ALASKA -  2007


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The first week of July we enjoyed another excellent week of fly fishing at No See Um Lodge in Alaska.  This was our 4th visit to the lodge.  However, we previously fished at No See Um during the 2nd week of September.  So, this was an entirely different experience and one we truly enjoyed!  As always, all of our fishing is "catch & release" so these beautiful fish continue what we hope is a long, productive life.

Monday, July 2:   Our day begin with a morning flight to King Salmon where we and the other eight anglers were met and transferred to the lodge.  It was a beautiful day and after a quick lunch, we were offered the opportunity to fish for a few hours on the Kvichak River for sockeye salmon (and take some fillets home) or fish for grayling.  We opted for the grayling fishing with Scott as our guide. We also were accompanied by Hank, Scott’s four-year old Labrador.  Not only did we catch lots of beautiful grayling (which are tons of fun on a 5 wt. rod), we had a great time too!  Grayling are a highly underrated fish.  They rise readily to the dry fly; are great fighters and jumpers; and are really beautiful.  The Alaska State record is 23” long and we caught grayling in the 14” – 19” range consistently.  We returned to the lodge to join our fellow anglers for an evening cocktail and dinner.

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En route to No See Um

Our initial view of Mt. Iliamna
(If you look closely, you'll see a reflection
of our PenAir craft on the engine)
 En Route to No See Um

A closer look at Mt. Iliamna
En Route to No See Um

Mt. Redoubt
Lindy and Scott with a grayling
displaying it's beautiful fin
Ed, Hank & Scott with Ed's grayling

[T O P]

Tuesday, July 3:  Today we opted to float the “Big Ku" (the Kukaklak River).  It was a river on which we had not previously fished during our Fall trips.  Our guide, Parker, did a great job putting us on fish as well as piloting us on the 6 mile float.  We each hooked and landed approximately 12 rainbows.  We also had a double – each of us fighting a fish at the same time.  Highlights of the day included us each landing a 26” gorgeous rainbow.  At the end of the float, we hiked up a small hill and were picked up on a small pond for the return flight to the lodge.

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Ed and Parker with Ed's
beautiful 26.5 inch rainbow
Lindy getting into the act with
her own 26 inch rainbow
Parker holding a 24" rainbow
caught by Lindy in the afternoon
Ed's final 24-25" rainbow of the day
(Do these guys look happy or what??)

[T O P]

Wednesday, July 4:  Happy 4th of July!!  Today we flew out with our pilot and guide, Jack, and headed for the Brooks River.  Due to fog, we had to abort the flight and return to the lodge.  About 11:00AM, Jack decided we would switch to the Copper River.  So we re-boarded the Beaver (along with Parker and anglers, Steve & Alex) and headed to the river flying the full length of Lake Iliamna.  Again, the Copper was a new experience for us and it was beautiful!  (Note:  Ed previously fished the Copper River in 1974 but not via No See Um Lodge.)  We took boats up river and spent the day catching lots of rainbows and dolly varden.  We didn’t have anything of size but it was still a memorable day.  In the evening, we had holiday festivities after dinner.  Highlights were watching the water skiing (done by guides John and Scott) and the water boarding (done by staff member, Aleta, and guest, Alex).  Unfortunately, it was rainy but that didn’t deter the athletes.

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A view of Lake Iliamna
as we approach the Copper River
Ed shot this photo of his
16-17 inch rainbow (Lindy and
Jack were around the corner)
Again, Ed caught & photographed this
 16 inch dolly varden
The end of the day

Sitting on the Beaver's float with
T.J. & Lisa and Jack and Parker

[T O P]

Thursday, July 5:  Today we fished the famous Brooks River (yes, the one with the bears at the Falls).  We landed on Lake Naknek (the Brooks flows into it) and stowed our lunches in the bear proof locker.  Then, we headed out with Parker and began fishing under the Falls and through the lower river.  There was lots of bear activity but for most of the morning we managed to fish. 

After a break for lunch, however, there were a lot more bears on the lower river.  We could barely make a cast or two before having to relinquish our spot.  We did have one “close encounter.”  Parker has an eagle-eye for keeping track of nearby bears and one up river was very active.  Suddenly, it charged a pod of salmon in our direction and dove into them in an attempt to catch one (without success).  So, while Parker started moving us to the bank, the bear charged again and dove into another pod about 10’ away from us.  It was unnerving to say the least.  It’s amazing the ground (or water) a big bear can cover in just seconds. 

