Nothing like a wilderness fly fishing trip to bring you back down to planet Earth. These guys did it right, taking a 11 days to float down the remote Kanektok River in southwest Alaska for the fishing trip of a lifetime. Shot and edited by Chris Morgan (twosherpas.com).
Every year, when the Alaska fishing season winds down, we host a trip to one or two of our favorite international destinations. We just got back from a great trip to Costa De Cocos in Xcalak, Mexico with a group from the Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club. Although most members of the group are seasoned anglers, all but a couple had any saltwater flats fishing experience. So, we all knew that the first few days would be a crash course on technique, fish recognition, objectives, etc. We were primarily targeting bonefish, tarpon, permit, and barracuda. The bonefish in this part of the Caribbean can get as big as 6 pounds, with most of them averaging between 2-4 pounds. All of the anglers in the group quickly realized what the chatter about bonefish was all about. Very few 20-inch fish in Alaska will rip you to your backing in the first run. Pound for pound, these little monsters are some of the strongest sport fish in the world.
Part of the appeal of fly fishing to me is that it is challenging. Flats fishing for bonefish, tarpon, and permit can be challenging! I don't like "tough" fishing anymore than the next angler, but I can say that I gain much satisfaction during the learning process of a new sport, process, technique, etc - even when I am struggling. I believe all 8 anglers felt the satisfaction of putting everything together this week - seeing the fish, making a great cast, strip set, and landing the fish. That's what it's all about.
For the months of July through November, Costa De Cocos offers a 2 for 1 discount for an all-inclusive package at $2,050 Per Peson (6-Day/7-Night Package). Although this is the tail-end of the rainy season in Mexico, believe me, you will be hard pressed to find this type of value anywhere else. Contact us with questions.
Trip Report Written By Fly Out Ambassador Mark Rutherford
On July 9, 2011 6 participants gathered together in Dillingham, Alaska to launch a fly fishing expedition into the Wilderness of Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. Our goals were much the same as other Alaska wilderness enthusiasts who fly out in small float planes loaded with rafts and camping gear to float and fish wild Alaskan rivers. Our commitment was: "to be prepared mentally, physically, and with proper equipment to be self supporting in the wilderness". We would be dropped off at a lake beyond the tree line to navigate shallow tundra river channels, to float, fish, and camp among the notable Alaskan Brown Bears of the region. Two of the participants were especially motivated by their commitment to live the Alaska wilderness experience to the fullest! For them as each day passes their physical abilities and health are compromised by MS, Multiple Sclerosis. A third participant with a prosthetic leg, Malcolm Daly, co-led this annual Paradox Sports trip. Karen Daly and Olly Merrill and I signed on as support.
The trip fulfills an ongoing commitment shared by outdoorsmen John Merritt, Malcolm Daly, and Mark Rutherford, to make truly significant, bona fide, Alaskan wilderness expeditions accessible to significantly disabled campers. We believe that if Erik Weihenmayer, totally blind, can summit Mt. Everest and that Mark Wellman, a paraplegic, can climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, that others with disabilities will consider taking on expeditionary challenges. In this case to undertake a self propelled adventure across a vast Alaskan landscape. We undertook the first self propelled Alaska expedition with paraplegic fly fisherman Vijay Viswanathon and angler Malcolm Daly with his prosthetic leg, in 2009. In 2010 we completed a second adventure with 5 disabled participants. In 2011, to honor John Merritt's extraordinary vision we devoted the Alaska wilderness fly-fishing expedition to participants with Multiple Sclerosis. John Merritt has secondary progressive MS and his prior adventures exploring remote Alaskan fisheries are spoken of around many campfires.