Here we go! Part Two of our awesome Alaskan adventure (catch up on Part One here). And I’m just going to go ahead and dive right into the fishing, because the two days we spent on the river were definitely at the top of my favorites list!
Fly-fishing the Kenai River:
Fishing obviously wasn’t the only reason we wanted to visit Alaska, we love spending time with Jason and Megan in general, but the four of us have enjoyed fishing together in the past and I was really looking forward to it. After hearing legends of Alaska trout fishing, I was anxious to get my feet wet and spend some time on the famous Kenai River. One of our first days there, we all headed out to a spot that Jason and Megan know of and tried our luck. Since we were wading, we took Emmett along in the hiking pack, and when one of us wasn’t fishing, we were throwing river rocks with him. That kid sure loves to be outside! And his little rain suit (similar here) saved our bacon more than once.
The sockeye salmon were in full spawning mode, so we used little egg-beads with a small hook on the end and drifted it through the lines of sockeye to attract trout sneaking in to steal eggs. I managed to land a nice beefy rainbow and it absolutely made my day. I’ve been fishing in Oregon for four years and never caught a wild fish that big, so it was quite a thrill!
Though we originally intended to fish a bit more, the combination of bad weather and my sudden illness robbed us of a couple days on the water. Luckily one of Jason and Megan’s guide friends became available on the last day of our trip and we were thrilled to be able to spend the morning with him. He put us into some beautiful rainbow trout, Dolly Vardens and stopped and let us fish for some silver salmon towards the end of the trip. I caught my first salmon on a a fly rod and then managed to snag another, which though we put back, I’m counting because it was awesome! Anyone who knows me knows how much I love to fish, and though I didn’t catch quite the volume as some of the others in the boat, I was so thrilled just to be out there doing my thing.
Huge thank you again to Jason and Megan for making it happen and to Megan’s mom June, who hung out with Emmett all morning. We thought about bringing him along, I hate for him to miss things, but decided we’d be much more relaxed in the boat if he was safely on land. He hardly noticed when we got back he was having so much fun!
Crow Creek Mine:
Another fun find of Taylor’s was a historic gold mine just outside of Girdwood (ski resort town) called Crow Creek Mine. The mine was built in 1898 and had been super well preserved, making it so fun to walk through and imagine what life would have been like back then. Aside from the historical and cultural interest, it was also very well taken care of and a really great spot for an antsy toddler to get some wiggles out. We didn’t have to rush him along or prevent him from getting into things, he could roam as he pleased. And I’m pretty sure anywhere Emmett can roam as he pleases is a-ok with him.
Despite my efforts to take as many photos as I could- while still enjoying the moment- I still feel like I fell short in capturing the overwhelming natural beauty of Alaska and all of the fun we had together. I’m so grateful we got to take this trip, spend the time together after a long harvest and enjoy some of our favorite outdoor adventures. Thank you, thank you, thank you to our family who made it all possible and thank you to my sweet husband and kiddo who are the best company in the world.
Alaska, you haven’t seen the last of us!