We are so passionate about commercial fishing and Alaska in general that we decided to share the experience with others. The intimate knowledge of ourselves and the land people get from hunting and gathering their own food is, in our experience, unsurpassed in this world. Unfortunately, many of us in our busy lives are not able to experience this the way we would like. This is where Cold Country Salmon comes in.
In addition to fishing hard all summer, we now also are inviting just a few guests out to our remote fish camp each season to share what we do. This is an opportunity that few ever get, to live in the Alaskan wilderness and learn how to commercial fish. In addition to learning the ins and outs of commercial fishing, you will also have the opportunity to learn how to prepare and cook salmon as well as fillet, freezer pack and smoke your own fish. When you leave us, you will take with you at least one box of wild salmon that you (with our help if you want it) caught and prepared. In addition to a once in a lifetime experience, you take home enough wild salmon to feed you and your family for some time.
Fly into remote Pilot Point, Alaska via small plane from Anchorage or Homer and we will welcome you at the “airport.” We will bring you to our fish camp down the beach and up the river and settle you into your own cabin near the water. When fishing has been opened by Fish & Game, we will be setting our net from one or two skiffs (small boats) just upriver from our camp. Although we will likely be fishing whenever the fishing is open, you may come along as often or as little as you like or is appropriate. Since we are always close to shore, we can pick you up or drop you off anytime. When the fishing is good we will be working fast and you will learn the art of setting the net, picking fish, caring for your catch, delivering fish to a buyer, processing our own fish for the freezer, and more. On the beach you will learn to cook salmon in myriad ways, mend net, hang net and many other aspects of shore-based commercial fishing work. We will also go for hikes through the tundra and have the opportunity to see many fascinating tundra plants and flowers as well as wildlife such as brown bears, eagles, beaver, wolverine, wolf, seals, whales and shore birds. On the beaches you may find walrus ivory, Japanese glass fishing floats and other tidal treasures.
We are fishermen and ours is a working commercial fishing camp in the remote wilderness. We are not a lodge and nothing about the adventure we offer is a lodge experience. We offer a once if a lifetime experience for people who want to experience commercial fishing for themselves, not to prove how macho they are but to show themselves that they can learn the skills and do the work and, most importantly, feed themselves from the land. This is for people who want to catch a wild salmon with nothing but a net and their hands in a pristine environment and reconnect with natural food systems. This adventure can be hard work if that is what you want, or you can come fishing with us for half and hour then hike through the tundra or down the beach for the rest of the day. You can work at canning salmon in jars for the winter, fillet them for the freezer or you can simply sit by the window of your cabin and read the long summer days away. While this is an adventure for almost anyone, we do not accept children under 16 and everyone has to be fit enough to climb in and out of a boat easily on their own.
Because we are dedicated to sharing the experience of a real working fish camp and are a working camp first and foremost, we do not pamper guests the way a lodge might. While we might all enjoy a hike together one evening, another evening might find us fishing away and you can either join us or hike on your own. Some meals we will enjoy together and for others we will be cooking independently. However, you will find that you have everything you need to be comfortable and more opportunities than you can take advantage of to participate in and learn about the life of a remote Alaskan commercial fishing camp.
Because we want to make sure that you are right for this adventure, we do have an application process. Through this process we determine via a simple form, by email and by phone whether what we offer is indeed right for you. Please contact us to learn more about this process.
There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the
danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and
the other is that heat comes from the furnace.
––Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac