Coming from the south, fishing was painted as a pretty boring sport in my eyes. Besides, I wasn’t raised around a fishing-type kind of crowd. What I was around a lot though was water, and while the males that surrounded me in childhood didn’t really fish, they loved the water. With that comes an appreciation for water sports as well as eating fish.
Fast forward to moving to Alaska and one thing I noticed immediately was the infatuation and love for not only eating fish, but catching it. And not only catching it, but processing it: Filleting it. Canning it. Smoking it. Culturally speaking, via all ethnic groups, fish and fishing for them is celebrated. We have races dedicated to salmon. When looking at art, fish are celebrated through many mediums. Restaurants celebrate their many options for how local fish are prepared, especially for the tourists who have no idea what they’ve been missing. People go on and on about their stories and vacations concerning fishing. If you live here and don’t fish, it’s just weird. It’s worse than when you live here and don’t ski.
Here I lived and I didn’t know how to fish. Would I even enjoy it?
Since then, many years have gone by, and I’ve experimented with all forms of fishing, and while my skills with reel and rod fishing will never compare to the locals, I love the feeling. As long as there is action every now and then, I can stand next to real fisher-people and get that same exhilarating vibe that they get. Again. And again. Unlike many of the lifers, I am still experiencing my firsts. This past weekend was no different. Among other things, I caught my first Yelloweye, Rockfish, and went 70 miles out of Homer to catch them.
Raw Mother Earth at her finest. Life is beautiful! Maybe I won’t ever be a real fisherman, but I’m certainly going to keep trying.