An unforgettable trip

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This is my wildcard submission for the portfolio. The 9th slide was originally a picture slide show with music but did not upload properly.


  • 1. Wildcard
    My fishing excursion in Alaska
    By: James Hanna

2. Graduation trip
This past summer, after I graduated from high school, my dad surprised me by planning a fishing trip to King Salmon, Alaska (where theres the best salmon fishing in the world). It had always been a dream of mine to go.
We stayed at Crystal Creek Lodge (which can be seen in the picture to the right). The lodge specialized in fishing for trout, dolly varden, and especially in the various types of salmon: chum, sockeye, pink, king, and silver salmon.
My dad, brother, and uncle all went on the adventure. We went during the last week of July, because fishing conditions are best there during that time. We were privileged enough to fish for five days; we did fly-fishing for trout, artic grayling, and dolly varden, troll-fishing for king salmon, and used spinners (a type of reel) for chum, silvers, and pinks.
3. Day 1
The first day we got there we went fishing during the afternoon in the bay right in front of the lodge. It was a bitter-cold day; so, we all suited up in our warmest clothes and headed out for the hunt.
We went troll-fishing on boats this day for king salmon, they are the biggest type of salmon (weigh up to 100 lbs).
None of us had done any type of fishing like this before, so we didnt know what to the expect. Overall, it was a slower day; we caught 8 smaller fish in total, my uncle caught the inaugural one. The one big one we hooked ended up snapping the line. After the long afternoon came to an end, we headed in for a nights rest in preparation for day two.
4. Day 2
The next morning we woke up at the crack of dawn (6 A.M.) for another fishing adventure. Right after we finished breakfast, we jammed ourselves into a small seaplane to fly to a river near by.
This day was jam-packed with action, the slight drizzle may have turned the fish on. Right from the get go we started to catch these massive chum.
They were a gnarly looking fish that had these red veins that ran across their body.
They, also, put up the biggest fight of any of the fish, making it all the more fun.
The fish never seemed to settle down either. We flew to three separate rivers and at every one the fish were biting, it seemed like someone always had one on the line.
We must have brought in at least 40 something fish all together.
5. Day 3
The third day was by far my favorite. We went fly-fishing for the dolly varden, artic char, and rainbow trout on a small windy river about 100 miles away from the lodge. There we were dropped off by a plane that wouldnt return until dusk.
This trip called for a lot of physical activity. We had to make a 30 minute hike to and from the rendezvous point while carrying all of our equipment.
The walk was made across a tundra terrain; the surface was soft and it was comparable to walking in snow.
We were also constantly surrounded by vicious grizzly bears throughout the walk.
6. Day 3 Cont.
Once we arrived to the river, we broke out our fishing rods and tackle to prepare to fish.
None of us were experts at fly-fishing so it took a while to get the hang of it (dad was the best).
After we got the hang of things, the fish started to actually bite. It went from looking like a slow day to a day of constant activity. The fish we caught there were by far the prettiest and all had interesting features.
The one in the picture to the left with the large dorsal fin is an artic char.
The bears, however, never seemed to leave us alone. Throughout the day we were constantly followed and had to compete for the fish.
7. Day 4
After having such an awesome all-around experience the day before, we thought there was no way that this day could compare.
However, this day really surprised us.
The day began with us flying into a riverbank. We stayed there all day, fishing for both silvers and pinks. The fishing was nothing special; the thing that was, was setting up camp.
We ended up having to gather twigs and branches from the woods in order to build a fire.
The fire was necessary to both keep us warm and to serve as the grill for our meal (we were eating what we caught).
Once it was ready I went with the guide to help him prepare the fish. After I filleted each cut of fish he would wrap it up in tin foil, so it could cook properly in the fire. As soon as we pulled the fish out of the fire, everyone gathered quickly to dive into our freshly caught meal.
The fish was the best that I had ever had, and I dont even like salmon very much. We all uniformly agreed that we would never have a meal like that again.
8. Final Day 5
This was the last day of our fishing trip. We went fishing for king salmon once more right near the dock.
We only went during the morning, because our flight was that afternoon.
Unfortunately, the catch was a weak one; there was only one fish hooked between the two boats.
Once we headed back to the lodge, we all packed up and had to say a sad good-bye to Crystal Creek Lodge.
9. From Beginning to End
10. I chose to do this PowerPoint for my wildcard because it relates to the theme of my Portfolio. It shows both my interests and personality in a creative way, and it connects with my biography and fishing essay as well.
Ive learned that I need to be confident in what I decide to write on, or do, and not doubt myself.
I mentioned Sylvia Plath earlier in my Introductory Reflective Essay and her quote really inspired me to make this; And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
Why I chose this for my wildcard?