Fishing

Welcome to the world of fly fishing in Alaska where you’re cordially invited to wade right in and read all about the greatest outdoor sport on the planet. We admit it. We’re insanely partial to posting about everything that makes the hearts of trout bums beat a little bit faster. You have to admit it too. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t share our passion for the art of a careful cast and a perfect presentation.

What do we cover in this section of our ongoing and always-entertaining blogs? We post about sockeyes and bows and dolly varden. We share fishing tips and angling tricks. We laugh at some of the worst fly fishing advice we’re ever heard, and then we turn into softies teaching the kids in our lives how to cast. If you love variety, climb aboard, and start reading. It’s the next best thing to hanging out with us in front of the lodge fireplace.

10 Sites You Need to Follow If You Love Alaska Fly Fishing

10 Sites You Need to Follow If You Love Alaska Fly Fishing

They might seem at odds with each other. An afternoon surfing the Internet can’t compare to time gladly lost in the magic of casting a line. Putting apples and oranges aside, the online world embraces everything on the planet including its very best outdoor sport and Alaska’s favorite pastime. Of course, we’re talking about fly fishing, and we know you’ll really enjoy these 10 sites that make our point. 1. Fish Alaska Magazine – You don’t need a subscription to enjoy this online publication dedicated to everything about fishing in Alaska. Posts are organized by topics that cover it all including ice fishing, recipes and how-to articles. Naturally, fly fishing has its own section filled with the kind of information that’s sure to help fine-tune your delivery talents. Amazing photography makes this site a keeper. 2. Mystic Waters Fly Fishing – Get it straight from the professional guides’ mouths, and read all about Kvichak River adventures, the latest fly recipes and breaking news on Alaska’s fishing action. Check out tips and tricks, product reviews and the always entertaining Strange and Unusual articles. Site contributors also cover fly fishing in the Lower 48 and Mexico, but we don’t hold that against them. 3. Alaska Fly Fishing Online – We admit, this one looks a little long in the tooth, but it’s got so much to offer that we think it belongs on the list. Compare your techniques with the site’s Stalker series outlining strategies for streams, still water and salt. Cruise the Tips section for posts on tying weedless flies and making tougher peacocks. It’s a shame the Members’ Forum doesn’t work, but overall, the information is timeless. 4. Alaska Dispatch News, Anchorage – If you’ve only heard about the story, read in-depth reporting and recaps devoted to Alaskan fishing. It’s not exactly a blog, but it’s a great roundup of information that really impacts our sport. Some stories are controversial, others are entertaining, and they all serve to increase our awareness of Alaska’s incredible natural resources. Feel free to ignore the Politics section, and just concentrate on fishing news. 5. Alaska.org – Technically, this is a travel connection, but we’ve linked you to its Fishing Tips section to give you an idea of how much the site has to offer. The folks on these pages are wildlife biologists, bush pilots, park rangers and photographers who all love fishing Alaska as much as we do. Of course, if you’re planning a trip, we want you to stay with us here at No See Um, but we know you’ll enjoy all the information rounded up on this site. 6. Trout Fishing Alaska – Yes, this site is trout-centric, and it’s not the snazziest presentation on the Internet, but it’s a rock-solid source for all things trout. Cutthroat, steelhead and bow are all covered along with updated information about licenses and stamps. No, you won’t find anything here about salmon, but the tips and techniques are focused on every type of trout that […]

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Why We Love Alaska Fly Fishing (And You should, Too!)

Why We Love Alaska Fly Fishing (And You should, Too!)

We aren’t crazy. We’re just crazy about the sport. How else can you explain living in the same spot on the Kvichak River for more than 40 years? Sure, the scenery is incredible but it all revolves around the magic of that perfect cast on a perfect afternoon into the most perfect waters on the planet. We know why we love Alaskan fly fishing, and we really believe you should too. Because It’s Just So Beautiful You’ve seen the pictures. You’ve watched the videos. You’re already dreaming about Alaska, but it’s impossible to understand the beauty without experiencing it firsthand. You probably even know the numbers by now. Yes, we really have 3,000 rivers, 3 million lakes and more than 6,000 miles of coastline. Those figures don’t begin to convey the vast, unspoiled backcountry that stretches beneath your flight out to a favorite fly fishing spot. They can’t carry the scent of primal forests on a breeze that guides your line over the water. Seeing is more than believing up here. It’s falling in love with a land that defies civilization. When was the last time you looked up and saw bald eagles commanding a perfectly blue sky? How often can you turn a trail and find yourself on the edge of an ancient mountain range? We love our Alaskan wilderness, and we take very good care of it, but its immense expanse will always be more than anyone can conquer. We don’t try. We just thank the stars every crystal clear night that all this is our backdrop to the best fly fishing in the world. Because the Fish Are Here Can you pick a favorite? Neither can we, and thank goodness, no one has to. Our Kvichak River here in southwest Alaska runs wild with rainbows all season, and their majestic aerobatics on the end of a line always take our breath away. The forked tail on a lake trout might not be every angler’s dream, but we love the challenge of bringing up one of these big fish after it slams down deep. Whether you’re after that perfect rhythm of cast, drift and rise or in the mood for sinking lines and tips, trout fishing in Alaska makes time stand still. Are you up for the largest annual sockeye run on earth? The 2014 count in our backyard topped 4 million reds. If you love a good fight, try going half an hour with a chinook on the line. Our Alaskan kings always earn their reputation as the state’s heaviest, fiercest sports fish. Northern pikes, silver cohos, Arctic chars and graylings all belong in the lineup of fly fishing action that excites anglers of all ages, genders and skill levels, and all those fish swim our pristine waters here in the 49th state. Because Everybody Gets It If you’re a solitary angler, you still appreciate other folks who understand why you love wilderness fly fishing. If you enjoy company, there’s nothing like swapping stories at the end […]

