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Archive for the 'Fishing Travel Journal' Category

Sep 20 2019

East Coast Saltwater Fishing Report Slam’im Action updated Sept 20 2019

Published by under Fishing Travel Journal

Anglers are slamming in Montauk. Capt. David said the days are getting shorter, but the fishing it getting better.

Near shore in and around New York waters

New York Fishing Reports

Capt David Blinken from North Flats Guiding reported that Montauk fishing is hot. He said the days are getting shorter, but the fishing is turning up each day.

You can see his clients are also getting east coast inshore slams, albie, striper and bluefish in one day. Pretty work!

Montauk SLAM Fishing Report Striped Bass Fishing Updated Sept 20 2019
Montauk slam!
Montauk Fly Fishing Report Striped Bass Fishing Updated Sept 20 2019
Montauk light in the background. It’s game on!

Moving down the coast a little to the lower New York area, Capt John McMurray from One More Cast the ablie fishing is still going strong inshore and insland he’s catching nice stripers.

New York Fishing Report Ablie Fishing Updated Sept 20 2019
Albies on light tackle. Talk about a fun fight!
New York Fishing Report Striped Bass Fishing Updated Sept 20 2019
The inshore skinny water Capt John fishes is a blast.

New Jersey Fishing Reports

Expanding our coverage this week to bring you some New Jersey fishing action thanks to Beach Haven Charter Fishing Association (BHFCA). Welcome to the fishing reports!

As the summer flounder season in New Jersey closes on September 21 for another year, and temperatures start beginning to drop into the 50’s, the thoughts of the captains of the BHCFA are turning toward striped bass.

Beach Haven has long been an area noted for being within easy reach of outstanding striped bass fishing both in the spring and in the fall.

This fishing can be found in the inshore bays, in Little Egg Inlet, and in the ocean waters out to the 3-mile limit.

When you mention striped bass fishing in the Southern Ocean County area, serious anglers get excited about the plethora of striped bass contests that run throughout most of the fall.

These tournaments run the gamut from shore-based events to boats only and even some that are open to both groups of anglers.

If you mention striped bass tournament in Beach Haven, the first thought that comes to mind is the Sea Shell Club’s Annual Striped Bass Derby. This boaters’ only contest has attracted over 125 entered boats in some years.

The 2019 version of the Derby holds special meaning for the Beach haven Charter Fishing Association as the BHCFA Junior Mate Reef Project has been chosen to be the charitable recipient of this year’s tournament.
The event will take place from Friday, October 25 through Sunday, October 27.

In addition to being a key part of this year’s Derby, many of the BHCFA boats are available for charter for the tournament. Interested anglers can have an excellent fishing machine to fish on directed by an experienced captain, enhancing their chances at picking up one of the prizes offered in the event.

Interested anglers can go the BHCFA website to take a look at the boats available and find contact information.

Maryland Chesapeake Bay
Fishing Reports

Moving down the east coast to the upper Chesapeake Bay. Capt. Jamie from Eastern Shore Light Tackle Charters clients have been seeing reeeeeeeed.

As in giant redifsh. And…

His anglers managed to land a few cobia and good sized spanish mackerel.
A heck of a good day fishing on the Chesapeake Bay!

Maryland BIG Red Fishing Light Tackle Report Updated Sept 20, 2019
Now that’s a light tackle red fish!
Chesapeake Bay Red fishing report updated Sept. 20 2019
Let’s get another look.
Maryland Chesapeake Bay Spanish Mackerel Light Tackle Report Updated Sept 20, 2019
Light tackle spanish mackerel. Now there’s a fight waiting to happen!

Capt Walleye Pete from Four Seasons Guide Service reports that not only has the red fishing continued to be really good for him, but he’s now moving to shinny water light tackle fishing.

He’s been having good luck with feisty striped bass and good speckled trout fishing.

Maryland Speckled Red Fishing Light Tackle Report Updated Sept 20, 2019
Pretty red fish, look at that tail!
Maryland Speckled Trout Fishing Report Updated Sept 20, 2019
Love skinny water speckled trout fishing!

