Friday, August 22, 2014

The Chosen River: Our Last Day

A sockeye salmon… grotesque in its spawning colors

Our last day was perfect. Big dollies and rainbows were caught initially with eggs and later with flesh and mice. We also caught a few silvers and a few surprises. One was when Dean hooked a huge sockeye that was meandering among a group of silvers. 

Dean and Billie… 
try to hold on!

In the same spot, fifty BIG dollies were stacked up trying to get up into a small side stream to spawn. They were all Halloweened up and very reluctant to eat. I finally broke the code with a very small orange streamer stripped very slowly in front of the males bright beak. The reward was a dozen 26-28 inch dollies!

A big dollie in his "I need a mate" costume.

Notice the teeth that line each throat rib. No salmon fry would every escape this trap!

Dean and I caught dozens of 20+ inch rainbows in the afternoon on flesh flies and mice. I remember one bow that I missed on my first cast (shoulda made a mend, he couldn't catch up to my ever accelerating fly), my second cast (he was now 20 feet downstream from my first cast), my third cast (he was ready to eat, but I was starting my backcast and missed him yet again), and I finally hooked him somehow on my fourth cast (he was 50 feet downstream from where I initially saw him). 

When releasing this 22 inch 'bow, I took a moment to lecture him. I pointed out that he should not reward such bad fishing technique by eating a fly on its fourth presentation 50 feet downstream. I told him no mouse could cover this much water in such a short period of time. I suggested he think about what he had done and make better choices next time. I feel confident my suggestions hit home and this won't happen again. 

Billie and Dean with another 24" 'bow
...and this is what I love about Alaska!
As he slid back into the gin clear waters of the river, I was happy such cooperative fish still exist and that I was able to spend a week in their company, If you would like to do this trip, give me a call at 800-211-8530.

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