AJ Went To AK: There's Now Nothing More To Say

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Average Joe
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AJ Went To AK: There's Now Nothing More To Say

Post by Average Joe » Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:47 pm

[report]I recently spent a week at a fishing lodge in Alaska.

My buddy Neil planned this trip in celebration of both his birthday and his recent retirement, and I was more or less along for the ride.

I'd never stayed at a fishing lodge before, and though I had a good time, it was quite expensive, and it's unlikely that I'll ever do it again.

Most days consisted of getting up and eating a nice breakfast that was cooked by someone else. Breakfast was often followed by a boat and/or plane ride, during which time I did little more than smoke cigars and drink beer. At the end of the boat ride, I was frequently handed a fully set up rod and told to cast "there." More often than not, this resulted in me catching fish.

At the end of the day, the boat would take us back to the lodge, where we'd drink cocktails on the deck until someone came out and told us that it was time for dinner. After dinner we'd go back out on the deck, where we'd drink cocktails and smoke cigars until we got tired and went to bed.

Then we'd wake up the next morning and do it all again.

Any jackass with a lot of money could have done it, and that's why I had no plans to write up a TR on the week's events. In my opinion the trip really wasn't Suk-worthy, but a handful of people here are badgering me to put something up anyway, and that's why I'm posting this in the Bitching Room.




Most trips of this nature have both a shitty start and a shitty end.
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That's why airports have bars.
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Neil booked all the flights, which ensured I always got a prime middle seat.
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Bonus! Thanks Neil!
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These helped, but not much.
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Once we landed in Seattle, we caught another flight to Anchorage. A half hour after takeoff, the toddler in front of me started barfing all over her mother. The smell was horrific, and because barfing is contagious, people all around me started puking as well. Fortunately the gin and tonics worked their magic and kept my insides from going outside. I don't think I've ever been so happy to step off a plane.

Went down to baggage claim and waited for my suitcase.

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Then I waited some more.

After some more waiting, the carousel stopped moving. My bag wasn't on it, so I got into line and waited for a helpful airline representative to assist me.

Then I waited some more.

A while after that, a helpful airline representative told me that my bag was on a different flight, and that it should arrive in an hour or so.

We found some seats in the baggage waiting area and made ourselves comfortable.

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This is what can happen if you leave your camera on the table with your "friends" in the baggage waiting area while you're in the restroom.
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Once I'd collected my bag, we called the hotel where we were staying and asked them to send the shuttle to pick us up. "It may be awhile," came the reply.
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The shuttle arrived about an hour later, and after a twenty minute ride, we checked into our luxurious, $200-a-night accommodations.
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In hindsight there was no better way to end the day than with a shitty, overpriced meal at the Glacier Brewhouse.
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Coming up next, Anchorage! A city untouched by Proazc.[/report]
Last edited by Average Joe on Tue Aug 25, 2015 1:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Lando
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Re: AJ in AK

Post by Lando » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:05 pm

Sounds just like the Luau.
If my tombstone reads, "He never ate sushi." it won't be a lie, and I'll be OK with that.

~Average Joe

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B.M. Barrelcooker
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Re: AJ in AK

Post by B.M. Barrelcooker » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:43 pm

It may just be me Joe but I sense a little bit of cynicism and sarcasm.
"worst that can happen is a big fat zero and a fine walk out of doors"---Chadroc

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The Wandering Blues
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Re: AJ in AK

Post by The Wandering Blues » Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:10 pm

It's like someone saying "Aw, man, I gotta go home and fuck Megan Fox. Again....." Boo-fuckin-hoo. Now show up to the Big Lake Bake and punch me in the jaw... :cool
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Average Joe
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Re: AJ in AK

Post by Average Joe » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:25 pm

[report]I woke early the next morning to the sound of rain. Neil had already gone in search of coffee, so I jumped in the shower and then got dressed.

When he returned to the room, I said, “Happy Birthday Neil. How’s that coffee?”

“Not as good as a Bloody Mary.”

“Well then let’s go find you one.”

Never has such a relatively easy task proved to be so difficult. If Anchorage has a motto, it’s definitely not “Open for Business,” because just about every store, bar, and restaurant we passed was closed.

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After a lot of walking and wandering around, we ended up here.
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We sat down at the empty bar and waited for someone to serve us.

There were two guys on stage tuning their guitars, and when they started singing Neil turned to me and said, “If they keep that up I’m going to need a double.”

A minute or so after that a server walking on the other side of the room looked over at us and yelled, "Can I help you?"

"We need a Bloody Mary and Irish Coffee."

Upon hearing this, the server immediately turned and walked away while yelling "No booze served before 10:00 AM! Alaska state law!"