Virginia Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports

Moving south to the Virginia Chesapeake Bay, Dr. Ken reports:

This past Saturday, we did a very short inshore trip. We caught some very nice Spanish mackerel along the oceanfront. We broke off our one king mackerel…don’t ask.

We managed not to catch any of the cobia we saw…really don’t ask.

Sunday we went marlin fishing.
Keeping in theme, we didn’t catch any.
We did catch skipjack, dolphin and a couple of yellowfin tuna including the first ever for Taylor Simmerman.

The other night, I had dinner with two IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame members: Dr. John Graves and, all the way from Australia, new inductee Dr. Julian Pepperell. John pointed out that we were three IGFA Conservation Award holders.

At dinner we solved striped bass, menhaden and all other ASMFC issues. We moved out into the Atlantic and fixed all ICCAT species and then moved on to the Pacific 🙂

The food was good, the world-wide fish tales were better.

After dinner, I went out on my dock and caught a bunch of speckled trout, silver perch, and shrimp.

Oh yea, that looks like some good grilling coming!
Spanish mackerel
Another nice mac!

Viewers Submitted Fishing Pictures

Brian with a nice redfish he caught at the CBBT.
He was searching for cobia, but this bull hooked up for a good fight.
Chris B. with a nice 54″ Cobia caught at the CBBT.
Released to fight another day.

Thanks Brian and Chris for sending in the pictures, some beautiful fish!

Fishing Report Summary

Well, that’s a wrap for this week. I am working on getting North Carolina fishing reports to expand our coverage.

Thank you for the overwhelming response to my question last week about interest in me bringing back the Lateral Line podcast to bring you these fishing reports every week.

Given the support I am moving forward and going to make it happen.

It’s going to take me a week or two before I can start to get it all set up again. I should have them online soon and will let you know.

Please pass on these fishing reports to anyone else you think would enjoy them.

If you are a fishing guide and want to have your fishing reports included please send me an email and I will let you know what I need from you. Brandon at Lateral Line Co dot com.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and is able to get out on the water to do some fishing! – Brandon

Lateral Line Blog Homepage

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Sep 12 2019

East Coast Fishing Report Action updated Sept 12 2019

Lots of fishing reports happening up and down the east coast from Montauk striped bass and albie fishing busting loose to big redfish in the Middle Chesapeake Bay and nice Cobia still being caught in Virgina’s Chesapeake tidal waters.

Northeast Fishing Reports

Capt David Blinken from North Flats Guiding reported that Montauk is busing wide open with albie and striper fishing

David Blinken north flats guiding fishing reports Montauk fly fishing striped bass and albies
This picture sums up Montauk fishing!
David Blinken north flats guiding fishing reports Montauk fly fishing striped bass
Montauk striped bass

Moving down the coast a little to the lower New York area, Capt John McMurray from One More Cast reports that the albies are getting thick and dolphin fishing has been good near offshore

capt John mcmurray one more cast fishing report albie fishing
Decent size albies showing up for Capt. John
capt John mcmurray one more cast fishing report dolphin fishing
Fun sized dolphin

Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports

Moving down the east coast to the upper Chesapeake Bay. Capt. Jamie from Eastern Shore Light Tackle Charters clients have been catching some giant redfish and some really nice stripers on light tackle

capt jamie eastern shore light tackle charters fishing report chesapeake bay redfish light tackle
Nice sized redfish!
capt jamie eastern shore light tackle charters fishing report chesapeake bay stripedbass stripers light tackle
Fun striped bass light tackle fishing

Capt Walleye Pete from Four Seasons Guide Service reports that not only has the red fishing been really good, but the speckled trout fishing on light tackle has also been really good.

Capt Pete Walleye Pete Four seasons guide service Chesapeake fishing report speck light tackle fishing speckled trout
Nice speckled trout.
Capt Pete Walleye Pete Four seasons guide service Chesapeake fishing report speck redfish tackle fishing Wild Bill
Wild Bill with a wildly sized redfish while fishing with Capt. Pete

Old friend Wild Bill also go out with the Kelly D out of Solomons Island and managed another nice redfish on light tackle.

Solomons Island Fishing report light tackle fishing

Moving south to the Virginia Chesapeake Bay, Dr. Ken reports that the Cobia post hurricane is happening. I’ll let the picture do the talking.

