We’re camped at Deep Creek Beach State Recreation Area just south of the small Kenai Peninsula town of Ninilchik. We picked this spot because we have blog friends (more on this later) who are Camp Hosts here for the summer. From what we can tell, we’re the only “tourists” in the campground despite the fact there are at least 40 campers in a mix of tents, motor homes and trailers, all with Alaska license plates. There are perhaps another hundred day-use groups with boats at the spot where the boats are launched. And they’re all here for king salmon and halibut.
There’s an unusual “boat launch” here, and it’s not your run of the mill operation. Boats of all kinds, some up to 32 feet, are launched into the Cook Inlet using what look to be logging skidders. We went down the beach to watch the operation for a while this afternoon, and they must have pulled at least one boat a minute for the thirty minutes we observed. There were three skidders, each with a two-man team: a driver and a second guy who rode the trailer, jumped into the water as the boat ran up on the trailer, hooked on a bowline and then hopped back on while the skidder pulled the boat onto the shore.
They were really hustling to secure the boats, pull them out, unhook, and go pick up another trailer and get back down to the beach. There were at least 100 empty trailers on the beach, so we assume we’ll see a major launch operation in the morning, or perhaps not – we may still be asleep.
Deep Creek Rec Area also has, not surprisingly, a creek. This is really a fast running stream about 30-40 feet wide. Even in mid-afternoon at low tide (not prime fishing time) there were at least 10 fly fishermen out trying for salmon.