Alaska, our country’s last frontier is home to some of the wildest water & biggest freshwater fish that you can readily chase with a fly rod. Go there with us as we capture a guide season on film. See the remarkable tale of the Alaskan salmon spawn that plays such a large part n the state’s ecosystem & economy.
Its 5:00 a.m. when your alarm clock sounds & wakes you from your bunk. The sun is exactly where you left it 4 hrs ago. You throw a jacket over the same old flannel shirt that you've worn for a week straight & pour some coffee as you suit up in your still damp waders that smell of sweaty socks & Deet. You run the jet boat down to the confluence & drop anchor just upstream of the visible divide between clear river & silty glacier water. Your 10 wt rod becomes an extension of your arm that ends with a 400 grain sink tip, a 20 lb mono leader, & the ugliest pink & purple fly known to man. Just as you begin to relax & look up to observe a bald eagle flying overhead, you sense your drift suddenly stop dead in its downstream swing & come tight on what feels like a waterlogged tree stump. But then it moves...& then it shakes. The tree stump you are hooked into then boils at the surface, & you notice it has fins, bright chrome flesh, & a body that is truly the size of your leg.
As your reels screams, you think to yourself that yesterday's rain must have brought a new push of fish upstream from the ocean & one step closer to its spawning grounds. You pinch yourself & realize that no, you're not dreaming - you're just in Alaska, where everything feels bigger than life itself.
Kings, or “Chinook” salmon, aren’t the only part of Alaska that deserves recognition. There are a total of 5 species of Pacific salmon that travel upstream each year during the Alaskan salmon spawn, a remarkable occurrence fueled by the power of nature & instinct. Although the angling tends to be focused around just a few of these species of salmon & the wild Alaskan rainbow trout, the entire experience is an amazing adventure that takes you to some of the most remote areas you may ever have a chance to visit. We spent an entire guide season, & nearly 4 months, chasing these fish & observing the abundance of wildlife that, like us, comes for the spawning salmon. Upstream is our way of bringing it home with us & sharing this unique story with others. Enjoy.