The 49th state is the perfect place to instill a lifetime of outdoor passions.
A while back I was introduced to a video called "My First Fish." While not specifically filmed in Alaska, this video perfectly captures the excitement of introducing a child to fly fishing. Of all my years guiding anglers in Alaska, there are a select number of memories that I can relive by just closing my eyes. A few of them are about very large trout and steelhead, a few are of the epic battles that ensued, but many of them are simply memories of days spent fishing with kids. Fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, uncles and nephews, and all the combinations in between are among the most vivid fishing memories etched into my brain.
Alaska is a wild and beautiful place filled with mountains, glaciers, salmon, and bears. This translates into being the perfect location for exposing your kids to the excitement of being outdoors. It will instill a lifetime passion in fishing and create personal bonds that will last forever. Do your kids a favor. Bring them up to one of the last "wild" places we have left and take them fishing. You will never regret it.
Lee Kuepper is professional guide now calling the Kenai River home. He is a co-owner of Alaska's Angling Addiction, chasing the Kenai's monster kings and fabled trout on a regular basis. He is also a member of Loop USA's prostaff and a Certified Fly Casting Instructor through the FFF.
Silver Salmon can be aggressive topwater feeders if you can keep their attention.
By Lee Kuepper
Found throughout nearly the entire state of Alaska, Silver Salmon (also called Coho Salmon) are hard fighting, eager biting, and acrobatic - making them a very popular sport fish among fly anglers. Not to mention, Silvers in some parts of Alaska push up to around the 20lb mark! And, Coho are generally "fly-friendly". Now, I am not saying that they are always easy and eager biters, but quite often chasing silvers with a fly is just as productive as fishing them with conventional gear. My final pitch for Silver Salmon is that you can coax them to take a top-water fly, and any species that can be caught on the surface will always get the nod from me.
From the coastal rainforests of Southeast Alaska, to the waters of Western Alaska, and everywhere in between, the demeanor of the Coho (Silver) Salmon are always the same. They will always choose the path of least resistance, and if they can lazily mill around in "froggy" water, they will. With that in mind, you would be well advised to leave the heavy currents and fast riffles to those not in-the-know.
Now, there is an exception to this general rule in the tide-water areas. When fish are fresh from the ocean they will often enter in massive, sprawling waves that coincide with the incoming tide. As soon as they hit non-tidal water though, they take on the lazy-boy mentality and begin looking for couch water. Weedy sloughs, inside river bends, behind islands, or any other breaks in the main current will usually provide some spectacular Silver Salmon fishing.
Filmmaker Ryan Peterson's new video "XBoundary" highlights the the open pit mining boom in B.C, and follows the impacts and concerns for Alaska. Filmed for Salmon Beyond Borders (www.salmonbeyondborders.org).
From The Filmmaker - An open-pit mining boom is underway in northern British Columbia, Canada. The massive size and location of the mines--at the headwaters of major salmon rivers that flow across the border into Alaska--has Alaskans concerned over pollution risks posed to their multi-billion dollar fishing and tourism industries. These concerns were heightened with the Aug 4, 2014 catastrophic tailings dam failure at nearby Mt. Polley Mine in BC's Fraser River watershed.
After surving cancer, Pudge Kleinkauf decided to spend her life doing what she loves: fly fishing.
By Lee Kuepper
Part of the Indie Alaska series, "I Am A Fly Fisher" follows the story of one of the most well known and respected female anglers in Alaska, Pudge Kleinkauf. I have met Pudge up here a few times, and can tell you that she is quite an amazing woman. More so, I have run into many of the women she has taught and touched along the way, furthering the respect I have for her passions and pursuits in the fly fishing world.
Get a glimpse of the skiing and winter experience with Ultima Thule Lodge
Truly an incredible project working with Ultima Thule Lodge, Chris Davenport, and the Claus Family. This isn't heli-skiing. This is genuine winter adventure in one of the most awe-inspiring places on planet Earth.
When fishing guide/filmmaker Mark Titus learns why wild salmon populations plummeted in his native Pacific Northwest, he embarks on a journey to discover where the fish have gone and what might bring them back. Along the way, Titus unravels a trail of human hubris, historical amnesia and potential tragedy looming in Alaska – all conspiring to end the most sustainable wild food left on the planet.
Captain Landry was hard at work this past summer guiding flying and filming at Angler's Alibi. There really is some unique footage here, showcasing the incredible salmon runs and wildlife on the Alagnak River.
On a side note: For all those aspiring drone pilots, let's be respectful with these flying/photography tools so that we can continue to use them.