 )

I gotta say that little Victorianox paring knife is THE sweetest fish cleaning knife I’ve ever had. Thin narrow Wicked laser sharp blade, and a great grippy handle. Love it!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Ice Fishing, Improviser, knives, MacGyver, Modifications, Outdoors, Winter

New utility knife. 

Been having the idea lately,  related to having a couple Mora knives around, “just how much knife do I need?”

As in, I carry some pretty fancy traditional folders… but a blade is a blade.  In the past I’ve carried a folding razor knife for years, and been pretty happy. Did find that I prefer a longer edge though than that, generally.

Larely I’m also like the idea of carrying a fixed blade, right now opening a folder in the cold/snow/gloves is being annoying.

But the low cost Mora is too big for easy carry. So I want a Mora, only smaller…

I thought I’d see what I could find fixed, small, low cost, just your general disposable who cares type knife.

First thought was a small steak or boning knife from Old Hickory. They’re great steel, a popular knife to modify for woods use.

Saw on a forum, a guy(in an amazing blast from the past, I knew this guy on another long dead forum about a decade ago!) using a Victorinox boning/butcher knife (sometimes called/sold as a “rabbit knife” ) as a small field knife.  Small, low cost but Vics great steel. Nifty!

(Guys name is Spork, now on BCUSA, his pic, stolen by me.)

 But it being a little bigger than what I’d like for a general use knife, I suddenly remembered some small Vic steak and paring knives we had when I was a kid. They were a great cutter, always wicked sharp, but small and light.

Turns out I’m not the first to think of them for out of the kitchen use. Someone had beat me too it in a way, they’re popular in some circles as cheap disposable self defense knives. 

I find a knife(any knife) for self defense, quite honestly a stupid idea, but this helped because it shows these in nice sheaths! Kydex sheaths! More on that in a second..

For $5(inc. Shipping!) I can’t go wrong!

Amazingly a Victorinox paring knife costs less than an Old Hickory paring knife!

I can buy a kydex sheath for these things for from $20 to $35…  For a $5 knife. I don’t think so Tim! ;)

These are stolen from various places on the net… I’d give credit but can’t really remember where.( Kydex sheath for victorinox paring knife can be Googled, and should show where… that’s how I found them. )




I REALLY hate pressing kydex, but for $10 max in materials I already have, I’ll do it for this. ;)  

So, semi modular neck sheath will be seen here soon. :) Meant to do that in the shop last night but got side tracked.

And yeah honestly this won’t change what folders or anything else I carry or use… I like them, and that’s reason enough to use them. :) 

 But the thought concept/experiment of “all I need is sharp steel, not fancy steel” is fun to play around with every now and then. :)   that’s how I got my first Mora years ago.

And I had previously been wanting a small light field fixed blade anyway, so I might be finding it. We shall see!

 This really does seem great so far for a general utility blade,  both EDC and woods.

3.25″ blade, 4″ish handle.  Honestly still a little bigger than I had in mind. Seems they’ve changed in the last 20 years, little  bigger than they used to be, maybe 10% or 15%?

 

With Spirit for scale;

Will see how it goes, I can always re-grind the blade, and trim the handle.

Blade is thiiiiiinnnnnnnn. 

I thought it needed a fob. :)

Had this chunk of shimmery green acrylic pen blank in the shop, had previously made a bead from it, seemed fitting, so I made it one.

And no, none of it is zombie green…I HATE that fad!   I just get tired of the cliche neon orange or red for outdoor visibility. Went with green for bright but Different. 😀  

Categories: Custom, EDC, knives, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Theory/Thoughts, Winter, Woods tools

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