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THE ART OF FLY: ALASKA

on Thursday, 01 March 2012. Posted in Article

WORKS FROM FLY OUT AMBASSADOR BOB WHITE

When I first saw Bob White's paintings, I was a rookie guide at Tikchik Narrows Lodge and NOT well acquainted with Alaska. After a number of years of guiding in Bristol Bay, I now realize how Bob captures real moments, real experiences. Some of his art can evoke a nostalgia for Alaska that is quite surreal. One look at a few of his painting below, and you'll be digging out your dusty photo albums from your last trip to AK. See more of Bob White's works at www.bobwhitestudio.com.

"Along Beneath Lake Kulik Spires"

AloneBeneathLakeKulik

"First casts"

FirstCasts

"A warming fire"

Warming Fire

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Alaska Fly Selection: June (Part 1 of 3)

on Friday, 03 February 2012. Posted in Article, Gear

An Article by Fly Out Ambassador Mark Rutherford

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A Fly Selection for BRISTOL BAY, ALASKA

the Greatest Trout & Salmon Fishery in the World

Flies for 1 person for 1 week on a float trip or fishing with the region's best lodges. This is a multi species list, with an emphasis on June Rainbow Trout and Arctic Grayling, plus all of the other sport-fish in the Bristol Bay watersheds including Arctic Char, Lake Trout, early Kings, Sockeye, and Northern Pike. A short discussion follows.

First, don't leave home without these 5 items in your carry on luggage.

  1. Your best Polaroid glasses.
  2. Your Rx medications.
  3. Your favorite waterproof/breathable wading or fully waterproof rain jacket with retractors for hemostat and line nipper and 2 large pockets for fly boxes.
  4. Waders you completely trust which will get the equivalent of a full year of normal use during your AK trip.
  5. Wading boots that fit. Felt soles were outlawed in AK in 2012. The sticky rubber soles are now quite good. No "cleated, nailed, or studded" boots in rafts or cabins.

Why? In case Alaska Airlines loses you're checked bags with your clothing, rods, reels, and flies. You came a long way! Improvise and go fish!

Flies FOR Trout, Char, and Grayling

The Trout, Char, and Grayling flies below are proven in Bristol Bay, which is the finest completely intact, functional salmonid fishery in the world. When possible, tie or buy your patterns articulated or with stinger hooks for a significantly higher ratio of total fish landed (with less damage to fish mouthparts than traditional streamer hooks.) In the Bristol Bay region, please release ALL RAINBOW TROUT regardless of whether the Alaska Department of Fish and Game allows retention. It takes 10-15 years in cold Alaskan waters for a trophy trout to grow beyond 22 inches. Sockeye, Lake Trout, Char, and Grayling in June all provide great eating.

Your fly line(s) will determine to some extent how heavily weighted your flies should be. Cover your bases by bringing both a floating line and a sink tip. A full-sink line is not needed for our rivers and creeks.

Use your floating line in the headwaters and for "searching" as you work down river until water depths in the channels along the outside bends regularly exceed 3 feet and then, perhaps, switch to the sink tip. As you move down river you'll be pitching flies using the floating line with a weighted fly and perhaps an indicator. You are targeting root wad structure, deep green channels, and sweepers. The quarry is Rainbow Trout. One loses a lot of flies using this method, but, in June, this is where the fish are and you must fish in the woody debris and among broken chunks of sod left from spring flooding! Use fly lines like RIO Clouser which help turn over the large weighted flies with an aggressive weight forward taper. Cast aggressively to launch the leeches with lots of line speed. The 3"- 6" sink tip is very effective on Bristol Bay Rivers. If you have the "gift" you'll fish the sink tip both when drifting in the boat or wading and reap the rewards. If you don't have the "gift" you'll lose lots of flies and leaders fishing the sink tip while drifting from the boat and go back to the floating line and do very well.

Your rod choices: A #7 weight fly rod does it all. Some of my clients or friends bring two #7 wts and never 'look back'. A #4 is a fine rod for Arctic Grayling and trout under "ideal" (but somewhat rare) June conditions. The #5 weight & #6 weight make all purpose Trout/Char/Grayling rods but when you start fishing the weighted cone head Sculpins & Leeches the #7 weight can not be beat.

48 Trout Flies

trout

  • Sculpin patterns. Choose among various Sculpin patterns: Sculpzilla, Cone head, Rag, Woolhead, Exasperator, Loop, etc. Colors- olive, black. Size 2-4. Bring 4+ of your chosen pattern(s), 2 in each color.
  • Egg sucking leech patterns. Choose among: Loop, Articulated Bunny, Sleech, Lead Eye, or Starlight, purple, olive, white, all purpose attractor. size #4-6. At least 2 should be purple. Bring 4+.
  • Starlight leech. All white, good attractor for rainbow. Great color for Lake trout at your "put in lake". Bring 2.
  • Haymaker Leech Conehead Eggabou size #1 black or blue. Consider it.
  • Conehead Eggabou size #4 in pink or purple. Bring 2
  • Dali Lama, Black & White, #6 all purpose attractor. Bring 2.
  • Dali Lama, Green & White, #6. An option to substitute for traditional olive Sculpin.
  • S&B Super string leech, or Pink rubber worm Sleech size #4 pink. Cold water Rainbows bring 2. Consider a selection of S&B Super string leech colors. A very fine fly.
  • Mice bring 4+, Mr. Hanky, Loco, Preparation H Mouse, Moorish Mouse, Blair, Darth Skater, Mercers Lemming. You should have small bottle silicone floatant (not dry silica) for Mice and Caddis.
  • Wooly bugger patterns in Olive, Black, Brown, size #4-6 bring 4.
  • Nymphs, Hares ear, Pheasant Tail, Copper John etc. Bring 4. Fished as dropper in upper river or in cold water under an indicator.
  • Trout beads, 8mm, natural roe and gold roe colors fished as dropper with "Owner" egg hooks. Bring 6. Fish as dropper where legal.
  • Smolt & Fry. Stinger Clouser, Strung out Thunder Creek, Neil Creek Dart, Neil Creek Slider, Bring 4+ can be fished as dropper, streamer, or dead drifted under an indicator! Green & gold.
  • Dry flies. For headwater through mid river when Grayling are rising. Elk Hair Caddis, Royal Wulff, Parachute Adams, Stimulator. High floating, high visibility. Size 14. Bring 6.

