The last time I was in Alaska was in 1995 on a trip to the Royal Coachman Lodge in late August for silver salmon. I had been fly fishing seriously for 5 or 6 years at that stage and it was definitely one of those life changing experiences for me. Not only the fishing but also spending time with my dad as a "grown up" for the first time.
The fishing experience was everything one would expect in a fly out Alaska experience. I remember one of the days was tough - but it was pretty easy for the most part. Throw it out, let the flies swing and BANG - they are a helluva fish on a fly rod. It was one of those experiences that I figured was just perfect and I've never really had a desire to go do it again. Plus, AK trips are crazy expensive for what they are and after doing the fly out thing...I kind of figured that it was once in a lifetime trip anyway.
Dad and I met a guy in Argentina last year - while duck hunting - that went on and on about AK rainbows in June. So, I did some research as it's about the only time of year that I can actually get away for a trip in this hemisphere fro trout. Turns out it's early season and should be more like trout fishing than egg fishing, so we booked it and head out next Monday for Kulik Lodge in Bristol Bay.
My dad and I have been doing some pretty amazing trips together the last few years and this is surely going to be another one. It's a real treat for me in many ways as I spend much of the summer entertaining fathers and sons on trips out here, so I maybe have a little different appreciation for time with my dad on a river than some.
Water and fish have been the two constants in my life since I was a wee lad. Well, I guess my Mom and Dad have also been constants. No matter what has happened in life, I've always known that my parents and water would get me through to the other side.
So, a few more days of chasing trout with other folks on the MO and then it's a week of banging big bows in AK. Ahh the romance of it all. Then I realize that it will rain everyday, be 42 and windy, the mosquitoes will be abundant, I get airsick in little planes, and bears scare me. But at the end of the day, it's all about enjoying some time standing in cold, clean water with my dad.