For my 30th birthday my husband and I decided to go to Alaska. We had always wanted to go and had thrown around the idea of moving there. Mostly this obsession stemmed from the fact that my husband loved Deadliest Catch and some show about Jewel’s family.
The moment we came into view of Anchorage on our plan, I realized that Alaska was like living in a picture. It was breathtaking and worthy of my utopian imagination. We were further thrilled to find that our resort, The Hotel Alyeska, was luxurious. For instance, you could have them call and wake you up if there were Northern Lights, that was a service that they offered.
Sadly, we weren’t given the opportunity to make use of that particular perk.
We were able to rise before the sun, which is rather difficult in Alaska in August, to go salmon fishing. We drove along the inlet shore from Girdwood where we met our guide. If we had thought that paying for a guide would mean a large ship with other people, which is what we had done in other locations, we were wrong.
A fisherman in his boat that looked like a typical Alumacraft with an Evinrude met us on shore. Hope Charters: It was a good omen for the day. We were outfitted with poles, galoshes, and bait. He also gave us instructions on how to catch the most fish. I listened intently, as I am not a fisherwoman, normally. I like to go when it is an adventure, but not since 1988 have a wandered down to my parents’ dock and dropped a line into the water.
My husband the pro-fisherman between the two of us, seemed to dismiss the advice of our guide as though these were his local waters and he knew the spots as well. As we passed under the bridge from the inlet into Three Mile River, where we would find the salmon, the sun was starting to lighten the edges around the mammoth mountains with hints of pink.
The wind blowing my hair out of control, we raced towards my new nickname.
Dropping our speed and lines we anchored underneath the painting coming into view over us. After only a ten-minute wait, my pole jerked. I began to pull and pull and just like that — BAM — I was the proud huntress of a Coho Salmon.
“Beginner’s luck,” my husband joked.
Until I hooked the next fish, and reeled it in.
Then he buckled into competitive mode.
Which is approximately about the time that I grabbed the last fish for me, which was technically in his limit for the day.
I had just limited myself out, and half of his limit.
He was on a mission.
As he fished more furiously, and I pulled back a little to let him catch his Salmon, the guide told me that it happens all the time — the women catch more fish than the men.
“They listen to what I tell ‘em,” was his reasoning.
So my husband performed a miracle, and listened. And BAM, he a caught a fish. BAM, he caught another fish! Okay, so it might not have been that fast…I know I had to climb on shore and take the longest pee of my life at one point. My husband said it caused a landslide…another epic first for me on this day!
Eventually, the guide caught a fish, and we were officially at our boat’s limit for the morning. So we pulled to shore and he proceeded to gut the fish and fillet them for shipping back to Minnesota. It was during this time, when I ate fresh salmon roe from the belly of my catch, that my husband officially dubbed me, “Salmon Slayer.”