the biggest mistake about fly fishing, is that its just about fish

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Arrival

well the sockeye got here friday. so friday started off with a mass murder of fish. not something i really enjoy but its all part of the gig.

this week was a lot of fun, had some really great clients from all over the place. the fishing is really starting to pick up around here. the kings are starting their push up the nush and its tributaries, the bows are waking up, and the sockeye are making their conga line up the wood.

fun fishing day was fun.... john and i went over to the wok, and coby and rob decided to head over to one of our salmon trib streams. we got up to the wok and headed up top, and swung flies at anchor. smacked em dead. got some really nice bows on the switch, and john had "the" fly for grayling, and got a good bunch from 16" to around 20." while i was swingin for bows i tied into a sockeye, and while im not the biggest fan of killing fish, i am slightly tired of leftover enchiladas. he was delicious.....

this next week is gonna be pretty crazy. we have 14 clients. all of which dont fly fish. and alll they want to do is get limits of sockeye. awesome.....


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Guide Hands"

A few years ago i saw a pretty interesting photo essay in one of the fly fishing magazines called "guide hands." at the time i didn't really know the point, as all it contained was pictures of guides hands, from shots of hands on wood push-poles, to hand on oars and also a few on fly rods.

Now i really know what the deal is. we are only in to the season two weeks and i'm getting "the guide hands." its funny how my mitts being constantly wet, covered in fish goo and pulling on the oars all day is slowly turning them into leather. little by little the corners of my fingers are splitting, and the line slices around my pinky and forefinger and just getting deeper and deeper. i don't mind. it seems to me like the guide hands aren't something that you can get. you have to earn them.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First Fun-fishing Day

The Week Flew By!

The first week of real work went great. We had an awesome group of clients from all over, and we all enjoyed our time on the water. This week we were blessed with dang near perfect conditions all week, with low temps and rain only intermittently. Everyone caught some fish, some bigger then others, on of our clients first fish of the first day, was a 29" arctic char that was between 8 and 10 pounds, a true trophy fish. The char around here don't get much bigger then that. No matter how much fun we have all week with the clients, theres always one day we look forward to, and thats saturday. We get to fish for ourselves. After change-out chores are done and the crew is all done with packing groceries and other stuff like that up the hill we get to go out.

This was my best fish of the day, and honestly its below average on the size side of things, but man do these char pull hard. This was also my buddy Coby's first time ever fishing with a fly rod, and he landed a bunch of bruisers. We weren't planning on fishing the char spot for long, but after a few drifts of the river and realizing it was pretty dead, we decided to focus on the char spot. Once we got down there we realized we only had one rod and reel set up with a heavy enough sink tip to get the job done, but a light went off in my head and i took out my MOW tips, and attached the 12ft section of t-11 to my loop on the fly line, and the 10ft section of t-11 to the 12ft piece. We were in business.

These guys are deceptively powerful for their size, i would say that they are probably pound for pound one of the harder fighting fish out here. They grab with authority and take your line like you owe them money. Just a great fish to target with a fly rod.

It was nice to get back out fun fishing, its definitely refreshing to get to fish for myself after a week of doing the dirty work. We stayed out until around 9:00 and then made the journey across the lake back to the lodge. Its pretty rare to enjoy the trip across the lake in one of the sleds, as its normally pretty rough, but we were greeted by glass calm water and a smooth cruise back to the lodge. One interesting thing we saw was what looked a big V moving over the surface, and i had a suspicion of what it was. Mike had a trip down to the Muklung river that some day and saw them too. Sockeye. They are here.

Well week 2's clients get here in a few hours, so its going to be back to work for another 6 days until its fun-fishing time again. Its a tough job, but i guess someone has to do it.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Training Day #1

Learned a ton today

Today was our first day on the water since i got to the lodge. The first few days are never all that fun, camp work can get tedious and tiring. Doing stuff like unloading over 3500 pounds of freight can get to ya after a while. Today was awesome. Got to sleep in a little bit which was great and started the day with a great breakfast made by the girls.

Got the boats loaded and then blasted up the lake. Its such a beautiful place, it seems too good to be true at times that I get paid to come up here and experience this. The run up the lake from the lodge in our little sleds takes about 45 minutes, and driving the sleds is alot of fun.

Thats my buddy rob at the helm of his sled, the water is about as glassy as it gets, the weather today was great with no wind and only a few showers. We rolled into one of the spots we put the boats when the water is lower, and were greeted by a porcupine that we startled and he scrambled up a tree. Pretty cool critter.

Ill have some more pics as time goes on, hopefully some more fish.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting Settled In

My New Home

Well im all settled in now. Got in last night with all the guys, and it was awesome to finally be here after waiting since last summer. I had a really good time in Anchorage and Ninilchik hanging out with my dad. Halibut fishing was definitely an experience. The weather was pretty good, and we got our fish. The tactics are way different, and the leader is a rope, and the weight is a 5lb chunk of metal. There is absolutely no finesse in halibut fishing. All you do is let her down and wait for a tap tap tap and start reeling, and then hopefully you have a fish on. The fishing was different, but the one on one time with my dad was really nice, its not that often that we get to hang out just us two.

Before we left for Dillingham my dad and the guys I work with went over to the Moose's Tooth, which is a legendary place in Anchorage, the pizza was huge and reallly good. After a great lunch we headed to the airport and went on our way.

This is what we call "the guide shack," and by alaskan bush standards its more of a mansion then a shack. Living in this building is rob, neil and myself. Its not huge, but it gets the group pretty tight knit and keeps us warm at night.

The bed in the corner is my little slice of heaven, and robs is sitting adjacent.

This is our gear area. Pretty much all of the gear is held in our room, and one of the many jobs we take on is to take care of all the tackle, stuff like flies, rods, reels and things like that. Having the recliners is definitely nice when we are up rigging gear or shooting the breeze.

This is the view out the window, pretty nice to wake up to the sun shining through this.

Today was all camp work, just getting ready for clients a week from today. Tomorrow we have around 3000lbs of freight coming in, so its not going to be the most fun of days. It gets a lot better though. We knocked out a ton of the tedious stuff today so the list is getting shorter, but there is always stuff to do.

Ill hopefully have some decent pictures up soon so stay tuned


Thursday, June 2, 2011


Im here!

Landed in anchorage at noon and now im just relaxing in my dads condo over looking the bay.

I love going places, but i really hate the actual traveling part of the equation. Something about forced close proximity to strangers doesn't sit well with me. The only part of the actual trip up in enjoyed was when the flight attendant announced there was a soldier who had just gotten a purple heart, and was on his way home from the field on board. The whole plane erupted in applause. I hope each and every soldier gets a homecoming like that!

Only a couple hours and ill be headed over to ninilchik to smack some halibut in the morning, a meat hunt every now and then is permissible.

Keep your eyes peeled for some pictures and words, there should be plenty