Category Archives: Fishing/Hunting

Double Dipping

This was our 20th year fishing for salmon in the Copper River. You’d think we’d be experts by now and get our limit every time. Ha! If you want to be sure to come home with fish, go to the store. This fishery is a uniquely Alaska experience, a personal-use fishery open only to state residents. You use big nets on long handles. It’s a longstanding traditional way to harvest salmon for the table, and the fish, the Copper River red salmon, is probably one of the best food fishes in the world. We enjoy them immensely. And, while it’s serious work, I still enjoy going to get them.
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Sweeping All Day Sure Makes Me Tired

Figuring out when to go to Chitina to dip net for red salmon is always difficult, but this year was particularly challenging. The king salmon run was poor again this year, and they stopped letting you keep them after 19 June. But on average the reds run later than kings, so going early means you might get a king (this year you could keep just one), but you aren’t likely to fill out your permit on reds. That likelihood increases after the 4th of July, and the reds are generally larger then, too. And because the goal is to fill the freezer with fish, we’ve tended to forego the chance to get a king and go later.
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The Many Values of Nothing

Ahhh, fall. The gradual change in the air, the turning of the leaves, and the haunting calls of Sandhill Cranes as they gather to migrate south again. And to once again stalk the wily moose. Fall seems so brief up here that when September arrives you’re just itching to get out and enjoy nature and see if you can bring a tasty friend home for dinner.

During last year’s caribou hunt, we’d talked about trying a float trip down the Wood River this year for moose. And so early one morning Kevin May, Ken Severin, and I met up at Wright Air Service with all of our gear to fly out and get dropped off on the Wood River as it flows north out of the Alaska Range. Kevin flew out on the first flight with a bunch of our gear, and Ken and I joined him about two hours later on an airstrip cut out of the forest and running uphill. There was a horse-based hunting guide’s camp there. He’d come in from the south.

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