Alaska Trip Report September 2011

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Thread: Alaska Trip Report September 2011

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    Default Alaska Trip Report September 2011

    Hey folks, just figured I would throw together a quick report about my 3 week trip through Alaska this september to share with you all.

    I started off on the Kenai Penn and was bombarded by rains and heavy winds, I even had to saw my way out of camp one morning as some large spruce had fallen across the road. A little bit too exciting and a soggy, difficult way to start a road trip.

    I fished Ptarmigan Creek one day between storms and found some nice dolly's like this one they were feeding on eggs and ver selective due to the high pressure in the area:



    Goregeous little high gradient creek, really enjoyed my time there:



    I also spent some time hiking around Stewart and Exit Glacier, A very cool area:





    Next I moved on to the famed Kenai and Russian Rivers I found them to be awfull crowded but very nice. I caught some nice fish and had some cool bear viewing experiences:









    Part 2 will be on the Ancor River and Homer area when I have a minute to throw it together!

    Tight loops,
    Pat

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    Contributing Member crazy_fishcreature's Avatar
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    nice pics. looks like some great scenery up there.

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    Was that a huckleberry poop?

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    Wow. Looks like a great trip. Awesome photos. Thanks for sharing. Where are the bells and whistles in that poop pile.

    Cheers,
    Sculpin
    "I'm not talkin bout pleasure boatin or day sailin
    I'm talkin bout workin for a livin". - Captain Quint

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    Sorry for the long delay in producing part 2, but here it is.


    After leaving the crowds associated with the Kenai and Russian rivers I was looking forward to a little bit more solitude. I headed south towards Homer Alaska, a beautiful little port town where I would eventually catch my boat over to Kodiak Island.





    I had heard rumours of a steelhead stream about half an hour north of Homer and decided to make it my first stop. I have always been a fan of fall steelhead and the chance to fish for them in a mixed stock fishery with ocean bright coho was way too much to pass up.


    My first day on the river was one of exploration and not a lot of success, it seemed that all of the local flea flickers wanted to fish beads and bobbers. These guys swore it was the only way to catch steelhead in the area. The water was a bit skinny and pockety so I figured it might be tough to swing anyways and gave it a try.


    I am not a big fan of bead and bobber work and quickly grew board as I moved down stream, it just seemed to be wrong. Steelhead need to be swung for. I saw a good looking log and decided it was time to think things over.





    After finishing this thought and maybe one more I decided it was time to walk back to camp and get onto the vise to whip up some good swing/strip patterns that I know work very well in mixed stock coho/steel fisheries.





    The top two are the best, enough flash and blue to piss off any coho and enough purple to get noticed by most steelhead as well. Armed with a few new flies and with a belly full of dinner I walked downstream from camp to see what I could find.


    I was very please to see that the river was widening up a bit and more pools were starting to appear, good swinging water and I couldn't help but smile as my confidence rose just a little. I started working my way through a nice big run using a swing/strip combo that I know both steelhead and coho like. As I neared the tailout the light was starting to fail and "last light" my favourite time of the day was quickly approaching.


    There was a beautiful looking stump in the water on the far bank of the tail out, just perfect water for coho I was thinking. Deep and slow with lots of wood for cover, right on cue a little chromer broke the surface downstream from the wood. I tossed a cast out and missed the mark so I stripped back in quickly. My second cast was right on the money and two strips was all it took to get a good grab. I set up on the nice chrome coho and my old brownie 7wt RPL bent double. A few nice leaps and a couple little runs that made my old 1530 growl and the battle was over. I slipped the nice 6-7 pond coho into the shallows for a quick photo.





    I fished for the last hour of day light catching gorgeous coho every few minutes. There seemed to be quite a few in the tail out and it turned out to be quite a lot of fun. A couple of anglers from two pools down noticed the commotion and stopped to chat on their way back to camp. The one fellow was a Scott on a fishing vacation and seemed to be very interested in the single handed spey casts I was tossing out. I told him about a few different lines that work very well for it and he told me all about growing up on the banks of the River Spey.

    His friend walked up and joined the conversation, it seemed they had been told by the locals that the only way to catch steelhead was with beads and bobbers. I assured them that you could catch steelhead on swung flies, as a matter of fact we do it all the time. I told them about my swing/strip technique and showed them the fly they needed to tie up. The late arriving friend looked at me in disgust and said "thats fine but I am here to catch steelhead, not coho!" I raised my eyebrow and said "Ok whatever floats your boat." The Scott laughed as his friend walked away with his bead and bobber rig and said "hey mate I am happy to catch anything, can I have one of those flies?" I decided to trade him one for a beer.


    As I walked back to camp in the near dark drinking my free beer I could not help but smile, what a blast and tomorrow should be even better! Time to tie some more flies, sip some more beers and get some sleep.
    Last edited by Pat AV; 01-27-2012 at 12:11 PM.

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    We have fished many of your spots, in Alaska, excellent . One question, when you left the glacier did you take a short cut thru the timber rather than the main path ? We did, and the mesquitos were so bad we ran the next mile or so to get to the truck. Most bugs ever in my life. Beautiful country, fishing and great experience.

    Thanks for your report. Salt.

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    Awesome Pat as always...Great read and pics...very nice. Thanks for sharing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by South Texas Salt View Post
    One question, when you left the glacier did you take a short cut thru the timber rather than the main path ? We did, and the mesquitos were so bad we ran the next mile or so to get to the truck.
    It was September so the bugs were a non issue, take your pick up north if the weather is good there will be bugs.

    Thanks for the nice comments guys.
    Last edited by Pat AV; 02-01-2012 at 01:15 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat AV View Post
    sip some more beers and get some sleep.

    When you end it like that..... Is there a part #3??

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    That last Coho pic is a thing of beauty....lovely shot that I stared at for several minutes.
    Anything to bend the rod

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