“Good Luck Charms” by Leah C.

(Photo via The Salmon Project)
(Photo via The Salmon Project)

My cousin Sandra and her husband took their newly purchased boat and we headed south out of Ketchikan to try and catch some coho. We started late in the day, but we stopped the motor to drift and tried our luck at casting. Lance, Sandra’s husband, got the first fish bite, but it got away. Sandra asked me if I had any nibbles, but I didn’t yet. We moved toward Mountain Point and started to catch small rockfish and bullheads, but they weren’t coho so we released them all. We started to lose hope of catching anything to keep.

Just as we moved the boat I noticed my glasses had salt water on them. I told my cousin, “Hey, if I clean my glasses, maybe I’ll catch one. It wasn’t five minutes later, and I had my first fish on, and then Lance had one on too! The excitement of two fish on our reels at the same time was the thrill of the evening! I reeled my fish in successfully, but Lance lost his salmon. I was too excited to even take a picture of my coho; it was getting late, and we started our way back to Ketchikan (the salmon capital of the world).

As we were coming in, Sandra said, “My cousin sure knows how to fish!” The last two times I had gone out with them I had caught salmon; my first of the season was a king and now the coho so she considered me her good luck charm. I think it wasn’t me, but it pays to have your glasses cleaned – then you’ll catch a fish.

When we got back to the dock a Tsimshian man approached the boat and told us the boat’s name means “killer whale” in Tsimshian. Killer whales are good at catching salmon so Lance and Sandra will not be changing the name of that boat!

Story by Leah C., Ketchikan

The Salmon Project is about Alaskans and our deep, personal relationships with wild salmon. It’s about our connections to salmon, as a food, as a source of pride, as a way of life, and as the focus of a lot of fun.

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