Copper River – 6/25/2011

Time: 8:30AM – 12:30PM

Location: Lower part of river similar to Wednesday

Fish Landed: 15

Copper River 06/25/2011 Photo Album

Saturday was my last day of fishing in Alaska in 2011. I woke up to overcast skies and spitting rain, and it was quite chilly. Jordan and I were behind Dr. McKenzie but slightly ahead of Michi, Don and Mike. We did the grass cut off on the way to the Copper and went upstream beyond where Dr. Steve was fishing to the sweet long run where I’d had so much previous success on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A Cloudy Saturday Morning on Way to Copper River

Shortcut Through the Grass Was Interesting

We started off with the indicator and double nymph rig including a rubber leg pheasant tail and white flesh fly on the bottom. I landed six relatively small rainbows by Alaska standards with the largest being a decent 15” fish. I was executing the stack mends like a pro at least compared to my efforts at the beginning of the week. I also learned to strike and then let the drift continue from the place I stripped the fly to on the hook set.

After covering the long sweet run, we moved to a stretch further upstream where there was a long run and fished the left side facing downstream. I hit a pod of Dolly Varden and landed around six in the top half of the long run. Some of the Dolly Vardens took the flesh fly and several grabbed the pheasant tail. Halfway down the run the current angled toward the bank and the water got significantly deeper. Jordan switched me over to streamers for deeper water as we expected some larger fish, and I landed three rainbows, but again they were small by Alaska standards. I started with the fry fly and then went to a white and brown streamer, and finally a purple leech. The purple leech produced the fish.

We again jumped in the boat and headed further upstream and I landed a small rainbow on the nymphs. Next we crossed over to the “other side”, a separate channel that we had not explored all week. Jordan was checking the weight of the fly and demonstrating the way to fish this smaller channel when he hooked a beautiful rainbow that I played and landed. This one didn’t count, but it was still fun. I watched as Jordan walked down the stream along with the indicator and nymphs out ahead of him.

Finally I hooked and landed my best fish of the day in a spot below where Jordan caught his fish. The current cut a deep run and then fanned out before some clumps of grass. I ran the indicator and nymphs downstream from above using the stack mend technique and hooked the fish eight feet above the grass clumps.

Cruising Toward Shore

We called it quits and hustled back to the lodge for 1PM lunch. After lunch we moved our packed bags and equipment to the main lodge room by the door. I watched with interest as the float plane approached over the lake from a distance and then smoothly touched down and skimmed to a stop. We all marched out to the beach and took group photos and exchanged goodbyes. Blake the pilot loaded our belongings, and we climbed on the float plane. The takeoff was as smooth as the landing and I snapped several photos of Intricate Bay as we departed. We landed in Illiamna and almost immediately boarded the Pilatus and flew the last leg back to Anchorage.

Guests Join the Staff

Until Another Year

The woman at the counter at the Illiamna Air Taxi terminal ordered a taxi for us and Michi, Don, Steve and I piled in. The driver didn’t speak much English and didn’t know his way around very well, but we managed to drop the three Californians off at the Budget rental building. Now I was stuck in the car with this guy trying to find the Enterprise counter. After numerous wrong turns and asking directions we finally found Enterprise at the main terminal of the airport. I paid the driver a $10 fare and refused to pay for all the excessive driving.

I rented our Ford Escape for the week and left it parked in the Enterprise lot while I walked to the baggage claim area to wait for Jane’s flight to arrive. Her Alaska Air flight arrived 40 minutes early, so we walked back to the rental car and drove to downtown Anchorage where we had reserved two nights at the Arctic Fox bed & breakfast. We checked into our nice clean room and then walked downtown seeking a restaurant. We looked at some menus with prices that seemed too high, and eventually ended up in the Glacier Brewhouse, the same restaurant I’d eaten at the previous Sunday night. We had to grab bar seating and were at a narrow table directly across from a couple from California.

We ended up chatting with Rebecca and Dave who had been touring Alaska and were about to return to California the next day.

Sid Larsen Creek – 6/24/2011

Time: 2:00PM – 5:00PM

Location: Last ten yards and then far out into lake

Fish Landed: 7

Sid Larsen Creek 06/24/2011 Photo Album

We motored over to the mouth of Sid Larsen Creek, and Mark and Jordan gathered wood and built a fire to cook Slam’s southwest chicken stew for lunch. Jordan found a wood frog, and we photographed that before eating lunch. Sid Larsen was a beautiful spot with a waterfall 20 yards upstream from the inlet to the lake, and the trees and bushes came much closer to the lake and stream than Dennis or Tommy Creeks.

