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”
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”
By Ken Marsh “One may love a river as soon as one sets eyes upon it; it may have certain features that fit instantly with one’s conception of beauty, or it may recall the qualities of some other river, well known and deeply loved.” – Roderick Haig-Brown, A River Never Sleeps The sphagnum at ourContinue reading “Browns of the Sacred Cow’”
— Grumpy Young Man
Halibut in Alaska waters grow huge — the state sportfishing record stands at 459 pounds — and are rightly considered big game. By Ken Marsh Forty fathoms beneath the charter boat T. Rex, in the murky depths of Montague Strait, the cargo pilot’s short, stubby saltwater rod seemed suddenly possessed. It bucked and wrenched and bentContinue reading “HUNTING FOR HEAVYWEIGHTS”
When I look at a cutthroat trout, I am reminded of a shy child, freckled, cast out of the mainstream because it is small, less aggressive. The name “cutthroat” is derived not from the creature’s disposition, but from its appearance. Cutthroats lack along their lateral lines the decisive red stripes of rainbow trout, wearing themContinue reading “PRECIOUS SPECKLED TROUT”
Even today every rainbow trout I catch, large or small, is measured against a time when I was very young and the world was new and everything that happened came as a surprise.
Roads are few in Alaska’s remote Copper Basin, but the Gulkana River makes passage as simple – and wonderfully adventurous – as stepping into a raft or canoe. By Ken Marsh We’d rafted downriver from Paxson Lake a bend, maybe two, our five-day float trip barely begun, when the splashes of feeding grayling drove usContinue reading “River of Quiet Renown”