The bear probably had no interest in us but was only interested in catching a salmon.  But, in his charges towards us “HE” was the only one who knew that for sure.  While the bear was attempting to feed, we were all walking like crazy in deep water, against the current, trying to get ashore.  In the process, Parker also had to pull Lindy out of the edge of a deep hole (a tad above her waders) between us and shore.  Obviously, we made it to the bank but had to stay there for ~15 minutes as the same bear kept charging pods of salmon.  Finally, the bear moved on and we decided to call it a day.  We re-crossed the river to the opposite bank, gathered our things and had a cold (well-deserved) beer.

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Lindy and Parker with her first
rainbow of the day
Fellow angler, Steve, casting
with three bears in the background
This Mama and her cub kept us
waiting at shore for quite a bit;
As Parker said, "There's probably
no safer place in the world than where
that cub is resting."

Lindy and Parker with another rainbow
(In the background between them is
one of the many bears)
End of the Day

Sitting on the Beaver's float;
Steve and Alex
and Jack and Parker

[T O P]

Friday, July 6:  We headed to the Lower American River with Chris flying the lodge’s Cessna 206.  Accompanying us was Aleta who enjoyed a well-deserved day off.   Unfortunately, when we arrived at the Lower American River, it was pretty “blown out” (the water being dirty from heavy rain).  So, we initially opted to try another spot – Margo River.  It too had suffered from the rain but we were able to wade and fish several hundred yards of it and did manage to catch rainbows.  Then, we opted to return to the Lower American.  We used a boat to reach several spots.  Again, we found fish (both rainbow and dollys) and, more importantly, we all had a great time.

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Lindy and Chris with her rainbow
from Margo River
Chris and Aleta as
motor the Lower American
Ed and Chris with a beautiful dolly varden

[T O P]

Saturday, July 7:  Today we headed out to one of our favorite rivers, The Morraine, with pilot, guide and lodge co-owner, John Holman.  The river was fantastic as usual.  We caught several 23” and 24” fish each and actually had a double.  Lindy’s largest was 24” and Ed caught and landed a 24.5” and 25” rainbow.  Really nice!!  In late afternoon, John decided to fly over to Battle Creek to see if rainbows were there.  We flew over an incredible pass (saddle) with stunning views.  The flight alone was amazing!  After we flew over Battle Lake and over the Battle Creek, John did spot some rainbows so we went to catch a few.  Ed quickly caught two rainbows – 18” and 20”.  Then, on the last cast of the day, Lindy managed to catch and release a beautiful 26.5” x 16” rainbow.  What a way to enjoy our first ever visit to Battle Creek!

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John and Lindy with a beautiful 24 inch rainbow
Ed gets into the act with a 24.5 inch rainbow
Ed does it again....
this time with a beautiful 25 inch rainbow
The "Limo" (really a Beaver) which
moves us from the lodge to various
locations, including onto Battle Creek today


A view en route over a saddle
between The Morraine and Battle Creek
We made it! (and the
views were spectacular!!)
A view from Battle Creek
The highlight of the day (& trip)....
Lindy's 26.5 x 16" rainbow and
her FIRST fish on Battle Creek!

[T O P]

Sunday, July 8:  We spent our final day (this year) of fishing with pilot, guide and lodge founder, Jack Holman.  Initially, we headed to the Upper American River.  However, the visibility was terrible.  Jack managed to work us over to the Kulik River as an alternative fishing spot.  The fishing was a bit tough but we each managed 5-6 rainbows apiece.  We even had a double (especially nice when a competitor lodge guide and clients were passing by)!  The day was rainy and cold (very much like a warm day in September) so we only took one photograph!  We stopped fishing a bit early at 4:00PM and enjoyed some warm beverages before loading up and returning to the lodge.  Our group, as well as Parker and his clients, Steve & Alex, had enjoyed a great week!  We headed back to the lodge to pack up our belongings, enjoy a final cocktail hour and dinner and then view a slide show of highlights of the week’s fishing. 

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Our one and only picture...
we do look a bit cold and wet.
Jack, after returning to the lodge,
toasts the birthday of his
lovely wife, Sue

[T O P]


Again, this week we enjoyed another wonderful fly-out lodge experience.  The guides (John, Matt, Jack, Parker, Chris & Scott) are excellent anglers and really put you on the fish.  The lodge staff, especially Joy and Aleta, also do a tremendous job.  We enjoyed the summer fishing so much (despite some bugs and weather delays) that we’ve rebooked at No See Um Lodge next summer (in fact, during the 4th of July week)!!

If you're interested in exploring our other adventures at No See Um lodge, just click on a link below to go to that year's trip:

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