Raising Kids Alaska Style

Laying waste with Barbie

NOTE: Thanks to my friend Kent Sullivan, who’ll you recognize as my partner during the recent Angler’s Tonic Alaska trip, for providing this great narrative on a trip he took a while back. He told me this story while we spent time up north and I knew I had to share with all of you. GT

I recently took my wife, Jill, and my daghter, Finley, on a trip up the Taku River, a way to spend father’s day and our anniversary. This was the first time up the river together since Finley was a year old, so this would be her first true memory of such wonderful country.

At the first place we stopped there were a bunch of fresh king salmon present. Finley had a three-foot-long pink Barbie rod that she won at the Juneau Boat Show. She insisted on using that rod, despite the fact that it had four-pound test spooled on it.

I tied on a fuchia Mepps spinner and made an initial cast for her. She reeled by herself and the rest is now family history—she says, “Daddy, I think I have a fish,” and all of a sudden that rod is bent double. For 20 minutes Finley fought that king, a big one, all on that rod and that light test. And pretty soon we landed it on the beach. I couldn’t have been prouder and niether could Finley. And, I could not imagine anyone getting a better father’s day gift.

The rest of our time upriver was no less exciting. Tons of fish. Bears up close. Jet boating excitement, including a branch that whacked me in the face. Even mom caught a king on the fly.

– Kent Sullivan, Juneau, Alaska

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2 Responses to Raising Kids Alaska Style

  1. finley sullivan says:

    I am now 12 years old, looking at this article now is exciting! That fish is probably the largest fish that I have ever caught! but I hope to catch more that are even bigger!

    • Greg Thomas says:

      I just saw this. You are growing fast, just like Myka and Tate. Hope you are having a great summer and fishing a lot. We should try to get you girls together again in Alaska. Or let us know when you get back to Montana and I’ll take you and the girls down the river in our boat. Keep in touch, Finley. — greg

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