There is a restless energy on summer days on Alaska’s most popular salmon fishing river. Alaskans pour into the Kenai River region from all over the state, eager to fill their freezers with nutritious and delicious sockeye salmon. They stand shoulder to shoulder, up and down the river bank. Once one fisherman catches their limit another replaces them, and this rotating cycle of anglers goes on for 24-hours a day, aided by the light of the midnight sun. At Fishe we know this “sockeye fever” all too well, and we await the Sockeye run each year with eager hearts and hungry bellies.
To fish the Kenai for sockeye (also called “red salmon” for their spawning colors) is to witness an age-old cycle of life, death, and rebirth that has held a profound sense of meaning and connection for generations of people. Fishe team member Tica Drury writes of her first experience catching and harvesting a sockeye salmon:
I had the privilege of catching my first sockeye down a beautiful, hidden braid of the river. I’ve been sworn to secrecy by my fishing buddy as to this special fishing spot’s exact whereabouts. The sun was shining, and the bugs weren’t biting – rare for an Alaskan summer day. Dwarf Fireweed, known as “River Beauty,” lined the glacial blue water. The birds sang a chorus over the babble of the river. Lazily drifting downstream, we spotted a ribbon of fish below us… sockeye! We anchored and splashed out of the boat, wading through the fast and cold water towards our silvery prize. It took me five casts to catch a fish, a testament not to my amateur fishing ability, but to the sheer bounty of fish. I filleted and ate the fish later that day, fried with butter over a camp stove. While bittersweet to take the life of another living thing, it was an immense privilege to be a part of this sustainable harvest of wild fish!
At Fishe we are grateful to be able to spend time in beautiful places with good friends and remarkable fish. Sockeye salmon fishing embodies for us what makes life, well… groovy. In celebration of sockeye season we are delighted to introduce our newest pattern: REDtro salmon. Designed by artist Irene Meniconi and inspired by the free wheelin’ vibes of our favorite summer music festival,Salmonfest, REDtro salmon captures the psychedelic beauty of sockeye salmon and the joy of laid-back summer days. Wherever you’re headed this summer, whether to the river or to hear good tunes with friends, we hope you’re headed to your happy place. Peace, love, and REDtro Salmon!
Shop the complete REDtro Salmon Collection now!