Well I made it back from Alaska in one piece. First off, Alaska is unreal. Having lived in the west for over half my life, it was still like nothing I've ever seen. The mtns are so much bigger and the fishing was unbelievable. It was almost depressing having to come back to Bozeman which is a world class destination for most. Anyway, here are a couple photos/vids.
The Yakutat airport. This was an Air Force Installation back during WWII so it is a little unusual as most small towns in AK do not have an 8000' runway that can accommodate 737 jets. It was pretty convenient getting in and out of Yakutat. Oh and there were only 2 women on the flight up from Seattle.
Here is the fly shop. It is located in an old WWII hangar right next to the airport. This place oozes with character.
Our "cabin." Accommodations were mediocre at best. It is simply a fish camp, nothing more. When we got off the plane, one of the guys I was talking too suggested that we ask the lodge owner for a rental car with floorboards. I didn't really get it until later. Our rental was a 1989 Astrovan that was beat to ****....but it did have a trailer hitch.
The view from our cabin. This is the Wrangell-St Elias mtns and National Park. This park is larger than the country of Switzerland at 13.2 million acres. It is also the tallest Coastal mtn range in the world with peaks topping out at over 18,000' (which rises up from sea level.) We only had the view one day as it rained most of the time we were there. The pics certainly do not do it justice.
Now on to some fishing. This is the Situk River where we spent just about all of our time. This is a fish factory known for its Coho Salmon run (Silvers). A couple days before our arrival, they raised limits from 2 to 4 as there were so many fish in the river. The water was also at record high flows our whole time there due to large storms that had moved through right before our arrival. Made for some tough wading but good fishing. Oh and the Situk is also a world class Steelhead fishery.
Here is our boat. We had the option of getting a guide but I wanted to see if I could figure out how to catch these fish on my own first...which I did within about a half hour of being on the water. So I played guide for the whole trip.
We had our limit usually each day by 10 am. After we got our limit, we pinched barbs and started sport fishing.
My Dad is not the greatest fisherman on the river but even he slayed 'em. He said it was the best fishing he's ever had.
Hey mine's bigger:
One day we decided to wade fish. Still easy money:
Catching big fish on streamers. I was in heaven. I bet we caught 150 silvers during our trip.
The lodge processed all of our fish for us, which was awesome.
The finished product. 200 lbs of filets.
Here was one of the darkest ones we got. He still put up a good fight. It is amazing how powerful these fish are as well as athletic. They jumped, had good runs, and could take you into your backing easily if you let them out into the current.
The last day we were there, I snuck back out to the Situk for a solo session. This fish was actually a foul hooked humpy but I thought it was still worth sharing. Fortunately there were no bears around!
There is so much more about this trip that I simply can't detail in a thread. But this was definitely the best fishing trip I've ever had as well as the best xmas gift ever. And I have just scratched the surface with Alaska. While I may not be able to go back every year, every other year will probably happen. I already miss that place.