|My Darlin' (fishin') Man|
|View from the fishing hole|
I made an offering to the spirits of the returning salmon, offering thanks for the lives I hoped to harvest the next day. That felt good as well, and right, sitting on the bank of the river next to a bear paw print.
Out on the river bank the next day, we caught the limit for our two households in only a few hours. Certainly a far cry from the day-long, didn't limit out experience last year.
We a saw a seal, a hundred miles or more from the ocean, who - like us - was hunting the bounty of the river. She watched us with big liquid eyes, just her head above the water. And then she turned, and her sinuous body dove up through the air and into the water once more.
We caught a number of fish whose skin showed scars or barely healed wounds from teeth of seals or other hungry creatures.
|Me and Maple|
|Copper River view|
On the island you can see
broken and abandoned fishwheels
Back home, we spent a day filleting. We scraped each carcass for the meat clinging to ribs that the fillet missed, and ended up with a large and overflowing bowl of it. I canned the scraps, and we got a total of 10 pints and 10 half pints of goodness. We filled our freezers with vaccum packed fillets. We filled bags with the carcass remnants (spine, tail and ribs) for making bone broths - for humans and huskies - and boiling down until the bones crumble in my fingers. The bone meal will be dug into the garden. I think next year I'll bring a set of trash bags and haul home the guts to compost. We kept the roe of all the females we caught. Maple cured it into caviar that I've yet to try. And in the week since then, I've come across all manner of recipes for roe. (The first two are from Nourishing Traditions)
Roe Soup, traditional in the Nice area of France.
Smoked Roe. with eggs, with brie
I figure caviar will work for some of those, if I decide I don't prefer it on toast or crackers. In this, as with every other animal I kill to feed myself; it feels honourable, grateful, respectful, deeply good and really yummy to use as many parts of the animal as possible.