Photographer's Note

This cable ferry is located at the confluence of the Russian and Kenai Rivers, about 100 miles from Anchorage, Alaska. You can see the cables in the photo. This ferry is a reaction ferry, which uses the power of the river to tack across the current. Wikipedia has a list of cable ferries around the world, although this ferry is not on their list. Many cable ferries are motor powered.

You can also see the fishermen lined up along the river’s edge. From 6 am to midnight, the ferry takes fishermen across the Russian River to an area known as the Sanctuary. This popular fishing area opens when the fish count indicates that that enough fish have made their way up-river to spawn. The photo was taken the day this area opened. Looking at the crowds, we thought that we’d get a good spot by getting on the 6am ferry the next day. However, at 5:30 am - the next day, there was a long line of fishermen waiting in the rain for the ferry to open. The crowd that had fished all ‘night,’ looked much like this crowd. Being wimps, we went back to bed to wait for the rain to clear. In the WS, Larry joined the fishing mob.

Since this was taken shortly before the summer solstice, it never really got dark. When I looked out of the pop-top at 3 am, there were four-year olds playing soccer in the crowded campground. I think that after a long, dark winter; locals don’t want to waste any of the light on sleep.

Here’s a link to a fellow who worked on this ferry one summer.. He has a very nice picture of the ferry.

It’s big news when the sanctuary opens. Here’s part of an article from the local paper. “The Russian River sanctuary opens to sport fishing at 8 a.m. this morning. "We open it early when we have sufficient numbers," said Robert Begich, sport fish area manager with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Soldotna, referring to the early-run sockeye salmon spawning escapement goal of 14,000 to 37,000 fish.
The sanctuary area was not scheduled to open to fly-fishing until July 15, but as is the case this year, Fish and Game will open this sockeye fishing hot-spot early when they can safely predict they will achieve this escapement goal.
"It's been solid, just very consistent there the whole year," Begich said in regard to fish in the Russian River and upper Kenai River areas.

Since salmon don’t eat after re-entering fresh water to return to their birthplace to spawn, fly fishing mostly means sliding the hook into a passing fish mouth. The maneuver is called the Kenai Kink or ‘flossing'. The cast is upstream across the current; the fisherman hopes the current will push the hook into the mouth of a fish. A fish hooked in any other place must be returned to the river.

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Additional Photos by Pat Lim (plimrn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3999 W: 226 N: 6734] (21344)
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