Making a Net & the Season’s First Salmon

  • It’s been blowing west for almost a week now –– pretty nasty with rain and low clouds. This morning was no different until about 5pm when the sun broke out and the wind lightened just a little. I spent all day working on making a new net. This involves stitching the web to both the lead and cork line. My old nets have worn thin and just take too much mending. This new web is super strong and should be much better. I spend half the day yesterday and all day today sitting at the bench sewing web to cork line, my hands are killing me! Every knot has to be super tight so I pull on the net needle with one hand and the line with the other. The strain kept me warm but my hands are a mess. The upside is that the abuse is getting me ready for fishing when my hands will really take a beating.

    So, I finished the corks today and tomorrow I will sew the mesh to the leads. That should go faster. Right about when it got sunny today, I finished the corks so Gordon and I took a long walk along the beach then into the tundra and across the landscape. We found a high tide line full of good firewood about 1/4 mile inland–must have pushed in so far during one of the storms this last winter. The tundra flowers are starting to make a showing and I found heather bells, Labrador tea, alpine azalea (pictured)  and wooly lousewort (pictured).

    Mike Akiok came but on his 3-wheeler to give us a fresh salmon he caught in his subsistence net! The first salmon of the season! Mike is always the first to catch a few since he is one of the few people with a short subsistence net. Commercial fishing is closed still but we just had a 48 hour opening for subsistence (personal use only). The subsistence net is a great way to see how many fish are out there and also to get a few to eat. Mike had a cooler full of lovely sockeye salmon and he drove down the beach handing them out to all his friends. What a great guy Mike is!

    We had salmon fish and chips. Not gourmet but so tasty.

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Traveler Terpening

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