Alaska to Ourselves


I stood where a river poured out of a mountain-edged lake, rod raised high, feeling my jig swing downstream, then settle as it crossed an eddy line. Tap…tap…then a weightless instant. A big, bright coho burned out line, reversed course, then nothing. No matter. I had two good fish on the bank, and a hundred more lay within casting distance.  

Across the channel, a wet crash announced company—a gorgeous, blond-tipped bear bounding through the shallows and grabbing a salmon of her own. The whir of the river, eagles keening, and the chatter of magpies layered over a depthless silence; slopes brushed with fall colors cradled the lake, about

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