At Work on the Naknek | photo by Mark Emery
Lauren here, the “mystery TU girl” logistics lady stepping in with the news. No, I don’t hate Ben, I keep feeding him chocolate to win him over. I did lose him yesterday in the Naknek boat yard on a shooting endeavor, spent an hour traipsing around bars and boats looking for him, wishing I were photographing instead. So that doesn’t help my case, oh well. We’re in King Salmon now…thanks to the support from Nanci Morris Lyon at Katmai Fishing Adventures, Patricia at Blue Fly Inn and Ryan Peterson, all the way from the Fly Shop in Cali. Born Alaskan, champ fly fisherman (comes with hip hat knit by his grandmother, loaded up with his custom flies poking out in every which direction), Ryan knows these rivers like the back of his hand and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in Alaskan politics (not to mention makes the best dang coffee around and ties flies like I have never seen). I’m letting the boys down as the Trout lady because apparently there are “bows” all over the place (i see them on the end of their lines, jumping about), and I have yet to catch one. But I’m into quality not quantity (and well also have a ton to learn, gotta keep the hands together, stop waving that rod like a wand), but came through the biggest of the day…some “freakish” (says Ryan) Arctic Char, seldom seldom found that large in the system. Perhaps I’ll figure out that spey thing in time; it is absolutely beautiful to watch these guys fish. Ahhh, as for the plan, we were up until 12 last night brainstorming the shape of the film. Travis has done his reading, comes with a 3 inch binder and all of Bristol Bay, mining and Pebble research. Wherever we go we end up talking Pebble with the locals. Ben is emerging from the shock of the Alaskan way…bush pilots, ridiculous remote travel trials of patience, big fish, protests, and shotty internet and seems to be in deep contemplation about the task at hand. We’re making a film….we promise. And everyone we come across seems remarkably receptive, as long as it’s no “cowboys of the sea.” Seems like the commercial fishermen weren’t very pleased with National Geo’s work last summer. But FeltSoul will “keep in real.”
Well, we’re gearing up for the rally this weekend in Naknek, hoping we can get more sport-fishermen to turn out. Then I think it’s back to Dillingham to shoot with Dylan and Dave Edgorf too. Dave runs a remote camp operation way up on the Nushagak we hope to visit later in the summer. Thanks to TU headquarters for the brochures we put out. I think they’ll make their way into the hands of many sportfishermen this summer. No, I don’t think these Ben and Travis are getting fat yet but they certainly eat a ton of fish. We’re in Bristol Bay, better pack it in, it doesn’t get any better than this. Big Fish. Lots of ’em that need catchin’, eatin’ and protecting. Speaking of which Ryan is redirecting logistics to the river…gotta go.
One of the top 10 quotes so far: L.A. Times reporter walks into the Bristol Inn in Dillingham and checks in. Receptionist asks, “What are you doing in Dillingham.” Reporter, Margot replies, “Writing a story about the Pebble Mine.” Receptionist: “Are you for it or against it?” Margot: “I just want to report the story and talk to people on both sides.” Receptionist: “Well, if that mine goes through you’ll be reporting a story on me, blowing it up.”