Hard Work

Local fishermen use both fish wheels and nets to fish for salmon, whitefish, she fish and grayling. The river and sloughs teem with northern pike, too. Fishing here is a matter of survival rather than a commercial venture and the fish wheel can do the work of  many men. The families who still practice subsistence depend heavily on fish and cache away hundreds of pounds for the cold winter that is never far away. Below are a few pictures of us setting the wheel today.

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Our friend Mike pilots us out to the wheel in his boat.

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On the way out my neighbor Keith explains how we will complete the basket supports today.

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I thought Chris was born for the city but I was mistaken. The Yukon has won his heart.

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We get to work straight away. There is much to do. Here you can see the two baskets attached to the central axle. They are blocked so they cannot turn.

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Chris is more daring than I. I used a pole for balance to get to the shore.

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Hard work indeed. Ernie augers holes on each side of the axle to hold vertical pins made of spruce. They will hold the axle in place.

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Keith hammers home the spruce pins.

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Chris fastens the basket supports. The frame and baskets of the fish wheel are made entirely of spruce with chicken wire lining the baskets. Spruce pins, bailing wire, and nails fasten it all together. With help, a skilled fisherman can build one in a day.

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Ernie ponders ways to slake his thirst.

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Homeward bound. Chris rests after a good day’s work.

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11 thoughts on “Hard Work

  1. Many young people start to love nature and its life when they get there, when they get a chance to find out. They just don’t know before they get there. I love fishing, but it is not work.. just pleasure.

  2. Chris and I are friends on Facebook, and if I never gain anything else from that social network, I have a least met and come to know your son through his postings and photographs. I would love to post the close up you did of him here, on the group page we have set up called “Corry Clan” group. And one of you, in the boat, but I will understand if you would rather I not post them. The Facebook group page “Corry Clan” is just a way of all of us keeping in touch with our past and our presence and well being. I think we all get a kick out of looking at the photos. I will confess that I did post a photo of you and June back in the day in your white convertible car with red interior. I hope everything is going well. Mom says you are coming to visit soon. Let me know how you feel.

    • This one inhabited a freezer in our friend’s house since last fall. 🙂 The water is very high this spring, still too high for good pike fishing. But soon…

    • Oh, guess that may not have made sense. We were working with Mike on the fish wheel. He gave us a pike which we had for dinner. And yes, this is trophy pike country and they weigh in the 80 lb range.

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