We were two to a room, hot running water, washing machine, hot tub, all the comforts. Powered by a diesel generator of course, but all-in-all very comfortable even in such a remote location. The tower you see is for salmon spotting.
Here’s a pic of the front porch, and then of the river which is just down the hill in the background:

Being a tidal river, we got to fish high water from the banks in the morning and then low water and smaller pools later in the day. We got on the river that very first night, and got a few Char and a couple of small King Salmon right away.
The Golsovia supports Arctic Char, and runs of four of the five Alaska salmon species, Sockeye being the exception. The Kings and Pinks are the first to arrive in the early summer, and we were the first group in so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. And we did not have much experience with this type of fishing, so we needed some time to figure out which flies would work and how to best present them, and to get used to where the fish would be holding.
Next morning we set out like a bunch of schoolkids on their first day in the schoolyard. We need not have worried, there were lots of Char in the river and the Kings had started to come in as well. We basically used “salmon” flies like fushcia bunnies, Purple death, Clouser Minnows, etc. Very early I landed what would turn out to be the biggest Char of the week on a Purple Death, about 5 pounds. Here’s the pic:

Jerry owns about ½ mile of river, and the tide only runs about 1/3 of the way up that stretch. Here’s a pic of the fishing at low tide in front of the camp, and then one of the first big run above the tidal stretch, named Dena’s Drift after one of Jerry’s daughters. If you had to start from scratch and design the perfect piece of fly fishing water, it would look like this, I’m sure. Easy wading out, no problems backcasting, flat banks to pull the fish up onto, nice long runs, it has it all.

This is my friend Tom hauling in what turned out to be a 10 pound King from Dena’s Drift:

That’s all I can put together today, because I’m still jet-lagged.
Watch for Part II .”Mayflies & Caddis, Alaska style”.

Alaska 2005……Part II

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