Alaska Report [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Alaska Report

10-10-2006, 01:43 PM
Just got back from the Hooknose Society's favorite Coho/Silver venue and, in the grand tradition of my current successes, wound up fishing an air hole. The exception was one of the rivers, with a weir, had a very large run of Coho coincident with a heavy rain and big tides. Actually, the system had a record run. But, a record run of non-biters, as it turns out, with very few of these fish being caught. Of course, by the time we got there, most of these non-biters had turned dark, anyway, so no big deal.

But, the other rivers, the ones with the really big fish, were deserted. We fished the main lagoon a number of days, casting for ghosts from our float-tubes and from the sand bars, with no hookups (other than a couple of jacks and the odd sculpin) for our group of five. Old timers on the system were all muttering in their three-day stubbles, with the big debate being whether the run was a bust or that the big schools were still out in the salt.

Anyway, with no fish to speak of in the big lagoon, anglers started a random walk trying to find targets in other spots. One such spot is a large pond that appeared alongside the road after the 1964 earthquake. Down at the far end of this pond, a big school of silvers had taken up residence and consequently attracted considerable attention from the fishless horde. One group from Montana camped on this school for the entire duration of its two week visit.

We scratched for fish other places, not liking fishing in amongst the many that much, and had middling success on odd days, intercepting fish as they moved into the rivers on the latter parts of ebbing tides; and trying resting schools in the rivers a couple of miles above the salt. The best part of this questing was finding some really beautiful fishing sites that we had not known before. We were also lucky with the bears, as the record run of pinks and reds had kept them full to the top; and, although signs of Bruno were everywhere, we never saw one, much less had to interact with one. A bear has never threatened or even noticed me in my years of fishing up there, nevertheless, I'm always beariffied of those beasts, and it spoils my concentration just to know they're around. I'm forever looking over my shoulder and starting at odd noises.

Three of us fished for 15 days and averaged less than a fish a day per angler. What we caught were gorgeous fish, emblematic of the best of Silvers, but we certainly didn't catch enough to slake our appetites for battling these splendid creatures.

I'm hopeful for next year, and looking forward.