Best June and July Ever

Went back east for my high school reunion. Took 3 nephews fishing in a tiny pond at the camp of my brother-in-law’s brother. The two youngest caught fish all day – bass and bluegill. They are already good casters, but couldn’t quite get the fish off the hooks so well. I helped, then told them they had to learn. It was fun seeing that not only did they learn to get the hooks out, but also how needle nose pliers work. That night we all slept in a tiny “office” that was to be used for writing. It had windows all around. A lightning storm came through overnight, and the room was lit up all night – a real treat for me since lightning is rare in Alaska. Next morning the boys were up before me, fishing.

We fished a couple ponds the next day at a college friend who moved down to my hometown. He and his wife have no kids, so they open the floodgates, too. Pizza. Wings. All the Mountain Dew you can drink.

Then the high school class reunion party. The five years since the 25th reunion had flown by. I think everyone from 25 was there at 30, with more welcome additions. I have to say many looked better now than at the 25th with lost weight – I did not. Two classmates talked about coming up hunting – the first such talk – and so hope they can make it.

Next up to the Georgian Bay camp of my aunt. My uncle and his brothers bought some islands in the Henvey Inlet in the late 40’s, and then Canada made a park around their inholdings, so the place has not changed since I went there as a kid. My nieces and nephews see the place as I did and still do – a magic place to fish, swim, eat lots of candy, and get a sunburn. We caught quite a few bass and a pike. I’d bought the kids a make-your-own lure kit, and they caught fish on lures they painted themselves. We saw black bears everyday, along with mink, muskrat, beaver, otter, comorants, loons, and blue heron. I told Sara if I had to move out of Alaska, I could move there.

After a week on the slope, I welcomed my cousin and his brother in law today off the cruise ship. Another brother in law won a pile at a casino, and took 26 on a cruise – that’s what you do with that kind of money to be happy, I think. So, three of us went fishing and had the best coho fishing I can remember here. We caught 9 coho – 8 of them large – along with a couple pink salmon. I barbecued a few salmon steaks and deer meat for them before taking them to back to their ship.

Next, I slung the bag of cleaned fish over my back and santa claused my neighbors with a fish each up and down the street. Two sets of octagenarions, a policeman/teacher, florist, and another young couple. Like the guy that won at the casino, that’s how you finish a jackpot day of fishing.

Mark Stopha
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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