Smoke on the water

21 08 2010

I firmly believe that Valdez on a beautiful day is maybe just a little bit like heaven.  We went out at 6 for fishing, and it was a typical cloudy, misty, foggy morning in the harbor.  As the day went on and the cooler got fuller, we got to enjoy some spectacular scenery.  The amazing views on the drive down and back are really a whole other post to themselves.

Prepare to be jealous!

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I am Woman Hear Me Roar

18 08 2010

Last Sunday my mom and I went down to Valdez to fish in the women’s Silver Salmon Derby.  We did the first and second year and this year we did the sixth year.  It’s a great time.  We didn’t win the derby, but we did have tons of fun, and the water was filled with tons of cries of delight and good times.

Mom watches the pole.

Mom and I out fishing

We were short a first mate so I steered the boat while the captain rigged the poles, netted the fish, etc.

Me, Mom, Jane and Pudge with our limits of salmon!

Take two.

Notice the proximity of the rocks in the background.  EEKK!

Us and our fish!

Yeah woman gloves!  Wahooo!





But I Love To Fish

17 08 2010

Pictures from a truly splendid float down the Chena.  We caught a Greyling about every other cast.





King of the Wild Frontier

29 06 2010

Today marks the 7 year anniversary of my dad’s death.  I’ve been debating about posting something,  because, well this is a blog (an inherently impersonal medium) and this day is alway very personal for me, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share it will all my billions of readers.  But I obviously have decided to share it, so here is it.

It seems impossible that it has been 7 years, and for contrasting reasons.  On the one hand, time has gone by somewhat quickly.   I can’t believe I’m old enough to have attended my 5 year college reunion, it seems like I just graduated.  On the other hand, there is so much that has happened in the last 7 years that he hasn’t been here for, I have become an adult (well at least something that is much closer to an adult that I was at 20), graduated from college, traveled all over,  started a master’s program, and bought a house.  All of that makes the 7 years seem like such a long time.

Usually, I spend a portion of June 29th reflecting about what was so awesome about my dad, and things he taught me.  I’d like to share some of them with you all.

  • He loved Harry Potter, which is exciting to me since I introduced him to the series.  I think that was good payment for him reading to me as a kid. (He did the character voices- tweety bird and sylvester were my favs)
  • He could always start a campfire, but would always let me try first.  He was patient and eventually, under his tutelage, I was able to get almost as good.
  • He believed I could do anything.  Whenever I doubted myself he would say, “you can do it, daddies know.”  And he was right, I was always able to do it.  He taught me how important it is to believe in yourself, and how vital it can be to share how much you believe in someone else.
  • He was all about dreams and goals.  He loved fishing, and one of his dreams was to fly fish at Christmas Island.  When he got sick, he worked his butt off to get better.  He wanted to go to Christmas Island and after we finally found out his diagnosis and he spent a year doing chemo and stem cell transplants he worked very hard in cardio rehab and then pushed himself even more to get back to a place where he could enjoy life again.  He was able to go to Christmas Island and set and reach a whole new set of dreams and goals.  He taught me how to dream big, and work hard to make them come true.

He was a fantastic dad and I miss him tons.  If you wanted to do something for me today, you could tell you parents and/or child(ren) that you love them, K?

Dad achieving one of his dreams- Marlin on a fly rod (I think, it might be a sailfish).


Dad helping me release the greyling

Dad’s retirement party




Every Time I Go Out To Your Place You Gone fishin’

9 06 2010

We went down to the Peninsula to do some fishing last weekend.  Nililchik doesn’t have a harbor, so the boats are launched from the beach with huge tractor trailers that launch you into the water.  Growing up we had a boat in Valdez, where there is a harbor, so this was a new experience for me. 

We fished for kings and halibut, but it was towards the end of the king salmon run so we didn’t catch any of those.  It was my first time out for halibut, and the waves were pretty choppy at first, but once the tide stopped coming in the waters calmed down a bit.  The catching was good, we had a pretty steady stream of bites, and since the limit on halibut is 2 a day we thew back a lot of smaller fish.  We didn’t catch any huge ones, but each got our limit and they were decent size (20-25 pounds).  The fishing was the hardest I’ve done in my life.  We were fishing deep (180 feet) and the rods were heavy and weighted and bringing those fish up was HARD!  From people I’ve talked to it’s not always that hard so it must depend on the set up.

Me steering the boat

Cold and sunny fishing for kings

Mom reeling in a halibut

Us and our non record breaking catch