Sunday, October 18, 2015

Alaska: day three captions

Fly to a remote mountain lake; land the plane on it.  Walk up an inflowing stream reach.  Had never done that before this day.  I think this pic here is en route but is not the lake on which we landed. 
This was the vibe for the ~1 hour morning flight.

This was the stream we fished, working up from the mouth.

Mooring the plane.  Berries in dung. 
Lining rods.  

We worked upstream and broke into two groups of three.  Not many people fish this water; some low number of instances per year was cited; can't remember it now.

Much of this day was a lot like fishing at home.  Nymphing.  Fish were a step bigger.  Dollies and char and rainbows.  Here's a nice orange nose.

Wanted to remember this hole because many many fish came out of it.  Standing on that gravel/cobble point making good use of all three thirds of a standard drift with indicator.  At the end of each drift, as the egg started to rise on the swing, a fish would crush it; meaning jolt the indicator about a foot.  All were nice big char.

Our guy Mike; he started out this morning assassinating fish; beautiful leopard here.

DF working some great outside bend water.

Photo credit to DF.  Wow.

This was a favorite fish from the small stream.  After hooking a good number this one came on and for some unknown reason as soon as I hooked it I was moved to hold the rod high and start sprinting downstream.  I think that the fish was indeed running downstream.  Our guide Corey K. was deft with the net and kept the char out of various woody debris (thanks man).  One thing I noted about these char is that they are pretty good at holding tight and strong to the bottom.  Not particularly athletic or big runners, but a really tough bull down deep.  Corey taped this fish at 25 inches. 
Mike, Corey and I got off the small stream first and so I got first shot at the seams running out into the lake.  The plunge point from the delta shelf of sand down into the deep was absolute money and it brought four dollies to hand before Mike finished his first cup of coffee.  Corey came over and netted the last one; this colored up beauty.  Great kype too.

JM, DF and Tyler followed shortly thereafter and one of JM's first fish was this great chum.  First such entry in his log book.  

This was the only day that showed any moderately cool weather.  It rained.  Hands got cold for a few minutes but barely noticed.  We were fishing as pictured here, groups of three, on either side of the inflow.  We knew it was thick with fish and so the cold didn't matter we just pounded on it.  Mike was into them right away.  I caught onto his drift then and landed quite a few.  JM and DF on other side pounding out fish.  It was a good deal.

We caught a lot of great char, mid-twenties, beauties.  But we wanted the nuclear char.  Here is the story on this fish - just the facts - each reader can conclude.  Corey standing next to me, we watched the fish porpoise.  I cast to intercept it and stripped the streamer.  Strike felt.  Hookset.  We watched the fish swim around as it should, with line going to head/mouth, streamer apparently eaten.  Fish death-rolled multiple times, which could be felt intimately.  When the fish came to net, it was no longer hooked.   Meaning not fair hooked, and not foul hooked.  It was lassooed around the big paddle tail.  Meaning the tippet trailing the streamer was simply held by the trailing egg bead hook.  And it cinched down tight on the fish.  My first inclination was that it was a caught fish.  How could one discount a fish that was never foul hooked.  I've asked various folks and received different answers.  When did the hook come out?  If a fish comes off the hook at your feet, but you are still able to net it, is it a fair fish?  What if it comes off ten feet away and you dive and net it?  What if, in its own death rolls, it comes off but tangles itself ten feet away and you are able to net it?  At this point I'll stake no particular claim.  Just the facts.  And the beauty of this fish.
Another angle.  It was taped at 29 inches.

After the dollies, char and rainbow, we targeted some of the giant salmon that were laying at the mouth of the river; wadded up in the slack water.

JM hooked up; Corey looking on.

A favorite photo of JM with a giant beak.
In looking here I see that I don't have a single pic of DF holding a fish on this day.  JM has some but we haven't shared all pics yet.  Sorry man.  Also missing is a great pic of a salmon caught on a popper.


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