Thursday, May 01, 2014

Locked and Loaded

Well the time has come.  It's been a a little bit in the planning but she is finally before us.  The return to the Situk...Yakutat Alaska.
Hopefully things all come together with the weather and the river water levels and such. 
Sure would be nice to tie in a couple crazy 40" slabs like Sean Donahue did last week.  All things aside it should be yet another epic trip.

Monday, April 28, 2014

AK is only a couple of days away...

The Clock is ticking...Time to seriously get packing.

Woodstock Lines...The Anglers Connection

Well I was pleasantly surprised a few weeks back by a package awaiting my arrival on the porch up at the cabin. My good friends at Woodstock Lines and The Anglers Connection sent me an awesome sampling of their outstanding fly line backing as well as some of their floating monofilament to run through the paces. The backing colours are sharp, crisp, and sexy and will look outstanding on any reel to colour accent as well as serve it's intended reel backing purpose. For those of you in need of some quality Dacron for your Fly or Centerpin reels backing needs look them up here at www.theanglersconnection.com or click on their banner in the sponsors section of the blog. The floating mono has been fishing fine so far and banked a fair share of Michigan chromers. I plan to really put it to the test on some of those giant Alaska fish later this week.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Yakutat 2014 Return to the Situk

Well the clock has been ticking and we are officially starting the countdown. Only 17 days away until we visit one of the last remaining Frontiers left on this plant...Alaska. For those that are not aware, Yakutat Alaska is home to Mount St Elias, The Hubbard Glacier, Russell Fiord, and the world renowned Situk River. The Situk boasts the planets largest self sustaining wild population of Steelhead. Fish in the 40" class are not uncommon and annual run numbers in excess of 8000 can be experienced. The freestone glacier fed river runs some 20 miles from it's headwaters at Situk Lake through the Tongass National Forest where it eventually drains into the Gulf of Alaska. The only access to the river is at the 9 mile bridge via the forest service road. Here you hike up river and wade fish or float down river some 14 miles in a drift boat towards the take out at the estuary. It's truly a one of a kind self guided fishery that affords one the opportunity of double digit days, 40" class fish, Coastal Brown Bears, Black Bears, Moose, Bald Eagles, wolf and lynx all encompassed within the boundaries of the worlds largest remaining Temperate Rainforest...The Tongass. It's truly an epic adventure about to unfold... **with the exception of the Steelhead snaps all pics contained withing the slide show are courtesy of Google images. Thanks Google!!

Ahhhh...seriously!


Ok...This is some seriously dangerous water!  All the west side flows are near or past flood stage.  It's a complete sh*t show.  Those poor fish...

Graph of

Sunday, April 13, 2014

KaaaBooom

It was inevitable...The river is a giant muddy mess. With the amount of snow base this year and the certainty that Spring would eventually poke her head from the shadows it was only a matter of time. Well it has happened. The flow is epic and the visibility is zero. She won't be fishable by my standards for a week and that's only if the rains subside. If I recall correctly last years spring was similar and she didn't have any decent visibility for weeks. Timing is everything my friends. Hopefully the Easter weekend brings some opportunity but I'm not liking my chances. On a side note young Cole Lauzon put together a really cool video of our trip over to the West side a few weeks back. It's his first video. I think he did a really good job with it. Enjoy...

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Paying it Forward Part 2...Michigan

I am fortunate and blessed to have within my means the ability to own and frequent a property in Northwestern Michigan literally a stones throw away from fabled waters. I remind myself of this each and every time I pull into the cabin drive. I do not take this for granted. With the property comes the ability to share this gift with others. This past weekend I had the opportunity to extend a Steelheading offer to young fishing prodigy Cole L. If you all remember, Cole and I had fished back in the fall on the home waters of Ontario. He still makes reference to that trip today. I can't help but see a spark in this kid that reminds me of myself at that same age. An unparalleled burning desire to chase these crazy fish that defies all logic and reasoning. The longing for an opportunity can almost be torture. It's hard to understand unless you are stricken with this affliction and have been there. The extended and miserable winter must have been hard on the young fella staring at his new switch rod rig and drooling over his Instagram account photos. An opportunity arose and I thought what a gift I could offer...We cleared it off with his parents and made the trek over to the West Side for two days of early spring adventure. The fishing wasn't epic but the crowds were. We made the best of it and had a lot of fun. I'd do it again in a minute. This kid can fish and has an appreciation and respect for the fishery like only a die hard Steelheader would. It wasn't looking good with the lack of fresh fish and the crowds but in the 11th hour Cole popped a nice Hen on the faithful Atomic Orange $$ bead. It's not like I don't have an ulterior motive though...I'm still banking on this kid dragging me to the river when I'm old, intolerable, and without the means. Ah yes...money in the bank.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

She won't let go...

Winter...She just won't let go. All week I had looked forward to fishing Saturday. It was forecast to be the last day in the positives prior to yet another cold snap. After a short diversion to take care of some business outside of Grand Rapids I drove into some rain heading North. I watched the ambient temp gauge slowly creep from above freezing into the negatives. Luckily I drove out of that mess prior to the rain freezing and becoming a hazard. I arrived at the cabin and unloaded the gear. It was nearing 10 pm and damn cold. I lit the woodstove and settled in for a few drinks to unwind before calling it a night. Saturday morning came and went. I spent my time stoking the stove, drinking coffee with Bailey's, and trying to muster up the ambition to hit a partially frozen winter river. It was 1 pm before I finally donned the gear and made the drive to the access. In my youth I would have been devastated by a fishy morning wasted but with age comes experience, patience, and wisdom. My days of burning the candle at both ends and pulling no stops to fish first light are long over. I'm happy to arrive on my schedule well rested and ready to clean up the scraps. It's served me well and I have learned to go with the flow. I don't need much anymore and have nothing to prove. I am there to set my head straight and capture some memories and images on film. Well...as fate would have it my plan paid off in spades. The river was being her miserable winter self and reports from the morning shift were grim. I shook it off and put my time in, kept the faith, and covered water. The Atomic Orange Great Lakes Steelhead Co 10mm bead came through again. When I left I had turned 6 fish on a river that was being a stingy miserable bitch. My reel froze solid after the third fish. I battled iced guides and bone freezing winds the entire outing. As much as I'd like to complain it was a great day on the water. My gear kept me dry and warm and the crowds pushed me to some old water that paid off in dividends. It was a refreshing reminder to leave no stone unturned. Excellent advice for the quickly approaching combat Spring Fishery.