Pounds and Pounds of Humpies

So we didn’t quite hit the 1,000,000 mark, but we did end up catching more fish. Expected, right? We did a little over 400,000 pounds of pink salmon (humpies) and although the boat will be out for another week or so, I decided to get off a little early to play tourist. Plus, I was going a bit mad being cooped up on the boat. Kind of expected as well.

In all honesty, fishing is tough. I will admit it. And it’s not necessarily the physical aspect of it either. I was pretty sore just about every day from back aches to banging my head/knee/elbow on just about everything available to stiff shoulders from sleeping funny to feeling nauseous from the constant rocking. But beyond that, it is really the day-in-day-out aspect that really grinds at you. There’s only so many places you can go on a boat, and regardless of how well you get along with people, being on a boat that long will bring out the worst in you. Trust me.

So on the topic of tough days, I went overboard a little over a week ago. In just about the worst way too. In fishing, line (which is more like rope) is strewn everywhere on the deck and when it’s on its way out of the boat, you want to keep hands/arms/feet/etc. away from the bite. The bite is any loop that is connected to an outgoing line. That’s probably the first golden rule of fishing…if there were such a thing. Well, in this case, my right leg got caught in the bite and the other end of the line was connected to the skiff (a small boat designed to be slow and powerful). There are stories of people getting legs broken and worse, being dragged to the bottom of the ocean, but I was fortunate enough to get away with a bruise and a story.

As I’m writing this, my pictures are uploading to my flikr page. Here’s a little taste of the action (me with a couple of king salmons). Beauties!

Another highlight of our trip was a flair opener a couple days ago. Most years, a hatchery will allow boats to fish near its grounds. The benefit of this is that you know for sure that there are fish in the water. However, there is a window of time that you can fish and a lot of boats to compete with and you can’t start until they fire the flair, thus the flair opener. Essentially, it’s the craziest day of the year and all fishing etiquette goes out the window. Some boats caught up to 170,000 pounds that day and others banged around and got near nothing. Let’s just say that our day was an experience.

And here’s a picture of a jumping fish from the flair opener. Exciting!

I will be making my way to San Francisco during the next week with a stay in Seattle for a few days. If you’re in the Seattle area, let me know. I’d love to connect. And in terms of San Francisco, I have no concrete plans. I will need to unwind for a bit, then get serious again about life…I guess.

There’s more I will add about this trip, but I need to sleep. Honestly. For a long time.

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