Monday, August 1, 2011

Alaska Fishing in July

The call came in: Crusty Sal was driving to the peninsula for a fishing rendezvous with Halibut Barbie. Hell yeah, I want in! The plan was to dip-net the Kenai River and be back by midnight. The 3-hour commute passed quickly, and Crusty and I picked up Halibut at the Safeway in Kenai. When dealing with Halibut Barbie remember this: no plan is absolute. So, it came as no surprise when after 20 minutes of dip-netting / swimming, HB was had devised a better plan: fly fishing with the Meyer Boys. We weren't having much luck dip-netting, so it was easy to pack it in and move the junk show upriver.

Crusty Sal Channeling her Inner Brad Pitt at Midnight

The new location and technique did not improve our luck and it was time to make the long drive home. Then Halibut gave us the hard sell: "How'd ya like to go commercial fishing tomorrow with my brother, Cap'n Fancy Pants. He could use a few extra deck-hands." I quickly called into work to let the bossman know that I wouldn't be showing up as expected 6 hours hence.

We awoke to to blue skies, warm temps, and calm seas. The weather could not have been any nicer. Milli Vanilli and Technotronic provided the perfect soundtrack as we motored down the Kenai River and into the Cook Inlet. Cap'n Fancy Pants had a spot in mind and we sped towards the mark. Once there, we quickly developed a nice routine: set the net, crank the music, snacks, cribbage, jump into the ocean, dance, sun bathe, and then haul in the salmons. Naps were also snuck in as needed. Commercial fishing is fun!

Halibut Barbie "Freeing" the Sockeye
Mountain Volcano Iliamna in the Background

Cap'n Fancy Pants and a Rogue Sand Shark

We fished between Nikiski and Clam Gulch and the Neacola and Chigmit Mountains were in full view. Glaciers, aretes, and couloirs, oh my! It gets a man to thinking about Old Man Winter and his adrenaline dispensary. But on a day like this, it's tough to contemplate winter for long. Today is for swimming, and flip flops, and no shirts, and thanking the pagan gods of the sea for filling my freezer.

- Salty Pete

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