Flashback King

Over the years, I've spent a number of memorable fourths of July in the outdoors.  In 2006, it was the last full day of a week long float trip on Lake Creek in Alaska.  Great memories for my wife and I.

We covered quite a bit of water the first day.  After that, it was a leisurely trip as we floated and camped our way downriver. 

There were a number of notable firsts such as……..

Casting a 10 weight.  There was "chuck and duck" with line that seemed as thick and heavy as telephone cable.

Streamside dutch oven meals.

Spraying one's butt with bug dope upon entering the shelter that housed the porta potty.  A most invigorating sensation.

Seeing fish that were roughly the length of ones leg swim under the raft in the shallow water of Lake Creek.  "Wow, look at that one!" was a most common refrain.

Most memorable perhaps was my first fly rod caught king salmon.  It was morning.  I'd been ferried to a cross river gravel bar.  The fish hit and immediately started hauling donkey downriver. It was backing time in nothing flat.  Slight problem.  My gravel bar was essentially a small island and I couldn't chase the fish.  Our guides were in the process of breaking down camp.  Seeing the predicament, they rowed over and picked me up.  By now the fish had control of an extraordinary amount of line.  Amazingly, I got it all back.  It was a lengthy fight, with several runs by the fish and a long shoreline chase downriver by this angler and his guides.  My understanding is that the fish usually prevails.  We got lucky with this one.

An aged look photo of my first…..

Fly rod caught king salmon from Lake Creek in Alaska

The trip was outfitted by Lance Kronberger of Freelance Outdoor Adventures. Well organized does not adequately describe his outfit.  Brian Miller and Jay Myers, all around great guys, were our guides.