An unexpected Happy Ending!!
Ketchikan was my first stay on a non-cruise, 10-day, solo trip around the Inside Passage of Alaska. This fishing trip was my first outing and I had big hopes for big fish! We lucked out with fantastic weather: sunny skies, mid 60’s and barely a wave. In addition to me and our guide Brian, there was just one other couple on the boat. Brian is very laid back, friendly and so patient with us as we all struggled to master the fishing end of things. He told us from the very beginning that he would fish for whatever we wanted and he was prepared for both salmon and halibut. We all agreed that we would start with salmon. After a couple of hours of hits but only landing a couple of Rockfish and throw-back Spotted Ratfish to show for it, we decided to switch to halibut. From the radio chatter, many were experiencing the same difficulty in finding salmon that day. In the end my overall luck was limited to just two rockfish, but the couple with me also landed a Pacific Cod and a small, but worthy Halibut in additional to a few Rockfish of their own. They were the lucky ones that day. Sadly, my two fish were just not enough to justify having them frozen and shipped back to my home. Brian told me it would be better to eat them for dinner immediately. As a traveler, I was not exactly set up to cook my own dinners. Boy, was I in for a pleasant surprise at end the day.
Brian kept us out until the very last moment, hoping for that one last catch. But as we headed in for the afternoon, he called ahead to The Alaskan Fish House and told them that I had two fish I would like to eat for dinner. After cleaning and filleting my fish for me, he walked me and my fish up to the restaurant. I was greeted by LaToya who is just the sweetest person there could be. The fish was passed along to Tyler who proceeded to prepare my fish in two different styles, both of which were excellent! In addition to the side dishes they offered, I was shocked to find out it was all complimentary! I was treated like a VIP by Brian, LaToya and Tyler and in hind-sight can say that it was the BEST meal I had over the course of my entire trip! For what it’s worth, I am not the least bit upset that I did not catch any salmon or halibut that day. There is no guarantee in fishing, but they sure know how to make the best of an unfortunate fishing day. I got to eat not only the freshest, sweetest fish of the day, but I CAUGHT IT! The experience was worth every penny!