Sunday, November 1, 2009
There are other ways of catching those kings now days. Drift netting, more commonly known as saining, is pretty common along the Yukon. The last time I went fishing in Nulato, this is the kind of fishing we did.
Since the salmon swim up river, then we take the boat upriver and to one side. The boat is turned toward the other side of the river and the net is let out and the boat goes across the river making the net perpendicular to the bank. The boat flows down along with the net until we start to see the boueys bobbing. This indicates that there are salmon swimming right into the net.
Watching the boueys dip down is very exciting. Although, thats when you realize that you have a lot of work on your hands. A fourty foot net can hold a lot of large, heavy salmon. Pulling it all back into the boat is a brutal test of strength. It has to be done quickly because you're still floating down the river! And its hard to pull in the net quickly because the salmon freak out and get twisted up in the net!
The work doesn't stop there, if the men catch a lot of salmon, the women have to do a lot of cutting and cleaning. I remember my auntie being so mad because we brought back a bath tub full of kings! Even with the help of some friends, it took all day to cut and clean the fish, she was not very happy with us. "You bring me too much work!" she said. Still, in the end, the salmon was delicious ;)