My arms hang limp at my sides, my shoulders slouch forward. I've cleaned, vacuum sealed, and stored an easy 500 pounds of fish. 170lbs of halibut is enroute to camp with a group of happy clients, but I'll have them put it on ice.
I walk into my trailer to check email, sleep could come easily, instead I drink a coke and munch on some of the salmon I smoked this past weekend.
Shorts and a warm fleece, I'm knee deep in the icy Kenai. The moon, bright orange, spotlights a sea of swirling dorsals all reflecting the moons glow. My line goes taught, ten feet away a sockeye leaps three feet into the night air. I'll have my day's limit just in time to for tomorrow.
You can walk on water in this river right now, if you know how.
A friend of camp, aged beyond his years, silhouetted in the moon's glare on the water, rod bowed, fish leaping in the distance. I stand nearby, net in hand, the water lapping up to my waist, watching a fish fight a battle it lost long before it ever entered this river.
Limited out, again
I crawl into my bunk, so tired, I can't even force myself to roll over and change positions
The morning light has already begun to creep in as I drift out of consciousness, though even in my sleep, I keep fishing.
It's official, I'm coming out and saying it here and now: I have an addictive personality. Once, I was addicted to bicycles, before that, perhaps it was nutella. Now, it's fishing. I'm finishing this post at 2 AM, after a day when I probably should have passed out hours ago from a long days toils.
The update for the week, the sockeye, or ed salmon are in. Thursday saw 68,000 enter the river, since then the numbers have stayed below 30k a day, and no longer can we "walk on water" but suffice to say, the fishing is good. The guides take clients out around 4 am and have them back by 7 at the latest. I' greeted with several hundred pounds of fish to clean each morning, and depending on how good the fishermen and women we have in camp are, and how thick the reds are running, I may be busy cleaning fish until late at night. These are the toughest days to be a fish cleaner, but the most exciting for fishing nuts.
The brown bear headed across river last week, perfectly timed before the flood of reds, (the river bed below my cleaning deck is red with carcases). I watched him walk along the opposite shore last week. Hopefully he's found a reason to stay as I'm much more comfortable watching him from across the big river than across the lawn.
King Salmon season ends in only a week and a half!
I only have about a month left of steady employment, I gotta start fishing for jobs; the big question is, up here or back down in the lower 48??