My annual salmon fishing trip to Alaska a couple years ago was self-guided. That means we do everything ourselves. The shopping, the cooking, the boat, the bait, figuring where & when to fish, cleaning the fish, cleaning up after cooking. It’s a lot of work and we found we spent too much time on the logistics and less time fishing than when we go on a fully guided trip. Maybe the worst part was running on so little sleep because of taking all the time doing the chores and still trying to keep all of our precious fishing time.
This particular year we went to Petersburg and had it relatively easy since we rented a house and a car. Normally our trips are out to Western Alaska where life is a lot tougher. Out west we always have fully guided trips and it is such a pleasure to be in the wilderness of Alaska and, at the same time, be very comfortable, catching lots of salmon and char, having our meals cooked for us and served with nice wines, having our tents all setup and taken down for us, and the fish cleaned. Really the fully guided trips are so luxurious! The best outfitter we have ever had, by far, is Mike Trotter who owns Beyond Boundaries Expeditions. Mike runs float trips on the Chosen River and also has a lodge and a base camp on Baranoff island. we have been with Mike’s very attentive guides three or four times in the past 16 years we’ve been fishing Alaska. We have also had some horrific experiences from lesser guides so we really appreciate Mike’s trips where everything is first class and we always feel so well cared for.
Well, here we were, in Petersburg doing our own thing without guides. It was a ton of work and the fishing wasn’t as good as we are used to. It rained. It rained some more. In Alaska the rain is first class rain too. In spite of what may sound like grumbling, we still had a wonderful fishing trip and I got to do plenty of photography every day in addition to my fishing.
This shot of an eagle I got as we were fishing (in the rain) in a fishing hole above what the locals call, ‘blind slough.’ There are usually king salmon holding in this spot after they come in with the tide on their way up the river. Some of them don’t make it… those are the ones we caught and are in the freezer now at home.
Processing this photo
Just a note on the processing this photo. To get the stylized background, I used Topaz Simplify which is a Photoshop plugin filter that can give several different unreal looks to your photos. I left the eagle rendered realistically by using a layer mask on the background layer and punching through to the bottom layer only in that part of the photo. Really easy to do and gives a very nice effect and the eagle really pops out of the photo. Before the background was stylized and simplified, the eagle sort of got lost in all the detail of the trees and didn’t have the impact that this version does. I hope you like it.
Since this shot is so unique, I’m only going to sell 10 prints of it. If you want one I’ll also sign it for you at no additional cost. Please just contact me now., instead of ordering it online, and I’ll make all the arrangements to get the print to you.