Posts Tagged ‘Alaska’

I’m a week into being plugged back into the “real” world. I have to tell you the transition has been rather difficult. Inundated with alerts, messages, ring tones, and other artificial things is causing my animal spirit to bury deep back into the hiding place it was before the trip. It’s been a struggle but not entirely unexpected.

Five days on the water with the cell phone quitting after river mile 0.13 enabled me to tap into something everyone has but probably never gets the opportunity to let breath. I was on river time with nothing but a beginning and an end to help guide me through the day. Never a wasted moment…everything…including the catnap…full of purpose.

It all started with a 4+ hour drive toward Canada with a strategic left at the end to keep us out of their backyard…eh. Add to that a pleasant midnight cruise across the lake and the trip was well underway.

Routine was simple. Breakdown camp…float to next camp…setup camp. Add a little sprinkling of food, beer, fishing, beer, napping, beer, ladder ball, beer, lounging, beer…you get the idea.

It’s hard to capture the entire 5 days in a post and frankly I don’t think I want to. I’m sure I’d lose most folks at about page 2 and a lot of it you “just had to be there”. So in a nutshell…

Covered 50+ river miles in 4 rafts with 13 dudes and caught enough grayling to last a lifetime. Lived in the moment and missed being home with the family. Ate good and slept good. Laughed a lot and smiled a lot. Lost a few things and found a few more. Shared a few things and learned a few things. Rested a little and fished a lot. Caught the big one and lost the big one. Got dirty and lived like a bear.

Good trip.


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Maple Leaf and I put a few hundred miles on my truck this past trip all for another chance to make magic happen. This was the third trip with Maple Leaf this year. He’s caught on to the program and has adapted well to the early morning wake up calls and driving in the dark through crappy ass weather. In short, he’s made “The List”.

By mid-October you have to cover a lot of ground if you want to pick up just one more fish before you shut it down for the year. About 9 hours of usable daylight is all you have to work with and you use every bit of it. When you’re out there you have to believe that the next cast is going to be the one.  It’s the fuel that keeps you out on the water, hiking the trails, wading the waters, and making the casts.

Sometimes 9 hours turns into a long hike and plenty of casting practice. That’s okay. It’s part of the experience. Sometimes everything falls into place and persistence pays off.

Maple Leaf told me before the trip he was quitting everything else and focusing just on fishing. I think this last trip just took him over the edge. He went 2 for 3 on this trip and I helped him land the biggest of the day.

Turns out Maple Leaf is great behind the lens. Me on the other…not so good.

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Putting the Z-Axis switch to work. This little guy was enticed by a homemade sculpin pattern on the 6110. Skagit short 375 and 8 feet of T-8 were the ticket.

That 6110 has some meat down low. I’m thinking it could easily handle a bit more. I got caught up in one spot where the branches of every tree were in the way. In that case 20 feet of skagit head seemed a bit much. A chopped up 17 footer or so in the upper 300’s or low 400’s might just be the ticket. Who knows maybe shorter and heavier.

Time to check the classified section of the forums and see what I can dig up.

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Twelve hours when you sit back and think about it seems like a long time. On the water those 12 hours just don’t seem to be enough.

4:20 AM

4:24 AM

4:34 AM

6:14 AM

7:19 AM

8:30 AM

9:06 AM

10:39 AM

12:52 PM

1:02 PM

2:20 PM

2:21 PM

3:07 PM

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Picked this up used just recently. A lot of good press on this stick. Folks say it is more an 8 than a 7. I’m hoping that is the case. I got a 600 compact skagit that hasn’t gotten a lot of airtime. I’m thinking it will handle it just fine.

The plan is to string this up for kings. I know it isn’t the “right” stick to go after kings but I figure I won’t feel so bad if this thing explodes on me if and when I get lucky enough to tie into one. I suppose I could have picked up a 9wt. Another time perhaps. For now the 7130 fits nicely. A good backup for my primary 7wt and a loaner for my brother when he visits.

The water I plan to fish isn’t all that big and the fish aren’t HUGE. The big kings are tough no matter what weight rod you are using. I’ve caught a few on the ol’ singlehanders…8wts, 9wts, and 10wts. Exploded a 9wt trying to keep a king from turning back into the current. Should be fun.

The VT2 7130 seems like it has some meat down low. No sense worrying about it now…I’ll just figure out what to do when the time comes.

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