Alaska Fly Fishing Adventure

You are stumbling downstream, knee deep in a strong current somewhere in the 17 million acre temperate rain forest called the Tongas National Forest.  Feel your 8 wt. line burning through your fingers as a ten pound torpedo is taking your fly, line and maybe even you downstream in a furious rush.  Hear yourself articulate the excitement of “Steelhead!”.  All your senses are now focused on slowing down this leaping, streaking chrome bundle of muscle.  You and your friends are alone in this beautiful, rugged jewel of wilderness.  Guided by Austin Hepburn, you are exploring one of the richest eco-systems on earth, seeking the “Granddaddy of Trout”; wild, native, sea run rainbows called steelhead.

Adventure Steelhead Angling is more than casting a fly to a waiting fish.  Our strategy for exploration among the many remote islands along the Inside passage is via the mothership.  Cruising in comfort, we travel like the turtle, bringing our shelter with us.  Each morning we depart the mothership in a jet powered skiff for a short commute across a stretch of salt water and upstream into the mouth of a creek.  After stepping out of the skiff, we make a twenty minute hike over fallen trees and through “devils club” in search of steelhead holding water.  Peering into a pool, from different angles, we are looking for silhouettes of steelhead amongst the bubble lines, obstructions and boulders.  Searching, strategizing and perfecting our presentation take time.  Adventure steelheading requires physical stamina, the mental discipline to deal with disappointment, and the passion to persevere.  The majestic beauty of old growth forests, the crisp, cold tumbling streams and the consuming spiritualism of being present in the womb of Mother Nature are sometimes the only reward when searching for native steelhead.

At the end of the day, the jet boat is waiting.  After we hike down the drainage, our mothership capitain will greet us with his ever present smile.  Exhausted and damp, we make our way back to the the mothership.  After climbing onboard, we are again warm, dry and relaxed, with all the comforts of home.

Discussing the events of the day, over your choice of beverage, we will rejoice in our successes and console one another in our frustrations.  Nobody stays hungry because the chef will serve a delicious dinner.  We practice catch and release with steelhead, but your fishing license will permit you to harvest Dungeness crab, giant shrimp called prawns and halibut.  After a day of adventure, we are all physically satisfied.  There is nothing better than crawling into a cozy bunk aboard the mothership and drifting off to sleep, dreaming about pools full of wild native steelhead.