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Member Since 21 May 2012
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#325473 50 shades of gray

Posted by AKnook on 14 July 2015 - 03:26 PM

Got back the other day from our annual 900 mile round trip road trip chasing arctic grayling. This river never disappoints and a great time catching trophy fish was had with great friends.

The usual dry fly patterns worked but I threw some hoppers and mice this year and had excellent results. These fish would hit top water for dry flies but would SMASH the hoppers and mice flying completely out of the water. Shark week footage comes to mind when the great whites smash the seal decoy. Unreal fun.

Whats cool as well are the many different color variations within the same river. The most common are the gold with blue scales while others are all blue and some dark grey.

Enjoy some pictures of these beautiful fish.

Hopper eating grayling



Such amazing colors

Doubled up

What a tank of a mouse eating grayling

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#324821 The Ultimate Photo Thread

Posted by AKnook on 15 June 2015 - 03:52 PM

Finally scratched off the pike on the fly. What an epic trip on float plane to fish for these toothy guys.

40+ inch beast




Even had a state trooper land and Moore to our boat to check on fishing licenses. What an awesome job.

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#323201 The Ultimate Photo Thread

Posted by AKnook on 20 April 2015 - 03:47 PM

Back at work today after fishing above the arctic circle for the tarpon of the north; the sheefish.  I didn't top my PB from last year but had an epic trip.  I had a fish on that I couldn't even lift off the bottom and of course it pops off after bending the hook!  Wow.  A great time with friends doing what we love to do.  Enjoy some pics. 



















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#322217 AK Spring Drift through many obstacles

Posted by AKnook on 23 March 2015 - 01:56 PM

A trip laden with obstacles but we kicked its ass....


This trip was supposed to be done two weeks ago with my buddy flying in from North Pole AK to fish the Kenai river with me in Southcentral AK.  After having two weeks of stellar warm weather we couldn't wait to fish open water in more tolerable weather.  Of course the weekend that he was supposed to arrive the weather was going to be well below freezing rendering it unfishable.  Flight rescheduled for the next week.


The weather cooperated well the entire week building up to the weekend and the weekend was shaping up to be a great one.  I picked up my buddy from the airport early Saturday morning and meet up at a gas station with another friend with his drift boat. Loaded up on Gas station breakfast and coffee and we were on the road.   


The plan was to put the drift boat in in the middle river at Skilak lake.  Usually this lake is frozen and you can push a drift boat until you hit the river mouth at the other side of the lake.  With such a warm winter we have had this entire season we were expecting to see an open lake.  Nope, it was frozen over.  Frozen over yes, but not the type of solid ice you would like to walk out on.  We saw some tracks of somebody who decided to do the same thing and followed them into the middle lake (200 + feet of water).  We stopped when we noticed a large hole of open water and also for the fact that the lake wabbled eevry time we walked.  Sketchy was the word of the day.  We didnt quit but pushed the drift boat closer to the bank and continued onward to the open river mouth.  The entire way the ice visibly cracked at our feet.  Pucker facter was in full affect.  As we neared the river mouth we decided to launch the drift boat bobsled style.  Each of us had one leg in the boat and the other leg with cleated wading boats pusing off the ice.  At the last minute we all got in as the drift boat slid off the ice shelf and into the river mouth.  What a relief.  All I could think of while pushing the drift boat to the mouth was that we would have one hell of a story to tell if we pulled this off.  Well yes we pulled it off but thats the last time I will do that.  Maybe, and thats a big maybe I would do it again on safer ice conditions.


The rest of the drift was awesome.  Beautiful scenery, eagles all over like pigeons and some decent fish was had.  We lost some really large fish but thats how it goes sometimes. 



Finally approaching our take out we see that that too is frozen over but looking more like a glacier than flat ice.  We kicked its ass too.  Check out the pictures. 


This is one trip I won't forget about for some time.  We didn't catch PB fish but darn, what a cool fun trip.  The weather is looking good again this weekend, back at it again but not walking across that ice this time.


Enjoy the pics


Pushing the drift boat on sketchy ice




Closer to the bank this time.


front view boat haul.JPG




Mouth full




Flawless bow




Shawn bow.JPG


Scenery, never gets old




The rides




The take out, whats even funnier is that a jet boat was taking out before us.  We helped them trailer it up.  Alaska, what winter will have flyfishers do....




