Great Alaska Fishin’ Expedition 2010

So there we were, 500 feet above the Tanana River Flats on the way to a lake for a weekend of fun with rainbows.  Safely ensconced in Rick Gold’s De Havilland Beaver with Pratt & Whitney’s finest happily droning along  out in front, I was looking forward to a great couple days with my brother and his oldest, Justin.  The fellas were up from the hustle of southern Oregon for the weekend.  It was Justin’s first trip up and my bro’s third or fourth.  I try to get out to this lake at least once a year with Rick ( and have never been disappointed.  

Crowded into the Beaver with us were three other guys going to the same lake.  From what they packed you’d think they were going into the boonies for a year.  I’m not sure how we did it, but we got everything we needed for the weekend for three guys into one bag of dry goods, one cooler of  essentials for lakeside dining, our gear bag and rod tube, and a case of carbonated adult malt beverages.  These other guys had enough stuff to outfit a team of Sherpas and then some.  Thank God the Beaver’s a strong airplane…

Anyway, we get to the lake, get our gear downloaded from Rick’s trusty steed, haul it up the hill to the cabin, and set up shop.  Rick’s off with a roar, a trail of water from the floats, and then the silence settles in.  I live in a really quiet place, but it’s nothing like this.  Quiet so deep you can hear the wind whiffling through the feathers as the ducks drop in.  My kinda place.  It’s time to get the day started. 

The lake’s glass smooth as we shove the small boat off the beach and out into water deep enough to drop the motor. Couple pulls on the rope, nothin’.  Couple more pulls, nothin’.  Couple more pulls, the little beast coughs to life and settles into a steady thrum.  We’re off.   It’s 10:30 and my bro states the first fish will be in the boat by 11.  He missed it by 18 minutes.  We weren’t halfway across the lake when he got the first one of the day.  And it continued like that all day, most of the night, and well into the next day.  I really hate it when the fishing’s good; there’s not much time for drinking beer! 

All told I think we ended up with about 30 fish each, a combination of big rainbow trout and decent sized grayling.  There are also silver salmon in that lake.  Standing wager is a buck each for the biggest, the most, and the last one caught, with an additional fiver for catching the cycle.  Bro and I are both 3 bucks lighter this week.  None of us hit for the cycle, catching all three species, but bro got close with a couple of silvers on but not boated.   We kept three for dinner Friday evening and released the rest for next year.  Nothing better than fresh trout baked in the coals of a campfire.

I used to think my dad was nuts when we’d go fishing and he’d say it was more fun to watch me catch fish than to catch them himself.  I totally get it now.  I had the absolute time of my life watching Justin.  It was fun showing him how to get the fire for dinner started without using a lighter, matches, or paper,  just what you can scrounge up and have on hand  in your emergency kit.  It’s strange what I take for granted up here and expect everyone to know…

All in all,  a great weekend.  Couldn’t have asked for better weather, more cooperative trout, or better company to share it with.  The only thing missing was our dad.  


1 Response to “Great Alaska Fishin’ Expedition 2010”

  1. 1 Mom September 8, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Absolutely beautiful….Dad was right in that boat with you….you are a very special person and I love you so much

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