Friday, September 14, 2012

Fishing in the Katmai National Park

Last weekend I had an amazing opportunity to visit my lovely friend, Michele, and be a guest at the fishing lodge where she is working for the summer on the Kvichak River. Michele and I met 5 years ago at the South Pole and have stayed in touch ever since. This is the inspiring woman who started my love of yoga and brought me mexican food and beer at the LA airport last year during my excessively long 5 hour layover.

MICA was kind enough to work with me on getting the time off for a weekend getaway and a friend let me borrow his car to get to the Anchorage airport for my 240 mile flight. I was excited to see Michele again, happy to sleep in a bed in a heated building for the first time since May and just loving the adventure of it all. And before I knew it, Michele and I were hugging and laughing in the doorway of the lodge. As part of package, her and I also got to go out for the day on one of the lodge's fishing trips. To our amazement, we were given a float plane and a guide/pilot for the day with just two of us! We flew all over that day, stopping at Brooks for some harrowing fly fishing (I say harrowing since there were also at one point 7 bears fishing in the same lake with us) and then stopping at a deserted beach to collect agates and lay on the rocks in the sun. I guess all I can say is that I live a charmed life and I'm one lucky woman.
Our "wheels" for the day

Walking out in waders to our first fishing spot

But it turns out, humans weren't the only ones fishing
This bear was chowing down on a sockeye salmon

This is like the Discovery Channel on steroids
This guy took notice of us but wasn't interested and kept on snorkeling for fish

When a bear comes within 50 yards, the rules are you have to stop fishing
Luckily we had a guide to tell us what to do

Michele caught a fish! It was like a bank heist getting it out of the water, getting the hook out, taking a picture and throwing it back in before a bear noticed (stressful but in a good way)

I'm now a master fisherwoman (notice bear hump in background)

My fish! Surprised I caught anything considering when the guide was giving me a fly fishing casting lesson I spent most of the time looking over my shoulder for bears

The famous Brooks Falls where bears stand, waiting for fish to jump

Our second stop of the day - a deserted beach on Nonvianuk Lake full of agates

It was such a beautiful and peaceful place, I had to sit for a while on the rocks in the sun

Back at the lodge at Michele's summer cabin, we were greeted by sunshine and my new best friend, Denali

My favorite picture of Michele and I
From South Pole Station 2007

1 comment:

  1. Such a wonderful post. Thanks for the share. It was very interesting and informative.

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