Updated: Mar 3, 2020
While going through old photos the other day at the main house, I ran across this record book with yellowing newspaper coming out of the pages with different colored ‘Sitka Salmon Derby’ flags. When I looked inside I found a few short as well as some long passages of Alaska fishing adventures Rich and the rest of the Kraft family had between 1988 - 2000. Reading through these stories, it felt too good not to share with all those fellow anglers who love to fish.
Please enjoy these short stories, old newspaper clippings or current story from Richard. To keep the originality of these passages, they are not edited and typed true to the original passage.
Entry 1: 2/25/1988
"I’ve thought about starting a fishing log book for a long time and when I saw this book at the office store I knew it was the one. Hopefully I will be able to ‘Catch’ the memories of the places/people/good times/fishing, because there has been alot gone by already.
I can’t remember when and what made me so interested in fishing but Herman (Dad) tells of the story/time when I sat crouched over an ice hole so cold and shivering but I could barely hold onto the pole and still refused to get into the truction (maybe 5 yrs old). My grandfather Roy Majorowicz a lot to do with kindling my love for fishing. He was a retired farmer that had taken up gunsmithing as a hobby since I was too young to help with the farm work I spent my summers with him. He has a rule that ‘for every one hour of lawn mowing a boy should have two hours of fishing.’ Needless to say that the lawn kept a ‘low profile’. We went fishing 2-4 times/week and knew every bass dam in 20-40 mile radius. There were days when we would fish 3-6 lakes in one day looking and testing. It was great. He was the best grandfather.
By the time I started high school I had a good assortment of tackle and always took it all with me because I always knew lunkers were wanting something special. Then I started fishing more on the Missouri River and at first most of the fishing was done from shore. We generally caught our limit and didn’t need a boat. Walleye fever hit the area and trolling with ‘crankbaits’ took over. I’ve still got a few ‘waterdogs’ left over and in my freshman year of high school we drug them for miles and miles and did pretty well.
Over the next few years the hot plug changed several times but not the good times. Dad owned an old 15 ft fiberglass boat and we bought a 5 ½ hr Johnson motor for $85. Man did we put a lot of trouble free hours on the engine. It always worked. We put a lot of time on the river and caught many fish. Way more important than any fish that were caught were the good times. Really good times… When a person or people go fishing the time spent is “real time.” It is a time when you can be relaxed, taken away from your usual environment, freed up, and can talk, dream, and bullshit (actually is the best word). Friendships are strengthened and built. An example for me is when I go home and see old friends - at first it can be difficult to relate and talk over new things since they are involved in farming and I’m in medicine. But we go fishing and it’s like we’ve never been apart. (It sounds kind of ridiculous but it is true).
After high school it was 2 years of US Army and no fishing in Germany. When I got out it was “fishing fever” that is still with me. Now that we are in Alaska the fishing has a new depth. Big Salmon, bigger Halibut and the biggest STORIES! If Grandpa Roy could see me now…
Enough of an introduction. The 1st part of the book will be a collection of old pictures then hopefully I will write a brief note with an occasional picture on each trip we make."
…. Keep on the lookout for Entry 2.
Please enjoy, comment how you found your love of fishing below!