We finally made it farther south on the Kenai Pennisula. We spent $10 to camp at the 24-hour parking for the Russian River ferry crossing. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but knew there were some serious salmon fishing there.
The Russian and Kenai rivers meet here. The ferry was just a barge connected by two cables. One guy would flip a rope to angle the boat against the current to push it across in each direction. Hip waders were necessary, and we weren’t equipped. But watching this was entertaining enough.
There were probably 100 or so folks lined up on the other side of the river, trying for there 2-a-day limit red salmon. It wasn’t long after we got there when 2 bears decided come down for an easy meal. Those fishing nearby employed various techniques to scare the bears away (cracking their fishing poles like a whip, throwing rocks, yelling), but every single one of them kept fishing. Families included.
Finally, the momma bear started to go farther down the river. The baby jumped in the water and floated to her. Everyone kept fishing.
Later, after the ferry closed and the banks were cleared, the bears came out again and had their salmon dinner.
We thought we’d go observe some more combat fishing. This time, dip netting. Alaskan residents are allowed to catch red salmon with a 5 foot diameter fishing net with a handle. The head of household gets 25 fish, plus 10 more per dependent per year. Interesting, but standing shoulder to shoulder with everyone else, waiting for fish to swim into your net just doesn’t seem very sporting to me.
The southern part of the Kenai Peninsula has a large Russian Orthodox population, and some pretty impressive wooden churches and buildings. Note the dove-tail cabin construction.
We drove out to the northern end of the highway to Captain Cook State Park to camp. And Bode’s friends, the Mali-mish crew were there, too. What a great surprise.