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While recently visiting my mother’s home I found a copy of the State of Alaska’s sport fishing regulations and bag limits from 1974.

Back then it was one booklet for the whole state. A resident sport fishing license was $5.00 and combined with a hunting license cost you $12.00.

Reading the 1974 regulations is interesting as they reflect a simpler time.

The booklet also brought back many memories of what it was like to go fishing back then.  I recall seeing Coho salmon in Chester Creek in Anchorage.  I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I headed up to the Montana Creek area after work.  We would fish until one or two in the morning then head back to Anchorage and be to work by 8.

My Father also had a 28 foot boat down at Whittier.  That was well before there was a small boat harbor there.  We would take it in and out of the water every weekend during the summer and of course bring it back to Anchorage via the train at seasons end. It seems to me he had a buddy named “Smitty” that let us park on a piece of his property.   I remember once we were fishing outside of Shotgun Cove when a salmon spit out the spoon lure as I was trying to net it.  The hook flew up and went deep into my arm.  My Father and one of his buddies got it out and poured whiskey on it for sterilization.  My youngest brother David, who was about 9, remarked “what a waste of good whiskey”.   Not sure where that came from.

  We also had a slip at Seward.  As I recall it was “C1”.  I wonder how long it would take to get that spot back.  That boat helped us put a lot of fish in the freezer.  My Father loved that boat so much that he actually built a balsa wood replica of it before he sold it.

I remember going to the Army Navy store for lots of our gear and clothing.  I specifically remember buying a rod and reel and a crab pot.  I never would have guessed that I would soon be working there and never dreamed I would have the opportunity to become one of the owners.  Alaska and where it can take you!  

I am an avid fisherman today and proud to say  that both of my “Kids” are too.

-Monty Rostad

Owner, Big Ray's

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10/11/2017 4:39 PM
Enjoyed reading your blog.
I recall the days when Mac brought an Army tent home for all the little kids to sleep out for slumber parties. I recall the oiled canvas smell, how the feathers of the mummy bags somehow ended up the nose, the sound of the rain plunking down lightly on the tent top. Every kid in the neighborhood loved that tent.
10/11/2017 5:12 PM
At one time Army Navy was on 4 th Ave. when I logged onto your web site today the store looked modern and full of colorful warm clothing for out door people. As I looked for wool blend tops for women the sizes I like to wear are for large women. I will give  input that 3x sizes are what I would like to order for the windy cold winters of Northern Arizona. I work with dogs and horses ground schooling the horses and obedience training dogs.

Sometime when Johnny MC  Manamin comes in the store ask him how the fishing trip went at Lake Louiese with Mac and Kelly Foss.
Maybe you already know. It was back in the day when Mac’s cigar smoke and the camp fire smoke mingled while plans were made for the future and politics were the usual focus.
There was never a dull moment as I fondly recall when my beloved home state was all about camp fires, climbing the mountains in Juneau, and catching fish at Big Lake. Every kid from S street has a story to tell. It was a haven for growing hearty healthy kids.
Jill Axford, daughter of Fred and Roberta Axford.