First Time Alaska
1 Travelling on business in Canada
I can't remember exactly when I got strongly interested in Alaska. Alaska was not so popular among the anglers in Japan. There was also few guidebook and package tour . The chance might have been my travel on businees in Canada 6 years ago.
In October of 2000, I was travelling on business from Toronto to Vancouver alone. I visited each state goverment office and facility to study women's working conditions and supporting systems. Before travelling, I should have made a preliminary investigation. Then, I found out a very interesting article among the documents that more than one meter lake trouts were quite often caught in YellowKnife in Canada.
Incredible ! More than one meter was beyond my imagination . I always fish less than 1 foot trouts, and my best was 1 hoot 3 inches. However, YellowKnife was very far from Japan and it would be snowing now.
After coming back to Japan, I started to study about YellowKnife. As studying hard, it seemed to be very difficult for me, who didn't have enough travelling experience, to go fishing alone at very remote area like YellowKnife. In addition, there would be a lot of run-off water along the rivers until the mid of June, so the fishing season would be started in July, a letter from the information center of YellowKnife said. However , through the studying, I figured out that there were a lot of trophy salmon in Alaska and I could be able to fish big one. How to go to Alaska anyway ?
2 Going to Kenai
My fishing expedition in Alaska has begun in Kenai. Why Kenai ? Then, 4 years ago, there was few Alaskan information written by Japanese in Japan. Some brochures published by Alaska Tourism Bureau in Tokyo Japan and the guide book " How to walk on the planet in Alaska " were only ways to know Alaska. Now it is not so different from then .
When I was searching useful information throught the internet, I found Soldotna B&B that its owner Steve could speak Japanese. I got it ! It was so hard job to book a flight and a hotel, and a fishing charters by English, that I immediately booked the B&B .
On May 29 in 2001 , we trasfered to the small plane to Anchorage in Seattle. When the plane was flying over British Colombia Mountains that tops were covered by snow, I got really excited. "We will be in Alaska soon. Now, our fishing expedition starts ! "
3 First King
Kingsalmon, Japanese name is Masunosuke, is the biggest salmon in Pacific Ocean. The world record of sport fishing is 97 pounds, and it was caught at the Kenai River in 1985 that is flowing behind our lodge. At the end of May was a little early for the Kenai king coming up, so we decided to fish in the Kasilof River.
We got up at 3 am, and took breakfast quickly. We met Fred, a fishing guide, at 4 am at the Kasilof boat landing. After greeting, the boat was launched. We were three people in my party, I and Mr.Yagihashi, and Mr.Shiraishi. This time, Mr. Saito, who was studying at the Police Academy in Seattle , joined in my party. Five people boat was going down the river that was getting muddy with run-off water.
Fred provides me a Kwick-fish, about 6 inches big lure, attached a piece of herring by Magic-sled. He ties it to the 30 pound test line, and reels off 30 or 40 feet down the river. These Kwick-fishes are sinking down quickly and begin wobbling in the water. King is a bottom feeder, so I have to keep it within 1 foot height from the bottom . Our 4 K-fishes are wobbling there.
The first bite came to Mr.Shiraishi . He seemed to be very very excited. After landing, his legs were shaking . Scond was Mr.Saito, and I was third. I fortunately fished a 24 pounds female king , that was biggest one today. A small egg born in Kasilof had been going down to the Cook Inlet, became such a big one eating countless herrings and sardines, and came back to her home.
4 4 people 4 Kings
When Mr.Yagihashi fished big one, we all got today's limit. We arrived at the downstream boat landing at first. First arrival means Fred is an especially excellent guide, because other charters haven't gotten their limits yet. Fred can row skillfully and knows many secret holes, so we all get kingsalmon each . We were lucky, and this event spurred me on to the next fishing expedition.