Asi was pretty worn out at this point as she had taken it upon herself to play deckhand: rigging tackle, baiting hooks and hauling up 1000 feet of anchor line at quittin’ time.  When she isn’t engaged in piscatorial chores she spends her time as an ER nurse in the “Lower 48.”  Quite the gal!

It was at this point, flying across the waves at warp speed, that misfortune reared its ugly head in the guise of a blown engine.  And to further complicate an already precarious situation, the fog rolled in as we found ourselves adrift and unable to see farther than 50 or so yards.  But, not to worry!  Cap’n Ed, using marine radio and cell phone, calmly issued a distress call as we sat around comparing fishing scars and singing “Show Me the Way to go Home” (as in Jaws) while we awaited the arrival of the cavalry.

And then, out of the fog bank…

Finally the fish are cut into filets and packaged for freezer storage…

Right off the bat we could see that one of our crew was sans fishing costume and probably not taking the entire event very seriously.

There are no “real” boat launches in the area near their camp at Anchor Point but that minor inconvenience has been managed with the creative use of a log skidder…

  Fish On!                                                                      August 9, 2013

No fish for you!  However, in my Bride’s defense, it should be noted that “the one that got away” broke a 300 pound leader doing it.

One of the joys in this life as you enter the so called “golden years” is taking your grandkids fishing…

But no fishing trip is really complete until you sit around the table at the end of the day with a cold brewski trading lies about the ones that got away…

Over the course of the last eight days I’ve been hearing them pretty frequently on both the open ocean and a couple of the more infamous Alaskan rivers, the Kasilof and the Kenai.

Our friends, Cap’n Ed, and his First Mate, Cantankerous Cindy, invited us to spend a weekend with them and their scurvy crew of buccaneers fishing for halibut and camping out in their Anchor Point hideaway, Dysfunction Junction…

And at that point there was naught to do but kick back and enjoy the 3-mile ride back to shore…

Now you may think that coming face to face with the Grim Reaper on the high seas of Cook Inlet would have slaked my appetite for fishing and any more finned foolishness would be the furthest thing from my mind.  HAH!!  You don’t really believe that, do you??!!!!

We departed Dysfunction Junction bright and early Monday morning (about 1pm) and made a beeline 100 miles north to Cooper Landing to await the arrival of our son, grandson and son-in-law-to-be for 4 days of survivalist-style balls-to-the-wall salmon fishing.

On Wednesday morning we placed our lives in the hands of our erstwhile river guide, Tyler, and his trusty drift boat, Got Home Once, and headed out to the Kasilof River in pursuit of King Salmon…

Rescued!!!!!

Unfortunately, after an entire day of drifting over several thousand miles of river, eluding the hummingbird-size mosquitos and impaling each other on sharpened fish hooks, this was our prize…

FISH ON!!!!  Those words are like music to the ear of any fisherman.

A tow line was attached from our boat to the Alaskan Gamefisher…

At one point the two boys on the back of the trailer stepped off into shoulder deep water while trying to retrieve our tow line which was being thrown from the stern of our rescue boat.  After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, they brought down a second trailer for the Gamefisher, retrieved it and then handed off the tow line to the boys on our trailer and hauled us ashore.

A camera crew from the Anchor Point Gazette showed up to cover the story of our harrowing adventure at sea and subsequent rescue.  Cap’n Eddie was hailed as a hero for his calm demeanor and expert seamanship as well as his adoption of a food and water rationing regimen which was credited with saving our lives during the entire 90-minute ordeal.  He has hired an agent and has scheduled appearances on the talk show circuit beginning with Oprah next week.

Our first order of business after arriving back at camp was to unload our catch…

In spite of my best efforts, I was unable to convince my son to throw the little guy back so he could grow to a respectable size.  After getting it home that evening and grilling the poor little thing for what we hoped would be dinner, we headed up to the restaurant at the Princess Lodge after what turned out to be a salmon appetizer.

The next 3 days were spent on the Kenai River fishing for Sockeye Salmon and we did manage to fare quite a bit better than our previous day’s effort in pursuit of the Kings…

At day’s end our hold was filled with 6 limits of halibut, 12 fish…

The fellow standing on the front end of the boat trailer has a relatively easy job at this point as he simply watches the boat glide smoothly off the trailer and into the water.  The retrieval of that same boat later in the day is the point at which he really earns his pay.

Once we were untethered from the trailer it became Cap’n Ed’s job to get us out to the fishing grounds while trying to manage unpredictable seas and a rather seedy looking group of fishermen...

After a hard day at sea, our weary band of fish slayers was pretty happy to be heading in…

We have fished with Tyler in years past and he has always managed to put us on the fish so, needless to say, we were entertaining thoughts of a stringer loaded with several hundred pounds of those elusive Kings like these caught by the crew of another drift boat just a few yards away…

Unfortunately, even with her unique ability, some folks just can’t seem to get those slimy denizens of the deep out of the water and into the boat…

Finding fish is never a problem when we have Asi along.  She is a Native Alaskan and is known as the Sacajawea of the North for her uncanny ability to smell fish swimming in the depths of Cook Inlet…

We ended the week with our grandson, Nick, and I having caught 4 fish each, our future son-in-law, Jeff, with 15 and our son, Jeff, with somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 fish.  I lost count after the first hundred.  Our total for the week was 160 pounds of red salmon filets, not counting the one fish per day the Zook was extorting from our catch.

As Porky Pig would say, “Th-th-tha-that’s all folks!”  See y’all next time, C&K

Bright and early Friday morning, while most folks were heading off to work, we packed up our fishing tackle, donned rain gear and headed out for a day of fishing…

And then came the obligatory group photo of fishermen and fish…

Remember what I said about that guy standing on the boat trailer during the launch earning his pay on the recovery…

Melanie, John’s granddaughter, latched onto a couple of nice halibut on this trip but needed a wee bit of help staying in the boat as she reeled them in…