Dallas Stars defenseman Sergei Zubov became the team's all-time leading scorer among defensemen midway through last season. The Stars honored "Zubie" at a pre-game ceremony on January 20th in which he received a custom fishing trip to Alaska from the organization for him and his son, Pavel. DallasStars.com sat down with Zubie to talk a little about his great trip and he was generous enough to share some of the photos he took.
Sergei Zubov is no stranger to adventures. Heck, most of his outlet passes turn into adventures for would-be defenders who are helpless to stop Zubov's magic feeds to Stars teammates streaking in for a breakaway. But that's on the ice. His latest adventure was a father-son trip to central Alaska where they would camp and fish literally in the middle of nowhere. Sergei and his son Pavel took their trip in early August, traveling up to central Alaska via Anchorage for six days on the river that they will never forget.
"It was the trip of my life," said Zubov. "What made it so special was the combination of my son being there, the experiences we had on the river during the trip, the unbelievable beauty of the landscape, and of course, the fishing."
Sergei and Pavel joined a couple of friends on the trip set up through KingFisher's Perch -- a family-owned outfit located in central/east Alaska equidistant from Fairbanks and Anchorage. The fishing trip sent them down both the Gulkana and Copper Rivers with the help of knowledgeable guides. They were on their own for most of the trip, stopping to camp on the banks of the river at night with no contact with civilization.
"This was literally a natural setting; it was as wild as it gets," said Zubov. "It is in the middle of nowhere. I think we saw three boats and five other people during the entire trip. We were out there.
"We were sleeping in a tent and sleeping bags and I wouldn't have it any other way. Every night we would set up camp and do our own cooking and every morning we would pack it all up for another exciting day. It was a great experience for my son, and for me as well." Zubov had been to Alaska once, playing in the World Junior Championships.
"That was a long time ago," he said. "But I certainly had never been in these wonderful areas we were in or had never gone fishing there."
The king salmon season had just ended on July 31, so the group was prohibited from taking any that they caught during their trip.
"During the first part of the trip we were fishing mainly for rainbows (trout)," said Zubov. "Occasionally we would catch kings but you cannot even get them out of the water since the season had just ended. We would also catch a lot of Grayling, which is a great fish to catch and not bad to eat. We grilled up some and it was pretty good. We caught a lot of rainbows but had to keep them in the water as well. The last part of the trip, on the last day, we were going after sockeye salmon. We were able to get them out, fillet them, pack them and take some home. I still have a pack at home."
Most of the fishing that Zubov did was on a fly rod while the kids mainly stuck with the spinning rods.
"The guides we had were very good," said Zubov. "One of the guys had grown up with it, as his dad was a guide in that same area so he knew what he was doing. They were good people and treated us well. We had fun. Those guys work hard for four months and then simply survive until the next season." Overall, it was the trip of a lifetime for Zubov and probably would be for any person interested in the outdoors.
"If you are looking for a drifting trip, I would recommend it," said Zubov. "I'm sure there are a lot of other places you can fish in Alaska but if you are looking for a real time and a real trip, that is the way to go."
More information about KingFisher's Perch can be accessed through their website: www.alaskakings.com