Blog - Alaska Fly Out

Stand Together for Bristol Bay

Words of Wisdom from Rick Halford

Former Alaska State Senator, Rick Halford speaks about the conservation movement, the Pebble Mine, and protecting the resource in the last place we have it on this planet. 

The EPA has a chance to protect this fishery hailed as the largest sockeye salmon run left in the world. Please tell the EPA to use its power under the Clean Water Act to protect Bristol Bay.

Andrea Larko Fish Art - Steelhead Progression

The Art of Angling

I've been seeing these really cool fish illustrations pop up on the Fly Out social media feeds for the past year or so from an Andrea Larko. I kept seeing these really unique pieces of digital art, paintings, color pencil, etc. I'm not an artist (in the traditional sense), but her work really struck me. I asked Andrea if we could do a progression series on AlaskaFlyOut.com with a steelhead piece she would be commissioned to do. The video above is the result. 

Find out more about this super talented artist at AndreaLarko.com. And, you can purchase Andrea's art at her etsy site

BEYOND - True Wilderness

From Ultima Thule Lodge

The 2nd video episode from Ultima Thule Lodge's Beyond Series just hit the interweb. This particular episode focuses on the vast wilderness where UTL sits, which happens to be the largest protected land mass in the world. Stop and think about that for a minute. That sheer size of the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is hard to fathom. While were were shooting this series, that was the one thing that really stuck with me. I came away from that trip thinking that I had finally seen "True Wilderness".

Watch the previous episode from the BEYOND SERIES. 

Alaska's Igiugig Lodge Trip Report

By Cory Luoma

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 10.23.38 AMBrad Waitman at Igiugig Lodge graciously invited us to his lodge for a couple days of fishing and filming for our recent fly fishing film, Long Live the King. Located at the mouth of the Kvichak River and the outlet of Alaska's famous Lake Iliamna, sits his humble, family-run fishing lodge. The beach front location on the giant lake makes it feel you are on the ocean somewhere - maybe the Oregon Coast. Waves were licking the shore, and we really felt like we were out there - in the REAL Alaska. Brad runs a small operation, hosting just 4-6 guests per week. Brad is a pilot and a guide. So, he flies a Cessna 206 to many different fisheries in Bristol Bay and Katmai National Park, where he puts his 29+ years of Alaska guiding experience to work for you. The truth is, the guy is a fish hound. I mean he is fish nuts! One of those guys that has a sixth sense, and just knows how find fish, with every type of tackle and skill level. We asked Brad to try put us on King Salmon on fly rods on the very large Nushagak River, which does not naturally lend itself to fly fishing. Nevertheless, Brad was able to put us in the right spots at the right time for outstanding success. Nothing like having an ocean bright King Salmon tearing line off your reel at slack tide! 

In addition to Brad's skills as a guide/pilot, he and his wife Brenda were incredibly generous hosts. The family atmosphere, good home-cooking, and comfortable accommodations made for a fantastic apres-fish experience. If you're looking for serious fishing, comfortable accommodations, with a first-class family owned lodge - consider Igiugig Lodge. 

View the embedded image gallery online at:
https://alaskaflyout.com/news-updates/17#sigProId1abd6cff07

What's Special about Igiugug Lodge: 

  • Homewater - Located on the Kvichak River, their operation is based on one of the most productive fisheries in Bristol Bay for both salmon and giant rainbows. When weather doesn't allow you to fly, it will not affect your day of fishing. It just might improve it. 
  • Small Group Exclusivity - The lodge is available as exclusive with just 4 anglers. 
  • Serious Anglers Take Note - If you're interested in fishing and fishing hard for a solid week, you've found the right place. If you want to swing for the world's hottest rainbows on the Kvichak with one of Alaska's most experienced guides, Igiugig Lodge. 
  • Price - As a Bristol Bay operation offering fly outs, Igiugig Lodge's week rate sits at a modest $6,200. With special pricing available through us at Fly Out. Questions? Contact Us

 

Alaska Catch and Release

9 Tips

cr2

By Cory Luoma

Oh no, not another post on C&R tips and techniques! I know, I know, everyone knows about these bullet points. But in my experience, many of these best practices for catch-and-release are ignored during the excitement of the moment. It's just natural - I'm guilty of some slip ups also. Fish are brought in and banged against rocks. Big rainbows are held out of the water for 5 minute photo sessions. Hasty hook removal rips cartlidge on small fish. A fat char's guts are squeezed and compromised for the one-hander shot. There's no time to rescucitate because there are so many more fish to catch - how about just under hand tossing it into the fast current. 

The truth is, if we're goint to practice successful C&R, we need to follow the commandments - religiously. For most of us, that means slowing down, and doing the things that we already know about taking good care of fish. Don't get in a hurry. The photos can wait. The long cast, the secret spot, the big fish, and the hero photos mean nothing without the resource. Here are a few bullet point reminders: 

  • Pinch the barb on your hook flat so it's easily removed.  
  • Choose your tackle wisely, plan ahead.
  • Land the fish as quickly and carefully as possible to avoid extreme exhaustion and injury near shore/boat. 
  • Keep the fish in the water and resuscitate it. Handle the fish gently with wet hands or moist gloves.
  • If you must net it, use a release net made of soft knotless fabric and keep the fish under water in the net. Don't lift the fish up in the air or squeeze it. Minimize time out of the water.
  • Don't sacrifice the fish for the photo. Never squeeze your fish. Keep fingers away from gills and eyes. Minimize handling.
  • If you plan to keep a fish or two for the table, let the hook-up decide what you kill. Many people who claim to practice catch and release are in fact doing what commercial fishermen call "high-grading". They are sorting out the smaller fish, looking for the bigger fish. If a trophy size fish is hooked in the lip for an easy release – let it go. If you catch a smaller fish that is bleeding – keep it.
  • Locate the hook, then decide how to approach it. Back the hook out with hemostats or other hook removal tool. 
  • Fish responsibly. Alter your method or your gear to minimize hooking mortality. That may mean going to circle hooks or setting the hook a little sooner. Apply deeply hooked fish to your bag limit and release the fish with good survivable hookup. If we are responsible in our approach today, it will mean more fish in the future for everyone.

2014 Fly Fishing Film Tour Trailer: Alaska - La Frontera Norte

from RA Beattie

In 2012, the Scorpion Reef expedition took the fly fishing world by storm. A group of close friends -- anglers from a variety of backgrounds and locales, pooled their talents for an exploratory trip to a remote atoll in the Gulf of Mexico.

What they found was something truly amazing. The wildlife, the camaraderie, an untouched fishery and a wild adventure resulted in one of the most unique and unforgettable adventures of a lifetime. They realized something profound -- the deeper one travels into remote and untouched locations, the greater the drive to go even deeper the next time. The experience becomes addicting... there are always new limits to push, new edges to nudge.

Scorpion Reef would be a hard trip to beat.

In planning the next great adventure, the crew wanted to take crewmember Alejandro "Sandflea" Vega Cruz, a Mexican from Isla Holbox, out of his element and show him something life changing. The result was an expedition into the heart of the Alaskan bush. The crew revisited an unknown and largely untouched river system -- explored by RA Beattie and Alaska guide Mark Rutherford almost a decade earlier.

Their intention? To target sportfish primarily with topwater.

To learn more about this film please visit the official website for more videos, photos, reports and a full tour schedule: http://alaskafishingfilm.com/

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