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January 23, 2010 - 12:50pm
posted by JIM NIGRO in fishing, outdoors, Alaska, rafting.

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That’s Tim Sawyer  rerigging his fishing gear. Minutes earlier, something inhaled the Spin ‘N Glo tied to the end of his line and raced downstream a ways before breaking water. When the  fish breached the surface, we saw that it was a big king salmon, tinted red with age, and boy, did it launch itself out of the water. It didn’t flop about, but rather had its body perfectly parallel to the river surface, high above the water and facing downstream. Kind of looked like a big muscle with fins - then it crashed back into the river and kept going. The fish had no doubt spawned in this same stream, spent the next 4-5 years at sea gorging itself on anchovies and the like. Its biological clock said it was time to return to the place of its origin and procreate. Chasing down Tim’s lure had put a temporary halt to those plans. The fish made one long run and the battle was at a standstill. The line was still taught, but there was no movement. The big fish had wrapped the line around submerged brush before continuing on its way.

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