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By fatman

A couple years back, Redchaser and I began making plans for a trip to Alaska.

I hooked him up with a spray pole, Rootwad gifted us some flies, and we lined up a riverman to show us the ropes.

Two years is a long time to wait...but it got here.

Thirty six hours of travel (including a nine hour layover) got us to camp.

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The plan had been to fly in to a remote river, away from the madding crowds, to fish for

Coho and Rainbows. Water conditions this year dictated that two weeks before launch we

needed to call an audible. We also knew we were a little early for prime silver season, but

Redchaser is a devoted Dad, and needed to get back for his daughter's beginning of school.

We launched and made it to camp early afternoon:


The camp had a nice hole on the beach, so after unloading and a quick lunch.

we strung up the rods and limbered up. Redchaser shooting lasers:

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We cast well into the evening, and before it was all over, I'd hooked my first Pacific salmon:
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User avatar
By fly-chucker
who knew they had central pivots in Alaska?

keep it coming :cool
User avatar
By Redchaser

On my flight in I had a 7 hour layover in Dallas. . I got into DFW at around breakfast time so I had lox and bagels. Not the freshest looking lox, the effects of which would show up later.
Lunch time rolled around and I decided that this trip needed chied fricken.
As time for my flight neared I started experiencing stomach issues, having to make multiple trips to the john with splatter shits.

Finally time to board for the leg to Anchorage arrived. Unfortunately my stomach condition hadn’t improved. I had the window seat so I had to be the asshole making 2 other people get up to let me out of my seat multiple times during the long flight.

It looked cold down there

I flew el cheapo air, on this

After I landed in Anchorage I waited in the airport for Fatman who arrived just a little later. We got checked into the hotel then had dinner at the hotel restaurant. Our waitress was a hot Mexican woman named Lilly with a great ass. I told fatman "When she walks it looks like 2 possums fighting in a sack".

Riverman was our guide

Riverman likes to talk and tell stories. Riverman likes to talk and tell stories a lot. Riverman likes to talk and tell stories whether anyone is listening or not.

We stopped by a campground near the river to pick up Riverman’s boat. I think somebody stole his prop.
As we were getting wadered up a wildlife officer showed up and introduced himself. He mentioned to Riverman that he needed a guide permit specific to this river because it’s a state wildlife management refuge thingy. Riverman’s jaw dropped. Earlier in the week he had gone by the refuge office to buy whatever permits he needed. They told him that he needed a launch permit and camping permit, but never mentioned that he needed the guide permit (and he had told them he was guiding). While Riverman was flummoxed by this development the officer asked where we were from. When Fatman mentioned that he was from Kansas, the officer asked “What Part?”. Within a few seconds it was established that the officer, like Fatman had gone to Kansas State, and thanks to a bunch of Wildcat alumni Bro Bro stuff the officer cut Riverman and us a huge break, telling us to go ahead and fish, but Riverman needed to make sure that he got into the refuge office on Monday to get the permit squared away. Go Wildcats.

At the launch is the “Don’t Be A Dumbass” monument. A number of years ago a game warden was driving this boat down river when some small penised person in an overpowered jet boat t-boned him. Fortunately the warden survived.


Along the way just about every rock or turn in the river reminded Riverman of a story he needed to tell us, then each detail of each story would require a full back story, with each detail of the back story requiring a full story as well. We got to the comfortable looking campsite. Riverman had busted his ass to move the campsite from the river we were going to fish to this one, involving something like a 90 mile haul by boat.

We unloaded gear and went down to a spot where we saw a tremendous amount of fish on the way up. It’s a spot rIverman likes to fish that most of the locals pass up and drive right through, so Fatman had the great idea to call the hole the “Drive Through”. We started fishing and before too long Fatman was hooked up.
The fish ran and thrashed and came to net. It was a Chum hooked in the dorsal fin, but fuck it, it was the first Salmon I got to see up close without lemon and a parsley garnish.

Shortly after that Fatman hooked (in the mouth) and landed a chum that was very bright and fresh, so fresh it still had sea lice.

The sea lice reminded Riverman of a story he had to tell us.

Soon after I repeated Fatman’s pattern, ass hooking a chum, then catching one fair. The ass hooking reminded Riverman of a story he had to tell us. This one was caught fair
We caught a few more fish and returned to camp for lunch at around 3. Riverman had brought some pasta salad with Salmon and some smoked salmon dip that was really tasty. Lunch reminded Riverman of a long story he had to tell us. During our lunch break we had a visitor. Joe is one of the guys that works at the fish weir upriver from where we were camped. He counts fish. Joe was in the Spitfire
Complete with Cadillac fins and tail lights.
Ruiverman told Joe a few stories.

After lunch we fished more. Neither Fatman or I had much of a sense of time because of the long Alaskan day. We were surprised to find out it was 10 PM when we quit fishing. We snacked a bit then went to bed. The tents were set up with cots with Therma Rest pads on them and sleeping bags. It was comfortable. It was also very nice to be out of waders as I discovered that both legs of mine leaked, quite a bit.

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Last edited by Redchaser on Sun Aug 07, 2016 12:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
By Obie
verr' nice :cool
User avatar
By ironman
And from the spam ashes of teh suk, a Phoenix rises.

User avatar
By fatman

Like I said, the original plan was to target Silvers and Rainbows.

We'd been told that this river didn't have a large population of rainbows;

after the decision had been made to reboot, we had been looking at the return reports.

Lots of chums in the system, with a spattering here and there of coho passing through the weir.

