Hooked, finally

(King Salmon, Alaska) – Day three of the Project Healing Waters Alaska trip to Bristol Bay began at 5:30 a.m. yesterday with a hearty breakfast at Alaska Sportsman’s Bear Trail Lodge, and the knowledge this would be the last chance for the military women on the trip to catch some fish.
Expectations ran high because everyone in the group had landed several kings and silver salmon over the past couple of days, all except for Navy veteran Rebekah White, a cancer survivor with post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries stemming from six years in the service. Over the last couple of days, the disabled vet and recent college graduate had hooked a few salmon but she had yet to bring any aboard the boat. As the day wore on, White’s spirits flagged.  Everyone wanted to stay on the river until her luck changed but our plane back to Anchorage was leaving in a few hours. Time was running short.
As the sun burned off the morning fog, things changed suddenly. White had just bitten into a turkey and cheese sandwich when her rod sharply snapped. Her line took off as a large king struggled to free itself from White’s hook.
“Get it! Get it!” yelled lodge owner and guide Nanci Morris Lyon.
White worked the rod, giving it all she had while uttering the occasional expletive. Unlike the previous day -- when either her line snapped or the fish spat out the hook -- White successfully reeled the fish – a 30-something-pound king – close enough so that Lyon could net, unhook and haul it overboard.
“Yes! I finally got my king!” White shouted, sheer joy radiating from her face. The rest of us hooted and hollered.
We trolled for a while longer but the salmon proved elusive. That was okay. Over the past three days, the group had done well. We each flew back to Anchorage with 30-pound boxes filled with fresh, vacuum-sealed king and silver fillets. 
Another Project Healing Waters trip, successfully in the bag.
The trip was made possible with support from Trout Unlimited, Project Healing Waters Alaska, and Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge, and others including VFW Post 9785 of Eagle River, Alaska, VFW Post 3629 of Fairbanks, VFW Post 9365 of Wasilla, American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary Post 15, both of Palmer, Alaska.
      
 

Comments

 
said on Monday, July 29th, 2013

Thanks for sharing Paula and congratulations to Rebekah White for that great king. 

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