Archive for June, 2008

Fishcamp Finale

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Well, Fishcamp is finally over and it ended with a bang. After several pulls of anywhere from 2 to 12 salmon while the fishery warmed up, we finally got a huge haul of 39 salmon in one pull on the last day. Even as good as this was, people around us were pulling in 90 to 100 fish in one pull, but our net is old and a bit holey. Still we were happy with what we got. We ended up closing out our permit, as well as the permits of two other families, and still had a few other fish for friends too. We can rest easy now that we know we have food for ourselves and our dogs this winter. I guess cleaning more than 100 salmon at our place (see photos) was too much though, as the fishy scent drove in a brown bear last night around 2 a.m. Joseph heard the yard erupt into hysteria and looked out the window of the loft to see something big and brown charging Oaky, Seeker and Trucker. In the semi-darkness he thought it was a moose and feared a calf might have been seperated from the mom. Joseph went out in his underwear and slippers and was about half way through the dog yard, when about 10 yards from him, a big brown bear charged up to Ibn. Ibn dove into his box and without thinking Joseph started clapping and yelling “get bear!” The bear was totally startled and bolted back about 15 yards, then stood and looked one last time before running into the nextdoor neighbors and eventually moving off. It was the first time in 7 years we have had a bear in the yard and hopefully it will be the last. Luckily no one, dog or human, got injured.
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Another Day’s Catch

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

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Fishcamp II

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

O.K. the fishing got off to a bang. The fishery opened at 6 a.m. and we had our net ready and in the water by 6:01 a.m. We ended up getting 12 salmon in the first hour, and then a few here and there for several pulls after that. We’re still waiting for a big push of fish, but having fun while waiting. Here are some more photos. The first is Cole putting the final touches on a bouy harness the night before the opener. It’s easy to see how all these fishing knots help Cole make necklines, tug lines and ganglines during mushing season. The second photo is Cole pciking the net after our first pull, and the third photo is Buckwheat helping out.
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Fish Camp

Saturday, June 14th, 2008

With fish for the dogs secure (see last post), it’s time to think about fish for ourselves. In these trying economic times, getting a lot of fish for the freezer can save us having to buy several meals from the grocery store throughout the year, so this week we went to fish camp. There are only about 100 sites to fish from and about 40,000 people that want to take part in the nine day fishery, but no regulations to manage it. It’s first come, first served, so we set up tents, fire wood and other supplies and began living on the beach about a week ago, staking our claim to the area in anticipation of the opener on Sunday. Then we’ll string out our set gillnet and hope for some sockeye salmon. Right now there’s not a lot to do until the fishing begins so it’s been mostly eating and drinking. We’re taking turns running home to feed and clean the bulk of the dogs left behind, and we bring two or three down with us each day, trying to switch them out so everyone gets a turn. Here are a few photos of the camp, the first is Joseph flavoring up some fresh clams for a campfire dinner, the second is our camp with with some friends of ours: Deb and Kevin Hayes. The third photos is Joseph and Colleen walking on the beach taken from in front of their tent. Not a bad view to wake up to, huh?
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Putting Up Fish For Winter

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Well, its earlier than we would liked to have plugged in the freezers, but beggers can’t be choosers when it comes to free sled dog food. We’ve had calls from two local fish processors that were looking to get rid of last year’s catches. We were able to get around 1,000 pounds of king and sockeye salmon fillets for next training season. We also got a call on a horse that died recently, and so after many hours of butchering, we got several hundred pounds of red meat from that as well. As such, we are already looking pretty good in regard to training and racing snacks for next season. Thank goodness, becuase with the rising gasoline prices, getting dry dog food shipped to us is costing more than we ever dreamed, so all the free meat will really help out with kennel expenses.
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