One of the great appeals to gill netting salmon is the brief intensity of the season. It's a whirlwind of long hours, sore muscles, excitement, and if it's a normal year you spend about a week rolling into the jaws of the river standing proudly on the deck of a heavy boat, with fish gurry in your hair/beard, betting beers on the weight of the catch. This was not a normal year.
I look back on it now in the past tense like a deep brooding regret. It just never happened. The season total was a fraction of what we were expecting, and we fared better than most boats. Instead of the adrenalin filled awesomeness we were all looking forward to it developed into a 3 week long grind. Fishing 20 hour days (unless the skipper got pissed off and threw in the towel early) for 3 weeks straight to bring in such pitiful loads is enough to make a bearded man weep. At one point in the middle of what was supposed to be the peak of our season we delivered an anticlimactic 96 pounds of sockeye. This is profoundly damaging to a fisherman in a variety of ways. The ego, our faith in the management of the fishery, and of course...our wallet. So I'm going to have to get creative for the different projects this failed season was supposed to be funding. Luckily my creativity is not limited to finding a place to sleep.
On the bright side, we suffered no real calamity. Discounting my bad spell that one night, there were no disasters, nobody got hurt (on our boat), nothing critical broke (excepting our bank accounts), and it really is a helluva lot of fun. So there's that.
Regarding the seizures I spoke of in the last update, the day the neurologist diagnosed me without bothering to look at my tests I threw out the medication I had been on, and did not pick up the new one prescribed. I don't care how long she went to school for, no one tells me how to live my life, and certainly not someone who demonstrates such remarkable ineptitude in their field. A drunken third grader could have performed as well as she did. Maybe better.
Now with my brain recoiling from its chemistry being tampered with, I'm struggling to recover my mind. I am thinking much more clearly, but my ability to not allow my woeful circumstances to put me in a funk is definitely taking a break. And that sucks. Because it's decision making time. One way or another wheels need to start turning in a definitive direction, and making the right call right the fuck now, is critical to how my foreseeable future will play out. Needless to say I'm a little on edge.
For the moment I am playing it safe (unusual for me). Finishing the book even though I have no idea how I will be publishing it, is the priority, as well as assembling a new set of gear for the Road. Taking time to visit with my nieces while I'm in Anchorage is always nice, and there very well may be a week or so coming up soon where I disappear into the woods with my pack and a gold pan. I damn well need it.