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Posted by AKnook on 27 February 2015 - 09:06 PM

Just purchased a Ross Canyon big game 5 reel with spare spool.  I will be using this for spring steelhead in south East Alaska.  Getting into spey fishing so the extra spool will be nice to load one with regular fly line and the other with Skagit line.  Can't wait to test it out.  Right now I just reel it sitting watching TV like I always do with any new reel I purchase.


I also took out a mortgage and got a new pair of waders.  Simms G4Z.  I got a great deal on it plus some free swag so it lightened the gut blow.  Always buy local and they take care of you. This was my last season with my G3 and will always buys Simms after this last pair.  Awesome product.  After fishing in downpours on numerous weekends I have to remove my backpack, my wading jacket, remove my holstered pistol and unclasp my waders and roll them down to take a piss and get soaked.  Can't wait to use the front zipper. 

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#319954 The Ultimate Photo Thread

Posted by AKnook on 04 December 2014 - 03:45 PM

Just got back from a trip... to ugh... BC... totes legitz.




Wow man, the scenery is gorgeous!  And you even captured the very elusive sasquatch.  What an epic photo!


Ha!  Sweet fish dude. 

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#319681 The Ultimate Photo Thread

Posted by AKnook on 23 November 2014 - 05:24 AM

Barely any snow in south central Alaska and with temps in the upper fortys I fly fished the Kenai river. Buddies of mine iced fished for lake trout and I went after open water rainbows.

Slow and rainy day but I did manage a rare Kenai unicorn.......Kenai steelhead. The Kenai hosts a very small run of steelhead and I somehow managed one. I may never catch one again so a special catch it is.



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#319548 Toronto trip

Posted by AKnook on 18 November 2014 - 04:35 PM

Thanks for all the responses fellas.  I'm glad I finally made the trip where some fish are available.  Will be great meeting and fishing with some of you guys.  Wooohoo can't wait!

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#314412 The Ultimate Photo Thread

Posted by AKnook on 26 August 2014 - 12:33 AM

Leopard rainbow

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#312721 Welcome to the Bow Show

Posted by AKnook on 28 July 2014 - 03:28 PM

This story goes back to the first week of September of last year where, already hooked on this new river, I manage to bring to the net an aprox 30" wild resident rainbow only to loose it inches from the net.  That one fish has haunted me ever since and the entire spring and winter was used in preperation to go back.  Beads, and a wide assortment of flies where bought and arranged, new rods purchased and trips planned because of that fish.  Don't get me wrong, many nice fish were caught there in the later trips but knowing that this river can hold much much larger fish had me addicted.


This weekend had me having only Sunday to make the treck in search of rainbows.  I haven't been at this river this early in the season so I didn't know what to expect.  If anything at least some salmon could be caught if the rainbows didn't want to come out and play.


I leave the house at 5:15am to make the 2.5 hour drive to meet my friends at the river.  The sun is out and the day should be a good one.


The river was a little low when arrived but things looked promising as a little rainbow was spotted right off the bat.  The hordes of chum salmon that I was so accustomed to seeing later in the season still haven't made it up the river.  At this stretch of water there were no salmon to be seen.


We are using a variety of streamers and egg sucking leeches as well as beads to entice a strike from the rainbows.  Where there are salmon, there are rainbows as they follow them up the river wating for them to drop their eggs or when the salmon die feed off their decomposing flesh. 


My buddy and I head up river to try that stretch first and we spot our first batch of king salmon.  Promising, we continue upward and find a deep pool with over 30 salmon.  Kings, sockeye and pinks all swiming around the pool together.  Up river from the pool would be our first area to fish. 


Three drifts with a bead and I manage a descent fish.  Not the biggest but the color on him was intense.  I LOVE these colored up rainbows.  WOW.




As I make my way up to net a fish my buddy has hooked I notice a limb in the water with some line swining down river with a small Dolly Lama fly at the end.  I make note of it so I can retrive the fly when I have worked that bend.  I net my buddy's fish and remain fishing there with him.  I hear a splash to my left and looked down river to see that that branch had caught a fish!  HAHA.  Rainbows so plentiful that even a tree can catch a fish!  I release the fish and retrive the fly.  Pretty cool sight to see.