It was a very long morning.

While walking back to the hotel, a bum stopped me and said, “You got any smokes?”

"No, but you can have what's left of this," I replied. I then took the short stub of a cigar I’d been chewing on out of my mouth and held it in front of him.

"Whoa! That looks pretty harsh!" he said.

I shrugged and went to put it back in my mouth when the bum suddenly read the cigar band and shouted, "Wait a minute! Is that a Cohiba?"

"Yep."

I then watched as he slowly took it from my hand, put it in his mouth, smiled, and then walked away.

Pretty harsh indeed.

After checking out of the hotel, we grabbed some lunch at a Mexican restaurant, and Neil finally got his Bloody Mary.

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Neil hates being the center of attention, so I casually mentioned to our waitress that it was his birthday.
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The lodge Neil chose does not serve alcohol, but they don’t mind if you bring your own, so we stocked up at Gold Rush Liquor, where we ran into an old friend.
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At this point we felt that we’d seen everything Anchorage had to offer, so we headed to the airport and waited for our flight.
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The flight proved to be blessedly uneventful, and soon we were that much closer to our final destination.
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After collecting our luggage, we all loaded into a van that was there waiting for us.
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The van took us to the water’s edge, where we all loaded into a boat that was there waiting for us.
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And the boat took us here.
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The rooms were nice.
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The view wasn’t bad.
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And the natives were friendly.
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Before dinner, the owner gave a little talk about how things worked. He pointed to a mini fridge and said it was filled with complimentary sodas and bottled water: help yourself.

He pointed to a whiteboard and said we should check it every evening to find out which guide we were going with the next day.

He said that every morning we’d be responsible for making our own lunches and putting them in our guide’s cooler in the mudroom. All of the coolers had names on them, and we’d be responsible for getting our lunch in the correct cooler.

He said we’d each get one fly-out, and that we needed to let him know where we wanted to go as soon as possible.

No shoes in the house.

Don't feed the dogs any table scraps.

And that was pretty much it.

By now it was late, so dinner was simple - sandwiches and salad – and afterwards we retired to the deck for cocktails and cigars.

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Neil and the other two guys in our group had all been to this lodge before, and they all knew the owner quite well, so when he came out and asked us where we wanted to go for our fly-out, Neil said, “I want to go to a place where I can catch a silver on the surface, catch a rainbow with a mouse pattern, and see a moose."

The owner had a very dry sense of humor and rarely cracked a smile, and for several seconds he just sat there, stone faced, before finally saying, “Is that all?”

After a bit of ribbing back and forth, it was decided that we would fly out for silvers.

Once that was settled, the owner said, “Just so you know, Such and Such Lake is fishing great for rainbows right now if you’re interested in paying for another fly-out.”

"How much?"

"$200 a piece, $800 total. That's my cost. I don't make anything off of it."

We talked it over and decided to go for it.

We’d only bought one case of beer in Anchorage, so Neil gathered $60 from each of us and gave it to the guy who did the shopping and told him to get us as much cheap beer as that would buy.

By now it was 11:00 PM, and even though it was still light out, I was tired and decided to call it a night.
[/report]

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cornholio
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Re: AJ in AK

Post by cornholio » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:54 pm

Damn good start so far AJ! :cool

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Re: AJ in AK

Post by steelhound » Fri Aug 21, 2015 8:47 pm

Let's keep it rolling.
frustrated. After a few "what the fucks?" "i suck"s and a break on shore I convinced her to get back to casting. I clearly remember this question/statement "so you actually think this is fun. These fish are fucked"
Marlo

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austrotard
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Re: AJ in AK

Post by austrotard » Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:01 pm

I haven't read it. and I'm not going to until it is finished.
but if I can offer a half-time critique... this is why I do mine all in office first.

truthfully it's because I don't like interruptions. like this one.



I FUCKING LOVE THESE THREADS!!!!


:coffee
we'll always have buffalo, sweet josh.

-mtice

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Average Joe
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Re: AJ in AK

Post by Average Joe » Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:31 pm

[report]I woke the next morning, went downstairs, and found two folding tables full of lunch making ingredients:  meats, cheeses, breads, spreads, fruit, chips, and candy bars.  

After making my lunch, I put it in a paper bag, wrote my name on the bag, double-checked the whiteboard, put it in the proper cooler, and then lined up for breakfast.

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After breakfast, I walked to the mud room and put on my waders.  I purchased new wading boots for this trip, because Alaska doesn't allow felt, and as I started putting them on I looked over at the guy sitting across from me and noticed that he had the same style and brand of boots that I had.  

Only his were felt.

"How do you like those boots?" I asked.