Dr Ken Neill Virginia Chesapeake fishing report cobia

I am thinking about adding a weekly podcast to accompany the report and and pictures. Is that something you are interested in? Please drop me a comment and let me know.

If you are a fishing guide and want to have your fishing reports included please send me an email and I will let you know what I need from you.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and is able to get out on the water to do some fishing! – Brandon

Lateral Line Blog Homepage

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Aug 28 2019

Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report August 2019

Published by under Fishing Travel Journal

Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports August 2019 Redfish
Think there is a big fish picture later in this post with a Jumbo’s fish finder lit up like that!?
You bet there is.

It’s been good to re-connect with a lot of old friends since firing back up this fishing blog and hearing some Chesapeake Bay Fishing Reports.

Jamie, or Jumbo as he is called, and I first met over sixteens ago in Easton, MD through Tidal Fish.

We had been talking on the forums back and forth for a while and eventually figured out from running into one another in Acme that we lived in the same town.

Jamie was just getting into light tackle fishing at the time and I said I would take him to the Susquehanna Flats to catch stripers on top water.

The deal I made though was that when I called he had to put down what he was doing, jump in my truck and we would roll.

When the Susquehanna Flats fishing was in it’s prime the shallow top water bite was like nothing I’ve experienced in the way of having such big striped bass in such shallow water literally devour a top water plug.

It was Susquehanna flats season and I was watching the weather intently.

Mid morning I could see the magic moment forming. There was an approaching front that would be paired with an outgoing tide.

Sometimes I would get stuck in the middle of the flats because I ran out of water, but it was worth every minute waiting to get enough water to get home because the fishing was always spectacular.

I called Jumbo and his daughter answered and said he was mowing the lawn. I explained that there was a magic fishing moment forming and he had to ditch that mower for a light tackle fishing rod with a big popper.

She ran out, got Jumbo, I explained the situation and we were both in the truck headed to the flats within their minutes.

And that day the top water magic moment happened. We had so many big striped bass around the boat the it was crazy.

And not another boat in sight! Pics from that day, April 2, 2003.

Jumbo hooked up.
A happy Jumbo. Note Jumbo is about 6’3″ to put in perspective how big this striper was.
Striper that managed to land that day

In the last sixteen years Jumbo took light tackle fishing to a whole new level. You know when you see someone take something to a whole new level above the rest of what is considered “regular”

That’s the level Jumbo has taken it.

Now he’s retired and has taken up guiding. His company is Eastern Shore Light Tackle Charters. You can reach Capt. Jumbo/Jamie via email at [email protected] or via phone/text at: 443-786-5266

If you’re looking for a good day on the water he has my highest recomendation.

And finally, here is your Chesapeake Bay Fishing Report picture of one of his clients from this past week where they managed to land a few “nice sized” redfish.

The fish finder picture at the beginning this post is where this redfish came from.

Caught aboard Eastern Shore Light Tackle Charters with Capt. Jamie

Nice work man!

Fishing Reports on the Lateral Line Blog

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Aug 25 2019

Lateral Line Fishing Hat Winner

Published by under Fishing Travel Journal

Andrew T. is the winner from our last email newsletter where we asked everyone to give feedback of what sort of information they would like to see in this blog.

Fishing Hat Fly Fishing Hat Fishing Hat for Men
The Lateral Line Sea Foam Fishing Hat

The top responses were:

  • fishing reports
  • how to inshore
  • fishing articles
  • fishing travel trip-destination information

We are going to see what we can cook up 🙂

Thanks everyone that responded

Where can I buy the Lateral Line fishing hat?

Currently we are not selling the LL fishing hats.

How can I get a Lateral Line fishing hat?

Watch for contests in our email newsletter and here in the blog.

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Aug 25 2019

Podcast: Capt. Pete Dahlberg from Four Seasons Guide Service

Published by under Fishing Travel Journal

Podcast pictures while fishing the susquehanna flats fishing report
Capt Pete, Gerald, Superfish and I fishing the Susquehanna Flats in the bass assassinss vs. jig contest. pictures: April 23, 2000

I started podcasting just a few months after the “podcast” was invented in 2004. The episodes were nothing fancy, but people tuned in and enjoyed them.