Further up river we come apon a great looking run with some king salmon in it.  We drift beads with no success.  We then switch to some egg sucking leeches and manage a few.  We notice in the middle of this run were two very large shadows.  These are not kings as they are not blushed red.  These are large rainbows.  Many drifts with no succes but at the last fly swap I do manage a subtle strike and I set the hook.  This fish catapults itself about four feet in the air completely veritcal and pops me off!  I saw it in it's full glory, that is why I came here.  Wow what a rush.  His buddy never came around to play with us so we moved down river.


We arrive at a spot where the pool is deep but the current is slow.  There were salmon choked in this section, primarily pinks with a few sockeye and kings.  Although rainbows were our targeted species I coulnd't resist catching at least one pink and caught one with the same fly I had retreived from that limb up river.  HA!




Down river is where the bow show finally began.  It was insane at times where we would pull out 10 fish from a single hole.  If you can get a drift under the log jam or branches you will hook up.  In one spot I pulled three small rainbows drifting under a fallen tree.  A fourth larger fish was also caught and moments later my buddy hooks into a very large and fat monster from the same area.  Wow. 


Further down river we go and more fish caught.  It was the day I was looking forward to for almost a year.  Although I didn't catch my white whale on this trip I did meet his brother for a brief second.  Perhaps next weekend we can finally meet.  Now until the end of September that place will be home.


Tight lines, enjoy some more pics.










A double rainbow! What does this mean?!






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#311855 Ways of the gray

Posted by AKnook on 14 July 2014 - 03:18 PM

July in Alaska is a pretty exciting time.  Warmth, sun, and constant day light can give an angler the opportunity at a never ending fishing day.  The south central rivers begin choking with sockeye salmon leading to a population boom in many of the surrounding small towns with an influx of salmon fishermen.  The fishing is great with plenty of salmon to go around, but the combat fishing in the easily accessible roadside rivers can be hectic.


With my freezer already full from the first run of sockeye I opted to travel north to interior Alaska to dry fly fish for arctic grayling while the hordes of people head south.  A buddy and I were to make the five hour drive together but a last minute cancelation had me going Han solo.  Dreading the boring drive alone I checked out plane tickets just to see.  To my surprise it was cheaper to fly round trip than drive using two tanks of gas in my truck.  Hell yea! Cheaper and cut my travel time from five hours to 50 minutes!


I fly to Fairbanks and get picked up by my buddy Dennis.  We start our trip driving to his place in North Pole.  We hitch the boat to his truck and pack it with both our gear for the trip.  In the morning we would drive to Delta Junction.  We wake up at 7:00am to find out it is pouring rain.  From North Pole it is roughly a two hour drive to Delta Junction so we hope the weather will cooperate with us there.  The Clearwater River has unbelievable dry fly opportunities.  The fish feed on the top when the sun it out.  During cloud cover or rain they shut off feeding on the top.  FIsh can be caught using subsurface flies but we travel there to give it to them dry!


It rained the entire drive.  We decide to just get a camp spot and hit the water and deal with setting up camp when we get back.  Rain gear on and boat in the river we ride out to our usual productive spots.  Throwing egg sucking leeches and stone fly nymphs produces some fish right away.  Fun? Yes of course but I keep looking at the skies for any sign of clearing.


After four or five fish caught I remember that I had brought some mouse patterns with me.  Never having caught a fish using a mouse, and rarely seeing or hearing anyone doing so with grayling I thought why not?  First cast I hit the other side of the bank and start skating the mouse across a deep pool and as soon as it starts swinging, wham!  And a miss.  Second cast, wham and a miss!  Third cast, wham and a miss!  I am using a three inch top water fly and a grayling's mouth is pretty small but on the fourth strike it was fish on!  I was stoked I caught one on a mouse, very cool.  After a few photos I look up and notice there is some clear sky!  Perhaps the sun will show itself today still.


We decide to move to a spot further up river and as we come to a stop to tie the boat off the sun starts shining.  Finally!  We eat lunch and let the sun do its magic on the water before we try fishing again.  That's all it took, just the sun and the fish begin popping the top like popcorn.  All sub surface flies are put away and nothing but dry flies were used from then on.  The fly of choice is a blue dun in size 12 or 14.  You can use the usual dry flies but for some reason the blue dun will out fish them all.


