HUNTING FOR HEAVYWEIGHTS

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”

Hunting March Hares

by Ken Marsh Yesterday’s trip up Southcentral Alaska’s Glenn Highway started off with winds gusting to 65 mph. I almost turned back, but found Eureka area relatively calm, if cold (around 0 degrees F, not including a light chill factor). It was a perfect afternoon for snowshoeing – and hunting up some snowshoe hares. SomeContinue reading “Hunting March Hares”

The Hunt

Successful hunts are perfect conspiracies of preparation and good luck. By Ken Marsh I’d arrived late in the day, after a long drive followed by a hike into the hills. By the time my tent was pitched and camp organized, little time remained for hunting, maybe half an hour at most. Already dusk rose fromContinue reading “The Hunt”

River of Quiet Renown

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”

Spring Wings

More than 300 Pacific Flyway bird species funnel through Southeast Alaska each spring, crowding the skies in numbers sure to inspire even a casual birder. By Ken Marsh Salmon Bay Lake on Prince of Wales Island was alive with birds that late-April evening, proof that even here in Southeast Alaska no winter lasts forever. InContinue reading “Spring Wings”

The Art of Grayling IV

The conclusion. By Ken Marsh Perhaps the best news about grayling is that anglers needn’t be longtime Alaskans to find, catch and appreciate them. All that’s required is a rod and reel – a light fly rod or ultra-light spinning outfit, whichever you prefer – a few bits of tackle, and directions to the nearestContinue reading “The Art of Grayling IV”

The Art of Grayling III

Part III By Ken Marsh In camp along the Denali Highway the night is broken by the popping of my campfire and, more subtly, by the hissing of a creek that enters one end of the little grayling lake and exits the other. Those water sounds have me thinking again about grayling, and about time,Continue reading “The Art of Grayling III”

The Art of Grayling II

Part II of several. By Ken Marsh Dwellers of clear, cold streams and lakes, Arctic grayling are elegant creatures easily identified by their uniquely oversized pink- and powder-blue-spotted dorsal fins, purple- and turquoise-sequined flanks, small pouty mouths, and bellies that seem rubbed with gold dust. Anglers adore them for their beauty and for their willingnessContinue reading “The Art of Grayling II”