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Found out today from Alaska’s News Source – KTUU, that Fish & Game believe they’ve rid Cheney Lake of pike and are planning to restock the lake with rainbow trout.

ktuu.com

ktuu.com

Can’t wait to relive the good ol’ days. Brother is coming up in July.

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In the latest Alaska Fly Fishing Goods newsletter, Mark Hieronymus cracks open the mind of George Cook.

Well ok, here we go…I got a month and a river, and I’ll describe the scenario to you and you can fill in the blanks. Mid-July on the Kanektok river, bright kings are holding, you’ve got the perfect run, and you’ve got it all to yourself. What is your tackle set-up as far as rod, reel line, and three flies?

Three flies, the flies are easy. We’ll start that one in reverse…for kings, there’s a fly from Solitude Fly Co. called the Jumbo Critter which is an Intruder-style fly, and I think when you are in the tidewater regions of these rivers, you can’t go wrong with chartreuse, chartreuse and blue, or black and blue, so if you gave me a chartreuse Jumbo Critter Intruder-style fly, a chartreuse-blue , and a black-blue , I’m set. Gimme 6 of each and turn me loose for the week. In terms of a setup, I’d probably want two different spey rods, one kinda smaller one and one sort of big one. The smaller one would be a Sage 8129-4, a 12-foot, 9-inch 8-weight – don’t be fooled by the 8-weight designation, as it’s a really powerful 8-weight and it makes for a nice, comfortable rod to cast, and often times in the wind, the smaller rod is more effective. If we got some wide-open stuff that we really wanna bomb ’em out on, could be the Kanektok, could be a Nushagak-type situation, a 10150, a 15-foot 10-weight, both these rods set up with [Rio] Skagit lines, cheaters where appropriate, particularly on the 15-footer. Generally for kings you’re fishing t-14 or the new t-17 – these are sink-tips that sink at 9 and 10 inches per second [respectively]. You can custom-cut ’em, I suppose my favorite length for that setup is 13 feet, but you should certainly have yourself some 11-footers, and 15-footers, you’ll end up fishing them all, but if you had to just pick one, a 13-foot chunk of t-14 is gonna get down into the living room and get some work done, Mark.

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For the past few months I’ve been following “The Bucket – monthly diatribe from a two-handed, fly rod junkie” by Jeff Mishler in Salmon Trout Steelheader. For someone like me just starting out it’s been helpful to say the least. For the past two years I’ve been scouring all forms of media to learn as much as I can. Nothing can take the place of river time but when opportunities are few and far between you immerse yourself in the knowledge and experience of others.

For now I’ve settled on Skagit Casting because it’s what makes sense where I live and the fish I pursue. This month, Mishler writes about fishing with Ed Ward.

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Salmon Trout Steelheader, January 2009 - amatobooks.com

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Salmon Trout Steelheader, January 2009 - amatobooks.com

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alyeskaresort.com

Now that I’ve officially ended the fishing season, it’s time to switch gears. Good thing too cause I need something to keep my mind off that last trip. I’m not sure exactly why it’s gnawing at me so much. It’s been nearly a month.

Maybe it’s because I know the winter season is underway in the PNW and if I was just given another shot I could make magic happen. Maybe it’s because everywhere I turn there’s mention of steelhead this and steelhead that. Maybe it’s because I would rather be making casts and taking steps than anything else right now.

Just picked up the latest copy of Salmon Trout Steelheader and finished reading Mishler’s latest nuggets of wisdom. I caught his first installment of “The Bucket” a month ago. Both good pieces and what I get out of them is that everything has a purpose and the only way your going to get better is to put in the time to do so.

Interesting enough, Mishler has another piece in Fly Rod & Reel discussing his take on fly design [Fly Philosophy].

“That the steelhead decided to eat a waking brick, well….

Which just proves any pattern will catch a steelhead in the right conditions, that being the rare time when for no apparent reason a fish is so aggressive that it would attack a dog turd on a rope.”

A dog turd huh?

I can’t tell you how badly I want another cast. I feel a bit envious of all those fishers in the PNW that get to wake up tomorrow with a real shot at hooking into a winter steelhead. Alaska is a fine place to live and fish but it comes with some distinct disadvantages this time of year.

At any rate…it is full blown winter here and shaping up to be a good sliding season. So far this season the local sledding hill has received 270″ of snowfall!!!! Average snow depth at the bottom is 52″!!!!

Brother is due in town soon. I gotta remember to take it easy. Don’t want to make it any tougher for myself. Bright side is that March really isn’t that far away.

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