"Why do you go fishing if it's not so much fun?", my sister Annie asked me by phone the night before last.
Fishing here in Sitka, Alaska is not that much fun. At least not for me. Like nearly everyone who fishes here I fight getting seasick. It's like nowhere else. I've been on boats, big and small, off other coasts, in rough conditions. It's different here. Ask anyone. So it's either drugs or chumming. Fishing clients will say, "I wish I were dead!" At least then they'd feel better. I wear a Scopolamine patch which dries your mouth terribly, makes the land sway like the sea, and the day seem like a dream. It can take nearly an hour slamming hard water to get out to where the fish are. Because they go out in any weather. We crowd into the tiny wheelhouse because on deck there is no place to hide from the freezing spray that soaks you and keeps you shivering for the entire day.
Above you see the first fresh King Salmon I ever tasted. My new friends, Big Dan and T - T is also named Dan, but called T by friends because there are so many Dans here - they gave me a whole fresh filet from a King Salmon T caught, just hours out of the water. It was the most silky and supple piece of fish I have ever had.
So why do I go fishing?
For the fish.