The fall weather is coming in hot and so are the salmon. This August long weekend I took advantage of the extra day and headed to Haines, Alaska to check out the salmon run. It’s not quite Coho season yet, but the river is full of pinks and sockeyes.
Whether you’re into fishing or not, now is a great time to pack up the car and head to Haines to check out this annual phenomenon. At this time of year, the rivers around the small Alaskan town are spotted with a waders-clad population, all hoping to reel in something tasty. Where is the best spot to set up shop? That’s up for wild debate. Everyone seems to have a secret spot they like to go to and a favourite lure to use. I can’t speak to a recipe for success, but I can tell you that if you see a bear, that’s not where you want to be.
I haven’t fished since I was about five years old, so to say I was a little rusty is a generous understatement. With some careful guidance though, I was able to catch multiple rocks, trees and even a couple of lost fishing lures. All on my very first day out. Not bad for an amateur, right?
The second day I even caught a not-already disintegrating salmon. I had no idea what to do with it once I reeled it in. Thankfully I had some skilled professionals on standby to take over the next steps.
The following day we were unable to go out on our chartered halibut tour due to bad weather, but it’s hard to complain when you have great company and a healthy pile of salmon reeled in. I contributed minimally to the salmon stock we collected, but had a wonderful time enjoying the outdoors and sometimes even casting in the intended direction. Warning: fish may still flop around hours after being caught, even when already gutted. If you are easily startled I recommend not standing near the water’s edge over a pile of recently caught fish because they may just start flopping around again and send you flying into the river.
Whatever adventures you get up to, it’s almost mandatory that you close off the day picking out music on the jukebox at the Fog Cutter. I can also very highly recommend the wood fired pizzas at Alpenglow.