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Thread: Alaskan Salmonidae Heaven.....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    196

    Default Alaskan Salmonidae Heaven.....

    Recently returned from my annual “working” trip to Alaska. Was up there for a month and managed to get in 4 weekends of fishing. Flew up on a Saturday, I think the 22nd of July, and immediately cruised down to my favorite Quartz Creek. Surprisingly there wasn’t a sockeye to be found in the water, therefore no dollies were around either…..late run as normally they are here by now. Didn’t even break out a rod but I did spot someone off one of the lakes who managed to reel in a big one…..





    Very picturesque spot to do her “fishing”….I hope he realizes what he’s getting into. So I actually had to work a week before getting to fish. The following Friday found me fishing Willow Creek as the kings were spitting out eggs and the rainbows were porking out:



    It was a funny trip as my first catch was a jack king…..the little buggers fight well but in all my years I had never caught one on this stretch of water.



    It didn’t stop there as during the course of the day I caught a total of 11 jacks……really weird as no one else caught one. Anyway it was soon after I starting getting into some decent rainbows



    Mike and I even doubled up at one time:



    This fish was gorgeous and was then put back in to swim away:





    At one point I inadvertently hooked a king…..nice fangs on these guys when they are getting into spawning mood:



    This guy decided to follow us for awhile…..good time of the year for seeing juvenile bald eagles:



    Most of the rainbows were not that big but there was plenty of them:



    All told caught somewhere over 40 fish on the day….really good for this stretch of water.

    Headed back to my friends’ house, collapsed onto my bed and got up early on Saturday morning to head for Quartz and see if the salmon had showed up with the dollies in tow. Its always a touchy situation about how early in the morning to head up the trail on Quartz as the bears are on the prowl during the short night. When by myself I am always talking loud, singing and making weird noises to let the bears know I am around (and to confirm to “normal” humans I am clearly insane).



    The sockeye were in the river in numbers and so were the dollies. This turned out to be THE ideal day to fish for this year. The reds were up but they were not laying eggs yet….the dollies were thin looking for food and they just ate up my bead. For the first time I was able to go up a size to an 8mm bead and still get the fish to whack it. The first dolly came on fast:



    The dollies were pretty fast and furious in numbers……great looking back spots on this guy:



    I didn’t end up taking lots of pictures and the dollies were skinny and there weren’t any over 16 to 17 inches and I just wanted to enjoy the day without constantly pulling out the camera. There a few dollies that were getting some “color” on their bodies but not many:



    Finally caught one in the 18-19 inch range but he kept arching up and giving me “the fin”:



    I was up to about 40 dollies before the first rainbow decided to show up:



    Being an avowed fishing addict (yes, I freely admit my addiction and my resolve to not seek interdiction for it) I just kept on slinging the flyrod for about 10+ hours without a break….I know, crazy man (didn’t eat or stop for a drink either…..a true addict). This was one of my last fish and was near 20 inches. All told it was a 74 fish day……a new record number for me on Quartz…..too much fun. Great thing was no one was fishing the same stretch with me (except for a black bear).



    Had to stop at one of the lodges for dinner on my way home…..I’m sure all the guests enjoyed my rather gamey scent. Very fun.

    Brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Thooget of Humilityland
    Posts
    11,360

    Default

    Doc,

    Another exceptional report.

    It sure does good to see fisheries thriving.

  3. #3

    Default

    DocSpotty - Great pics and what a wonderful time you had up there! I'm dating myself, but way back in 1969, my dad took me up to Alaska to fish for my high school graduation gift. We fished several places on our 10 day trip, but the most memorable was staying and fishing in the Tichic-Woods River area. We stayed at the Golden Horn Lodge right on Lake Beverly I believe. We caught so many fish; 4 kinds of Pacific Salmon (no kings, too early), Rainbow Trout, Grayling up to 19 inches!, Northern Pike, Whitefish, and lots of Dolly Varden. On my last day fishing, the lodge owner's 16 year old son took just me and him by boat to his secret spot. He had a large pan full of fresh Sockeye Salmon eggs that he tossed by the handful out into the river. By doing that it made so many Rainbows, Graylings and Dolly Varden show up just like feeding time at a fish hatchery! Any red fly or lure would be grabbed. I'm sure this was highly illegal, but for me, an 18 year old kid, it was just fisherman's heaven. Even if that boy hadn't done that, Dad and I still caught so many large beautiful fish, especially the Rainbows. These fish are all wild, there's no stocked fish here! To this day, I don't enjoy fishing for the stocked trout here in southern California. Alaska spoiled me!

  4. #4

    Default

    Great read and photos as always Doc.
    If I can't be doing it, I'm glad you are. At least I get to see the photos.

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