Friday, August 26, 2011


Familiar Ground

That's today's yesterday's itinerary. Onward to Igiugig on Saturday

By the time you read this I'll be asleep four hours behind yesterday. I've not been looking forward to this trip in the same way that I did the Yosemite trip. Unlike the well planned trip to the Valley, it's one of those "trips of a lifetime" that came my way serendipitously. My vision of an Alaska trip was to one of the big name lodges with the family and a few friends. Definitely sometime in the distant future. But I got an invite to a lesser lodge with two guys on the TU board and in the moment it added up and I threw my hat in with them.

I am very excited to be heading out to the back country once again. This is not my first trip to Alaska but back then I didn't fish. At least not seriously. Quite an error on my part. I'm returning to check out my old stomping grounds and to correct that previous error. I also want to check out the lands that these Pebble Miners want to scour. And, of course, I'm looking forward to catching a few bright, large Rainbows. And maybe a Salmon or two.

I've been searching for a lost watch for a week. Maybe longer. It's my fishing watch. It bears the logo of my favorite rod manufacturer. Overpriced. Waterproof. Part of the gear that makes up the mojo.
That stupid watch's absence was a bit of a cloud over this trip; glad I found it. I left the replacement Timex at home. Ann was right. Buy the Timex, find the other watch. I thought it a good omen to have found it in the hours just before the trip started.

The TU hat that bears the distinctive brown smear of many a summer's day's sweat dried around the band has some mojo too. It's wrinkled, soiled and bent with many memories of good fishing, thorough skunkings and everything in between. It's also home to a #8  Bugmeister that I saved from my first trip to the Deerfield. Big dries cast hard against the banks brought some nice Browns to hand that day. That hat rarely hangs on the hook by the back door. It's in the checked baggage below my feet. They better not lose the damn thing.

It's the new stuff on this trip that raises doubts. Two relatively new rods and their accompanying reels that I've only cast a few times and neither of which has helped bring a fish to hand. New fishing partners. A new guide. A new lodge. Lot's of new stuff. I suppose all this new stuff is how new adventures germinate and in which the fodder for good stories are found. Old stuff as a foundation; new structure on top.

Tomorrow, well, actually later today, I'll drive around Anchorage. See what I've missed over the past quarter century. See what news things there are to spur adventure.


  1. So happy for you Steve...even though I am envious. Be safe, have more fun than you can contain, and maybe we'll go double river fishing upon your return.

  2. Sounds like you're going to have an amazing long as the hat doesn't lose its home. Have fun...look forward to the upcoming reports!

  3. I have old stuff that I like to have with me; a coffee mug, turned black. You know the drill.

    And hey, by the time we hit Pulaski you'll really know rock bottom!

    Tight lines this week. J

  4. Plus, Alaska isn't about to get hit by a hurricane.

  5. Yeah, got out of town just in time. Not that I don't have a bit of anxiety about Ann and the boys.