Mark Also Picks Up Wood

Wood Frog

Waterfalls to Lake

Mark and Jordan said there were many small rainbows and grayling in the pocket water and the large plunge pool below the falls, so we concentrated in the 10 yards of water above the mouth and then the current and run that extended out into the lake. Initially I stripped a white streamer on a sink tip line after making long casts across the creek, but this didn’t produce any takes. Jordan tied on a dry fly, and I caught a bunch of small rainbows, but many were too small to count. I raised my minimum threshold from six inches in the lower 48 to 8 inches in Alaska.

Growing weary of the small fish, we converted to indicator fishing with rubber pheasant tail and the flesh fly on the bottom. This produced a 20” rainbow on the flesh fly, but action slowed again and Jordan switched me back to a woolly bugger and then a Clouser-style streamer. I covered the water from the mouth far out into the lake with these flies to no avail. Casting these large streamers long distance really put an ache in my shoulder and back.

Sid Larsen Beauty

We finally called it a day around 5PM and motored back to the lodge for dinner. I landed 7 of 10 countable fish at Sid Larsen Creek.

Sun Reflects on Lake at 10:45PM

Tommy Creek – 6/24/2011

Time: 9:00AM – 1:00PM

Location: Last 30 yards of stream before it entered the lake

Fish Landed: 11 trout

Tommy Creek 06/24/2011 Photo Album

On Friday Mark piloted the cabin cruiser while Jordan and I were passengers as we headed to Tommy Creek. If time permitted, we were also planning to sample Sid Larsen Creek and possibly Big Creek as well. We got off to an early start and arrived at Tommy Creek and began fishing by 9AM. The rest of the crew headed to the Copper River. Mark took his video camera along and filmed quite a bit of my fish catching. He and Desiree promised to send me the DVD once they return to Wyoming in the fall.

Scene of Big Fish Mouth of Tommy Creek

I began fishing with a white flesh streamer that Jordan tied on his Scott S4 6 weight with a sinking tip line. I was once again making casts across the river to the middle, then three quarters, then the far bank and letting the streamer sink and sweep down and across. Mark and Jordan taught me how to stay in contact with the streamer and watch where the line entered the water. It didn’t take long before Jordan switched to the fry fly he tied the night before. Closer to the mouth of the creek across from a dead limb I hooked and landed my second 24” rainbow trout of the week. This proved to be a strong fighter and a beautiful silvery fish. Mark and Jordan referred to it as a chromer, and it had sea lice under its fins.

A Chromer Just in from the Lake

Shortly after releasing the chromer another fish hammered the fry fly, and I fought and landed a colorful 23” drop back rainbow. Mark was sure he’d spotted this fish on a previous trip. It was much more brightly colored and was in the process of dropping back to the lake after spawning in the creek. Tommy Creek was surely making an impression on me. I asked Jordan if he followed a pattern to create the salmon fry fly, and he told me he just observed naturals and put together materials to imitate.

22" Drop Back Beauty after Spawning

We spotted some rises and switched to a small humpy-style fly. I cast above a rise and a fine 16” rainbow rose and slurped in the humpy and shortly thereafter I landed a second 16” rainbow on the dry fly. These would tie for my largest fish taken on dries during the week.

Maribou Flesh Fly Took Many Fish During the Week

After landing the two trout on dries, rising activity slowed so we switched to indicator nymph fishing with the rubber leg pheasant tail on top and the white flesh fly with a red stripe in the bottom position. This produced a couple nice fish including a 20” rainbow that munched the flesh fly. It was during the nymphing that I became more adept at casting across the river and making a big mend and then feeding line out while making rapid stack mends. This enabled extremely long drag free drifts downstream into the meat of the run.

I landed 11 of 14 fish hooked at Tommy Creek including a 24 inch chrome, and 23” drop back, and another 20 inch fish. It was quite a morning.

Gibralter Creek – 6/23/2011

Time: 1:30PM – 6:00PM

Location: Spot a mile up the river below high bank and large bend

Fish Landed: 9 trout

Gibralter Creek 06/23/2011 Photo Album

Mike, Jordan and I loaded all the gear and lunch supplies into the boat and cruised over to the mouth of Gibralter Creek after lunch. Steve and Jared were there at the mouth of the river waiting for us. Jordan and I jumped in the jet boat, and Mike shuttled us upstream to a spot that Jared recommended where they’d had action in the morning. As we approached the target area we noticed some rising fish, so Jordan tied on the black caddis with the pheasant tail dropper, but this didn’t produce.

