THE SALTY LIFE OF MIKE AND NELLY HAND
Welcome to the adventurous life of Mike and Nelly, the inspiring fishermen behind Drifters Fish. They spend their Summers fishing in Alaska, and the rest of the year in the Pacific Northwest; pretty salty, and also very sweet, if you ask me! Their fun-loving and laid back personalities hide the fact that this dynamic duo works extremely hard to make this lifestyle a reality, and we appreciate them for so many reasons. They are very involved in fish conservation as well, and are some of the best people around. They sell shares of their fresh-caught Salmon, jars of smoked salmon, etc. on their website. I recently had the pleasure of catching up with Nelly, to discuss the role of food and outdoor adventures in their awesome lives:
1. What is the role of good food in your life?
Good food is a part of our everyday. It’s a big part of spending time together just the two of us or filling our house full of friends. I love choosing ingredients that inspire me and having a freezer and pantry stocked with items carefully harvested and collected. Foraging for wild food is one of my favorite activities and making good food with what I’ve found is so gratifying.
2. How do your outdoor adventures keep you inspired?
Outdoor adventures are super important to us. They bring fresh air and moments of being in the wild that keep us grounded and inspired. It’s always rejuvenating to get out for a hike or a walk in the woods exploring for wild mushrooms. Our life has fishermen runs at a pace that is sometimes hard to keep up with and taking time for outdoor adventures fuels us.
3. What is your favorite meal to eat in the outdoors?
I love a good fillet of salmon cooked over a campfire, smoky and slow roasted. The flavor of food cooked over a campfire is delicious.
4. Please tell me a brief history of your background, and what has brought you to where you are today in your life?
I was born and raised in Alaska. My family spent summers fishing out of Cordova in southcentral Alaska and winters in Santa Cruz, California. I met Michael one summer when he was up in Alaska working for his cousin. We connected over our love for adventure and working on the water. We’ve made a home together in the Pacific Northwest where we live in the winter and continue to spend summer in Alaska fishing on our boat.
5. Anything else interesting that you would like for me to share? Story, weird habit, pun, etc?
It’s been so fun learning new wild foods to eat and every season we try to explore new foods to be found in the woods or in the water. Last spring we collected all kinds of seaweed and dried it, grilled it, and ate it right out of the water. Such a delicious treat. There’s so much to learn in foraging for wild ingredients and it’s great to learn from experienced friends and good workshops that are out there.
*All photos by the talented Camerin Dengel.