It sure sounded like a good idea at the time. Pack up the rig, load the dog and drive from Wyoming to Alaska to chase the salmon run. In his hilarious, exasperating and all-too-familiar essay, writer David Zoby finds himself camped in the not-so-wilds of Soldotna, Alaska searching—along with countless other intrepid souls—for the elusive sockeye salmon.

Words: David Zoby.

As I am sitting in the Fred Meyer, two husky Germans begin talking about the fly in my inseam, laughing a bit at the pink egg, the flourish of white Mylar that is supposed to represent salmon sperm. These guys, blood on their waders, silver scales in their hair, have big bright smiles that tell of quick limits. They smell like roe and pilsner…

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