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Ard

The Traveling Ardster......

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With winter finally arriving in April I'm feeling the void really strong right now. I haven't been out on a river fishing since October of 2018 . The nearest I've come was a couple weeks back doing some casting instruction, imagine that 2 weeks ago the ice was gone and I had people learning to cast! Now there have been nightly snow storms with daily melt off's and a mix of high winds just to make things nice. So what are you gonna do? I started thinking of somewhere where maybe, just maybe I could go and it may not snow while I'm there.

When I start thinking of a long range trip I tend to focus on places I've been before. I do that even if the last trip there things didn't work out. It's been 5 years ago this November that I was outside Alaska to fish. That trip found me wandering around Oregon and while I was at it I found a place, a river that intrigued me greatly. Of course while I was there it rained, it rained a whole lot, kinda like flood rain if you know what I mean. I was fortunate to have been there while things were still on the rise and not in actual flood stage conditions so I was able to get a good feel for the river and surrounding terrain. I liked it. I didn't catch what I was after which were steelhead trout but everything about the river that I could take in told me that it's a place you need to know before you can unlock the safe. That's how it is here, I catch fish in places other people don't even try and that happens because I just knew there were some there but I was going to have to spend some time getting to know the river.

All the thought led to my putting together the foundation for a 2 week trip this coming fall. Could run longer but I have a few months to sort out the details and various destinations. The primary destination is straight back to the river that rose so much overnight that by day two I was feeling defeat. Day one was great, I didn't catch anything but I saw 2 of them which is all it really takes to make me want to live close to a river, knowing there are at least 2 fish there

This will give you an idea of why I want to return, it was great this day but 12 hours later it was about 1 1/2 foot higher and colored up pretty well.



I'll be taking some different rods this trip also, that one you see in the video clip is a 15 foot 7/8 weight and that upper water can be done with one of my shorter Hardy Swift rods. Looking at that water you probably get why I wanna go back huh?

I'm not planning on staying on that river for several weeks, I'm thinking 4 days minimum and by then I'll know whether or not I'm going to catch some or will have already. There are three rivers I want to fish in this trip but I intend to get to know the one in the video better. I believe this is going to become my annual trip.

I did the same thing years ago when I used to drive from Pennsylvania up to the South Shore of Lake Ontario and fish the tributaries there. I went to half a dozen places and was considering more destinations when I decided to try what they call the DSR. Back then it was a new enterprise and I think they charged $10.00 for a pass, maybe 15 I'm not sure, They gave you a Lift Ticket just like those used at ski resorts and you fished private water.

After doing that just once I decided that there was so pretty interesting waters on that stretch of river so I made it my destination over and over, year after year until I knew where to fish for what. I think it's the way I've always been; Slate Run, Spring Creek, Penn's Creek, Fishing Creek, you name it I became focused on each of those over the years, some may say obsessed. Whatever it was I could be found on those creeks like one of the boulders, always there.... It was how you got to know a place, the fishes and the character of the environment itself. Once you had it figured out you could shift your focus elsewhere for a while and thereby open up some more new territory and possible experiences.

SO that's what's up for the fall with me. I scoped out Western Alaska because there's some pretty darn good steelhead numbers out there yet but...... Here's the catch. The entire Alaska Peninsula is great fishing of that there is no argument. There are no roads, that's why it's great fishing. So if you want to go there for 2 weeks or longer there are 2 ways to get it done.

One is to contact a lodge, take a deep breath because the river I had in mind costs $7900.00 for 7 nights / 6 days fishing. Remember I want to spend at least 14 days fishing Of course that wouldn't include my airfare from Anchorage to King Salmon and back or gratuities so frankly I could never justify ten thousand for a weeks fishing.....

Option 2 is to be dropped off via Air Taxi along the river and set a camp. Yeah I could float it but if you've ever did long multiday floats there's considerable time spent setting and taking down camp each day. A permanent spike camp is a one time thing and if it rains you have a home to go to at days end, and it rains out there a lot.... The camp could be done for around $2800.00 with all the airfares involved to get there and back but you better be on a good stretch of river with walkable shorelines.

That's why Oregon appeals to me, a great road system and rivers galore to explore.
If there's a hidden message in this post that may be to keep returning to the same river or creek trip after trip until you really learn the ropes. I'm actually looking forward to this one and it appears I can fish several different rivers and stay at least 2 weeks in the 2800 dollar range and sleep in decent rooms every night at that

If you are thinking on a trip you might as well tell me where you're headed too.

Ard
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  1. ia_trouter's Avatar
    Enjoyed the video clip. That looks like some near impossible water to get a streamer down. Hope your fall trip is enjoyable.
  2. Ard's Avatar
    I'm meeting up with a friend who is coming over from Idaho and we're going to give it a good working over Dewayne