Somehow I lost a day on this journal. Time to fill it inThe Kenai River flows past the Centennial campground where we are staying. It is a wide fast flowing river, maybe like the Kaw when it’s high. Many of the streams formed by melting snow empty into it, so it’s cold. Salmon come in from the ocean to begin their journey to spawn at their birthplace river here. According to the Anchorage Daily News, There are record numbers running through the fish counter at the river’s mouth—230,600 salmon in one day. Some year's peak doesn't hit 100,000
This picture was taken at 5:00 am this morning. After not having a lot of luck yesterday, we decided to get out there early.
I later found out some were out at 2:30 am! First, fly fishermen are serious about their sport. The lady in the foreground moved so we could get in. Oh, yes, and it was raining. By 8:30 am, I had lost two fish and my feet were froze. Dan took a break a little earlier so he came down with hot coffee. That helped.
We finally quit around 11:00. Chip, Dan and I were rotating in one spot. When we quit, we lost the spot. That’s OK because I was tired. This afternoon, we cleaned up all the salmon fillets and vacuum packed them. Chip took them to a place that will freeze, store and mail them at the right time.
What is interesting, though, is the personality of this campground. Through Chip, we have met many of the other visitors and learned their routine. Many bring pressure cookers to can their salmon. This evening we visited with a gentleman who had been tending his smoker full of salmon all day. Everyone is having a good time all centered around the salmon harvest.
Here’s how I understand how salmon are caught. After they enter the rivers from the ocean, they have trouble with the change in water so are swimming with their mouths gapping open. Catching them involves throwing a line out and letting the current carry it down and hoping one of the salmon will be swimming by with their mouth open and grabbing the hook. If any of them are caught in any other part of the body than the mouth, they have to be thrown back. It’s not as easy as it sounds. There is technique, but in the end, there is also luck.