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BMO Journal Entry July 31 2018 - Quick trio to Alaska

Updated: May 22, 2020

Bill Matthews Outdoors
Joe with a Kenai River Sockeye!

I had to make a trip to Alaska to see one of my biggest customers. As my trip approached I saw that my old friend and University of Montana Rugby Team Mate Joe Marks was up fishing on the Kenai river for the week. Joe was the “hooker” for the University of Montana Jesters back in College, a quiet, but tough dude that always had your back. We were both part of a great era in UM "Jesters" rugby .

I had some extra time on Tuesday afternoon, so I ran down to Soldotna, AK and met up with Joe and his wife at their camp. We visited for a while and then decided to meet up later on the river for some sockeye fishing. Sockeye is down this year on the Kenai, and the limit is only one per person. We met up at a spot on the river that Joe suggested, claimed our place in the line and started flippin’ for sockeye. There weren’t many sockeye in the river so we were not really expecting much action, I was just glad to be on the river with Joe and his wife, it was a great opportunity to catch up on what we had both been doing and to reconnect for future fishing trips. I soon realized that Joe had traded in being a rugby hooker for being a salmon hooker! In the short time we were there he landed three nice sockeye and kept one for his limit. He put on a sockeye flipping clinic out there! I, on the other hand, lost one nice one, and broke another off that was hooked in the back - not a very impressive showing at all, but I had a great time just being on the water.

We beat the water for a bit longer and decided to call it a night. On the way back to the car we had a minor incident with a momma moose and her two calves, but everything worked out fine. We said our goodbyes, but not before we formulated some interesting fishing plans for later this fall….stay tuned!

Bill Matthews Outdoors
One of the Moose babies looking for momma moose

I headed up to Anchorage at 5:00 the next morning for a meeting I had planned.

Bill Matthews Outdoors
Humpies in the river!

I gave myself enough time to go check out a run of humpies on a river that Joe mentioned to me, and for breakfast at Gwennies - reindeer sausage, eggs, and grits.

Bill Matthews Outdoors
Reindeer sausage, eggs and grits at Gwennie's

After breakfast I met up with my customer and we had a great meeting. We went to The White Spot for a lunch of Halibut sandwiches. If you are ever in anchorage, go to the White Spot. I think it is the best halibut sandwich in all of Alaska!

I headed back to the airport to fly back to Portland, only to find out my flight was delayed, and that I would not make my connection in Seattle. This means that I will be spending the night in Seatac tonight, and will be on the first flight out in the morning.

The life of a traveling salesman is awesome, where else can you have such adventure - I love it!

Bill Matthews Outdoors
Beautiful view of Mt. Rainier on the morning flight to PDX

Thanks for reading




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