While digging around today for my podcast stuff I found an old podcast I did back in December of 2006 while Capt. Pete and I were at the Kiptopeke Inn after a day of chasing stripers.

It has some good information that I thought you would enjoy.

Check out the podcast and let me know what you think.

Note: the audio link will open a new tab/window and should start playing.

The pictures above of are of Capt. Pete and I on the Susquehanna Flats fishing trip we talk about during the show.

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Aug 06 2019

Battle Tested Products [updated 2019]

Published by under Fishing Travel Journal

Over the years I’ve aimed to keep track of the products and services I use and which ones last and which one’s don’t. They are not all fishing products per say, rather products I use while traveling to/from fishing and also products I use on my normal business travel.

I hope my experiences and time I invested researching all these things saves you time and points you in the direction of super products/services to make your life better while on your fishing adventures, business or personal travel.

Stats from my last 12 months:

Miles traveled by Plane135,000+
Flights84
AirBNB/Hotel nights85
Miles traveled by Car: approx.12,900
Miles traveled by Train/Subway approx.750
Miles traveled by Bike approx. (Strava died on some rides)3,200
Amazon.com Prime purchases98
Pints of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
(just checking to see if you are really reading this 😉
10

Best product so far: 11 items spanning the following categories:
Fishing Book
Travel Products and Services
Electronics and Accessories
Boat and Car
Personal Accessories
Pets (for our best friends)

Fishing Books

Fly Fishing the Tidewaters of Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay – by Brett Gaba

Brett and I went to college together and he used to write for Worldwide Angler and Tidal Fish so I am a little biased. With that said I believe you’ll agree he wrote a really good fishing book.

While the title targets fly fishing you’ll enjoy it regardless of the type of fishing you do. Brett writes about fishing in each month of the year in story format. You’ll discover some unusual spots in the tidal waters of Maryland that you may have driven past and never realized you could pull over, grab your rod and hook up. It was published in 2015, but the fishing has not changed the places he writes about.

Time used: 1 read
Best price: Brett sells on Amazon in hardcover and Kindle versions

Travel Products and Services

Show image of product I am describing

Purefly Neck Pillow
I’ve tried a bunch of neck pillows for when I travel on trains and planes. This one is the very best I have used. I add some air before take off and it blows up as we get to altitude.


Super conformable, proper neck support, and you can adjust the firmness via the air value.

Time used: 3+ years
Best price: You can get a 10% off coupon ordering it on Amazon

Samsonite carry on bag  Leverage LTE Expandable Softside Luggage with Spinner Wheels

Samsonite Leverage LTE Carry On Bag
This bag is pretty much indestructible. I use it as my main carry-on on every trip. I can easily travel for a week with what I can fit in here. If you fill it to capacity you will need to do a little pushing in the overhead, but it will fit without a lot of work. The four wheels are key when having to do long walks to gates or to and from the rental car facility. I’ve ripped down stairs in a hurry and jammed it in all sorts of places. It’s still going strong. One of the best $120 I have spent on travel gear.

Time used: approx. 5 years
Best Price: Save $99 when ordering here

Zero Level Fitness Las Vegas Airport Gym White Listed
Super workout on a layover

Gym at Las Vegas McCarran Airport
One of the things I have always thought about while sitting at the gate on a long layover is what a good idea it would be to have a gym in the airport. I’d happily pay $30 for a quick forty-five minute workout.

Turns out someone at Las Vegas airport thought it would be a good business and built Zero Level Fitness. I used the gym a few times so far on layovers. Gym is big, has cardio equipment, super nice free weights, showers and towels.

Zero Level Fitness is located right under baggage claim in Terminal 1. Look for baggage claim #10 and take the elevator behind it to level 0. It does require you to go outside security, but is literally a three minute walk. With TSA Precheck getting back through security is super easy. I’m book a lot of transfers through Vegas because this gym.

Time used: approx. 2 years
Best Price: Check their website, sometimes they have coupons. Otherwise, pay when you get there.

