Into the Wild

Last summer, junior Jack Foster found some rather unusual fishing spots. He embarked on a 700 mile, 25 day trek across the Alaskan wilderness.

Foster and his dad are lifelong fishermen, and have always wanted to fish all over the world. Foster said, “I’ve been fishing for as long as I can remember. I watched some youtube videos about the incredible salmon fishing in Alaska, and I knew I had to do it. I actually have some family in Alaska, so we had a few houses we could stay at.”

The Fosters planned their trip and left in early June. Jack, his dad, and his little brother Riley flew into Ketchikan, in southeastern Alaska. They rented the fishing yacht Alaskan Dream, and fished spots along the southeastern coast. Foster said, “The Alaskan Dream was sick. It wasn’t very big, but there was so much food and we ate what we caught: mostly halibut and rockfish that we got right of off glaciers.” He continued, “Every once in a while we would kayak off around and this one time I saw these giant killer whales like 300 yards away. It was really cool but terrifying.”

After ten days on the Alaskan Dream, the Fosters turned it in and went north to Petersburg, where they stayed for eight days. Foster said, “We had been doing all deep sea fishing, and, as a self proclaimed fly fishing expert, I was ready to whip out the fly rods. We started fishing these beautiful fast-water creeks and rivers. The salmon were spawning, so I caught a ton of chins and pinks [salmon].”

Jack’s little brother, Riley, said, “Petersburg was probably my favorite part of the trip. It was a cool town and we stayed in this sweet log cabin.” After Petersburg they stayed at Jack’s aunt’s house in Tracy Arm, and then they hiked through the Mantanuska Mountains. Foster said, “We were around this mountain, kind of walking on the side of it, with about a mile of glacier below it. There was this one part where you had to walk on a ledge barely wider than your foot, with a nice slide to your death if you fall.”

The Fosters then went and mined for gold in Hatcher’s Pass, where they found a quarter of an ounce, a solid 328 dollars. They then went 58 miles to Eagle River, where Jack caught the fish of his life, a whopping 35 pound Spawning King Salmon. Foster said, “We had caught a few kings off of the Alaskan Dream, but they weren’t as big and it wasn’t as fun because we were using these big deep sea rods. When King Salmon go to spawn, they go from silver to a bright red. I hooked this one, and I fought with it on a fly rod for two hours. I got it in and was exhausted, but it was totally worth it.”

After Eagle River, the Fosters went to Juneau and flew back home. 25 days and hundreds of fish later, their trip was over and they a life’s worth of memories. Jack’s lifelong friend, Cy Bond, said, “It’s been like eight months and he still hasn’t stopped talking about his trip to Alaska. It sounds awesome and I definitely want to go.”

 

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