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The 2001 season opened at the camp. The set up crew were co-owners Dave Jones and Shawn Finn along with long time employee Veronica Sims and good friend Oly Olsen. The camp location was moved across the river and a short distance up stream to sit just above the Home Pool. All new tent floors were constructed and several other improvements made.
June 9 to 16. The first group of anglers were returnees Per Lund-Johansen and Terje Pedersen from Norway, first timers Jon Soma of Norway and Laurent Satage of Michigan. The fishing started out fast with over 10,000 kings and 30,000 sockeye in the river during the week. Laurent had a most remarkable day in which he landed 14 kings on the fly, congratulations Laurent! We are looking forward to seeing Per and possibly Laurent in trips planned for 2002.
June 16 to 23. In camp were returnee Dennis Frome of Oregon and first timer Greg Hathaway of Kodiak. Fishing continued to be strong. Dennis and Greg enjoyed a quadruple-double hookup on kings. Each angler landed four consecutive kings hooked while the other angler was fighting one of his. A great hour of fishing!
June 23 to 30. Returnees Horst Gartner, Kurt Gartner, Heinz Lepuschutz and Hannes Penitz all from Austria joined us for this week. The group enjoyed the full Ayakulik experience. Fly fishing, bear viewing and a climb of the mountain above the camp.
June 30 to July 7. Frank Varriale, Bob Price, Ed Bews and Bill Davis visited the camp. All were returnees from Idaho. This group used their experience on the river to land more kings during their stay than any other group in the season. We look forward to seeing the group again in their trip planned for 2002.
July 21 to 28. Family week at AlpenView. The Jones family Dave, Mickey, Kathryn and Molly. The Finn Family Shawn, Fru, Marie and Amy. The Sims Family Veronica, Donna and Gary. Friends Megan and Hannah. There was quite a crowd and we had a lot of fun. There was the work details in which we built railings on all the lodge porches, added a new rod rack to the shed and various other painting projects. We had some great days fishing in which Gary caught the largest king of the 2001 season. It's always a great pleasure to share our beautiful bounty with family. Family also took a big part in the lodge operations during the 2001 season. Dave, Kathryn, Shawn, Marie and Veronica remained at the lodge as staff at the end of family week.
July 31 to August 4. This week was almost like a second family week. Grandfather John Grove, son J.R., son-in-laws Steve and Mark and grand sons J.F., Clayson, and Chandler visited the Lodge. All were first timers and generally hailed from Utah. The group were new to the sport of fishing which is interesting from a guide's perspective. While they had little experience to draw from they had very few pre-conceived notions to overcome. They learned very quickly and experienced several techniques. Fresh and saltwater, fly fishing, trolling, jigging and mooching were all successfully enjoyed.
August 4 to 11. Returnees Jim Reber and Eric Bostick were joined at the lodge by first timers David Dray, Charles Ryan, Less Ensing and David Drum. The week was a blizzard of activity. We fished the freshwater streams of Ugak Bay and made fly-outs to the Dog Salmon River. Ugak Bay itself was fished with the C/V FINLANDER. During the week the group landed all five species of pacific salmon, dolly varden, rainbow trout, halibut, sea bass and lingcod. An attempt was made to climb Mt. Geddes- Farzukan but was turned back by bad weather. Another highlight of the week was Less's 76th birthday party and talent show!
August 11 to 18. Shawn's father, our good friend and benefactor, Tom Finn was at the lodge this week. Joining Tom were his friends Arthor Hughes and John Boyce from California, John Kim and grandson Greg from North Carolina. Returnees John Kim, Tom and Greg have made several past visits. Arthor and John Boyce were visiting for the first time. Veronica's sister Kristy joined the lodge staff for weeks working visit. This week put a new meaning to the term "double hook-up". By fishing a jig and a fly on the same line Greg landed two bass at a time on five consecutive casts. Tom was the first to hook two silver salmon by the same method. All anglers experienced both fresh and saltwater fishing with good success.
August 18 to 22. Returnees Peter Felber and his uncle Walter, along with their first timer friend Ruddy were visiting the lodge. The group were all from Switzerland. The week started out well as we put a limit of silvers aboard the C/V FINLANDER in slightly more than a hour. A storm slowed the remaining days but we made the best of it by doing some freshwater fishing and hunting halibut in protected waters of the bay.
August 25 to September 1. Long time client and friend Walter Maslowski of Ohio was with us this week. All returnees Craig and Ed Walkowski from New Jersey, Pinky Gray and Joe Toth from Arizona and Jim Jacobsen from California filled out the group. We fished the freshwater streams of Ugak Bay, the saltwaters of Ugak Bay and made fly-outs to the Uganik River and The Dog Salmon River. The bay streams provided some fresh silvers on the fly. The fly-outs both provided dolly/rainbow numbers well in excess of 100. The bay provided some giant halibut. Craig landed a 150 pound fish and as we celebrated that catch, Pinky landed a 200 pound fish, the largest of the season! Jim and Pinky became the first to successfully land two silvers at a time on the jig/fly combination. Walter stood by his fly rod in saltwater to land his first ever sea bass. From dolly varden to giant halibut, the group landed 726 game fish! Craig and Dave Jones made the second successful climb of Mt. Geddes- Farzukan in an impressive 3:00 hours from the lodge sighting 13 mountain goat and 14 blacktail deer. We are looking forward to seeing this group in trips planned for 2002.
