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ak allen

It's been 10 days....

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It's been 10 days since I had surgery to biopsy 2 masses, and repair a hernia. I hadn't got out fishing at all this year do to work, and waiting for everything to thaw out. So tonight I had to give it a shot.

I went down to the slough (pronounced "slew") anywhere else it would be called a "creek" or "river" but not in Alaska! It's the closest possibility for wetting a line for me. Normally this area is crowded with dads teaching their kids to fish, and those afraid to venture away from civilization. But for whatever reason tonight it was empty aside from a pair of teens that were out fishing in a kayak and made a stop at the gas station across the slough. They quickly made their way off and downstream. I had the wife and daughter with me, so I knew time would be short.

Badger slough is known for feisty grayling albeit small. I set up my rod, tied on a #18 mosquito, and let it rip. That was when the troubles began.

In my defense, I have not even picked up my rod in about 6 months, winter is a long drawn out affair in the interior of Alaska. And with the work schedule I have had with the Army I have nothing but excuses.

So, I send out the first cast it makes it to my target area, barely, as it balled up from my horribly rusty, and embarrassing form. Knowing this wouldn't do, I pick it up and try again. Boom snagged a tree to the right, rear of me. I looked back at it and chuckled thinking that I should have thought about that a bit earlier. As I am fishing my line out of the tree I am constantly being harassed by a couple of grayling busting surface in the loudest possible manner to grab a bite to eat. After getting that mess undone, I finally make a decent enough cast into the target area make a decent drift through the feeding area only to watch fish surface and eat everything within 18" of my fly. So I try a few more times, missed 1 hook set while talking to my daughter and managed to snag that same tree twice more. Relaxing evening so far.

After the third time in the tree I decide my casting skills aren't up to par just yet. So my ego, tired of the abuse convinces me to move upstream a bit to get away from the fly hungry tree. I move up next to the tunnel that routes the slough under the road, pull out some line and start roll casting into the heavy current allowing the water to make up for my casting woes for a while. Second cast and my mosquito wandered right onto the dinner plate of a 5" grayling.

Another 20 minutes and 3 more grayling find my tactics tempting enough to play along. All in all I was out maybe 40 minutes, and managed to catch 4 grayling. Along with the 5 incher, there was 2 eight inchers, and an 11 incher! The recovering wounds didn't scream at me to much, and my daughter got to play in the playground for a bit. My pride was beat up pretty good, as my casting felt like a folded up lawn chair. I'll work that out in the yard the next few days. Hopefully I'll get up the Chena river in the next couple days for something a little more serious. For now time to practice that cast!


  1. Ard's Avatar

    lesson learned, now for some food for thought. What you were doing is good - roll casting into that current. Now think along the lines of a medium size streamer, maybe a size 6 with a crimped barb. Where there are small fish there are larger ones. Grayling are gregarious in their nature and there are always some larger ones in the pack. The swung wet fly may reveal the lurkers who aren't scooping the surface flies.

  2. milt spawn's Avatar
    Rust never sleeps! milt.
  3. Davo's Avatar

    Congrats on the recovery and for finally being able to wet some line. Though I believe our winter is a bit shorter than yours I still end up spending the first few floats working the kinks out of my casting. All in all it sounds like a good day for you and the little one!!

    On a side note welcome to the blogs!! Looking forward to your future posts!!

  4. ak allen's Avatar
    Thanks, I wasn't sure if people would even read this. I just like to tell my little stories.
  5. Davo's Avatar

    It has taken a couple of years but the blogs are growing in attendance. Just goes to show that the members here like reading about the fishing adventures of others!! Keep em coming!!
  6. ak allen's Avatar
    Will do, I think it adds a neat flavor to a regular forum! Plus it's nice having a place to babble about anything I want!