By Ken Marsh “The winter! the brightness that blinds you, … The woods where the weird shadows slant; The stillness, the moonlight, the mystery, I’ve bade ’em good-by– but I can’t.” — Robert Service, Spell of the Yukon Thirty years ago, living as a trapper in Alaska’s upper Susitna Valley, I traveled on snowshoes nearly everyContinue reading “Return to Winter”
Ever get the feeling while walking in the woods that something might be stalking you? Well, your Spidey senses may not be wrong … When I encountered this lynx crouched outside an Arctic ground squirrel den, it briefly turned its attention to me, stalking closer before hunkering down. A little closer … slowly … TheContinue reading “On the Prowl”
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”
The mountains were lovely today, alternately sulking in shadow and beaming in light; they were a bright, fresh presence in a country that will always be home, even if home is a place that lives only in your heart.
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.
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”
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”
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”
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 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”