Day 47, 7/15/15, Wednesday
Weather: Sunny in the morning giving way to rain showers in the afternoon and clearing by early evening. Temperature was in the 60-70s all day.
We had a leisurely beginning to the morning as we prepared to leave the campgrounds and return to Soldotna. Paul spent some time checking the email and sending out a few messages. One of the messages was to a high school classmate letting him know that we might not be back home in time to attend the scheduled class reunion.
Our drive into Soldotna was not long but as we approached the town we noticed the traffic was very heavy. Our first stop was to the visitor center were we found out that today was the usual beginning of the salmon run up the rivers to spawn. As it turns out, no one told the salmon because the run had not begun. By the official count that was being taken, only ten salmon an hour were swimming up the Kenai River. If the actual salmon run had begun, the count would have been approximately one thousand per hour. Maybe we should have something like this back home when the anticipated Striped Bass season is due to begins.
One of the important pieces of information that we received from the hostess was the printed location of all of the fishing spots along the Kenai River. There was a boardwalk-like path constructed from the rear of the visitor center down to the river bank. Once down there we were able to watch the fishermen using their casting rods. Fishing the rivers here is not at all like fishing at home. The river currents are unbelievably fast moving carrying the fishing lure downstream so fast it pulls the line back to the river bank quickly. It doesn’t take long before the bank is wall-to-wall fishermen.
Everyday seems to bring something new. Tomorrow will change the fishing scene for a brief time because it is the opening of the dip-netting period. Dip-netting consists of Alaskan resident using an aluminum long-handled fishing net. The fishing net would be similar in appearance to our crab net at home but the diameter of the net’s opening is about four feet wide. The fisherman simply steps into the river with his waders and scoops up fish as they swim by. To us, this takes the sport out of fishing.
Following this experience at the visitor center, Paul dropped Gail off at the Wednesday market. Because of the amount of traffic in town due to the expected salmon run, parking was limited and almost impossible for our twenty-five foot RV. It was left that Gail would telephone Paul when she was ready to leave and he would come back and pick her up.
At this point in the afternoon, we realized that with the volume of traffic in town, it was best to go to a local camping area (N 60° 29’ 27” W 151° 02’ 54”, elevation 147 ft.) and enjoy some down time. The area was mobbed with campers of all descriptions, from a car towing an open trailer with a freezer in it to 40+ foot RV’s with towed cars.
G & P