There’s a subtle but overpowering sense of inferiority when you’re buried in Alaska’s most untouched wilderness. I’ve spent nearly every summer of my life here and while that feeling of inferiority is very familiar to me, I have a great respect for the land, the animals and the seclusion it harbors. One mistake here and the consequences can be serious. Despite the reality of being at the whim of Mother Nature and removed from any social influence, I view this place like it were home. Spending a summer in the back country where cutting trees and splitting wood are your means of staying warm, where kneading dough is means for having sandwich bread and having a firearm nearby to ward off furry visitors, puts things into perspective and brings you back to a frugal and primal state of mind. And literally, your only worry is – “Are we fishing up or down river today?”
Every Thursday, my dad flies in a new group of anglers for a week long fishing stay. Sharing this way of life with others is a blessing and brings a sense of meaning to what my family has done for the past 30 years. The upper Nushagak River is a special place where we have canvas wall tents, shore lunches, jet boats and of course rainbow trout, dolly varden and arctic grayling. For me and I think many others, it’s very much home away from home.
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