22 Mar A King for a Queen
Running a fishing business on the world famous Kenai River may seem like a dream job to some but those that have “lived this dream” know it’s not always about bent rods and screaming drags. Fact is even though we love to fish, during the peak of the season and the business, we really get to fish very little. In fact we can go entire seasons without getting to wet a line for king salmon ourselves. That has certainly been the case in recent seasons for Cindy and me, as mediocre runs of king salmon along with the business, raising three girls and life in general has not allowed us the time to get out and fish for kings, even though they swim right past our home annually. Fortunately this past July we did get the opportunity to spend a few hours fishing for kings just downriver from our property.
After a few unsuccessful passes though some typically productive holes, my wife and I were just happy to get out on the water together and wet a line. In the last hole we planned to fish, we were half way through the most productive water when I heard the tell tale creak of the rod holder and line departing the reel. It was on Cindy’s rod and before she could react, the rod went limp and we figured it was gone. But something wasn’t right, there was no tension on the rod and the tip was ever so slightly bouncing. Around that time I noticed her line cutting through the Kenai’s strong current and headed upriver. Recognizing this a text book upriver bitter I goosed the motor in an effort to race ahead of the moving king and after about a forty yard run with the boat and a steady chant of “reel, reel, reel!!!!!,” the line came taunt and it was FISH ON! After a great battle Cindy tamed the beast and it succumbed to the net. Inside the bag was a fish the Kenai is famous for, a 45-50# chrome bright female chinook, fresh from Cook Inlet. We took some rapid fire pics together courtesy of our neighbor Chad and sent her on her way. For a couple hours of fishing, I could not have been happier and I know it meant a lot to Cindy to do battle with such a special fish. It was truly a king for my queen.