Fishing Charter with Yes Bay Lodge
Say yes to Yes Bay. Another day of freakishly good weather on our InnerSea Discoveries cruise in southeast Alaska. Batman, our fishing guide from Yes Bay Lodge, picked us up at our yacht in a 20 foot Olympic boat around 7:30am. Everyone else turned down the fishing charter in favor of hiking or kayaking. Batman had gear that works quite well, but was perfectly willing to let us try our tackle in this fishery.
“There’s two superheros in the boat today,” John said. “My fishing name is Spiderman.”
(This from running a boat by himself in Canada, with many rods hanging out the sides like spider legs.)
So if they are superheros, what does that make me, Lois Lane?
Batman turned out to be the great sort of fishing guide who gears the trip to the client’s whim. We fished for coho on John’s new invention, the mini fat squid. This little squid proves quite effective in many fisheries with its glow stick light and UV pigment. After slamming several coho in quick succession, we decided to try to find out if a trolled stinger could catch fish. We put a half ounce white deep stingerwith UV hook tubing behind a 0/0 flasher and trolled it close to the downrigger ball. It did indeed get hits, so the answer to can you troll stingers is yes.
Bear Watching at Neets Bay Fish Hatchery
We stopped after we had four fish in the boat. That would be enough to feed everyone on the yacht. We had no need for more. Batman suggested a trip to the Neets Bay Fish Hatchery. Bears love the easy fishing in the salmon stream. Another boat from Yes Bay Lodge had just docked before we got there, so we threw them our lines. The water around the dock glowed with moon jellyfish undulating in the current like a luminous army of invading aliens. We got out of the boat and headed toward a trail. Bonus, a restroom! Had to stop there.
Batman said once at the hatchery he ran into bears right along the people trail. A mother and her cubs. The mama ran one bear off and stole its fish to feed to her cubs. She treed another bear. Nowhere near that much action on our visit. We did see a couple young black bears catching fish in a seagull laden stream. John took photos of bears. I took photos of little black specks. Amazing what a difference a telephoto lens makes. After they ate their fish the bears left, so we headed back to the boat. On the way we stopped for artsy photos. I could not resist the perfect frame.
On the return trip to Yes Bay we stopped near a rocky point. We aimed our cameras at a group of sea lions sunning themselves on the rock. The males sat up and scratched themselves. They barked loudly and fought halfheartedly. The females ignored the males’ shenanigans and basked almost statue-like quietly soaking up the rare sunshine.
Flightseeing over Misty Fjords National Monument
After a lunch of curried chicken on rice back at the Safari Quest, we had a skiff ride back to Yes Bay Lodge. We boarded a Dehavilland Beaver floatplane from Pirate
Airworks of Ketchikan. John volunteered to take the middle seat for our flightseeing tour of Misty Fjords National Monument because he flies over that sort of area often. Since I had a window he handed me one of his fancy cameras. New toy! I tried to take artsy shots where parts of the plane interacted with the scenery.
We had nice clear views of forests, lakes, waterways, and mountaintops. John even
saw some mountain goats. The pilot said many of the multitude of lakes we flew over had no names and remained untouched by humans. At times the ground beneath the plane changed from appearing practically under the pontoon to thousands of feet below in a split second.
“It’s nice to see where I’m going for a change,” the pilot said. “Usually we fly under the clouds between the mountains.”
They don’t call this area Misty Fjords National Monument for nothing. Normally the Misty Fjords truly are misty. Perhaps we did miss out on the mysteries of an eerie mist, but I ‘ll take the sun any day.
“I’ve been here 6 times and never seen the tops of the mountains before,” Ed complained. “You aren’t getting the real Alaska experience.”
What can I say, when you get lucky, you get lucky, and get lucky we did. You would think he would be happy to finally see those mountaintops. What a curmudgeon. There’s one in every crowd, never can please everyone. We had a nice view of Safari Quest far below as we returned to Yes Bay Lodge.
Back at Safari Quest, the staff hung a rope swing from the boom normally used to raise and lower kayaks from storage on the top deck to the water. Kevin tested it out fully clothed. Several people (all wearing swimsuits) followed soon after. It looked like fun, but they did make a mad paddle from the splashdown to the boat. With my intense aversion to immersing myself in cold water, I had to settle with watching others jump while thinking it would be fun in warm water.
For dinner we had duck and some of the halibut John caught from a kayak. At dessert time the staff came out in costumes with 2 servings of dessert that had lighted candles. They placed those in front of John and I and sang happy anniversary. Somebody let the cat out of the bag on our impending anniversary later in the month. When we went up to our room we found a plate of grapes, two champagne glasses, and an ice bucket with a small bottle each of sparkling cider and champagne. Luxury in pursuit of adventure, the American Safari Crusies way.
The former sister lines InnerSea Discoveries and American Safari Cruises are now combined under the name Un-Cruise Adventures.