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First Alaska fish caught today

The first fish I ever caught in Alaska. Photo by Blanka Littleman.
The first fish I ever caught in Alaska. Photo by Blanka Littleman.

Today I caught my first Alaska fish, from 25 Mile Pond on Chena Hot Springs Road northeast of Fairbanks. I used an open-bail casting rod with an unbaited spinner lure, cast from shore. The fish itself was nothing special: an 11 inch rainbow trout. 25 Mile Pond is one of many that get stocked with fish yearly.

This is not my first fish ever, but the last time I caught one was over 10 years ago. I’m not sure, but this might be my first ever catch with a pure lure. I’m not a sport fisherman per se; my primary goal is to get food, and the fun factor comes in second. Here in Fairbanks, I have access to good fisheries without spending alot of money or driving long distance. I’ve been here over a year now, that’s how long it takes to qualify for the cheap resident fishing license.

Things needed for the next fishing trip:

  • A real bucket to store the catch. The disposable styrofoam cooler I had turned out to be water-permeable. Oops.
  • Ice. It wouldn’t do for the fish (or its fillets) to get soft before I get them home.
  • A proper fillet knife. The kitchen knife I used required me to do too much sawing, and it wasn’t sharp enough. Some meat ended up getting wasted.
  • A portable fillet board. The best place to handle filleting would be outside (weather permitting).
  • A scaler. Fish skins are edible once the scales are off.

The meat has just been cooked and eaten, and the flavor was superb.

A special thanks go out to my grandfather, who taught me how to fish, sent me my fishing gear after it sat in his basement for years, and encouraged me to fish here in Alaska.

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Angel Rocks Trail

On July 20, Blanka and I hiked the Angel Rocks Trail in the Chena River State Recreation Area, about 50 miles northeast of Fairbanks. The weather was cool, cloudy, wet, the mosquitoes were out in force, and the trip was totally worth all of that.

The Angel Rocks trail is situated on one side of the valley of the Chena River’s North Fork, in the foothills of the White Mountains. This area has a microclimate somewhat wetter than Fairbanks; we saw moss and fern covered rocks, even at high elevations.

View out across the river valley, from atop the rocks near the top of the trail.
The view north across the river valley, from atop the rocks near the top of the trail. Chena Hot Springs is a few miles to the east, out of view, and Fairbanks is some 50 miles back west. The North Fork of the Chena River is visible in the center, and the road through the trees is a bit north of that.