"They're great.  Really comfortable."  

He then looked up from what he was doing and quickly glanced at my boots and said, "I see you have the same kind I do."

"Almost the same," I replied.  

A moment or two later he froze, and I watched the color drain from his face.

"Shit!  These are my felt boots!  I brought the wrong goddamn pair of boots!"

Another fellow at the lodge made the same mistake, and ended up wearing his tennis shoes all week.

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I left the mud room and walked down to the dock.  On the way there I passed the fuel depot.
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It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day.
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Neil and I and two other guests we didn't know got into one of the covered boats, along with the guides, and the six of us then took off across the lake.

Twenty minutes later, we arrived at this beach, which was next to the mouth of a fairly good sized river.

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The guides then transferred everything from the covered boat into the two uncovered boats, and once that was done, we headed upriver.
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Our guide for the day was a fellow by the name of Mike.  He said that he was primarily a salmon guide, and that he was only filling in at our lodge for a week or two until his next salmon guiding gig started someplace farther north.  He said that he wasn't much of a fly fisherman, and preferred "catching over casting" (his words).  

At least he was honest about it.

Months prior to the trip, Neil asked me what I planned to bring in the way of rods and reels, and I replied,

"Nothing."

"Nothing?"

"Well, unless I read the brochure wrong, the lodge provides all rods, reels, tackle, and flies, so yeah.  I'm not bringing shit, other than a box of flies that a friend of mine gave me.  Why would I bring my own gear and risk losing or breaking it when I can use theirs?"

Neil of course felt differently, and brought just about every rod and reel he owned, along with leaders, tippet, and boxes upon boxes of flies.

Roughly fifteen minutes after leaving the lake, Mike killed the motor, dropped anchor, and told us to get out of the boat.

Before the trip I'd asked Neil if I would need a wading staff.

"Nah," he replied.  "It's all sand up there."

Sand my ass.

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Sometimes it pays to trust your instincts in spite of what you're told.
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Once I was out of the boat, Mike handed me a fully rigged rod and said, "Fish there."
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I immediately started catching these.
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Mike said they were Dolly Varden, which is a type of fish I'd never caught nor seen before.

For some reason Neil was struggling, and so Mike tried to help him.  What Mike didn't know was that Neil hates it when anyone tries to help him.

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In the meantime I continued to catch fish, and landed close to twenty before we broke for lunch.
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That's when I discovered that Dolly Varden are also quite delicious.
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While the guides were cooking up the fish I asked Neil how he was doing.

"I hate fishing with someone looking over my shoulder," he replied.

Then he walked downstream and started fishing.

I then took Mike aside and said, "Neil won't say anything, and I know you're just doing your job and trying to be helpful, but he'd prefer it if you just left him alone and let him do his thing."

Mike was very cool about it and said, "No problem man. Whatever makes you guys happy. This is your trip."

After lunch I caught my very first grayling.

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It was while we were drifting downriver, and I was struggling to get a decent picture of the grayling, and Mike was struggling to get the fly out, all while Neil continued fishing up on the bow, that we hit the rock.

Neil fell into the bottom of the boat and landed on his back, and his fancy rod and reel went over the side. We were able to retrieve it, but Neil was more cranky than usual for the rest of the day.

I caught a handful of rainbows before we motored down to the beach.

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Then the guides transferred everything into the big boat, and we headed back to the lodge.

Dinner was decent.

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And that night we all got good and drunk before turning in.[/report]

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The Wandering Blues
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Re: AJ Goes To AK: A TR Designed to Annoy Mitch

Post by The Wandering Blues » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:33 am

Nice Dollies. Gsmolt had me on those when I was there in May. Lively little fuckers.
"We're a cross between our parents and hippies in a tent...."
180 Degrees South

BobLoblaw
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Re: AJ Goes To AK: A TR Designed to Annoy Mitch

Post by BobLoblaw » Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:14 am

Sonuvabitchin' bastard, you are!
Now I gotta wait to read the rest????
What the actual fuck??? :smile
Reminds me of reading Stephen King's "The Green Mile".
That sick fucker released it as a "serial novel"; I had to wait a whole damn month to read the next part!
Joe, don't make me wait that long.
:cool
"Walters brook trout. Roots steelhead. Thalwegs tarpon. Loblaws cutthroats.

The list continues to grow..."
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MTgrayling
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Re: AJ Goes To AK: A TR Designed to Annoy Mitch

Post by MTgrayling » Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:59 am

Joe needs to relax a bit. let me help...

"Rrooaxannne!", "you don't have to put on the red light" "Rrooxannnee!"
Ryan found his way out; your escape awaits...

Let there be HIGH water!

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