What to do? Get flies in the water:

Another humpy to start the day

My first chumlee. A bright one:

Our host was "prospecting" - fuck me if he didn't hook a silver

The rest of the morning we fished. We caught chums. Not every cast, but enough to keep us engaged.

Towards lunch time, we took a ride up to the weir:

the office

fine accomodations

Our camp god Boss

we fished some more

We settled into a routine: up at 0400, casting by 0500, quick break for lunch,

fish until 5 or 6:00 p.m. Dinner at camp, then hit the sack. Food didn't suck:

Tough Duty

:smile :smile :smile[/report]
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Last edited by fatman on Sun Aug 07, 2016 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Redchaser
[report]. Everytime one of us caught a chum that was bright and maybe a little more jumpy than normal, Riverman just knew it was a silver. Riverman was more disappointed than us to find out it wasn’t,
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we were having a blast catching willing energetic fish, some of them pretty big. Around noon Riverman headed back to his truck to drive to the refuge office to take care of the permit thingy. We ate lunch then fished the hole in front of the camp site. We weren’t catching there. After a while Riverman returned and told us in great detail the story of driving back into town to get the permit, filling all gaps by giving us the full backstory on every detail no matter how minor. Riverman also brought a friend back with him.

Boss is a cool dog, he is an eleven year old German Shephard that self identifies as a Labrador puppy. Boss loves sticks.
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Riverman told us a lot of stories about boss…and every other dog he’s ever owned, known, or seen briefly walking down the street.
We all played “get the stick” with Boss.
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Boss usually won.
We fished some more Monday afternoon, the bite was a bit slow, I think we each picked up one more fish. When we took a ride up to the fish Weir where Joe works the fish weir reminded Riverman of a story he had to tell us.

Along with Joe and the other guy who work the fish weir, there was a turkey and a goat. The goat had caused trouble by getting into the tent with the computer equipment, knocking it over. They then started keeping the goat tied up, but it kept getting into hornet nests. The hornets reminded Riverman of a story he had to tell us.

Boat traffic and angler pressure had been a bit heavy so we wanted to get up and get an early start on Tuesday. Riverman told us stories about boat pressure and river crowding, confrontations, near fights etc. He also pointed out some of the other guides on the river.
This is Miller.
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Riverman and Miller get along. Miller pulls at least 2 boatloads a day like this up the river. Miller doesn't have to work in the winter.[/report]
User avatar
By fatman

Day three. We fished some more.

Redchaser caught a tomato-colored king this day, but I was

400 yards downstream and didn't get a pic. I think it's on Riverman's camera.

Anyhow, we caught some chums
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It was tough not being just a little disappointed that we weren't catching silvers.

Then Redcchaser pointed out that it was like going redfishing and complaining that

all you caught were 30 black drum.

Can't lie, chums are fun

:wink :wink :wink[/report]
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Last edited by fatman on Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Redchaser

Like the Fatman said, we were catching mostly chums. I didn't give a shit, they were willing players, and a lot of fun and different from what I normally do. We were back on the drive through. Fatman is a damn fine caster with the 2 hander, and his loops all looked mighty fine
My casting sucked, I mostly frothed the water and waved the rod like an orchestra conductor having a seizure. I have to say that seeing all of the kings in the river fired me up. I'm hard wired to toss a cast at anything red, but per Riverman's council I was leaving them alone, not casting at the big red ones cruising and certainly not fishing the numerous reds n the river

Fatman and I had already each picked up a couple of chum when I got off a surprisingly good cast. I let it drift a bit, then stopped the rod and started the swing. Mid swing the line stopped. I pulled back on the rod a little and felt the pulse of life on the other end. I set the hook and felt a lot of weight and strength, then a large head came out of the water shaking, the fish ran, my line cleared and kept going. The big red beast thrashed at the surface a few more times, “Oh man, I think it’s a big blushed up silver” Riverman said. “It’s a king” I told Riverman. Riverman really wanted us to catch a silver. After a good fight, Riverman got the net under the fish. It was a big king that he said was probably a late arrival. Its color wasn’t as deep tomato red as most of the kings in the river, and it was still in good shape.

.My guess at weight was 22lb, Riverman guessed 25 or 26 pounds. I’ll defer to him. That king reminded Riverman of a story about a big king he caught one time and he told it to us. In detail. A little while later I caught a Pink. The only picture I got of it on my camera is its cool looking tail.

Don't let Fatman fool you, he loves chums. He loves chums so much that he hugged a bunch of them.

Riverman told as a story about a guy at a parts place for outboards, which reminded him of a story about a guy working at a parts place for pressure washers, which reminded him of a story about when he was tending bar, which reminded him of a story about his brother and cigars, which reminded him of a story of a trip he took with his brother.

We moved to check out a different hole for a bit. While fishing that hole I started getting bad cramping muscle spasms in my right shoulder and up my neck. It felt like I was getting stabbed every time I cast, and got worse and worse. When we broke for a late lunch I asked RIverman to drop me at the camp, I took some Tylenol, laid down and sat out the afternoon fishing. When Fatman and riverman returned in the afternoon they reported that the silvers were moving into the river in better numbers and they saw quite a few more of them Tuesday afternoon. This raised our hopes.

Prior to the trip some Drakians had done what Drakians do and showed us great generosity. Root Wad sent along a box of flies for us to use. A big box


I caught a bunch of fish on this fly that Root sent, now known as the chum killer

I also caught the king on it. Steelhound also generously sent a box of great looking flies. I fished a couple of the heavier ones when we were in some water that called for more weight. They look great in the water as well as out. We were looking forward to Wednesday morning knowing that there were more fish in the river[/report]
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