Electronics

Computer Privacy Screen

Laptop Computer Privacy Screen
I do not like people reading my stuff when I am working on my computer on a plane or in a public place. I had to try a few of these before getting a good one. Worth the money.

Time used: approx. 2+ years
Best Price: You have to get one that fits your computer screen, this one has over 200 4.5+ reviews. The one I have is similar but not longer avaiable.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Noise-Cancelling Review

Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones
This is my third pair of Bose noise canceling headphones. I had one of their early versions about six years ago called QuietComfort 2. 

I upgraded to the wired in-ear noise canceling version that they had. They work great, but the one thing that was a drag was the wire getting in the way when I am getting on and off planes. The wire always would get caught on things and rip out of my ear and earbud almost get stepped on. I now use them as a backup to my newest ones.

These are wireless, they use bluetooth, and have been awesome. I was going to get the Beat’s noise canceling version, but after reading a ton of reviews, stayed with the Bose.

The sound is terrific, noise canceling super, has a mic to use for phone calls and wireless range is awesome. How about all those adjectives?! Highly recommend. They are a little pricey, but worth it. You don’t have to take my word for it, they have over 3,200 4.5+ reviews on Amazon.

Time used: Bose QC2 4 years, QC20 2 years, QC35 2 years+
Best Price: This is the best price I found and where I got mine

Laptop Desk Stand for PC and Macbook

Laptop Computer Stand
Laptop stands can get pricey. This one will set you back less then $20 and is a good as the $100+ ones I’ve tried and sent back.

I’ll warn you ahead of time, it’s a little heavy. It’s hard to find solid products these days, especially when it comes to electronic stuff that are generally being made out of plastic.

You can trust this thing is not going to break and will hold up. Looks good, works well.

Time used:
2 years+
Best Price: It’s an Amazon Basics brand and under $20 here

Boat and Car

Wash Mit
Yes, a $5.59 wash mit makes the list. If you are like me you are careful when it comes to washing your boat or truck.

I’ve tried a ton of mits and rags over my years and this is the best I found. It lasts and get grit off fast.

Time used: 3+ years, too many boat and car washes to count.
Best Price: They’ve come down in price since I paid around $8 for mine. t under $6 now, it’s a steal.

Personal Accessories

Hydro Flask Water Bottle
I received the 24oz version from a friend who stayed at our house as a thank you gift. I was skeptical at first having been through many different water bottles over the years.

This truly keeps liquids cold and hot, for real.  The 24oz is super to carry in the car and places where I have room, but too big to carry in my backpack.

I tried the 21oz, but it was too big for the spot in my Timbuk2 bag. The 18oz is perfect and traveled with me everywhere since I got it.

Time used: 2 1/2 years
Best Price: Pick your size and color to get best price.

Pets

Pet Water Dish
We’ve bought way too many dog and cat water dishes over the last twenty years. This one cleans the water, keeps working (many have died on us), and is made of stainless steal.

Worth the money to keep the water fresh and looks good.

Time used: approx. 4 years
Best Price: This vendor has best price I have found

Notes: I provide the links to help you find the best prices. I do not guarantee that they are the lowest when you find and read this page. They were the best when I bought them and researched them again to write this article.

Disclaimer: Some of these links are affiliate links. That means that I get a percent of the sale if you click and buy through the link. The money helps support this site and keeping blog posts like this going.


If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to me at b at Brandon c white dot com. I always enjoy hearing from readers.

Lateral Line Blog Homepage

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Dec 29 2013

Rose River Farm Yurts – A Weekend Vacation for the Whole Family

Published by under Fishing Travel Journal

rose_river_farm_gazebo_2 I’ve fished at Rose River Farms several times now and it consistently produces large trout in a relaxing atmosphere. Even in the dead of winter, the fish are plentiful and hungry and I always return home with a renewed confidence about my ability to catch big fish. It’s amazing to think how close it is to the hustle bustle of Northern Virginia.

This winter, my family and I decided to stay at the Rose River Farm yurts. I had driven by these unique structures many times on my way to fish the farm, and I always wondered what they were like inside. So, we reserved two nights at the Hill Top yurt the weekend before Christmas.

