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A Very Colorful Season Part One;

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I could be fishing today but the early AM was more than chilly it was cold so I am home and will spend some quality time with my chainsaw later today. I put down a slew of trees last winter and it's time to cut and split them.

Now that I have shared that tid bit with you I'll get on with the entry here. Fall begins here in Alaska months ahead of some areas of the United States, we begin seeing telltale signs of things to come. Autumn actually begins with the return of the pacific Silver Salmon to the rivers of South Central AK. and the run continues on into November depending on which river and region you are fishing them at. I'm not done with the silvers and may be down the Kenai Peninsula hunting them this Friday. The Kenai River is one that receives a late run silver and so hope springs eternal with the salmon fisher in me. We found our way into the early fish all the way down in Valdez back in September and had a great couple days of fishing before they had moved on and out of the bay there. The trip to Valdez took almost 16 hours due to the fact that we parked and took a number of short hikes in order to take the pictures here.

This is the Matanuska River and I spent way too much time but not nearly enough at the chore of walking along the channel to take in the landscapes you got from water level.

After returning to the truck and getting on with the trip it wasn't long before I was looking for a place to park again. A quick walk revealed a trail that traverses the rim of this whole river gorge and I was sidetracked. I do not know the name of that creek that has built a substantial berm as it bored its way into the main stem of the river but I'll bet it is full of Grayling. This is truly a case of 'so many creeks & rivers, so little time', it would take the rest of my life to reach just the ones I've seen and not fished in yet.

These are just some more views from the same walk.

Back to the truck and back on the way........but then there's the Matanuska Glacier that gives birth to the river bearing its name.

After another photo sortie, I knew I had to put on some miles or we would never reach the destination, fishing for salmon wasn't it.........? But alas the Richardson Highway offered more vistas that were going to lure me away from the road before I would reach Valdez. I have always had a problem with just pulling over and taking a picture. Always I wanted my picture to be different that the other million that had been taken of the same place so sometimes a power hike otherwise known as jogging is necessary to get the job done. This small glacier can be seen from the highway and a quick 15 minutes will get you a much better look at it.
One more stop for a waterfall and I could make Valdez before 10:PM, we left at 7:00 Am that morning.

After a chilly night in the emergency tent, (also known as the bed of the truck), we were able to find a place to pitch the tent on a knoll overlooking the Valdez Harbor of Prince William Sound and then we got to the fishing part of the trip. This was to be the trip that finished the salmon supply for the long winter. With a good number of Kings and Sockeye taken this year all that was needed were some silvers to round out the menu choices until next spring.

This was still water fishing at its best for salmon, don't be misled by all the fish because it was Nancy who had helped fill the stringer and the freezer on this trip. She caught her fish using a Vibrex Spinner and I used a fly with no name that looked like it should catch fish and it did. The area down there is referred to as a Terminal Harvest Zone and the limit is six fish daily per angler in the salt water bay. The fish took the fly either on a few short strips or when I was sweeping the rod up to set up another cast. This was a situation where you could release hens and keep males because there were plenty of fish in the water in front of you. The fishing is very tide dependent and we had a window of about 6 hours in which the fishing was good each day.

By now you know that there is a limit to how many words and pictures will fit into a blog entry here. This is why these become multiple part stories and now it's time to go on down the thread to part 2


  1. mcnerney's Avatar
    Ard: Those landscape photos of the Matanuska River and valley are just awesome looking and the silvers look great also! Thanks for taking the time to write this blog!

  2. Ard's Avatar
    Hi Larry,

    Like I said I had a hard time staying focused on the real destination, it was one beautiful trip.
  3. Noiso's Avatar
    What more is there to say. Stunning photos.
  4. dmwphoto's Avatar
    good stuff. So many things to see and do. Off to see if there is a part 2. Love the images.
  5. Ard's Avatar
    Thank you all, and Dave, there are 5 parts to the fall color show.................. It was a good fall season.