Our 2016 rafting and fishing season has been busy and varied. We just got out of a crazy week packed with trips, are starting to put the finishing touches on our new outpost (more on that soon!) and are awaiting the second Sockeye run along with all the others obsessively checking the bridge and river for fish!
The King Salmon season closed early this year due to low King numbers coming in downriver. It was a bit of a blow to all the local sport-fishermen; guide services and local small businesses especially. The parking lot at the Gulkana River bridge, packed initially, cleared out almost overnight and gone were both the King fishing business, and the money usually spent on related other things for lodging, meals, etc..
Salvaging our season and making up for cancelled trips (some people only want to catch that monster King Salmon!!) was foremost on everyone’s minds as we started to adjust to a season without Kings; booking more scenic trips, running more shuttles for other rafters and assuring people that Sockeye Salmon are just as fun to catch (and as tasty!) as King Salmon.
I can say that there have been a few parties this summer that really reminded us why we got into this business in the first place. Teaching first-time fishermen and women the ropes and watching as they excitedly caught their first salmon, seeing a Swiss family enjoying river scenery together and being enthralled to see dozens of eagles flying overhead and fighting over fish on the bank, and people genuinely thankful and glad for the experience we helped them to have are among the things we’ll take from the first half of this river season as the little gems to keep us going.~