Fortunately for us, there was a break in the wet, cold wintery days. We arrived Friday evening and the temperature was in the 60s. The directions to the yurts were straightforward. Even though I was worried we’d miss the sign in the darkness, it was easy to find. We pulled up to the Hill Top yurt and mused at the panorama of stars above us and deep blue mountains across the valley.

As we entered the yurt, we found the setup to be exceptional — clean rooms, beddings and bathrooms, and a fully stocked kitchen. The family room had a large comfy leather sofa and a satellite-rigged flat panel TV. As expected, everything was decked out with a tasteful fishing theme, and there was an abundance of natural light thanks to the sky light at the pinnacle of the circular ceiling and the large windows projecting the beautiful mountain view. My wife really appreciated the cleanliness and attention to detail.

After settling in, we set out to start a fire. Everything was just where you’d expect it — matches, pre-cut wood, a fire poker and cement-lined fire pit. This was the nicest setup I’d ever seen on a fishing trip. Soon enough, the whole family was roasting marshmallows, watching flaming embers, and dodging smoke as the fire became the central entertainment for the evening.

The next morning, I woke early and set out to tie some flies for the trip to the farm. The fly tying bench in the yurt had a top-of-the-line vice (way better than mine), so I was able to knock out 4 Wolly Buggers and 6 San Juan Worms before the family woke up. I taught my 9 year-old son how to tie 2 San Juan Worms.

The great thing about Rose River Farm is that it’s right in the middle of some of the best hikes and trout fishing spots in the Shenandoah. We decided to hike White Oak Canyon since we hadn’t been there since the 90s. So, we drove less than 15 minutes along beautiful country roads to the trailhead.

The weather was spring-like as we hiked along the lower trail to the falls. Along the way, we stopped several times to enjoy the cascading waterway and the deep, clear pools. My son discovered how much he loved the outdoors. There was something to be found, made, or climbed around every bend. He made a sling-shot out of a branch, stacked rocks, and climbed up and slid down boulders. By the end of the hike, he was asking when we could go again.

rose_river_farm_pond_cabin

We picked up lunch off route 29 (10 miles or so from the yurts), then headed back to the farm for an afternoon of fly fishing. The first hole we fished, my son caught his first rainbow trout. I was so excited I nearly fell into the river. We fished several other spots upstream and lost one fish right as I reached for the net. After a few hours of fishing, we relaxed in the gazebo and watched others fish, then played football and tetherball in the field nearby.

We couldn’t have picked a better time and place for a weekend vacation with the family. While many families may pass on the thought of going on a trip to a fishing cabin, the yurts at Rose River Farms are a family-friendly luxury. There are many nearby outdoor activities that don’t require a fishing rod. The peacefulness and the idyllic setting is a much needed reprieve for everyone.

Rose River Farm is running a special on its cabins for the months of January and February– rent one night and your next night is free. All booking is done at their website www.RoseRiverFarm.com.

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Jul 31 2010

Alaska Steelhead Fly Fishing May 2010 Fishing Report

Alaska Fly Fishing for Steelhead in Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Company Lateral Line Fly Fishing BlogAfter switching bags in Yuma, AZ (see part 1 of this fishing adventure) I made my way to Seattle, WA to stage for the next part of my adventure which would take me to Yakutat, Alaska. Last year while I was in Ketchikan, AK chasing silvers with my friend Barrett we started talking about some other adventures we could do in the state and Barrett, being a die hard steelhead fly angler, suggested that we hit the Situk River located outside of Yakutat. The river is known among steelhead anglers as probably the most productive natural (no hatcheries or hatchery enhanced fish) steelhead river in the world. We started planning back in October as soon as I got back from Alaska. Doing these adventures is a pretty big undertaking especially when you are doing it yourself with out any guides, packing yourself into camp, setting up camp and then figuring out how the heck to catch fish in the river. Our original plan was that four of us would go, Barrett, his Dad, me and our mutual friend Tom. Tom fell off because of some other travel stuff that came up and then a few people I had in mind to fill the spot fell off because I learned that the trip was going to involve some aggressive wading which makes me wary myself, but even more so taking anyone that is not totally comfortable with that. Once we learned that Barrett’s Dad decided he would pass so Barrett and I decided we would go it alone. We had to line up a boat because we were going to stay in a cabin in middle of the river and fishing required a boat to move from pool to pool. We thought we had that lined up, but our raft connection fell through, so we went to plan B which was pontoon boats we would pack up, ship as luggage, and assemble when we got there.

