Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Quest Begins

On the 14th of June Angel and I began a family vacation with nine of our family members on her side. We did all of the Alaska things including sea kayaking, glacier tours, halibut fishing, clam digging and many traditional touristy things. While down in Kenai we stopped in to see a dear friend of our who's husband died three years ago from pancreatic cancer. Dennis was an avid outdoorsman, fly tier, fly fisherman and all-round good guy. Dennis had taken Angel and I on our first raft trip on the Kenai river and introduced us to fly fishing for red salmon, he sold me my raft and was part of the inspiration for this adventure I am on. While we were visiting with his wife, Janet made me a wonderful gift of his fly tying materials and tools. I am deeply touched by this and will continue the tradition of tying and fishing flies in his memory. I will be showing some of the materials and tools as well as some of his flies in future posts.

Our family vacation culminated in a fly fishing raft trip on the Chena river with some of the guys.

We started off by tying our own flies the night before, we tied dry flies, bumble bees and nymphs. Here are some of nephew Nicks flies, not too bad for a guy that had not tied a fly before. These all caught fish.

This is my very first catch to begin the quest to catch each of Alaska's game fish with a fly pattern of my own. He liked the look of one of my spruce bud-worm moth flies. This one was one of the smaller of the 12 to 16 inch fish we were to catch that day.

These fish are so pretty, I never get tired of looking at them. This one bit on a moose hair mosquito.

This one, also caught on a mosquito, shows off his colors well.

Nick picked it up quickly, here he is showing how to do it. The weather was nice, the water clear and the fish were hungry.

The Chena river is a catch-and-release river, we took care not to lift the fish from the water and release them in good shape.

The bumble bees worked good too, though they floated a little low in the water. I'm going to tie some on re-shaped dry fly hooks and put on some extra hackle to help them float a little higher next time.

We saw some of these along the river, here's a shot Nephew Josh took a couple of days earlier.

My Brother-in-law Mark in the bow as I guide the raft around sweepers and shallow riffles.

This is a great shot by Josh.

Here's a nice look at the mosquito. The rib is tied with white moose hair.

Why would you want to be anywhere else.

Brother-in-law Mark showing his form.

And Josh, we were not doing too bad for a bunch of rookies, we were making twenty and thirty foot casts and some of them were kind of pretty.

The sun sets on another beautiful day on our family trip in the great land. I was successful in catching the first of 25 species on two of my original fly patterns and can't wait for the next trip. I'm planning a trip for rainbows and char. Thanks for looking.


  1. Well I'll be darned... Google Streetview actually made it to Kenai. Those fish all look surprised. I guess that's because they thought they were getting a tasty insect and now their lip hurts.

    Unbelievable sunset.

  2. Fly fishing is addictive. Once you start, you'll never stop. Whether you are going to the local water hole or to Alaska, you should use a fly fishing journal to keep track of your sessions.

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