Sunday, August 9, 2009

OUR ALASKAN ADVENTURE














We have wanted to go to Alaska on a fishing trip for several years, so when my brother Kelly called and invited us, we jumped at the chance. We went to a little town called Gustavus. It is by Glacier Bay and only has a population of about 300 people that live there year around. We stayed at a lodge where they took very good care of us with great breakfasts every morning and gourmet dinners every night. The people that own the lodge are LDS and they treated us just like we were members of their family. The little town has an LDS branch and they just built a new little chapel. We went there for church on Sunday and everyone made us feel so welcome. We even got to go help with a little service project to help an older member move a big heavy log bed to the upstairs of his new house.

Our whole purpose for going to Alaska was to go fishing so we went on a charter fishing boat to fish for halibut and salmon. We fished on four of the seven days we were there in Glacier Bay and the fishing was fantastic. The first day we started off by catching herring while the boat was still at the dock. These were little fish about 8 inches long and we used them to fish for salmon. We caught about 15 pink salmon that were about 3-4 lbs. and I caught 1 silver salmon that was about 10 lbs. Then our captain started whacking our salmon into big chunks. We wondered what in the heck he was doing with our fish when he told us the pink salmon are used for bait for the halibut. He then took us to a spot where he dropped the anchor and he put about 3-4 lbs of weight on our line along with a huge evil looking hook and about half of one of the pink salmon. We dropped that overboard where it sunk to the bottom about 230 feet deep. After a few minutes I got the first bite and the fight was on to reel in this huge fish. I took at least 20 minutes to get it to the surface and everyone kept offering to help but I wanted to do it by myself, even though my arms felt like they were ready to fall off. When we got it to the boat, Landon, the captain's 15 year old son and deckhand, whacked it in the head with a baseball bat and they hauled the fish into the boat. It was by far the biggest fish I have ever seen in real life. It weighed about 120 lbs. This was just the start of four great days of fishing. We all caught our limit of one halibut each day and we each brought home 100 lbs of fish; mostly halibut but a few silver salmon and a couple of king salmon. Carl's favorite thing to do was catch the pink salmon because they fight a little and they are plentiful. One day the captain rigged up all our poles and he said we are going to catch 10 fish in 10 minutes or we are going to throw you overboard. We did it!!! On the last day of fishing we were almost up to our limit of halibut for the amount we could take home on the plane without paying extra. We needed about 100 lbs. more. With 5 of us fishing, there were 3 people that all had a fish on at the same time. They each reeled their fish up to the boat to see which one fit the bill for our weight needed. There was one 75 pounder and one about 115 pounds and then Carl got a monster fish up to the boat. His halibut was 73 inches long and weighed 206 lbs.!!!!! We had to cut it loose and keep the fish in the middle. While we were out fishing for halibut there were whales jumping, diving and blowing. It was amazing to see these huge whales so close in the wild. There were also sea lions and eagles. We saw several moose around our lodge too. One day we hiked into the forest to see a 1957 plane crash. The wreckage is still there scattered through the forest.

The weather was perfect during the whole trip but the daylight and darkness took a little getting used to. One night we were out playing horseshoes at 11:00 pm. We could still see well enough to see the post. Then it started getting light about 4:00 am so we had to be sure our curtains were all tucked in around the windows before we went to bed. On a scale of 1-10 this trip was a definite 12. Carl and I even checked into the price of real estate up there. We could buy a small 2 bedroom house for about $95,000. Then we could sell shares and we could go and spend a couple of weeks there each summer. Something to think about?........

This is turning into a long post but one more thing I wanted to tell about. When Carl had to turn his big halibut loose, he asked the captain if he could buy the hook for a souvenier. The captain just cut it off and gave it to him. Carl then put it in the pocket of his sweatshirt and forgot about it......Until we had been through the scanner security at 3 different airports and we were just ready to board the plane for SLC. Carl said "I wonder if that hook is still in my pocket. It probably fell out or they would have noticed it when it went through the scanner machine." I went over and felt in the pocket and guess what was in there? Check it out in the picture!!!!

3 comments:

Bryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Summer said...

HOLY COW!!! That fish is HEUUUUGE! What an amazing trip! I'm so glad you two were able to go!

Our Blog said...

wow wow wow! what a trip of a lifetime. 250 lbs?! it sounds like this trip was so right up your alley in every way. i am sure the pictures don't even do it justice, but it's fun to see them nonetheless - to get a feel for what it was like there.