Four weeks to arrival time Barrett gets a call from one of our friends asking if he would guide on the Ponoi River in Russia for the season. Barrett was so so on the idea, but decided to roll with it. That put another twist into things because timing was going to be tight between the screening process he had to go through when he arrived into Russia (it requires three days of all sorts of tests) and the helicopter transport that was scheduled to take him and some other guides to camp. Long and short of it at the last minute Barrett could not go, luckily I found a steelhead junky, Andy, in Missoula, MT who was friends with Barrett and who I knew through some mutual friends who was all over it. Andy is going to be a senior at the University of Montana, is a creative writing major with a minor in environmental studies, and is a fishing machine. He guides on the Unalakleet River in Alaska in the summers and is what I would consider to be one of the premier up and coming steelhead anglers (you can check him out in a guide profile in last months Drake Magazine), and as importantly he’s a fun guy who is willing to take on an adventure. He had heard about the Situk and was psyched to get a chance to fish it.

I spent two days in Seattle getting some last minute supplies, picking up a pontoon boat from a friend and having a good dinner at Alki Beach with an old college buddy Tony and his wife Alex. Tony is in the tech world as well and we probably bored Alex to death with the geek talk, but she was a great sport about it. Tony founded a really cool company and if you spend a lot of time online and are not sure where all the time goes you need his product (he has a free version). Check out RescueTime.com I have been using it since it was in beta years ago and it’s pretty good in giving you some insight where you “really” spend your time online.

I got up the next morning still full from dinner, jumped on a plane and met Andy in Anchorage. Three hours and a few stops later we arrived in Yakutat, AK. We had hooked with a guy named Fred through the recommendation of some other friends who had fished there before. Fred had a big dodge that was perfect to shuttle us each day. We arrived around 8pm and given we still had four hours of daylight left, were still not confident we had enough day light to get our boats put together, gear packed on the back and time to float to our camp which our best intelligence told us was a two hour float from the drop off and from what we heard you could not see the cabin from the water. Fred said for $50 we could stay in his camper, set up everything, load it in his truck and be ready to go early in the AM, so we took him up on it. We got everything ready were loaded up to take off in the morning. Before we took off Andy and I walked down to the ocean and managed to strike up a conversation with some Alaska commercial fisherman. The captain invited us onboard and we hung our for about half an hour hearing about their latest journey which had them on the water for four weeks chasing what I think I remember as black bass, one of the fish they use in fish sticks is what I remember. The close quarters they live in and big seas they endure to make a living is amazing. They were waiting to unload their catch and then would fish their way home to Juno. We took some pics, exchanged some fishing stories and Andy and I hit the road.

When we splashed the boats we were quickly reminded with how much in in the wild we really were with the sighting of a large grizzly bear at the launch, unfortunately my camera was packed  As soon as we got on the water there were chrome fish everywhere, a good sign. We pushed our way to camp struggling not to break out a rod. We set up camp and decided we would hike down river on our first day. All the pools were loaded with fish and these steelhead were amazingly strong. Hooking these guys was one thing, landing one, well that is a whole other story. These fish will break you off in every way possible; they’ll take you under branches and break you off, make crazy jumps and spit out the hook while basically sticking their tongue out at you , roll and spin making the hook come out and some moves even a pro break dancer would have trouble duplicating. My hook up to landing ratio was easily 15 -1, as Andy would say, “That’s steelhead fishing for you”.

