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Going fishing

April 26, 2011
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Without a hint of a breeze the smoke from the evening camp fire was rising like an arrow shot straight up. I had left my clients sitting around it with a look of total satisfaction from a day they will remember forever. I had wondered off and found myself on the bow of the boat, looking across the gently rolling river. Though mid-summer and never dark, at this time of night the light across the tops of the spruce trees on the opposite bank glowed with a golden red. Movement in the low brush, caught my eye and produced a cow and calf moose coming to waters edge for a drink. Just when I was thinking it could not get any better than this, a fish rose and broke the calm of the moment as in a fury it went after some insect on the surface.

I had always loved to fish. Back East, when I lived in Pennsylvania, I fished every good stream, lake and pond. At that time little did I know that I would end up fishing in the remote reaches of the Yukon river in Alaska 30 years later. When I first decided to move to Alaska, I worked with an outfitter to ‘learn’ the hunting trade. I soon found that hunting, at least by his standards was a two season affair, spring for bear & fall for moose. That left the summer open and in my first year, living in Alaska, I spent a lot of time fishing. I became friends with a local native guide and he showed me many hidden fishing gold mines. He took me to some of the richest fishing grounds that I never could have imagined existed. Well at that time in my life I was a quick study and realized these spots could draw many people willing to pay for a chance to experience the thrill of remote Alaskan fishing.

I figured I could book 8 week long trips, between the hunting times and managed the first year to book 6 of those weeks. Not bad for a beginner. All the trips were booked at outdoor shows in Pennsylvania, Denver and Huston that I worked with the hunting outfitter.

For those with an interest in fishing I offer the video below. It is just home movies of times and places I cherish in this land called the last frontier. There is a couple shots of Salmon fishing, the peril’s of dip-netting and the rewards of a successful trip to Valdez. However most of the clips deal with the lucky few who journeyed down the Yukon river with me to the remote Nowitna national wildlife refuge, where our pike camp was located.

What you will be seeing is not the highlights…but a normal day’s fishing in ‘my’ Alaska.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jon permalink
    April 26, 2011 9:49 pm

    Nice video, even though I don’t hunt or fish. Enjoyable music by Yanni the last couple minutes. Yanni came from Greece to Minn. in Jan. ’73 to study Psychology at the Univ. of Mn. , also played in local bars before getting into the new-age music field & the rest, as they say, is history. I’ve met him a couple of times.

    Happy spring!

    Like

  2. AussieAlaskan permalink
    April 27, 2011 9:15 am

    I remember dip netting – scary! Very nice images of bush in Alaska and I noticed many aspects of being in the bush which appeared in the video – I enjoyed that.

    Like

  3. Del permalink
    April 30, 2011 12:01 am

    That was great Pete brought back lots of memories that I wish I had on film as well… Good job….
    Dip netting was the most dangerous though as we went to chitna and did the rock climb too. The guy who took me said if I fell in that he would only try and dip net me a couple of times as he wasn’t going to jump in for me… And we had no boat….. So had to be a little nimble by the water as it rushed by….

    Like

    • May 6, 2011 12:57 pm

      I’ve always climbed down the rocks also. Down is bad enough, it is the haul back up carrying fish and net and whatever else got dragged down to make the day go better that was the main problem. After the flooding that took out the vehicle bridge at O’Brien Creek, the places to dipnet on that side of the river are mostly silted in and changed the river channels. Not hardly worth the effort to drive down now.

      Like

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