One of my favorite things to do on a trip that involves some type of fishing or hunting is to have a 'trophy meal' at the end of the trip. Setting a specific goal, then achieving that goal and enjoying the meal afterwards has become such a rewarding part of the trip. It just seems like a great way to tie it all together.
On this particular trip Chris Terry and I spent the day up in Denali National Park and then cruising 100 miles or so of the Denali Highway. Then we drove down to Cooper Landing with intention of scoping out the salmon fishing at the confluence of the Russian River and the Kenai River. We arrived around 10 pm and after figuring out that people were actually catching some fish we went and got our permits and headed back to the river. We fished from about 11 PM until 6 AM and caught several sockeye salmon(reds) 'flossing' with our fly rods. There were several bears feeding in the area and on one occasion a bear grabbed a guy's backpack from the bank and took off into the woods with it. The guy went chasing after the bear into the trees and somehow came back with his pack a short while later. On two separate occasions people had to fire several warning shots towards bears and everyone else just kept fishing like nothing had happened. It was the classic Alaska combat fishing experience with anglers lining the banks on both sides.
After fishing until sunrise (even though it never really got too dark) we slept a few hours in our tents and headed towards Seward. In Seward we had booked a helicopter tour of the area. After some sweet talking with the chopper pilot, we loaded up a bundle of firewood and a fresh salmon fillet in the chopper for our tour. After cruising around some of the most beautiful country I have ever seen and landing in a few different spots the pilot let us pick out a spot on top of the mountain to land. We landed between two high mountain turquoise blue lakes. We built a campfire and cooked our fresh salmon from that morning over the fire as the sun went down and enjoyed an epic 'trophy meal' that I won't soon forget.