The One That Didn’t Get Away – Alaska Salmon Fishing
Date: March 26, 2012
Guest Post by Aaron Dolphin-Chavie
Fishing guide and young guest with large salmon.
It was the last week in July, 2011. The water was high, the fishing was getting better by the day and I was rowing on about four hours of real sleep. Perfect conditions for the Kasilof prevailed. Fumbling clumsily in the darkness over bait trays and coffee, we set out for the morning tide. I was a bit early, but that just meant we didn’t have to race down to the incoming tide. Drifting through the Traps Hole about five minutes into the drift, the boat suddenly jumped with excitement. “Front right! Front right – grab it!!!” All attention was on a 25-30 pound fish screaming away from the boat. âReel them up boysâ¦get those rods out of the way!â I enthusiastically instructed. We were so focused on the hot-headed spectacle jumping furiously downstream, that no one had noticed the other rod still in the water. “Uh, I have one too,” said the thirteen year-old son of the man fighting the fish. That’s when total chaos erupted. And to think that we were on the cusp of slumber not minutes prior.
We had one fish moving upstream and one heading down! I handed the net up front and said âSorry dad, the boyâs fish is bigger.â He replied “Don’t worry about me. You just grab his!” as water misted off his reel.
By now, we were nearly at the bottom of People’s Hole. Finally, the hot fish on Mikeâs (the dad) line calmed while the boys just kept digging right under the boat. I knew we needed to get one in the boat fast, so as not to get tangled. âReel fast Mike! I’m going to net yours – but as soon as I do, cut the line!! After that first fish was in the net, we could now focus on the fish no one had yet seen. It took another 3/4 of a mile to land that fish. At a solid 50 pounds, the boyâs fish rendered his fatherâs 30 pounder quite small indeed.
We pulled over to shore and, as I prepared to box the fish, Mike and son turned to me and said, âWeâre not keeping any fish today! We have enough fish and want to fish all day!!â We would float the river twice and land 11 fish that day. Another great day on the Kasilof!!!
Aaron’s Alaska Fishing