|2005 was a great year because Randy's boys Ben and Jake both came, as did our friend Robert. It was a really good fishing year.
This is our favorite fishing spot on the Kenai River, looking down stream. You can see how quickly it drops off into a trench. The
salmon, conserving energy during their migration, will usually swim along the bottom of the trench due to the slower current there.
We throw upstream and the water takes our hook right at the unsuspecting fish. That's Jake to the left, Ben near the tree and Robert
leaving the water. Note: The tree washed away in 2008. I was bummed. Even though it ate hooks.
This is from the same spot, only looking up stream. That's Jake in front, followed by Ben, Robert and me.
Taking a break from our tough day is, from left to right, Jake, Ben, Randy and me. Notice we have 2 nets. Netting is actually more
exciting that hooking the fish and there is quite a bit of skill involved. We often net for strangers, Cheechakers that try to fish a river like
this without one. It is just so sad seeing those tourists lose their salmon because they think they can walk them to shore.
Ben is pounding a salmon into submission with a rock. This type of fishing is not for the squeamish. These powerful fish will rip their
own gills out if you put them on a stringer alive.
Ben with his prize. This is a red salmon. You have no doubt seen pictures of dark red salmon with green heads. They look that way
after they have spent too long in fresh water. Although this water is fresh, it is near the mouth of the river so the salmon still have a
silver look to them. Silvery = good eatin'.
Here is Randy with a fine fish he just caught. Often after a day of fishing this good we will cook one of these babys up for dinner over
an open fire with some onions and garlic. Nothing like fresh Alaskan salmon right out of the river.
Randy is cleaning the fish while they are on the stringer in our cove. Foolishly we used to carry the whole fish up the bank (it is very
steep and high, not to mention muddy). Not only was that a lot of weight, but then we had to deal with heads and guts back at the camp
(read: messy and bear bait). We finally got a clue and started cutting them at the river, saving us about 35% of the carrying weight.
Robert is showing off his filleting prowess back at camp. Over the years we have all gotten pretty good at this. Since we vacuum-pack
all the fish prior to freezing, it is crucial that all of the belly bones get removed so the packing isn't compromised, which will lead to
freezer burn. A perfect fillet job gets these bones out on the first shot. Hardly ever happens.
After the filleting is complete, we head back down to the river (the easy access part this time) to rinse off the fish and get them as clean
as possible prior to taking them down to the processor who will vacuum pack, freeze and ship them home for us.
I just had to put this photo here. This is Scooters front yard. We were prepping our evening fire when a young moose comes walking
by. He is right there in the middle of the photo. Ben and I jumped up and yelled "Take our picture"! While we have seen many moose
during our trips, and been closer to them than this one (we've even been closer to bears than to this moose) this is the only picture we
have of us with a moose.