A Week in Alaska, 2016, Part 3

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After two sunny calm days the weather was turning on us.  It was a bit overcast and drizzly while we got our tour of the rental boat and it stayed that way most of the day.  Due to the moderate winds we stayed in the Cove and the water was nice and calm.  Every time we ventured out as we were trolling we ended up turning around after fighting the waves.  We didn’t light into the kings like we did on the first day.  We did set some crab pots out that would be a future days bonus.  Other than that it was trolling the cove with nary a fish in sight.  We did manage a couple of rock fish and that was our Monday.

Coffman Cove
Coffman Cove

Tuesday the storm was upon us.  We had planned for a couple of days of exploring the island and fishing the streams.  30 – 40 knot winds easily convinced us the next two days were it.  Not too far from Coffman is a stream that runs out of Luck Lake all the way to the salt named Eagle Creek and that is where we started our day.  Prince of Wales has a similar climate to the Oregon Coast – wet, and so the vegetation is familiar – big trees and thick brush.  There is a lot of Sitka spruce and hemlock trees with salmonberry and an abundance of devils club to make things interesting.

Devils club
Devils club – no question where it got it’s name

 

We hoped to get into a few remaining steelhead but they seemed to be all but gone from the system.  We did have luck with a few trout where the pocket water would hold them.

Eagle Creek
Eagle Creek

 

By the time we reached the outlet we were already beat from working our way over deadfalls, slick rocks  and beating the brush, and so we chose the overland route on the way back.  We stumbled into some muskeg which was unique and we eventually found the logging road we were looking for which had some great views of the country we spent our day in.

Muskeg
Muskeg

Alaska 2016-476

 

Luck Lake
Luck Lake

After our hike we were done for in the hiking department so we headed south along the coastline exploring a bit.  We ran across a helicopter logging show and some good views and very few people.  It’s a huge island and not a lot of people are on it which worked out just right in my book.

 

Next morning we decided to venture a bit farther afield.  With little prospect for steelhead we hit a stream or two and spent the rest of the day looking around.  The first stop was Luck Creek, upstream of Luck Lake, we caught a few but not actually much luck to be had there.

Luck Creek flowing into Luck Lake
Luck Creek flowing into Luck Lake

 

Then it was on to Sarkar Creek where we met this bald eagle.

 

Alaska 2016-233Alaska 2016-213Alaska 2016-253

Next stop was a hike through a karst formation, where the limestone geology and acidic soils from the muskeg form an intricate pattern of small streams and ponds that run in and out of underground caves.

Muskeg
Muskeg
Walkway over underground caves.
Walkway over underground caves

 

We went as far north as Whale Pass which seemed like a sleepy little backwater that probably comes alive for fishing season.  Lots of culture and a fine store that just opened there called the Bear Trail Store.

One more payment and it's mine
One more payment and it’s mine

Before we knew it we had spent two days and only seen a fraction of the island.  The weather was improving and it would be back to fishing tomorrow.  Before calling it a night we checked the crab pots.  We hit the motherlode.  Like all other limits in Alaska, the residents have a more liberal limit than the non-residents, so we actually had more than the limit and turned some back.  That turned out to be a good thing since what you keep you clean and we had plenty to clean.

The final chapter in part four.

 

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