Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2007



In May of 1995 I flew to Alaska from Wisconsin to find a place to live and then fly back and began packing for our move here. I remember driving on Turnagain arm and seeing the many cars parked by the many streams that empty into the ocean from the mountains. I stopped and observed people of all ages and all races dip netting hooligan along streams. Some of the people had small fires burning and many were sharing the same fires from time to time. I visited with many of these people and was even offered a bucket of smelt by an elderly black man who almost insisted I just needed to try these ocean fresh hooligan on my table in Wisconsin.

Since I was already on my way to the airport and had no way to clean these fish or room to pack them I had to decline the generous offer. I must admit I was pretty impressed by how friendly everyone in Alaska seemed and how so many different races of people were getting along. I have since learned that in my nearly thirteen years here in Alaska that is not always the case especially in certain parts of Anchorage.

Sometimes us humans are simply just not too easy to get along with and others well when God distributed gifts to us humans being friendly to everyone we meet just wasn’t a gift everyone received. Sometimes on our so-called bad days we must all learn to let our conscience become involved and use it to guide us. The one tool the Bible assures us that everyone has, a conscience.

Often times before we lash out at the other person who you felt got too close to your fishing hole really think about whether or not it is really worth it. I have seen numerous fisherman through the years about bite off someone’s head over another fishermen asking a few questions such as what kind of bait are they using.

Granted there is a few times some people get just plain obnoxious and need to be chewed on from time to time. I had a guy from out of state try casting over the top of me while standing along the Kasilof River and knocked my hat off with his sinker besides thumping me along the head. I told him in the most controlled voice I could muster that the next time his hook, line or sinker touched any part of me I was about to introduce him to the official Alaska version of combat fishing. I told him two unlucky fishermen lose an eye each year while fishing and I was trying real hard not to be one of them two unlucky fishermen.

Through the years I have been able to help many fishermen by drilling holes for them or borrowing them bait or tackle. I have seen several situations where a couple words of advice or a few different techniques can make a difference in whether or not you take home fish that day. Many of these people that I have met on the ice here in Alaska have turned into long time friends. I certainly would not have had these friends today if I hollered at them when we met.

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