Alaska Travel Magazinenext

By Barry Murray

The kid and me. My grandson and I, "gone fishin." No matter how spoken or written, this is sort of a soft magic phrase to create a perfect mind picture in otherwise stoic, mature, men who claim to be real men.

Thinking about it, in ways fishing as an event is such a strange thing to do in a modern world with supermarkets flooded with farm raised Atlantic salmon with artificial color added. Genetically fishermen instinctively comprehend that fishing is --blush, blush, more than just survival-- it is connectivity with the world we live on.

There are some women who understand that the reason the fish is a spiritual symbol. And, why the Native American father and son of the Sohappy family were sentenced to five years in a federal penitentiary for exercising their rights as promised by a forked-tongue government bureaucrat. They could have been released from their punishment --which included the comedian daughter of the prosecutor laughing at the Sohappys in her video taped routine for a Las Vegas show-- by apologizing for fishing out of season. As David once told me, he hated being locked up, but that would have been going against Creator, who was the authority who set the time mentioned in their particular treaty as, "as long as the fish shall run."

Having established that fishing was the Native American equivalent of going to church, and knowing that the Sea of Galilee is a dangerous place for those who believe in peace among men, I headed north to Alaska in 1968 to survive those who want to control us, for or own good, because we were stupid enough to have voted for them.

Knowing he has to put up with such political crank-a-dank ranting, my grandson Ty Murray was the one who decided to take me fishing. To chill out! Save my life. At fifteen years old he isn't licensed to drive, so we flew -- in a classic Alaskan bush plane on floats.

And then, after limiting on just the right eating size, wild, silver salmon, the two of us went hunting for bear. Grizzlies. Using the latest in HD videotape and technology, for delivery over the web.

What a trip it was to "partner" with a pard who is following my footsteps into my way of life -- photographing and filming the great outdoors.

This piece is the début of decisions he made in telling the visual story -- some of the video, all the stills-- of a dream assignment come true.

For me it started with the thrill in flying in a DeHavalin --argue ably the best bush planes ever built— without the expense of, and difficulty finding open time, a private charter.

Ty's fare was paid for by being the official "secret shopper / adventure photographer," for Rainbow Mountain Adventures --owned and operated by a skookum businessperson, my daughter, and Ty's mother, Colette-- to check out how this day trip operation was able to offer the dream of wild Alaskan fly-in guided fishing, at affordable prices.

The first clue as to how, is that you board what may look to "outsiders from the lower 48," a no-frills school bus to share the expense of flying to a secret fishing hole.

Self-serving class action lawyers with PAC money to promote a bloodsucking industry by electing their own to Congress, to pressure the FAA to make favorable decisions for everyone but the public, have all but ruined the great experience of flying in the wilderness of Alaska. There never has been a safety worry about DeHavalins --no longer built-- other than when being flown by overpaid playboys pretending to be a bush pilots on a Labor Day weekend, who can afford the exorbitant insurance.

Our "bus driver," was a loveable crank who had a sign posted on a bulkhead that read, "If I see smoke hanging around your head, I will assume you are on fire, and I will take appropriate action." After noticing his seemingly effortless flying, I told Ty -- who is a student pilot-- to grab the right seat, shut-up, watch, and learn. I would fly anywhere he wanted to go.

So, as it is safe experience, come along dear reader, live a bit, vicariously. Enjoy the day.

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