salmon fishing with his grandpa

(I have been wanting to record my husband’s memories. This will be a new feature on my blog. I sat and typed while he told me a story he remembered this morning.)

I was 12 years old, I might have been 11. I was either 11 or 12 years old and my grandfather was going to take me on a fishing trip to Palaski to fish for salmon. I thought the fishing trip (specifically the fishing) was going to be the enjoyment but it turned out that the whole entire trip was going to be completely recorded in my memory. My mom put me to bed early that night because my grandfather was going to pick me up around 2 o’clock in the morning in order to be up there early. I couldn’t sleep at all, I was too excited, he ended up picking me up at 130 in the morning and we traveled in his big station wagon. We picked up my great Uncle Richard on the way but before we left we all sat around in his house, my Grandfather and my Uncle Richard sitting around drinking coffee telling stories in the kitchen and I was in the living room with my cousins watching “National Lampoon’s Summer Vacation”. That was my first introduction to the National Lampoon movies. We watched the whole movie and then headed out. We got up there just as the sun was rising and we lined up on the bank of river. There were a lot people there and we were fishing to snag the salmon from the river. You’d simply cast out a big weight with three hooks, you could see the salmon swimming up the river and so you’d try to throw the weight over them and hook them. Whenever someone would snag one, they would yell “Fish on! Fish on!” which that would be the sign that everybody would need to reel in. Everyone had to reel in because there were so many people there fishing and once it was hooked the salmon would fight and be trying to go up the river and down the river so it was important to stay out of the way or there would be a big tangled mess of lines. The salmon would be anywhere between 15 pounds to 30 pounds, these were big fish, so it was very exciting. Now I was the only one in our whole entire party that day to catch one and I fought and fought and fought. It was so big, I got it in and my Uncle went to catch it in the net. They were so big you couldn’t pull them on shore with your pole. Someone would go into the water with hip waders on and use a net and get it for you. They would net the fish and bring it in. When my Uncle went in to get it in the net he got it and it was so big he fumbled with it and slipped and my fish got away. And it was very big. Then, at the end of the day, my grandfather decided to take us out to dinner at a big restaurant. There was a buffet and we all sat at a big circular table. Part way through the meal I put my head down on the table and I fell completely asleep just like that because I was so tired. Suddenly I heard laughing and my Grandfather saying “I think we better wake him up now”. It was time to go and I had slept through most of the dinner with my head just like that down on the table. I don’t remember a thing but I remember I had a good sleep. I remember him laughing to himself as he woke me up. We all loaded back into the station wagon and headed home.