With all the hot weather in Southwest Missouri this summer, many people fantasize about getting away to cooler temperatures.

With all the hot weather in Southwest Missouri this summer, many people fantasize about getting away to cooler temperatures.
Three men from Neosho not only thought about getting away, but they boarded a northbound plane and found cooler temperatures along the Yukon River in Alaska. But cool weather was not their only goal, these men were also seeking some big fish in these northern waters.
Bill Sims, David Sims, and Dr. Doug Burch spent an exciting 5 plus days on the Yukon River. Along with former Neosho resident, Brian Butler, and two other friends who joined them, they caught some very impressive Northern Pike. David Sims caught the biggest fish which measured over 50 inches long.
Dr. Burch has hunted in Alaska several times but this was his first fishing adventure there. He has fished in Canada many times, in several big lakes in Minnesota, and even on the Amazon River in South America, but says this may be the best fishing trip he has ever taken.
The men fished in a remote section of the state where they slept on a house boat moored to shore and then guides took them in smaller boats out to fish. The area was very isolated. Burch said they never saw anyone else fishing, and he only saw two other boats which he noticed were carrying some native people.
"They were going somewhere and maybe it was to fish. We didn't speak so I don't know what they were doing or where they were going," Burch said. "But those were the only other boats or people we saw."
The group did see plenty of good scenery and wildlife. They saw moose every day and lots of bald eagles.
The last day was quite a day for Bill and David. They caught about 25 trophy pike and a trophy is one that measures at least 40 inches. That was the day that David caught his big fish which got him and everyone excited.
Bill said that the weather was very good with day time temperatures in the 60s and in the 40s at night. "It rained every day but just a small amount but enough to have to wear slickers," he said.
The isolation also struck Bill. "It was very isolated. When we fished on the Amazon it was not nearly as remote as this. At least there we saw people and boats."
Besides the excitement of the fishing, Dr. Burch had more excitement on the trip home. He boarded a plane in Anchorage at 10 p.m., headed for Chicago. He had just settled into his seat, hoping to get some sleep when he heard the pilot asking if there was a doctor on board, Arousing himself, he went to the back of the plane where a middle-aged man was sick. Two registered nurses also answered the call, so the three teamed up and took the man's vitals, talked with him and determined he was dehydrated and exhausted.
The flight attendants moved some passengers around and got the patient adjoining seats  so he could lie down.
Expecting to check on the man later, Burch settled in to sleep. But he had just gone to sleep when the pilot announced, "We need the medical team again."
The second patient was a young man who exhibited the same symptoms as the first man.
"I didn't get much sleep," he said.