Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sockeye It To Me

The campground at Soldotna is called River’s Edge but would more accurately be called “Middle of the Road.” Not because it’s a middle of the road campground; it’s not really that good! But it IS located right up against the main highway at the busiest intersection in town, where the Kenai River flows through town. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good and this is just such a case.
The Sockeye Salmon (Reds) are running in the river, as evidenced by the shoulder to shoulder fishermen. A person who wants to catch one finds a spot along the river where there is enough room to cast a fly into the river. If there’s not enough room, you stand and wait for a spot. It can take a while! It’s worse than standing in line for a bank teller on a Friday afternoon. So you have time to go take a “salmon ride” at the carving center down the street.
Once I finally got a place on the bank of the river, I cast a fly that I had designed and tied myself the night before. The fly must have been a good pattern as it worked on the fifth cast and I managed to land my first Sockeye which weighed in at 7 pounds. Later, I lost one more, but that was the extent of the action for me that day. There were a lot of would be fish catchers that “didn’t” that day. A few, though, had the three fish limit.
My fish was a female and had a nice roe inside. Not wanting to waste that, I took the instructions off the internet for making caviar and gave it a try. It’s a simple and fast (although messy) process and much to my surprise it worked really really well, and the result was a good quality orange caviar. The flesh of the Sockeye is bright orange- almost red, hence the reference in the nickname. I’m very glad to have added the Sockeye to my catch list, but even happier that this was a short 3 day stay and tomorrow we are “Homer Bound.”

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