Author: Andrew Cremata

Fish This! Life on the Edge

BY ANDREW CREMATA Where have our winters gone? In the not-too-distant-past the idea of fishing the Yukon lakes in April was nothing more than a passing daydream. Throughout May I would keep my fingers crossed, hopeful that there would be some fishable breaks in the ice by Memorial Day Weekend. Most of the time I ended up disappointed. For two years I’ve been able to work ice-free shorelines in mid-April, enjoying sunshine and warmth that made me think I had time travelled to mid-summer. This is all uncharted territory, and a number of fellow Skagwegians have asked me whether...

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FISH THIS!: Jesus, the fisherman and a duck

BY ANDREW CREMATA CONTRIBUTING WRITER Here we are again – poised on the narrow edge of Skagway’s two-headed coin. When the lake trout’s flanks match the orange and yellow mountainside, the white of winter peers down from snowy peaks. It is a bittersweet time of year. Time to adjust to a different pace. Soon the streets will be empty. The drone of trains, planes, and buses will give way to the querulous calls of morning magpies. We will say goodbyes to friends who wander the world, and when they return in the spring it will be bittersweet yet again...

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Fish This! Fishing for Life

BY ANDREW CREMATA “Subsistence – To have or acquire the necessities of life (as food and clothing)” – Mirriam-Webster Dictionary It didn’t take long for the floats to start bobbing irregularly on the surface. This indicated that something was caught in our 100 foot long monofilament mesh fish trap, stretched out near the mouth of the Chilkoot River in Lutak Inlet near Haines. My shipmates and I spent our morning forcibly untangling salmon from the gill net. It was my job to whack them in the head with a club, cut their gill to bleed them, slice open the...

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Fish This! Ocean Fishing

By ANDREW CREMATA   I saw the big king chasing my bait as I reeled it in toward the boat. The cut plug of herring was rotating perfectly, but it was only a few yards beneath the surface – not enough time for the silver torpedo of a salmon to catch it. I released the clutch on the reel and let line freefall from the spool. The bait quickly turned back toward the bottom…. Spinning. The king followed on cue. I counted off three long seconds, enough for the herring to sink 20 feet, reengaged the clutch and reeled...

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FISH THIS!: The winds are blowing

By ANDREW CREMATA The withered wooden structure seemed to take form amidst the quivering aspen leaves and the twisting branches that formed them.  It was an old wooden tramway pylon; one in a series leading up the mountainside, all connected by a coiled-steel cable glazed with burgundy rust.  A few steps away, a tattered mining car still clung to a limp section of the thick metal wire, slowly being swallowed by purple lupines and wild yellow daisies.  A crowned sparrow landed on the cable and trilled in my direction. A little more than a hundred years ago, this Yukon...

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