Friday, March 9, 2012

Alaskan Memories Part 2.

Brian from our State College store asked me to put together a story for his blog: Flies and Lies . Their theme this week was “Alaska stories from guiding”. So I put this story together for him, figured I'd share it with all my viewers as well.

Many of my fondest memories took place while clients were present; however my best and worst memory of Alaska took place on a remote river virtually untraveled by people. We had decided on the fly to take a single night camping trip, on the other side of the island, the weather looked good for the flight over and the flight back. Around 9:30 we were loaded, and set for the flight over. My buddy Jesse, had is cousin up from the big city of Portland, we wanted to show him the “real” Alaskan experience. To keep the story short, we set up camp, fished all day, came back for dinner, shared some stories and hit the hay, with my .44 under my pillow (bear protection). The next day we had seen a couple bears in the tidal flats but they were no threat at that point, we fished all day and around 3 broke down camp and waited for the plane to arrive, we knew the planes had to be grounded by 7pm, so when 7:45 rolled around we were in for another night on the river. Bringing just enough food for the 2 days, we had only a cliff bar and 2 bottles of water to hold us over. Good news, Pink salmon were in the river, so we went to work. After catching a couple slightly fresh pinks, I was off to work cleaning them. After I was half way done with one and had just enough salmon blood on my hands, I looked up and see almost face to face a 3 or 4 year old Brown bear, looking at me and my fresh catch. Now of course the one time I need it my .44 is back at camp, so doing what I was taught to do: get big, get loud, and don’t let the bear have your food. So after what felt like forever, more like  2 minutes, Jesse came running down with his “bear protection” 45/70 lever action riffle, and we had a stand off until the bear turned and walked away. Talk about adrenalin rushes.  We were on edge the rest of the evening while we cooked the salmon, luckily no more bear sighting for the night. When we woke up I looked over at the river, there he was just standing there looking into the river, waiting for a salmon to swim by. He was occupied, we broke camp down and the plane arrived around 10am.
Reason for the 1 day delay – zero visibility, might I mention it was a sunny blue bird day where we were. That’s the power of the Pacific.   

1 comment:

  1. memories come from were there, you lived it...and that my friend, kicks ass.