Heading Up Gibralter Creek

Next we moved to the top of the run where the water wasn’t as swift as most of the river. There was a stretch that was around 15’ wide and 25’ long that proved to be unbelievably productive, and we were now toward the top of this directly across from a dark spot on the bottom that Jordan called submerged tundra. Jordan set me up with the white flesh fly on top and the rubber leg pheasant tail on the end with a strike indicator. Using this combination in the stretch described, I landed 9 of 12 hookups over the remainder of the afternoon. My first three casts yielded medium sized dolly varden, so we thought we’d hit a dolly varden school.

24" Monster from Gibralter Creek

But I continued to fish and started landing larger rainbows from the area directly in front of the tundra spot. The highlight was a 24” rainbow bruiser that spit out 10+ salmon fry when I landed it. This was the largest fish of the trip so far, and in fact the largest fish of my life. In addition to the 24” rainbow, I also landed two 20+ inch fish, an 18” rainbow and two more dolly varden. When I hooked the rainbows, they would immediately charge into some very large fast riffles and all I could do was hold on and allow the fish to run and follow them downstream to a point where the stream widened. By applying side pressure I could bring them over to the shallow gravel below me where Jordan eventually netted the fish. Of the nine fish landed, two hit the pheasant tail and all the rest banged the flesh fly.

Dave Proudly Holds His Largest Catch to Date

After we’d landed eight or so of the fish, Jordan changed my rig to add more weight and was showing me how to execute the Czech-style nymphing technique by holding the rod high and moving it up and down so the flies would bounce along just above the bottom. He was demonstrating this technique in the faster water just beyond where I’d been fishing as he felt fish were also right on the seam. Sure enough, as he showed me the technique, he hooked a nice fish that immediately raced downstream in the heavy current as mine had done before. I decided to do a role reversal and grabbed the long handled net and started wading out behind him. As I did so, I glanced over my left shoulder and saw a capsized inflated raft floating down the river. I shouted to Jordan, and he gave me the rod with the fish still attached, and he waded out to the top of his waders and righted the raft and recovered most of the equipment. I eventually played the fish around to the shallow shoreline and released it.

Capsized Fishermen Above Our Hot Spot

We looked up the river and spotted three soaking wet fishermen, a guide and two unhappy clients. Jordan helped the guide get across the river. While Jordan was lending assistance, I began fishing again using the technique he demonstrated and hooked and landed one of the 20 inch fish. Jordan was on the high bank instructing the other guide on where to cross and came charging down the bank to help net the last fish.

Hold Rod High and Wiggle to Mouse

When Mike brought the jet boat up to pick us up, he first took the wet fishermen and their deflated raft to the mouth, and then returned to pick us up. We worked some areas below our hot spot for a half hour or so with no success.

We ended our day around 6PM when we got shuttled back to the mouth and boarded the cabin cruiser. Thursday was an exciting day.

Dennis Creek – 6/23/2011

Time: 10:00AM – 1:00PM

Location: 30 yards upstream to mouth

Fish Landed: 7

Dennis Creek 06/23/2011 Photo Album

The Rainbow Point crew decided to change it up a bit on Thursday and visit some other tributaries of Lake Illiamna. The weather was fairly gentle by Alaska standards which made it practical to fire up the cabin cruiser that had picked us up Monday in the rain and head south. The guides tied a jet boat to the rear of the cabin cruiser, and Mike piloted while Jordan, Jared, Dr. McKenzie and I enjoyed the ride.

Cabin Cruiser Anchored

Dave Lands a Nice Rainbow at Dennis Creek

We stopped at the mouth of the Gibralter Creek and dropped off Jared and Dr. Steve and the jet boat, and then Mike chauffeured Jordan and I over to Dennis Creek. Jordan and Mike anchored the large vessel safely off shore, and then the three of us moved up the creek around 30 yards and began fishing. Jordan guided me while Mike directed and used my camera to take some great pictures. Jordan tied a white leech streamer to my line, and I began making long casts to the far bank and then swinging the streamer across the river to a point directly below. I repeated this process and systematically covered the water all the way to the mouth of the creek when we quit and had lunch at around 1PM.

