Into the Morning
We had been dropped off by floatplane just before dawn, on a fishing trip to Moraine Creek in Katmai National Park. As we splashed through the braids of the stream toward our first fishing hole, the ripe odor of rotting salmon filled the chilly September morning. Bears were along the river, too, fattening up on spawners before winter. Birds wheeled overhead, feasting on any carcasses left behind by the bears. It felt like a timeless Alaskan moment of life, death and rebirth—the fish struggling to deposit and fertilize eggs in the gravels before they died, the wild animals feasting on the bounty, and us, the humans, sharing in the catch. I dashed along the riverbank and crashed through the willow to frame this shot before our guide plunged into one of the deepest pools. It caught him in midstride, leading us down a river rich with wild salmon.