About Me

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Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
I am an attorney in my early thirties with a serious fly fishing problem. I work at a large corporate law firm where things move pretty fast. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of corporate America, I try as often as possible to get away and enjoy a quiet stream. My blog attempts to detail the adventures I have both on and off the water in "My World on the Fly."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Alaska, August 2008: The Prelude

I feel somewhat remiss about the fact that I have yet to report the details of my adventure to Alaska this past August. It was the angling trip of a lifetime. Five species of salmon, rainbow trout, greyling, dolly varden, pike, and lake trout were all in abundance everyday, all day, for seven glorious days.

Perhaps I have been intimidated by the idea of trying to capture the stories of every great fish, every great flight, or every great friend I made on this trip. Or, perhaps I was just lazy and didn't make the time to sit down and verbalize all of the thoughts and memories I have filed away in my head. At this point, however, it doesn't really matter. I have decided to try to capture, in words, my experience in a fly angler's nirvana.

Instead of banging all of this out in one sitting, I have decided it's necessary to categorize my stories. Be it by fish, by fishery, or by fly pattern, the Alaska chapters will take shape as I recall the fish-dreams that remain in my head months after returning from the bush. The fear I felt setting foot for the first time onto a float plane; the unrest of watching brown bears off in the distance never knowing what I'd do if one decided to take an interest in me or the struggling salmon on the end of my fly line; the profoundness of stepping into a glacial river with millions of spawning salmon that had traveled hundreads of miles without food in search of their birthplace just so they can continue the bloodline; the solitude of realizing that no other human footprints dressed the banks of river I was about to fish. It was a land both wild and unknown to anything I had ever experienced.

I'm certainly not going to pretend like I roughed it for the days I spent in the wilds of the Alaskan wilderness. I'm no Chris McCandless and I won't pretend to be. Contrarily, my adventure "Into the Wild" was due in large part to friends, lodge staff, and excellent fishing guides who spent countless hours organizing and planning a five-star fishing adventure that would leave me questioning how those who braved it alone survived without shelter, satelite phones, GPS, planes, and the comfort of gourmet meals and great wine to revive the spirit at the end of each day.

What is soon to follow are the pictures, videos, and stories of my time at Tikchik Narrows Lodge in Southwest Alaska. It's truly an angler's paradise.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

1-31-2009

Another day on the Current proved to be very successful. With sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s the caddis were at it again. I fished with Mike for the second time this month. He's turning out to be a decent fishing buddy now that he's got a regular lady friend and isn't out every weekend night on the prowl. We stuck to the river in the morning and ended our day in the park so we could fish close to the car and get on the road by 4 PM. This was my last weekend of the catch and release season in the park as I won't be able to get out next weekend. Both the river and the park were excellent.

We were on the water by 8:30 or so and started the day nymphing a hole that usually holds some large browns. I was excited to try two new patterns (one midge pattern and one caddis larva imitation) that I had tied during the week. I won't say that I made these patterns up but I did a little internet research and added some variations to what are otherwise standard, fly shop nymphs. Both new flies were effective. I stuck three or four fish right off the bat on the new midge pattern and netted a pretty decent brown on the caddis larva.



Right around 11 the river delivered what I was hoping for. The caddis starting hatching, thick. Fish rose in the water column and Mike and I fished dries the rest of the day. Again the magic pattern was a non-standard caddis dry that, to my knowledge, is not available in local stores. Mike and I slid up river into a faster run and began plucking fish off the surface. After a few casts, I got a very large brown to come up. He attacked my fly but I'm pretty sure he did not eat it. After missing "gigantor," Mike took over and got the same fish to come up two more times. Neither of us could close the deal unfortunately, but we continued to pull out smaller fish. It was great!



I got a really cool underwater video of Mike releasing that rainbow:
video

The day was fabulous. We each probably stuck around 30 fish, landing half has many, and the majority of them were caught on the surface. I am very impressed with the Current right now and I have the fishing bug, bad. Next weekend Sara and I are headed to Jackson Hole, WY to scout out some wedding venues and to "tap the gnar" on Jackson Hole Mountain. You can bet when I get back I will be looking for the next warm day to get out on the water and dry-fly fish.