Total trout flies 48.

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5 Tips for Booking Alaska

on Wednesday, 25 January 2012. Posted in Article

Fly Out 101: An Alaska Resource

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1. Book Early – The best lodges in Alaska have incredibly high return rates. Usually, guests have the first right of refusal for returning the same time next year, which means there can be few openings for new anglers. Your best chance to get a high-demand date is to book 6-12 months in advance. Send an Email to Fly Out for available dates and booking information. You can also contact lodges directly through the Fly Out Directory

2. Choosing a Type of Operation to Fit Your Goals – There are many types of adventure offerings in Alaska that can fit almost any budget. Below is a general summary of your options.

Fly Out Lodge ($$$) – The most exclusive way to see and fish Alaska. These operations fly to different remote rivers, lakes and streams everyday. A fly-out option allows you to experience the wonderful variety of Alaska. The views from the air and the flight experience alone are worth the price of admission. Extraordinary accommodations and dining will make you forget that you are amidst the remote wilderness of Alaska.

River Lodge ($$) – Located on the rivers and streams, these lodges are only accessible by the air. They provide world-class fishing, comfortable accommodations, and delicious meals at a great value. These lodges operate jet boats, and the anglers get the opportunity to experience everything that a single fishery has to offer.

Float Trips ($) – A classic Alaska adventure focusing on a genuine wilderness experience, self-reliance, and incredible fishing. Despite the roughing-it nature of a float trip, most outfitters provide accommodations that are surprisingly comfortable, and the food always tastes good after a long day on the river.

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Catch Magazine Volume 21

on Wednesday, 18 January 2012. Posted in Article, News

HTML5 platform

Catchmagvol21More amazing photos from Todd Moen and Brian O'Keefe's Catch Magazine! Check out Alaska - Part 3 - Fish and Wildlife. These are shots from member lodges Riversong Lodge, Kulik Lodge, and Royal Wolf Lodge. Check them out.  

Also, our friends at Trout Underground published an interesting article about the future of Catch Magazine and other e-Magazines here. Tell us what you think. Feel free to write a comment below.

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Rusty’s Big Pike Adventure

on Saturday, 14 January 2012. Posted in Article

As Seen in Gray's Sporting Journal (May – June 2009)

By: Fly Out Ambassador Bob White

Painting By: Bob White www.bobwhitestudio.com

The Titan

"Gawd, I hate kids!" ~ Rusty

It was late June, still spring in Alaska, and the soft twilight had lingered long past midnight when I found Rusty sitting alone in the dusk, next to an unlit fire. There was a mostly empty bottle of Jack Daniel's and two tin cups on the big spruce round to one side, and he was softly mumbling to himself. "I was wondering when you'd get here." He said over his shoulder as I approached.

"How did you know it was me and not some grumpy old brown bear looking for an easy meal?"

"No bear would dare mess with me tonight." He grumbled. "I'm in too foul a mood... Whiskey?"

"Why not." I said. "Mind if I light a fire?" There's nothing as sad as two fishing guides drinking whiskey in the dark. I knew that the glow of a fire would change the mood and poured a little diesel over the cord wood that had been laid in anticipation of the next get together. Rusty tossed a wooden match to light it.

He grunted as he poured a generous measure of the amber liquid into each of the tin cups, and we sat there, sipping our whiskey without speaking for a good long time. The dry spruce crackled and popped as it caught. Rusty hates complainers, has no time for whiners, and generally avoids expressing displeasure with any of The Boss' decisions... but he was at the end of his rope. "What the hell are we going to do with that pack of rug rats tomorrow." He finally moaned. "Gawd... I hate kids."

Anyone who knows Rusty will tell you that he harbors no ill will towards children in general... or anyone else for that matter. Simply put, Rusty loves to catch fish and judges an individual solely on his or her ability to do so. It chafes him to spend time with people who can't fish, and conversely, he enjoys being with anyone who's good at it. I've often thought that he'd have a wonderful day sharing a boat with vhxeyeph Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung if the fish were biting.

"Aw... it'll be all right." I said, trying to cheer him up. "We'll take them over to Spider Bay and fish for pike in the morning. Then we'll go for a boat ride and find a nice beach somewhere across the lake for a big fire and shore lunch. Afterwards they'll skip stones and go swimming... and before you know it... the day'll be over."

"That's just dandy." He wailed. "The best run of Kings in three years... and I'm going on a pikenic!"

"Honey, it's time to get up... honey?" Lisa asked, gently shaking my shoulder. "Ooooh... you look bad. Let me get you a cup of coffee."

"Ahhhhg..." I moaned into my pillow. "How much time do I have?"

"Not nearly enough from what I can see... now drink this. I'll see you up at the 'Big House' in fifteen minutes." She said. "And... honey?"

"Yeah?"

"I hope the other guy looks worse."

I smiled... I was quite sure that he did.

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