Friday, September 13, 2013

The last week of Aug in Alaska again...

A group of friends and I spent the last week of August at Alaska West again this year - and there are many reasons to consider the long journey.  Simply put, Alaska has always been and continues to be one of the best fishing venues on earth and Alaska West and their guides and staff make your stay special!

Thanks to team ChiFly - Ron, Mac, Andy, Gerry, Jimmy and Matt          

The tent camp operation of Alaska West sits on the banks of the Kanektok River.  It's a small to mid size river, about as far as one can go west and still be in Alaska.  The pea size gravel bottom makes this a very easy wading river, and provides ideal spawning habitat for all kinds of critters.  The river drains into the Bering Sea, and is home to some of the better salmon runs found anywhere.  In August, tons (both literally and figuratively) of silver salmon enter to spawn and provide the fly fisher some incredible opportunities.

In addition to silvers, there are rainbow, dolly varden, char and greyling to be found in good numbers.  We caught hundreds of salmon that had entered the river literally hours earlier - wearing sea lice, sometimes battle scars from seal encounters, and a vitality that makes them about as much fun as one can have on a fly rod!  The dollies and or char seemed unusually large and fiesty, and the bows were as colored up and wild as I have ever seen.

It's an awesome place - and if you ever want to try it - let us know and we can make it happen!

Enjoy a few pictures as they always do a better job of showing you what it's really like

Matt poses for his new LinkedIn Cover shot

One of the bigger dollies or char that I have ever caught

These are called sea lice - and indicate that the silvers are recently arrived from salt water

Like I mentioned the dollies were plentiful and sported some gorgeous colors.  
Ron above and Gerry below show off a couple of beauties.

Mac poses with a fine bow!

Alaska West attracts a fair number of "industry folk" - It was great to see Steve Kuieck (above) , owner of the Muskegon River Lodge and guide  from said lodge as well as Oliver White, owner/operator of the Abaco Lodge and Bair's Lodge in the Bahamas. Guess he needed to get away from the perfect weather....

  Oliver pulled this beautifully colored up bow out of a tiny back braid in an 
impossibly snaggy spot - that was way cool to watch!

That's the way to hold a bow Ron!!

 Mac stayed dry and toasty - partially due to his Simms GorTex ExStream Hat which is totally waterproof and really warm and his new
 Simms Slick Jacket which he swears is his favorite ever (he owns dozens - a bit of a gear hound - so that endorsement actually means something to me).  In all seriousness - Alaska can be wet and cold and sometimes its really wet and really cold.  I was personally a lot happier this year because I brought and wore the right stuff. 

"doubles" galore on this trip! First with streamer caught bows and a few minutes later Matt and I got into the dollies with the same streamers!  Both of his fish were bigger.....

In addition to "popping" in pictures - This Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody is a 
life saver in cold / wet conditions and an awesome layering piece!  
The Simms Guide Windstopper Jacket is one of the best soft shell jackets that I have 
ever worn - and both are on sale right now.  Just saying......


The sun set on another awesome journey - thanks again to the staff of Alaska West and to my travel companions that added hugely to a wonderful week!