Alaska is so intriguing to people. I’ve lived here for over a decade now, and friends from all over the world question me about the Last Frontier.
They wonder why I live where it’s dark and snowy year round, or how I keep the bears out of my igloo. Ok, the second one is a SLIGHT exaggeration, but you get the idea.
One of the things people ask me about is fishing.
It seems like everyone has a dream to fish in Alaska. When they ask me about the best time to visit or the best places to go, I can’t give them much information on the subject; I don’t have much experience.
Because, oddly enough to many, I don’t have much of a desire.
I remember going fishing a few times when I first got to Alaska. I was young and enchanted by the glittering shine of being in the land of the midnight sun. It was summer; the sun was still lighting the sky and sleep was hard to achieve. I wanted to do all of the things the locals did. I wanted to hike, explore, and get out there and catch those big fish.
Well, being from the south, I was expecting something different.
I’ve never really had to wade out in the water to fish or invest in a lot of equipment or accessories to get a bite. I never had to weasel my way into a line of people and worry about hooking someone or being hooked while we fought for the same fish. The urgency of rushing out to the river after work to hopefully catch my limit and crowds of people all doing the same thing is a turn off for me. Combat fishing isn’t my thing.
When I think of fishing, it’s in a bass boat or pirogue; the sun glitters off the water of the bayou, crickets, frogs, and cranes create a symphony, Spanish moss sways in the summer breeze; and I am just there, enjoying a peaceful silence with my Dad or brothers. Our bobbers float along, and there’s an occasional splashing of the water when a fish jumps. I kick back with a good book as we dip and sway, and let my mind drift off into the story, only interrupted when I feel a tug on the line. It’s slow and serene.
I know in my southern heart, I will never be an Alaskan fisherwoman. I enjoy meeting up with friends on occasion for fishing, bonfires, and camping.
I ask for seconds when they pass the fresh salmon around. I may even eventually make it onto a charter and try my hand at ocean fishing, I have a feeling I would enjoy that a little bit more. But, for now, I’ll dream of hot Louisiana evenings, cold Coke in a bottle, no digital distractions, a book or drawing pad at my side, and a little bobber on a cane pole. I’ll be happy to wait for the nibble of a wily catfish.
That’s my type of fishing, and I think it’s just about perfect.