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First Trout Trip of the Season....Alaska

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Well it’s finally time for my first Alaska fishing report of the season. Thought I would get out a couple of Fridays ago as the weather had warmed, the grass was greening up, the trees were budding out……….then this transpired:


Nothing like 18 inches of snow right before May begins….that’s weird even this far north…somehow I’m trying to reconcile this with global warming….not sure how it fits in, though. Finally got nice again and was able to get up to our early season river about 100 miles north….the Talkeetna. Had to drive by this gosh awful picture (I do it everyday on the way to work):


The scenery we have to put up with. Then I was greeted by these Talkeetna White-Headed Woodpeckers giving us the evil eye:


(Okay…they are not really woodpeckers.) We got up to the river about 8 in the morn to find it high and a bit off color…..not the best things for early season trout fishing but, hey…we were out of the house. We threw the old raft on the back of a jet boat which ran us about 5 miles up river where we started fishing back down. My friend Mike had been up here a few days ago and caught a few rainbows and dollies but we were not holding out for a phenomenol day this early in the season. The weater was fabulous… clear up to 50 degrees….had to take off my thermals and jacket due to overheating, hehe… it was just great to be out. Additionally this was my first go round with a recently reconstructed shoulder (in December)… held out pretty darn good but is a bit sore tonight. Anyways we fished down the first 4 hours and had only picked up two fish….me a small dolly and Jon this nice little rainbow:


The coastal rainbows are spectacularly colored on the Talkeetna…’ll never see more spots on a trout. We got on a nice run where we stopped for shore lunch after a couple of missed hits. Up to lunchtime the 3 of us had used 16 different flies, with trailers with very little success…it was getting frustrating. So after inhaling lunch we decided to hit this long run one more time (we had fished it for an hour before lunch with no fish). Being unusually frustrated myself I switched to my old spring “confidence” fly….the old moss colored 4 inch sculpin pattern….the other guys told me the water was too cold for this to work well….water was about 38 degrees….very chilly, plus you had to constantly dodge large ice floes floating down the river. So started at the top of the run again and about 10 casts in this lovely dolly showed up:


The very next cast I hooked and lost another fish…….two in a row I was ecstatic. Next cast…..yes….you guessed it….another dolly varden brought to the net:


About this time Jon and Mike were sprinting to the raft to switch over to moss colored sculpins…..imagine that. For the next 1 ½ I just hammered the fishes in this run landing a dozen and farming a few more:




About this time Mike picked up a nice dolly and a couple other fish but I seemed to have the magic sculpin:



Turned out to be a pretty nice trip for early season… least we got to go fishing. Saw a couple of otters and beavers were everywhere with there little nervous chewing habits:


Wouldn’t take much to get that big old cottonwood to come down. Anyways it was nice getting out….making sure the recently refurbished body parts were in correct working order and having a great time with friends.

Should be more fishing soon……until then everyone have great fishin!!


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Yes that fishing story brings back many memories I lived up there in the Matsu Valley for 11 years and worked on the Slope for 14 years, beautiful country, excellent hunting, fishing and very interesting people. Where you up the Talketna River? The Montana Creek and Willow Creek has some excellent early and late season trout fishing.

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I'm jealous. That looks like alot of fun. One of these days I'll make it up there for a fishing trip.

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WOW! Does that ever look like fun! Thanks for sharing! Alaska is the only state that I would ever move out of MN for! Been there a couple times and it is one pretty place! My cousin lives in Eagle River as well I beleive! That is like a suburb of Ankorage sort of isn't it? Hope to get back up there one of these years! Take care and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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I just gotta ask where you got that hat? I was up there last june for the first time ever. I decided that that would be my vacation after just coming home from Iraq. Was only supposed to be for 6 days but turned into 14... I was not at all saddened by that. Great pics. I really miss it up there.

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What a dream, glad to see you making the most of the Alaskan lifestyle. If I ever visit I don't know if I'll be able to leave.

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