At one hole the water was boiling with so many fish rising it seemed like a dream.  Almost impossible that this was happening.  The excitement at seeing this before me and watching my buddy to my right hooking up with fish after fish is the apex of fishing for me.  There is just something in seeing the fish hit the top water at your presentation, being in pristine waters and wilderness with literally miles of river with just you and your buddy that brings a different type of smile to your face.


We literally fished until our arms and backs couldn't take any more.  One looses track of time with the sun in the sky so late.  We were pulling 13 hour days of fishing that I felt like a 90 year old man getting up in the morning the next day.  Pills were popped for sure.  I wouldn't have it any other way. 


With so many fishing opportunities in July it truly is an exciting month.  But with the extra hours of day light I prefer to chase the midnight sun north for arctic grayling.


Tight lines, enjoy some pictures.


Meat eaters







Leeches were thrown when it was raining
















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#310321 Father's day sockeye

Posted by AKnook on 16 June 2014 - 08:42 PM

Spent the entire father's day weekend with my wife and kids in the outdoors of the Kenai Peninsula.  We rented a cabin on the Kenai river and drove to fish the Russian river to catch some sockeye salmon on their return to their natal stream.


I have fished this river for many years but have never seen it so stacked with sockeye like on Father's day.  In some areas the water was black with an abundance of fish.  Easy fishing.  Literally first cast and fish on.  I even had my kids out on the water casting and landing their own fish.


I remember my first fish as either a small pan fish or perch.  These guys get to say a chrome adult sockeye salmon was their first.  Pretty cool. 


We caught and released many fish and kept a limit of three for future dinners. 


What a feeling watching my boy's expressions as these fish peeled line out.  I gave instruction and they followed them well. They reeled the fish in, admired it, cradled them in the water and released them with a splash to the face. They really enjoyed themseleves.


No such thing as too young, get them invloved one way or another until they can hold the rod.  Teach them how you catch them and how and why you release them.  One day you will have the best fishing partner(s) you will ever fish with joining you on many adventures.


Enjoy some pics from a day I will never forget.



















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#302227 Rainbows in March

Posted by AKnook on 07 March 2014 - 01:17 AM

Finally hit the water after what seems like an eternity of work and other tasks. With the days getting longer and the sun shining more open water has been on my mind lately.

I was contacted by a buddy if mine letting me know that he would be in town for a few days. He wanted to hit the Kenai with me if I could take a day off this week. He is deploying to Afghanistan next week and this would be his only open water venture of the year.

Hell yea I was sick and needed fresh air, open spaces and the sounds of a stream to heal me! The day off was had.

One of the best days of winter rainbow fishing at "the bridge" I experienced. Glad my buddy had an epic day on the water before he leaves.
Blue bird cold and breezy day, but the day was filled with rainbows.

Enjoy some pics

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#299795 What do you prefer to fish...Salmon or Steelhead?

Posted by AKnook on 21 January 2014 - 05:37 PM


as for "dat salt", ive spent more time doing ocean then anything and i still prefer a river


Fishing the salt is in the midst for me and I know I will love it, but I cannot see wanting to hit the clear blue sky warm days and water over the rain forests of AK on cold dreary days chasing rainbows/steelhead.  I enjoy all types of fly fishing and all different types of species.  I will go for anything, but my happy place is in cold wet forests on a cold water stream.  I just like being in the forests on the rivers.  Just my opinion of course. 

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#299412 2013/14 Ice Fishing Photo Thread

Posted by AKnook on 15 January 2014 - 01:49 PM

those 'bows look good to eat.


I practice catch and release for all other species except salmon.  Even in stocked lakes I release the fish just because I don't need to keep it.  I have been saying this to my boys for quite some time and tell them why as they have been with me to the river and on some other ice fishing trips.  They know we harvest salmon but let go rainbows.  When my boy landed his fish I asked him if he wanted to keep it and eat and it would be okay if he did.  He said no, I want to let him go.  He took such care letting the fish go it was great to see.  Selective harvest and catch and release practices already in swing with them at 4 years old.  :) 

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