To the Editor,
I will miss Hank Pennington. I met Hank on my second trip to Kodiak from Miami, Florida, in 1987.
Through 2015, every year I would go up to Kodiak and fish for halibut and king salmon offshore using light and fly tackle and on the stream system for salmon and Dolly Varden. I would always make sure I would find Hank and Jan at their home or on the Olds River.
In 1992, Hank borrowed a Zodiak from his neighbor and fly fished for silver salmon in lake in Pasagshak. I could not wade because I wear a full leg brace from childhood Polio. I caught a large silver on an 8-pound fly tippet for a world record.
After Hank netted the fish, he said hand me your cane and subdued the fish using the cane! We put the fish on ice and went back to Hank’s house. The next morning we drove into Kodiak and weighed the fish on an official scale. It weighed 19 pounds, 9 ounces, and is still a record to this day.
Hank and Jan came down to Florida about 2 years later and I took them to Key West to fish in my boat. Hank and Jan caught amberjack, blackfin tunas and little tunneys on fly tackle. We had a blast. What great people and a credit to Kodiak and Alaska!
Give my love to Jan! Three years ago, I had Throat Cancer, (radiation, chemo and an operation) which is now in remission. I hope one day to get back to Kodiak. If not, thank goodness I have memories of Hank.