Best Vacation Ever: Day 6, Alaska
Tap, tap, tap...we were awakened at 4:30 a.m. and appreciated the door side coffee. Guzzled some more at breakfast. Dressed with more layers than when we fished for King Salmon - had been a bit chilly all day. Finally broke out the light long underwear and double socks for stylish under wader wear. Packed our lunches, and clomped down to the ramp where Nick had our gear. We were joined by Alex and Sarah, on their honeymoon from Texas.
Sockeye Salmon don't really hit the Kenai River hard until later in the summer. They are present, but not so plentiful. Fishing for sockeye is incredibly random. After racing to beat Steve (the other fishing guide) to the best tie-up spot, Nick set us up with reels and a demo on Sockeye technique. He warned us yesterday that the fish weren't running full out yet.
1. You cannot see the fish
2. The fish aren't feeding as the swim upstream to spawn, so they will not bite a hook/bait.
3. The fish aren't plentiful
4. You throw out your line, drag it back through the shallower water, and then snap it and IF YOU HAPPEN TO DRAG AND SNAP IT WHEN A FISH HAPPENS TO BE THERE, you can hook the fish.
Luckily, we are fishing in a gorgeous location on a beautiful day with eagles flying by and limited mosquitos.
Because otherwise, this would not be fun.
Barry, still not feeling well, set to with the determination of a man with a task and a low grade fever. He was strong on the snap, and was casting at about a 2:1 rate to my casts. Alex also had The Crud, and eventually gave up and laid down in the boat. Barry caught the first fish...and 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 which filled our (3 each) limit. I hooked 2 and lost 2. Sarah caught 3, and Nick (guide) caught 1, but he was busy helping all of us with our catch.
Now for Barry to do this, he must have cast 2,000 times, and I am not exaggerating. It seemed every time he would eat a snack, he'd come back and catch another. So then everyone was trying the Doritos/cookies strategy...I was doomed, because I packed a healthy lunch and apparently apples are not linked to higher fish catching.
Half way through the day, Lisa (our Hoosier friend from day 1) and her guide came floating by on their rowboat. Her activity was a river float with a stop for champagne and cheese and fruit. Since my arm was aching and I was a tad frustrated, I thought about wading out and jumping in!
All in all a fun day. When we returned to Great Alaska, the staff came out to sign us up for fish transport and help us take photos. They were happy for us, our catch, to take our photos. Genuine, intimate, nice people. It is truly what made our stay here so special.