By Francis E. Caldwell
Salmon on My Mind is an unforgettable journey into one of the most fascinating yet barely-known seafaring communities in the world, that of Alaska’s professional salmon fishermen during the 1950s and 1960s. Author Francis E. Caldwell never intended to become a professional fisherman, but circumstances and life brought him to Ketchikan, Alaska, where he gradually found himself immersed in the highly insular, sometimes fiercely competitive, but always supportive salmon fishing community. It’s a story of hard work, hard friendships, tough men, and tough ships, as Caldwell recounts the tales of buying his first small boat, learning how to catch king salmon on sport gear, then roving around southeast Alaska, camping on the beach, fishing for salmon from a 16-foot skiff. Ten years, a near-death experience with hypothermia, and some close encounters with giant Alaskan brown bears later, he reached his goal, earning enough money to buy a large salmon troller and join the ranks of Alaska’s professional fisherman.