Rick, besides being dreamy and good at parallel parking, loves to fish. I, who dream about being good at parallel parking, also love to fish. At least, I was pretty sure I did. I’d only been out a few times, but my favorite thing is to be on top of (not in) water, so fishing seemed like something I enjoy. But could I handle a whole week dedicated to fishing?
After literally a lifetime of waiting, Rick finally popped the question: would I join him and his family friends for a week fishing off the Kenai Peninsula? I said yes, bought prescription-strength seasick meds and we were on our way.
Turns out, yup, I love fishing. I especially love fishing in Alaska. And I especially love the first-class luxury lodge we stayed at. We spent a week at Deep Creek Fishing Club. The lodge has been around in various incarnations for 30 years. It’s run by Captain Steve, or Captain Crusty, as he’s often called, and his wife Vivian. There’s a central lodge where everyone gathers for meals and evening entertainment, and then each couple gets their own cabin. Only 12 people stay per week, which means the service is attentive and the boats aren’t crowded.
Guys, this place is so cute. Argh, cute isn’t the right word because it’s not cutesy. It’s stronger than charming, brawnier than quaint. Handsome. Deep Creek is exceedingly handsome.
The lodge has a living room, pool table, poker table, gym, two bars and a hot tub. All of that hardly matters, though, because it all faces onto a grassy cliffside lawn where the sun (mostly) sets over the sound and the mountains. You can’t really do anything but watch the sky while you’re there.
This pic was taken at 11:08pm
And the rooms are great as well. Everyone has loads of flannel sheets and a fireplace and their own patio also facing the sunset.
Sometimes you must face the fireplace, though
Every morning they bring you coffee for your wake-up call, then you meet in the lodge for a chef-prepared breakfast. Everyone divvies out onto their boats depending on their day (two ocean vessels, one river boat, and one helicopter). And that’s it. You spend hours and hours on the water, catching all the fish the law will allow, and then you head back to the lodge for happy hour and dinner.
The Kraken and the Megaladon, preparing for our day’s adventures
I hope that didn’t sound dismissive. I meant, you get to spend hours and hours outdoors in Alaska, watching otters (enormous!) and puffin (adorable!) and whales (terrifying!) splash around your boat.
You sidle up close to shores covered in trees and granite. You bob up and down in the sunshine while catching your share of salmon (skittish!) and halibut (heavy!) and monkfish (feisty!). I got my ass kicked left and right. But, since I was usually the only girl on the boat, there was nothing to do but tuck my trembling arms close to my sides and reel up another fish.
I caught him! I caught him and I ate him.
Our mega-haul on the Megaladon
And then, when you head back to the lounge, the beautiful women of Deep Creek have your cocktail of choice waiting for you. Thus fortified, you get to take pictures with your haul.
Afterward, if you are kind and still awake, you shower and head to happy hour. This involves sharing all the fish stories you have told, heard or invented. Dinner is a feast—one night was steak and king crab, one night was elk—that usually involves serving what was caught that day. Dessert is no less extravagant, including one night of the legally required Baked Alaska.
Afterward, you either tumble into the hot tub, stumble onto the porch, or bundle up in your flannel sheets and rest before tomorrow morning’s wake up call.
It’s an incredible week, and although each day follows a similar script, no day is alike. The landscape is tremendous, the hosts are tremendous, and I’m tremendously grateful.