Worn by the power of the salty, dark waters and the repeated acceptance of the gifts it provided, the men drearily made their way through the thick and unforgiving field of mud that had been grooved and tossed by the high sea and the movement of tires, like the gears of a well tuned clock. Behind them remained a sliver of the burnt sunset showing itself through a tear in the cloud covered, dark sky. Before them shown the cool, crisp light of dawn as, like them, the days have little rest and seem to start again before giving way to the night. Climbing the steep, sand coated stairs up the bluff that would carry them to a bit of stillness, they picked up their legs one at a time, slow and purposeful, as they seemed far heavier than normal. Finally gathered around a small wooden table lit by candle light, they held hands and gave thanks for the offerings of the day and together enjoyed bowls of warmth and peace, prepared by loving hands.
Some of you may know about our Two Fish Foundation, but if you haven't heard of it yet it serves as the platform through which Willbros Salmon Co and our consumers give back to organizations, communities and causes that we feel passionate about. The Unstoppable Foundation is one of those causes and last March the Willbros family attended the 2016 Unstoppable Gala in Los Angeles. We love sharing the beauty of Alaska with others, so we thought what a better way to raise money for this cause than to auction off an Alaskan Adventure Tour! We were lucky to have two generous recipients of the package and over the past week, Mr. and Mrs. Chung joined us to experience the adventure of a lifetime. Over the course of 5 days they caught 3 Kings and 3 Jacks on the river with one of the best guides in Bristol Bay, observed some of the world's largest Brown Bears at Katmai National Park, got an aerial view of the Bay and hundreds of walruses, saw first hand the process of wild Alaskan salmon commercial fishing as well as behind the scenes of one of the largest canneries in Naknek. They dined on local fare, relaxed in our Willbros Bed & Breakfast, and got to take home their catch to enjoy and share the wild taste of Alaska. We are so blessed to have gotten a chance to meet the Chung's and to share with them a place that is such a big part of this family and a wondrous gem of this world. We are so grateful to them for their generosity, that they made our goal of giving to the Unstoppable Foundation even bigger and better. The week ended with new memories, new experiences, and new friends. Thank you, George and Cho. You make the world a better place!
We are in Love with these delicious little breakfast muffins of joy! Great way to get all those good-for-you Omega 3s at the start of your day (but really at anytime in the day), with our Willbros Kippered Smoked Sockeye. So easy and so yummy, you're going to like this.
3oz Willbros Kippered Smoked Salmon torn into small pieces
2oz cold cream cheese diced into small cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
5 large eggs
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Slowly stir in Smoked Salmon, dill, and cream cheese. Pour into a lightly greased muffin pan and bake at 350º for 20 minutes. They will puff up a little and then settle back down, but should be solid and not jiggly when done. You can keep them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and then reheat!
Try them and let us know what you think!
Katmai National Park and Preserve was established in 1918 and is known for The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes and one of the largest concentrated areas of Coastal Brown Bears in the world. People travel from all over the world to visit this wondrously abundant and historical area. A day trip can include close observation of the daily lives of numerous brown bears, fishing alongside nature's best near Brooks Falls, learning about the culture and people who inhabited this area over 9,000 years ago, taking in the breathtaking scenery of turquoise blue, glacial silt waters, snow capped mountains and volcanoes, or tossing pumice stone rocks into the water just to watch them bob up and down until they rest on the surface. It truly is a magnificent place of wonder and provides a beautiful contrast to the flat tundra and ocean views of our fish camp. We love it so much that we make sure every new crew member has an opportunity to experience it's awe during their time here. Two of our crew members recently took a trip, seeing 11 different bears, 3 new spring cubs, a moose, and many Bald Eagles and we wanted to share with you some pictures from their trip!
We are so grateful to have such an amazing group of people this summer! Each person's unique personality offers another beautiful layer to this wonderful experience. Listed from left to right: Eleanor Krueger, Marcus Williams, Mark Williams, Kylar Gochanour, Jesse (Junior) Walker, Logan Fleharty, Sam Williams, Chase Carver, and of course our furriest crew member Klaus. Also, two very important crew members not pictured, Dana Williams and Memaw! What a blessing to be surrounded by such wonderful spirits!
Yesterday, July 1, marked the first opener for set-netters in the Naknek district. A seven and a half hour period from 8:30am to 4:00pm. Our whole crew is here now, all ten of us, and the first-timers were anxious to get out on the water. We awoke early to a beautiful and peaceful morning on the Bay. Slightly overcast with a light breeze, perfect fishing weather. We made our way to Memaw's cabin, enticed by the sweet aroma of the freshly brewed coffee she had waiting for us. Together we sat around the table, facing the ocean, watching Bald Eagles as they flew by to bid us good morning, sharing our excitement for the adventure to come, and treating our taste buds as Dana's delicious sourdough pancakes filled our bellies.
It was time. We slipped on our waders, our boots, our neoprene sleeves, raincoats, and gloves. Double checked each other for our IDs and fishing licenses and made our way down the bluff to the awaiting mud below. This mud is like quicksand; desperately clinging to each foot as it sinks two feet below the surface, we must move steadily and sure-footed. Out to the far boats we go, ready to drop our nets as soon as the clock strikes 8:30. It's like a starting line. A series of skiffs, parallel to each other and filled with anxious crewmen dot the shore and like a silent starter gun, :28, :29: 30 and we take off. The next seven hours is like a school field trip, filled with lessons on how to safely maneuver the boat, how to easily decipher the puzzle of fish caught in the net, how to properly handle each sockeye to ensure the best quality. Tips on crewmen etiquette, communication, and teamwork, and how to laugh and enjoy every moment on the boat with friends, giving thanks to each fish as it blesses our nets. By the time 4 o'clock rolled around, we had filled several brailer bags with fresh fish and minds with lots of new information and experience. Satisfied with the success of the first tide, we pulled our nets and made our way back up the bluff to enjoy a hot bowl of Salmon Chowder and a well-deserved nap.