September 1 to 8. Returnees Donnie Daniel, Wilbur Bullock and Art Kelly, all from Mississippi, were joined by first timer friend Bennie Smith from Tennessee. Art's 86th birthday party was a highlight of the week. In a combination of fresh and saltwater fishing we landed all five pacific salmon, dolly varden, rainbow, halibut, sea bass and lingcod. Silvers were the big target and jigs were the best producers. Bennie fished the fly in saltwater quite successfully for silvers and landed two at a time by fishing two clowser minnow flys. Kathy Cole, a friend from Kodiak, joined the staff for the week and acted as head cook for the final days of the trip.
September 8 - 15. Staffers Shawn and Veronica had departed the lodge to re-open the camp on September 6. On September 8 returnees Wade Ward, Jim Slack and Charles Efrid, along with first timer Rob Jones, arrived in camp from North Carolina. Dave Jones and Cathy Cole remained at the lodge to close up and return the C/V FINLANDER to Kodiak. Dave was to fly to camp and relieve Shawn as guide on September 11. The tragic events of that day delayed this exchange for several days. All alone on the remote banks of the Ayakulik, the horrible situation on our east coast seemed a million miles away. The campers all contacted their homes and families via the satellite phone in camp and thankfully all were O.K. The group fished through this adversity and did well on silvers and remarkably well on dolly varden. Rob Jones landed 101 dollies on September 10 but he didn't stop there. He landed 104 dollies in one day later in the week fishing the gold ribbed hare's ear. The first steelhead of the season were caught on September 12 when the group landed 7. We look forward to seeing the group again in a trip they have planned for 2003.
September 15 to 22. World events caused a cancellation of clients during this week. Friend Oly Olsen arrived in camp to do some hunting with Dave Jones while Veronica flew to Kodiak for a short break.
Oly and Dave employed a variety of different hunting techniques including carrying rifles in the boat while fishing. On two occasions good old fashion hard work payed off and both hunters bagged trophy blacktail bucks.
September 22 to 29. Returnees Dick Neilson from Florida and Pat Steed from North Carolina arrived in camp. Dick and Pat enjoyed some hot fishing for silvers and teamed up to land 51 by early afternoon on one day. During the 2000 season, Dick had edged Pat out of the lead to win a one-fly competition. Pat got his revenge during this trip when he won the one-fly contest. Pat landed 28 dollies in one hour fishing a prince nymph, nearly a fish every two minute average! While Dick continued to slug it out with the hard fighting silvers, Pat would often sneak off to the riffles for steelhead. Pat's efforts payed off for 11 steelhead in the week.
September 29 to October 6. Long time clients and friends Fritz Jorg from Washington State, Chris Gill and Dick Negley, both from Texas, arrived in camp. The target was steelhead on the spey rod. We fished the Ayakulik and made two fly-outs to another favorite steelhead stream. Fritz made one of the fly-outs pay off for six steelhead, the best single day of the season. The long rods fished well throughout the week but it was the single hand rod that did it for Veronica in the one-fly contest. Veronica overcame a broken rod tip to land more silvers than any other angler in the 90 minute competition. We sure look forward to seeing this group in the future.
October 6 to 13. Arriving in camp were returnees Franz Landsiedl, Volkmar Hutschinski and Franz Hochecker all from Austria. Joining them was first timer Manfred Heyderer also from Austria. Fishing slowed for steelhead as waters began to rise from rain. The group fished hard and well and all anglers were eventually rewarded with steelhead. The silver fishing continued strong so lines were seldom slack for long. The group used both single and two hand rods but the latter proved most effective in the high water. The best steelhead day of the week was the last. The river began to settle and all four anglers were able to hook and land one or more steelhead.
October 13 to 20. During the final week of the 2001 season, Colorado returnees Don Andrews, Ray Estes, Brad Marcella and Keene Smith arrived in camp. The river was continuing to settle from the prior week's rains and the group had 22 steelhead under it's belt in the first three days. The best of which was 11 steelhead on a fly-out. Don Andrews landed the seasons largest measured fish on this fly-out, 35&1/4 inches. Ray Estes also had a similar fish but didn't get a measurement. On Tuesday evening it began to rain very hard and this proved to be the end of practical steelheading for the season. We had a one-fly competition targeting silvers on Wednesday. The high water didn't slow the silver action as Keene Smith landed 18 silvers in the 90 minute contest. Keene fished a silver tear to maintain a fish every 5 minutes average! As wading became more difficult, we developed the game of fly fishing baseball, made up teams and fished one batter at a time from the casting platform on the boat. There were several players traded but the Indians beat the Bears in a best three out of five series on the final day of the season. Fishing one angler at a time the group landed 46 silvers that day.
October 20 to 23. Friends from Kodiak, George Kirk and Rick Martin arrived to help Veronica and Dave break down camp. Work progressed well despite 3 inches of snow by Monday. Pilots Willie from Andrew Air and Dan from Highline Air were instrumental in transporting equipment to winter storage and staff to their winter homes. Both Willie and Dan worked extensively with AlpenView staff during the 2001 season as they have in past years.
A very special thanks to all the staff, pilots, friends and above all, clients, who worked and played to make the 2001 season a success.