Back in 2005, I shocked the majority of my gal pals by announcing that I would be heading to Alaska to go… wait for it… salmon fishing. This crazy southern Irish gal is a bit of a weird hybrid: love pretty pedicures, but will also happily get downright muddy in the garden. I’ll rabidly watch a college football game, followed by my favorite DIY show on HGTV. I am as comfortable wearing a frilly dress as I am relaxing in torn jeans and a sweatshirt.
A little background: eight years ago the women in my family stomped our collective feet and demanded that we be included in the annual family Alaska fishing trip. We had heard so many wonderful stories from the boys: husbands; fathers; brothers; and sons all blissfully sharing stories of beautiful Alaska. We gals wanted a shot at the glory. The push-back was in fun, but a little serious too: there would be no girly girls allowed. We would have to pull your own weight, be down on the dock at o’dark thirty – no time for hair or make-up, manage our own poles, and “woman-up.” Game on/Fish on!
I’m happy to report that all these years later the gals are still going strong. Trust me, I’m the last person who thought I would actually come to look forward to an annual fishing trip. Here’s a little secret that might explain my affection for the annual trek. Each year, on our last day out, the captain of the fishing lodge hosts a Girls Only boat. This has become one of my favorite days of the year. Captain Kevin has his hands full trying to manage a boat full of gals – but we sure do keep him laughing. What I’ve come to appreciate about Girls Only Day is that we really don’t care how many fish we catch, which probably contributes to our often landing the biggest catch of the day among the boats. Maybe laughter is not only the best medicine; it’s also the best fish bait.
I’ve got my lucky white trash fishin’ hat packed and I’m ready to go. We leave the lower 48 this coming weekend and head north to Sitka. I promise to check back in with ya’ll as soon as I return; you can count on me having some new “the-one-that-got-away” stories.
Fish on boys!!
Have you ever been told you can’t do something because of your gender, size, lack of smarts or for some other reason? How did you prove them wrong?
UPDATE: Back down in the lower 48, had a terrific time this year. The weather was beautiful and the fishing was great – brought back 350 lbs (not a typo) of fish.