Dave Casts Streamer Toward Dead Branch

A Rewarding Pose

My back became sore from making the long casts with weighted flies, and I paused to rest several times. I landed 7 of 11 hookups using this method. One was a 22” rainbow that I landed after we crossed the creek above the mouth and fished from the opposite bank. Landing that fish was lots of fun, and Mike captured a nice sequence of photos of me playing the fish and bringing it to net. Two trout were 12-13” rainbows and the rest were in the 15-16” range, clearly nice fish by Colorado standards. I lost two that leaped from the water after hook set and appeared to be in excess of 20 inches from a distance.

Copper River – 6/22/2011

Time: 9:00AM – 6:15PM

Location: First Five Miles of Copper River above Lake Illiamna

Fish Landed: 20

Copper River 06/22/2011 Photo Album

On Wednesday Dr. McKenzie, Michi, Don, Mike, and Jared took off for Big Pike Lake while Jordan and I returned to the Copper River. There was a lot of attractive water that we hadn’t explored yet. The temperature was 45 degrees when we left and my feet got quite cold in the morning. The sky cleared in the early afternoon and the sun came out by mid-afternoon.

Jordan Busy Setting Me Up in Morning

By Wednesday I realized that Jordan was an all-star guide, and in addition to catching lots of nice fish, I was learning many new techniques I could apply in Colorado. Jordan is 23 years old, but wise beyond his years due to growing up fishing in rivers and streams flowing into the Great Lakes and fishing for steelhead. In addition, he is 6 ft, 3 in. tall and towers above the river. Jordan’s ability to spot fish and read water surpassed mine and is among the best I’ve witnessed.

A Moorish Mouse

I booked the Alaska trip through Taylor Edrington of Royal Gorge Anglers, and Jordan worked for Taylor at a different lodge in a previous summer. Because of this association, Mark assigned Jordan as my guide, and I was definitely the beneficiary. This was Jordan’s first summer with Alaska Rainbow Point Lodge.

Copper River Spreads Out Here

Perhaps the greatest lesson I learned from observing Jordan was the attention he paid to weight and placement of the indicator. Whereas I am prone to put on one split shot and fish a river with the strike indicator in the same spot for an entire day, Jordan was constantly making adjustments based on water depth, current velocity, and our physical approach to a stretch of water. I will definitely apply this to my future fishing outings.

22" Rainbow That Hammered the Moorish Mouse

A second important lesson was making stack mends. When fishing with nymphs and an indicator, Jordan taught me to cast across the river and then make one or two big mends to get the fly line bowed above the indicator. The trick after executing the initial cast and mends was to then feed out line at a constant pace while making short flicking upstream mends. This kept the indicator and flies moving downstream drag free. By the last day on the Copper River I was making 30 yard drag free drifts. This technique carries numerous benefits. First, one can approach fish from above because you are very distant from the downstream fish. Second you cover a huge amount of water on a single cast. It is both efficient and less likely to disturb the water. Third, I believe I will be able to fish areas of the river on the far side of a strong mid-stream current using this method.

The third lesson Jordan taught me was to be confident in fishing streamers. Here again he taught me how to cast across stream and allow the streamer to sink and then let it swing until directly below. He taught me to point the tip of the rod down and toward the line and watch the line carefully where it enters the water. We tried varying the retrieve by stripping sometimes and also twitching at the end of the drift. When we used Jordan’s rods, he installed a sink tip line, and I discovered the value of that addition to my equipment. I rarely fish streamers and use it as an offering of last resort. Hopefully this will no longer be the case.

Jordan allowed me to cast his two-handed 12 foot spey rod and taught me one of the many casting techniques. I have much to learn in this realm, but it demonstrated the power and distance that can be gained with this technique.

So on Wednesday Jordan led me back to the sweet long run where I’d landed two 20+ inch rainbows on Tuesday. We worked the whole run top to bottom. For the close in fishing I used the style of nymphing I am familiar with in Colorado; three quarters upstream, then lift the rod as it drifts across from me, then lower the rod and release line. For the area requiring longer casts Jordan instructed me on the stack mend technique described above. We were using the same pheasant tail combination that had worked yesterday and this yielded six rainbows by lunchtime with the largest being around 16 inches.

Toward the end of the morning we switched to the spey rod, and I struggled with this technique, but did land one fish on the spey. After lunch we moved upstream to the “mouse eddy” below a small island. Here we noticed a decent amount of rising fish with quite a few caddis in the air, so Jordan tied on a black foam body caddis with a tuft of orange poly over the wing for visibility. This proved to be quite effective, and I landed three or four fish on the black caddis.

