Monday, October 03, 2005

One fish, two fish

It's the second beautiful sunny autumn day in a row here, which is definitely the scariest thing I've seen in Juneau in several weeks. When the sun is out, you actually notice the gold and red leaves tucked in among all those brown ones, and the dry breeziness can almost convince you that you're someplace where autumn actually happens and is worth noticing. R's boss Scott took us fishing yesterday; we drove 15 miles out the road through some gold-colored fog hanging over the city, and launched the boat in the most idyllic little harbor you've ever seen. It's this tiny cove in the middle of absolutely nothing but trees, with some little piney islands hemming it in. The air was very cold and very clear, a ubiquitous eagle was flying overhead, and the mountaintops in the distance were dusted with new snow... it's very weird to watch winter happening miles above your head.

So. Fishing! R and I were utterly and hilariously clueless... highlights of our "helping" included standing on the dock staring blankly ahead, each holding a piece of rope tied to the boat while we waited for further instructions; and standing on the shore of some island staring blankly ahead, each holding a piece of rope tied to the boat while Scott crouched on the sand and cleaned our fish. We caught 3 coho, and Scott graciously let us each reel one in. (R's was the giant male, so he got all the glory. Bah.) Apparently, salmon fishing involves reeling in the little critter, trapping it in the net when it's right up next to the boat, and bonking it on the head with a big wooden club until it stops thrashing! Who knew? The only thing that was missing were little twinkling stars and tweeting birds around the unconscious fishie's head.

It stayed perfect and sunny all day, but it was a little cold and choppy out on the water, so after stopping at aforementioned beach so Scott could clean the fish and I could relieve myself in the woods (whoever made girls so ill-equipped to pee off the bow of a boat into the ocean deserves to be severely reprimanded), we headed back to the mainland. Back at his house, Scott fileted the fish and gave us the giant monster one to take home... we returned with literally a garbage bag of wild Alaska salmon. Unfortunately, we couldn't eat it that evening because we had a potluck to go to, but we plan on gorging ourselves stupid for the rest of the week.

Man, an entire entry devoted to fishing... I must be a real Alaskan. Who knew I would ever find myself chatting with friends regularly about fishing, outdoor gear, and camping? And, perhaps the scariest part, FINDING IT INTERESTING???? I'd better hurry back to the flatlands where I belong, or I may have to start talking about skiing, come December. And that's just not a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

(Wow, the New England convention! I echo those sentiments; how can it be that time already??? If I were going to be here longer, I might have to suck it up and actually start a sing. I've made my home page on the computers I use at work, which has put me sorely in need of comforting communities and rituals of late...)

Hope you're all doing well! I'm sending lots of cold, rainy love in all of your directions!


  1. Wow, you both posted within hours. I'm in blog heaven!!

    Love the details. I can imagine those stars over the fish's head, alright. Do they rotate clockwise, or otherwise??

    And, just what is wrong with a little skiing action?? It's way better than Oprah on the couch with a chococookie. Won't you need to use snowshoes anyway pretty soon.

  2. OK, I just have to register my official complaint as this blog´s resident vegetarian, at the whole "clubbing fish over the head" and enjoying it thing. Otherwise, good for you and your back to natureness... all that stuff abounds in ecuador, and i´m so not taking advantage. I do get to stare at "la avenida de los volcanes" everyday though, so I don´t feel so very urbanized.

  3. Don't worry, it won't be long until she upgrades to clubbing baby seals.

  4. Jeez, Katie, can't you just buy your seafood nicely and cleanly packaged in plastic wrap from a grocery store like a civilized person? In other words, I totally support you! Club away, wild woman! You're just like Laura Ingalls Wilder, except in Alaska. I'm sure she would have clubbed fish if she'd ever not lived in a land-locked state.

  5. um i just mentioned this to you in a postcard you should receive shortly but have you read drop city? i'm in the middle of it and this post was frightening in that context.
    i miss you much. so does the south!
    -j in atanta