Joined: Jul 2008
On our way into Seward a couple days prior, I rolled down my window and the switch broke, just the up side, and automatically retracted the driver’s side window back into the door. The switch just popped out of the door, I didn’t have to pull off the panel, so I pulled it out and called up the Ford dealership in Soldotna to see if they could order one in. Sure enough, they could have one in shipped in a day or two. So, after the hike we pulled off the Exit Glacier road and crashed out, then woke up and headed down to Homer again, after a quick stop in Soldotna to see the Ford dealership.
In the mean time, Dad was getting his 220k mile (350,000 km) transmission replaced in Anchorage. He found a guy that was branching off from his farter’s transition shop and starting his own, with all the set-up to hoist up my pop’s Ford E350 15-passenger van converted into a camper and time to fit it in. The guy happened to have a perfect match for the trany laying around and worked till eight that night to get it replaced the next day. After the test drive they headed down to Homer to meet up.
They met up with Val and I at the dealership in Soldotna, we all stocked up on some more supplies, and then headed south to set up camp back at my favorite spot, Whiskey Gulch. Val decided she wanted to go halibut fishing too, so we called and made reservations with Bob again. She paid for me this time, for being the nice brother and carting her around like that.
This time on the charter, a dad and kid on the boat decided they didn’t want to keep their fish, so I was quick to volunteer to help take some of the extra. Val doesn’t really like fish either so I came out with 30 lbs or so. Rather than paying to ship it back, I decided to just pack it in dry ice and keep it with me, after giving some to my parents of course. This became somewhat of an issue later on.
After the charter, the four of us went out to lunch and then headed back to camp, after showing them the Salty Dog. Val wanted to do a bit more fishing, we had the licenses for the day, so we headed over to The Bait Shop. Its little hole-in-the- wall fishing store right off the road, and we asked the guy what the hot set-up was on the Anchor River. Unfortunately, the owner was out, running his own charter, but his buddy there knew a whole lot more than we did and was more than willing to help. He was a great guy. He set us up with some Super Bait, some yellow mesh to tie the bait in, a few weights, and another lure for good measure. After teaching me how to tie on the bate sack, we set off. I was determined to catch a Silver Salmon.
We headed out the little path, by the Anchor River campground, and followed it ‘till we were right by where it let out into the sea. I set up Val’s fishing rod like the guy at the shop told me and then set up mine. We were there for a while, watching the fly-fishermen pull them in quite regularly, casting and casting out our bait repeatedly. At one point, Val cast it over, across the river and up on the bank on the other side. One of the other anglers noticed and came over, saying: “What’s this? A damsel in distress!!! let me help”. He then untangled the lour and reeled it in. He took one look at the set-up, saw the weights, and laughed: “What are you trying to do? Knock the fish out?” Then went over to his tackle box and changed her line up. After Val came up with nothing several times, he changed it up for her again, and again, and again. She said she would have given up a long time before she did but he was so excited to help, she couldn’t.
He was awesome, so into helping the lil sis catch a salmon. But, she never did. I actually caught something though, a steelhead, there was a ban on catching them unfortunately so I had to promptly throw it back though. Bruce, our new buddy, ended up giving us the silver he caught though, that was nice of him. He said he lived right by the bridge and came there every day, plus, his freezer was already full he noted. I stayed late, well past dark, pushing 10 or 11 I think, but could never catch one of my own. I kept thinking about the definition of insanity, casting and casting and casting some more, bate on one fishing pole and the lure on the other. Doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting different results.
At least the sunset was another amazing one.
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