Pretty Rainbow Landed on Wednesday

We continued upstream and returned to the eddy across from Tuesday’s lunch beach where I landed a couple more fish. Next we hit a different wide run where Jordan set me up with the spey rod again and a sink tip line with a white and green Clouser-style streamer. I took one rainbow on this set up when it struck while the fly dangled below me.

A Mouthful of Mouse

Our final location was near the mouth of the Copper in some slack water next to the right bank facing upstream. There were fish rising in this area, so Jordan had me return to fishing the caddis with the pheasant tail dropper. I landed 3 or 4 small rainbows in this area that I counted, but many more too small to count. At this point in the day we were approaching quitting time, and I’d landed 19 of 28 hook ups. It would be my highest total of fish landed, but the fish were on average smaller than the previous days.

Stretched Out Before Me, the Mouse Mauler

A Better View of the Fraud Mouse

We had a small remaining slot of time to catch number 20, so Jordan tied on a Moorish Mouse and had me work the bottom 20 yards of the slack water with the high bank. I began casting the mouse hard against the bank and immediately wiggling and stripping back toward me. Jordan watched, but I wasn’t getting any response, so he decided to go back upstream to get the jet boat and then come back and pick me up. When he reached the boat, I’d covered 90% of the targeted bank. I tossed another cast and it began to streak away as I wiggled. The mouse had traveled no more than three feet when a huge mouth appeared and chomped down on the mouse. I set the hook and shouted to Jordan who rushed the boat down and helped me land a 22” rainbow with a mouse stuck in its mouth. What a thrill! I’d read articles about this, but actually got to experience it. We took a bunch of photographs and streaked back to the lodge. 20 fish were landed on the Copper River, and a 22 inch monster ate a fake mouse.

Copper River – 6/21/2011

Time: 10:00AM – 6:15PM

Location: First 5 miles above lake

Fish Landed: 11

Copper River 06/21/2011 Photo Album

After going to bed at midnight with the sun still up on Monday, breakfast was served at 7AM on Tuesday. It was still raining lightly and very overcast as we set out on the jet boats for the Copper River again. The weather did clear gradually as the day wore on and the sun actually came out in the middle to late afternoon.

Jordan Enjoys Lunch Fire

I landed three smaller rainbows before lunch (small by Alaska standards are 12-13 inch fish) as we worked some runs with streamers. One rainbow took the purple leech and then two took the white marabou flesh fly while I fished the spey rod. After lunch Jordan introduced me to two spots where an eddy was formed below an island. The most productive place was directly across from where we ate lunch where a huge eddy resulted in a backflow along the far bank. I was positioned at the point of a gravel bar where the current swept back and met the main current.

Pretty Dolly Varden

Jordan spotted the two Dolly Varden just below our feet where the current dropped off and I managed to land both on the rubber leg pheasant tail and another small pheasant tail with a red thread band behind the bead. Trout were rising sporadically in the eddy as we fished, and there were yellow sallies and caddis in the air along with a few of BWO’s. When some fish began rising deep in the slough by a sunken log, Jordan tied on one of my Letort hoppers and I duped a 16 inch rainbow that I landed. This fulfilled one of my goals of catching a large rainbow on a dry fly. A caddis dry also produced a rainbow in the eddy. The best fish sucked in the small pheasant tail in the riffles formed below me where the eddy and main current merged. This rainbow measured out in excess of 20 inches.

A Very Nice Rainbow with the Sun Out

Eventually the rising activity slowed and with it the fish catching ended so we pulled up anchor and moved to a beautiful stretch where a run ran down the center of the river and then swung closer to the far bank. In this area 30 yards of prime fish habitat screamed for nymphs, and that’s exactly what we did. Jordan kept the double pheasant tail nymph combination in place, and using the high stick nymphing technique I landed another three fine rainbows, two in the 20-21 inch range.

Sun Still High at 9:15PM, June 21

We called it a day around 6:15 and headed back for a fine dinner prepared by chef Slam.

Copper River – 6/20/2011

Time: 7:00PM – 10:30PM

Location: Lower end of Copper River above Lake Illiamna

Fish Landed: 2

Copper River 06/20/2011 Photo Album

This story begins in Anchorage, AK on June 19. My Alaska Air flights from Denver were flawless, and I found a taxi that took me to the Lake Hood Inn on Sunday afternoon. I met my fishing companions for the week at the Lake Hood Inn. They were Michi and Don Henley and Dr. Steve McKenzie from Hemet, CA. Don and Steve were fishing buddies that spent a lot of time on a southern California lake fishing for bass and striped bass.

