Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Hints from Nick on catchin’ cohos

Silvers loathe direct sunlight and are spooked by shadows

 

Take a number. The "patients" wait briefly in the trap box before being seen and released upstream to continue their migration. (Photo by Ryan Hagerty/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Anatomy of a fish weir — Keeping a finger on the pulse of Alaska’s salmon runs

During a routine physical exam, your doctor checks your vitals: Weight, heart rate, blood pressure and so on. Annual visits establish a baseline of personal… Continue reading

 

Mt. Redoubt rises above Cook Inlet and the Anchor River drainage as fireweed is in bloom, as seen from Diamond Ridge Road on Friday, July 22, 2022, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Take the long way around

“Slow Down. What’s the hurry?” reads an inscription on the Reuben Call bench at the end of the Homestead Trail of Diamond Ridge Road. I… Continue reading

 

Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Fishing hole on the uprise

Mother Nature’s fiendish and sudden moves are vexing to the fishing enthusiast

Nick Varney
(Photo provided)

Refuge Notebook: A guide to adventures that abound on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge Canoe System

Among the gems hidden within Alaska’s vast National Wildlife Refuge lands, there is an area that has drawn me back time and time again: the… Continue reading

(Photo provided)
Walking near the mudflats in Hope, Alaska, on Saturday, June 4, 2022. (Courtesy Sabine Poux)

Out of the Office: I’ll always have Alaska

The first time I came to the Kenai Peninsula I was on a solo weekend vacation about a month after I had moved to Anchorage.… Continue reading

Walking near the mudflats in Hope, Alaska, on Saturday, June 4, 2022. (Courtesy Sabine Poux)
Nick Varney
Nick Varney
A cow moose and calf eating cattails on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on June 30, 2022. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: A cattail conundrum

I like cattails. They remind me of Florida, where largemouth bass and red-winged blackbirds lived around the patch of cattails on the lake where I… Continue reading

A cow moose and calf eating cattails on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on June 30, 2022. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)
Fishermen young and old try their luck at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on June 4, 2020, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Fishermen young and old try their luck at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon on June 4, 2020, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Gail and Bill smile from their summer volunteer position at the Refuge Visitor Center front desk. (Photo provided by refuge)

Refuge Notebook: A salmon in the freezer and a moose on the porch

There’s a moose on our patio and a bear near our RV steps. Life can be an adventure as a volunteer host. As we write… Continue reading

Gail and Bill smile from their summer volunteer position at the Refuge Visitor Center front desk. (Photo provided by refuge)
The sun shines on the Kenai Mountains in Turnagain Arm on Saturday, July 9, 2022 near Anchorage, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Simple gifts

It’s always humbling to be reminded of what we take for granted in this life. When faced with the prospect of having to drive to… Continue reading

The sun shines on the Kenai Mountains in Turnagain Arm on Saturday, July 9, 2022 near Anchorage, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Nick Varney
Nick Varney
Mount Marathon, seen July 4, 2022, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Keeping Mount Marathon Race local

How does the Mount Marathon Race stay local? That was the question in the minds of many people I talked to about a new rule… Continue reading

Mount Marathon, seen July 4, 2022, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Thereճ a lot of buzz around fireweed. A diversity of pollinators visit the flowers. (Photo by Katrina Liebich/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Fireweed shows Alaska’s summer clock is ticking

Alaska’s short, sweet summer is usually in full swing by the time you really notice it. “Better hurry and enjoy it,” the fireweed says as… Continue reading

Thereճ a lot of buzz around fireweed. A diversity of pollinators visit the flowers. (Photo by Katrina Liebich/USFWS)
People in an inflatable kayak fish off the end of the Homer Spit on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Reeling ‘Em In: Fishing gets exciting with snagging opener

Southern Peninsula fishing reports and updates for the week of June 28

People in an inflatable kayak fish off the end of the Homer Spit on Thursday, June 23, 2022, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

1-year Russian River Campground closure starts Aug. 15

The closure will allow extensive construction work to take place

The Sterling Highway crosses the Kenai River near the Russian River Campground on March 15, 2020, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
"Doing our part to be bear smart" keeps bears behaving naturally on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Photo taken with a 600mm zoom lens. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/FWS)

Refuge Notebook: It takes a village to keep bears wild on the Kenai

It has been a while since I have been up close and personal with a bear. It happened quickly. I was distracted while walking along… Continue reading

"Doing our part to be bear smart" keeps bears behaving naturally on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Photo taken with a 600mm zoom lens. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/FWS)
Anna and I in Seward, Alaska, on June 9, 2022 after waiting in Cooper Landing for almost three hours.

Out of the Office: Time well spent

There really only seem to be two seasons in Alaska: winter season and construction season. On the Kenai Peninsula this summer, we’ve all been delayed… Continue reading

Anna and I in Seward, Alaska, on June 9, 2022 after waiting in Cooper Landing for almost three hours.
Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Kings acting ‘a bit schizoid’

It’s hard to tell what’s worse: thieving seals or *%$@#0# snaggers

Nick Varney
The scenery on the drive from Homer to Anchorage ranges from beautiful to awe inspiring, like Turnagain Pass on the Kenai Peninsula, as seen here on Sunday, May 22, 2022. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Road trippin’

You know how you’ve done something so long and so often it becomes routine, and yet it still can amaze you? Traveling to Anchorage and… Continue reading

The scenery on the drive from Homer to Anchorage ranges from beautiful to awe inspiring, like Turnagain Pass on the Kenai Peninsula, as seen here on Sunday, May 22, 2022. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)