Just over a week ago, the temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska, were dipping down below zero degrees F. This white-tailed ptarmigan tried to make the best of the cold weather it by hunkering in a beam of sunlight. Incidentally, white-tailed ptarmigan are North America’s smallest grouse. Adults top out at weights of around 12 ounces, onContinue reading “Snow White & Waiting for Spring”
To greater or lesser extents, Alaskans depend upon rivers to lead us to our homes, livelihoods, recreation, and food sources as surely as citizens of Seattle, Los Angeles, Memphis or Pittsburg rely upon freeways to access the same things.
And of course, waiting at the far end of the trail are those mountain lakes, deep and cold, holding hungry trout, grayling and char eager to strike flies, spinners or spoons.
We caught and released at least 50 trout that late summer day, all big, powerful, vibrantly colored fish that leaped and ran like the wild things they were. The sandbars were stamped with grizzly bear tracks and not another angler in sight. Such days are rare anymore from the road system in Alaska’s Susitna Valley.Continue reading “Rainbow Days”
Few places in the civilized world retain a stronger connection to hunting, gathering and eating well from the land than our home state. By Ken Marsh One late-September evening years ago, as I hiked with my trapping partner along a birch ridge down the lake from our cabin, a bull moose charged out of theContinue reading “Cooking Wild: Eating Alaskan”
No matter where in Alaska an angler travels, chances are that a hard-fighting fish with pink-spotted flanks and bellies the color of Arctic sunsets lurk nearby. By Ken Marsh The wind swept around me cold and fast and galloped across the tundra like a ghost herd of caribou. Over the ridge it came, in howlingContinue reading “Common Denominators: Fishing for Char in Alaska”
From a Southcentral Alaska angler’s perspective, no season matches the power, vibrancy and beauty of fall. By Ken Marsh The silvers were so fresh and bright on that mid-August evening that I almost missed seeing them. Their scales reflected the sunlight and made the fish appear translucent, almost invisible. Only their darker, distinctively squared tailsContinue reading “The Fishing News”
Coaxing Alaska silver salmon to strike dry flies is sport of the highest order. By Ken Marsh I found the fish late that afternoon lurking in the frog water (angler’s slang for languid sloughs, stagnant creek mouths), a dozen or more cruising slowly, prowling. That’s typical of silver salmon. Determined as they are to reachContinue reading “What the Coho Said”