Lake Hood Inn - Welcome to Alaska

We commissioned a taxi that took us to downtown Anchorage to the Glacier Brewhouse for dinner. Anchorage is a small city that seems even smaller than a city because of all the open spaces with evergreen trees and lakes. It was partly cloudy and cool on Sunday with highs probably in the low 60’s.

On Sunday morning I awoke early and prepared to be picked up by 7AM. The innkeeper arranged for a friend to shuttle the four of us to the Illiamna Air Taxi terminal near Ted Stevens Airport. I arrived at the airport and checked all my bags and waited for the others to arrive. It didn’t take long, and the four of us met pilot Nick and boarded the Pilatus airplane. I was selected to sit in the co-pilot seat up front. Nick ran through his checklist and discovered a flap light that remained lit on the instrument panel. He found the procedure for rebooting, and I actually had a role holding a switch in during this process. After running through the checklist a second time, another light remained on that was not to Nick’s liking, so we all exited the aircraft and returned to the terminal for a short period of time until Nick could locate the owner of the air taxi service.

Dave As Co-Pilot

At 9:40AM all systems were go, and we took off under cloudy skies. The departure was 1:40 later than scheduled. I watched the GPS navigation system, altitude instrument and fuel gage during the entire one hour flight. When we reached Illiamna and dropped out of the dense cloud cover, we were almost on the ground!

Once in the Illiamna terminal I discovered that we were grounded indefinitely due to low cloud cover. The Beaver floatplane that was scheduled to take us across the lake could not be flown by instruments, so visibility was imperative. The Socal group and I hung out in the airport watching it rain and reading, but it was difficult to remain patient being this close to my long anticipated week of fishing. There was another group of six fishermen from the California bay area also waiting in the terminal for a flight to Copper River Lodge. The group somehow commissioned a van and picked up some snacks at the only store in Illiamna. They shared with us, and I was so hungry I ate a cold uncooked hot dog for the first time since I was a kid.

Finally late in the afternoon, Mark Higgins, the owner of Rainbow Point Lodge, called to inform the terminal that he was going to bring his boat across the lake and pick us up. We all jumped into our fishing waders to stay dry, and piled into a pickup truck driven by one of the Illiamna Air Taxi workers who drove us to the dock on Lake Illiamna. We all climbed into the cabin cruiser and enjoyed a 40 minute ride across the lake to the Rainbow Point Lodge. It was still raining steadily, but since there is daylight virtually 24 hours a day on June 20, Mark said we could go out fishing as long as we wanted. The guides were ready to work.

Shaggy Bear Swims to Gravel Bar Ahead of Our Boat

We elected to have a satisfying dinner prepared by Slam, the cook, and then jumped back into our fishing clothes. I was assigned Jordan Carter as my guide, Michi and Don had Mike, and Dr. Steve would work with Jared. Jordan led me to his jet boat and we were off to the Copper River. The ride from the lodge to the mouth of the Copper River was roughly 15-20 minutes. I had my face tilted down and used my left hand to pull my rain hood down over my face as the rain was pelting quite strong due to the speed of the jet boat. Jordan gave me a shout to look up and watch a bear that was swimming across the lake in front of us. By the time I got out my camera and snapped a picture, the scraggy creature was on a protruding gravel bar.

Dr. Steve was already out and fishing, so we cruised by him and ran the boat on the shore of an island and began fishing. Jordan started me out casting a purple articulated leech streamer and I hooked but failed to land my first fish. It didn’t take long, however, before I hooked and landed a nice 13” rainbow on a white marabou flesh fly. We moved the boat to a new position further upstream, and while fishing near Dr. Steve and Jared, I hooked a nice 20+ inch rainbow on the purple leech. Jared took my camera and snapped some nice photos of Jordan and me holding the beautiful wild Copper River rainbow. It was quite damp and chilly so we quit fishing at around 10:30PM and headed back to the lodge satisfied in knowing that we’d reached our destination and had a bit of success. I had four hookups and landed two fish, one in excess of 20 inches.

Guide Jordan, Dave and 20" Rainbow

Also during this first Alaska experience, Jordan let me use his two-handed spey rod, so I received a bit of instruction on a new type of fishing.