Spawn & Die

Spawn & Die-Sockeye Salmon along the Kenai River

Is this disturbing to you or can you get past the subject and be delighted with the colors that nature gives us even after death?


Last week was my annual fishing trip to Alaska. This has been going on since I first took my oldest son, Ryan, on a fishing/float trip in Western Alaska in 1994.  Back then we knew nothing about salmon or much about fly fishing for them and we were determined to learn.  With the help of our guides throughout the years, we have learned a lot about this sport.  A fabulous by-product is that the freezer is usually full of freshly caught & flash frozen wild salmon.  Last week our luck was with us and we came home with over 300 pounds now sitting safely in the freezer


Of the 5 species of Pacific salmon, the Kings (Chinook) run first, then the Chums and Sockeye and Pinks. Finally, beginning in August come the Silvers (Coho). In September Alaska gets a 2nd run of Silver Salmon which generally run larger than the average fish in the August run. By September, the other salmon have already spawned and the dead carcasses litter the lakes & streams. In this photo are the remnants of the Sockeye which spawned in Kenai Lake.  I tried to take something generally disgusting and make it into something interesting.  I look at this one a a still-life instead of a riverbank covered with rotting salmon carcasses which have been ravaged by birds, bears and other critters in the wild.  What does it look like to you?



Showing 5 comments
  • Roaan

    This sounds like alot off fun to do a planned fishing trip. My fishing usually consist of a day of fishing only. I should make a plan and see if I can get away for a fishing trip. I’m sure it will be an excellent experience. Thanks for the insight.

  • Gone Fishin' Lodge

    Very artistic photo. Hope you enjoy your 300 pounds of salmon. Cheers!

  • Brian YourName

    the pic of the spawned out soceye is fantastic I like to fish the skeena watershed a little to the south of where you fish and have been fishing that area for 25 years.” teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime “

  • Ultimate Kayak Guide - Best Fishing Kayak

    I prefer to take pictures of happier subjects such as newborn babies and kittens playing with string. Dead fish don’t really do it for me although that is an interesting picture you took.

    • Captain Photo

      Thanks kayak guy! Interestingness this is why I usually take photos in the first place. As I was standing on the bank here fishing I looked down and saw this interesting group of carcasses so…. I thought it was weird at the time but when I got home it still looked interesting so…

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Northern lights with pre-dawn glow near Denali AlaskaDawn over Kechemak Bay-Homer, Alaska