We’re back today with this week’s edition of our ‘weekly fish stories’ series, and today’s story comes from Alaska West guide, Ben West, on a solid day on the water despite adverse conditions.
Weekly Fish Stories – What Wind?
This week our story isn’t just about a particular fish or moment per se, but rather an incredible day of fishing in inclement weather with a few new friends. The start of the day was daunting due to a stiff wind – A wind forecasted to reach gusts upwards of 35 miles per hour. Driving a jet boat in conditions like that not only requires focus, but solid balance while leaning hard into the heavy wind. I pulled into one of my favorite gravel bars, one that is slightly sheltered from the wind, with hope that the silvers would be there waiting, fresh off the previous tide.
As we looked down the run, we saw some salmon rolling down below us, and without hesitation my two anglers started in to fish downstream of boat. First cast, strip, strip, and “fish on!” And it didn’t stop. We proceeded to have an incredible morning of salmon fishing despite the weather. For hours, we caught and released dozens and dozens of chrome bright silvers, fresh from the ocean, all covered in sea lice! Just another day in western Alaska.
Nonetheless, it was the most incredible morning of fishing we had seen all week. This was also the last day of my angler’s trip and we were planning on meeting up with another boat of anglers to have a riverside shore lunch. Just building a fire in the rain and with high winds like that can be a challenge in and of itself, let alone cooking over it. We were determined to make it happen however, so we scoured the gravel bar for some proper firewood and hunkered down behind some willow bushes and built our fire. The coals burned hot and the fish from the morning’s tide turned out just perfectly. We even had our classic Alaska West shore lunch dessert to top it all off. Incredible fishing, inclement weather, and amazing gourmet salmon lunch with friends? That’s about as good as it gets.