We floated/rowed fourteen miles each day which between rowing slow water and fishing the pools kept us on the water about fourteen hours. Given there is only about three hours of darkness a day, fishing long hours is no problem. We were told of two small grizzlies that were around camp from some people who were camping about a mile away and while we saw prints around camp we never saw them in person. Also never managed to see any moose which really can be more dangerous then the bears. The one thing was was abnormal about the trip was that we had sun and 78 degrees each day, made fishing a bit tougher during mid day, but even worse made for what locals were saying was the worse pollen they have ever seen. It was crazy. When a eagle would leave a branch you could see tons of pollen dump off the branches and where were literally clouds of pollen. I do not have allergies and managed to be OK until the last day, Andy made it through with the help of some medicine. The attack I had turned into a sinus infection which I am on antibiotics for right now and slowly getting over. Man, can pollen knock you on your butt.

All and all an amazing trip. Everything in Alaska is put simply, BIG. The animals, the fish, the trees, everything. It’s also great to see and fish a truly natural river, and at some level this river is a recovery story. When they were logging in the area in the 1990’s the steelhead run was down to about 600 fish, since logging stopped some years ago the numbers have been as high as 15,000, pretty cool what nature can do when you give her a chance to come back. After floating/rowing/fishing a bit over 14 miles a day spanning about 14 hours and hit with the pollen attack from hell, I am still pretty spent, I’ll at least give it another day or two before I start planning the next adventure.
They say there is a good run of chrome in the fall which I may head back for, but the silvers are calling as well, either way, I’ll be back next spring for sure!

Some pictures from the fly fishing for steelhead fishing adventure (click on the pictures for bigger versions)

Alaska Fly Fishing for Steelhead in Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

Getting the gear ready in Seattle

Alaska Fly Fishing for Steelhead Fishing Trip Report in Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

Loading up the truck ready to pack ourselves in, nice smile Andy

Alaska Fly Fishing for Steelhead Fishing Trip Report in Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

Putting our pontoon boats together on day 1

Pontoon boats assembled, Andy testing them out fly fishing Alaska

Boats assembled, Andy testing them out

Packing up the boats to take our gear to camp fly fishing steelhead

Packing up the pontoon boats to take our gear to camp

Alaska Fly Fishing for Steelhead Fishing Trip Report in Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

Our home for a week

Alaska Fly Fishing for Steelhead Fishing Trip Report in Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

Our home for a week

Alaska Fly Fishing for Steelhead Fishing Trip Report in Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

Some of our daily gear for each days float

Alaska Fly Fishing for Steelhead Fishing Trip Report in Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

The smaller upper section of the Situk River, AK

Typical fly fishing conditions testing fly fishing clothing Lateral Line

Typical fly fishing conditions

Sight fishing for steelhead fly fishing Alaska in fly fishing clothing Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

Sight fishing for steelhead

Trying to keep him out of the sticks in fly fishing clothes company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

Trying to keep him out of the sticks

fly fishing for steelhead in fly fishing apparel company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Blog

Trying to keep him out of the sticks

What we think was a native resident rainbow or a first year ocean kelt

What we think was a native resident rainbow or a first year ocean kelt

The audience on the river blad eagle

The audience on the river

Cannon Beach, Yakutat Alaska. Fred took us here on the way to put in at the top of the river. Cannon Beach is a magnet for surfers, pretty amazing beach to find in Alaska

Cannon Beach, Yakutat Alaska. Fred took us here on the way to put in at the top of the river. Cannon Beach is a magnet for surfers, pretty amazing beach to find in Alaska

Another shot of Cannon Beach

Another shot of Cannon Beach

Andy cooking some dinner with Lateral Line Fly Fishing Hat

Andy cooking some dinner

Eating dinner and getting away from the bugs

Eating dinner and getting away from the bugs

Young Bald Eagle Looking for dinner

Young bald eagle looking for dinner

Our friend on the river having some dinner

Our friend on the river having some dinner

Pollen in bloom

Pollen in bloom

More pollen in bloom

More pollen in bloom

Seal Damage

Seal Damage

Unloading our pontoon boats for the end of the day float home

Unloading our pontoon boats for the end of the day float home

Regular grade steelhead

Regular grade steelhead

Release of another regular grade Steelhead

Release of another regular grade Steelhead

Alaska Fly Fishing for Steelhead Fishing Trip Report in Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

Release Picture 2

Alaska Fly Fishing for Steelhead Fishing Trip Report in Lateral Line Fly Fishing Clothing Company Lateral Line Fly Fishing Blog

See you next year!

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