4 Lessons Learned This Summer In Alaska: 4 Resources

Summer has come to an abrupt end here in Alaska and boy was it a busy one. Unfortunately it wasn’t due to fishing trips. Working 70 to 80 hours a week tends to mean fishing doesn’t happen. Though that was the case it would absolutely kill me if I wasn’t able to at least get out a few times a month to chase some fish with a fly. Here are a few pictures along with lessons learned from this summer’s action. I will for sure be writing more in the coming weeks and months since I have no more excuses.

PIG Dolly from our Tordrillo Moutain Lodge trip.

PIG Dolly from our Tordrillo Moutain Lodge trip.

Lesson 1: Get off the beaten path.

This is advice you will hear when you fish any water that has high pressure. One of my first trips this summer was down to the Kenai River. It’s not normally a place where walk/wade fly fishing is a solitary activity. I’m sure if you’ve investigated Alaska fishing at all, you have seen “Combat Fishing”. Well, we were able to avoid that for the most part by hiking a little more than others are willing, and exploring trails that looked SKETCHY. All in all there was a lot of learning that took place and adventure had. By finding less traveled paths you can have plenty of space to enjoy a day of fly fishing for salmon in Alaska.

Resource: Alaska Fly Fishing Road Rules

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An EXTREMELY bright day on the Kenai.

Lesson 2: Take more pictures.

I will be the first one to admit, I am not a photographer… But notice, I didn’t take this picture. I don’t take most of the pictures you see on my blog, that is how I get in them. My younger brother and I are fisherman not photographers. This is one of the few pictures actually taken on our 3 or 4 trips to the Kenai Pennisula. Usually when pictures get taken it’s because my wife is with me. She is really good about slowing down and enjoying the moment. I tend to be so busy trying to change my rig or cast to new water that I forget to slow down and document the experience. (A note to myself- If you want to run an interesting fly fishing blog… you’d better learn to take better pictures)

Resource: Streamside Photography: Improve Your Fly Fishing Pictures

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Cold Selfie: First trip to the Kenai before the ice out everywhere else. Yeah… Just illustrating the lack of skill with the camera.

Lesson 3: Get a Guide

This summer was actually my first opportunity to go on an actual guided trip. It’s not something I have done in the past but will heavily consider the next time I fish unfamiliar water. I’ll be perfectly honest, I can barely afford to get out on the river most of the time let alone have a guide. However, if you are going to spend a bunch of money to go somewhere that you’ve never been, it will pay to have someone teaching you the ropes. If you ever go fishing with a significant other, there is a huge benefit to having a guide. My wife is an awesome fly fisherwoman, but I am usually the one carrying all the gear and essentially being the guide. When we had a guide with us, I could focus 100% on catching fish which at times made me feel useless, but it was AWESOME!

Resource: You found it, starting in 2014 I will be your Alaska fly fishing guide!

Having a guide means you can have Husband and Wife togetherness in photos. That also means she'll let you frame it and hang it on the living room wall.

Having a guide means you can have Husband and Wife togetherness in photos. That also means she’ll let you frame it and hang it on the living room wall.

Lesson 4: Make fly fishing a family friendly outing

As much as I love to get out and be deep in the woods, I know it’s not always possible because I have a pregnant wife and small boy. I think being able to be out in the wilderness as a family makes it all worthwhile. I have really loved getting out with my wife and son, my younger brother and his wife, and my parents. This summer has been an exciting one because we have been to new places, and we have loved ones to share it with. If you don’t have kids, take a niece or nephew. Take a kid from your neighborhood. There is nothing as rewarding in fly fishing as passing it on to others so they can share in the joy you feel. Hey if nothing else, you will end up being even more happy that you get to go without kids or wives. Just make the effort.

Resource: Teaching Kids to Fly Fish

Van loves to release fish with me. I love to see the look on this face when we land big salmon.

Van loves to release fish with me. I love to see the look on this face when we land big salmon.

Van helping his Grandpa release a Pink Salmon.

Van helping his Grandpa release a Pink Salmon.

Benjamin's nice Silver Salmon.

Benjamin’s nice Silver Salmon.

If you have any questions or comments about what was just discussed feel free to use the comment box below this post. I love to hear from my readers and I especially love to answer any and all questions you may have. Feel free to email me as well: flyfishscook@gmail.com. As always thanks for reading, I look forward to providing more info in the very near future. Tight Lines!

One Comment

  1. hello Spencer, I don’t know if you remember, but shortly after I found out that you were in
    Alaska, I sent a post on Montana Creek, and a lake near Talkeetna. I was wondering if you were able to test it out. Have a Merry Christmas. Allen

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