"It's All Good"

 

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It’s All Good…
I went to Alaska to fish with the Duncans again this year. They have hosted me on the Kanektok virtually every year since 1987. Why do I return each year? Because the entire experience is so uplifting: fish-catching, friendships, food, facilities, wilderness, wildlife spotting, and overall quality.
This year, late spring, I learn that King fishing is closed. Wow-- that specie has been my catch obsession for over 15 years. About eight years ago I hooked 172 on the Kanektok while being Duncan-guided. What to do this year?


Well, the guides put me into slots, runs, and side-channels filled with bright chum, big aggressive rainbow, some sockeye, some dollies, some humpies, and even grayling. And, after I stop grumping about not being able to back-bounce for Kings—which required coaching from my longtime Duncan client buddies—I start catching available fish; lots of them.


Bottom line: I greatly enjoyed my experience. Guides were helpful and friendly—as always. Weather was surprisingly great. So was the food. What I learned after my King fixation was to adapt; to take in the whole environment, to really savor the beauty of the river and tundra. And, to adjust my angling to what’s there to catch.


I’ve already signed up for next year, Kings or not. Judging from the tons of chinook we saw while seeking other species, I suspect Alaska Department of Fish and Wildlife will allow fishing for Kings. And, now equipped with better chum-rainbow-dollie-sockeye-humpie skills and equipment, I will be even more able to catch, catch, catch—and hang out with a grin back at camp.


Yep: it took me several days to wake up and smell the coffee. But, I figured I had better see a half-full rather than half-empty cup. And so the trip will go down as one of my best and favorite Duncan-led adventures. And, thank you buddies for helping me through my King closure disappointment. Ultimately, it was all good…SUPER GOOD!

Peter with a beautiful King Salmon caught in 2011
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