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Alternatives to Felt Soled Boots

Alternatives to Felt Soled Boots

As the seasons change—winter melting into spring—fishing enthusiasts need to take changes in climate and weather into consideration when choosing the appropriate gear for their angling adventures. In the early summer, many areas surrounding rivers, lakes, and even the Alaskan coastline, are prone to high waters. This makes the beginning of each new season the ideal time to change up your fishing gear—especially your boots. What kinds of seasonally appropriate options for boots are available to you? Not too long ago, the state of Alaska declared felt bottoms illegal. Rubber is the only alternative but, but this is a dangerous material in some rivers as it’s doesn’t grip slippery bottoms. Studded boots are a great alternative, but there are many scenarios in which they cannot be worn, such as aircraft, boats, rafts, and other surfaces such as docks, wooden walkways, stairs, decks, and hardwood floors. The soles of studded boots can scuff and do damage to wooden surfaces, making them an inappropriate alternative to felt soled boots. This leaves anglers with only three options for boots: Wear rubber soled boots, and be very careful on slippery surfaces Wear studded boots and cover them when traveling Wear boots with a removable sole that can be changed when needed When it comes to rubber boots, we have found Vibram to be the best brand out there. Vibram is an Italian rubber sole company, and the original producers of one of the first rubber lug soles for heavy-utility boots used for mountaineering and outdoors sports. Simms and Orvis sell boots with Vibram soled footwear. If you prefer studded boots, No See Um Lodge provides slip-on boot covers that you are required to wear when you’re not in the water. We have approximately 15 pairs of Orvis rubber slip-ons that can accommodate any shoe size. For those who opt for removable soles, Korkers makes the best product available. No See Um Lodge has a Korkers dealership, and can order removable soled boots directly at a special Lodge price. John has personal experience using the Korker Omni Track boot. They are very light and comfortable to wear. The soles are easy to change and stayed on well. They have several great options at different price points and multiple sole variations. We have found that the Redside is a solid, well-built boot at a great price. Ordered with a Vibram and second studded sole produced excellent results. The Vibram is good enough to use most of the time and the studded fills in the few rivers that are a bit trickier wading. “I have personally worn Korkers for the last three seasons. I have tried several models of Korker boots, all have had the same Omni Track system. It’s a very solid, versatile product that works exactly as advertised. The company has been super to work with and I now have over thirty pairs of loaner Korkers for my guests” –  John Holman- Owner-No See Um Lodge If you are interested in purchasing Korkers through No […]

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2014 Season in Review and 2015 Season Forecast

2014 Season in Review and 2015 Season Forecast

2014 turned out a great summer. We saw excellent salmon returns in most drainages which produced great trout fishing. A few exceptions included the spawners in the Kvichak braids and lower numbers in the Upper American creek. The drainages upstream of the Kvichak were in great shape and the Lower American seemed to have plenty of fish. Water levels were good in most systems, a bit low in a few. The Copper River, while starting to fish again, proved challenging in the boating area for those less experienced running jet boats in no water. We saw some days that will easily go into the books as all time “best ever” days, I was a bit surprised by that, I thought I had seen all those days 20 years ago but it proves you’ve really never seen it all. For the second year in a row we experienced excellent silver returns that lasted into mid-September with the 2015 forecast looking great. We made a few upgrades around the lodge including flooring in the main guest house, new decking and a new power generator. The crew did a spectacular job, proving again that a business is only as good as the people involved. 2015 is shaping into another great season. All Bristol Bay salmon forecasts are excellent, low snow pack will provide for a great spring water levels and everyone is excited to get back at it. Our staff will include some new faces and plenty of the old regulars. Jason Schuster has an educational opportunity that will keep him away for a year, Brian Deagle will be getting married and both Katrina and Saoirse pursing career paths. We have hired several very experienced replacements that will be excellent complements to our returning staff. We have some exciting improvements planned for this summer and fully expect it will be our best season ever! John Holman President- Pilot/Guide  

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2013 Season Review

2013 Season Review

2013 season is in the books and goes down as another great year. I personally guided more on “new” water than I did on our traditional rivers. Much of this “exploration” was only possible because we don’t practice the “drop and go” fishing experience. Anyone that has been dropped off at a location, watched the plane leave and then discovered that things are not as expected, can appreciate our program. Several rivers that typically fish very well and are generally predictable were not quite “normal” in 2013. I recall several days that weather was also an issue and heard people comment, as we departed, that they were very happy to have that option. Overall the weather was better than the past few years with some incredibly nice weather in June and July. Our salmon runs were, for the most part, good. The Nushigak King run was typical and fished about as expected while the Alagnak run was in line with the last few years, some great days with more days doing something else. The Alagnak Silver Salmon run was a definite bright spot with great numbers and an extended season. Again the “no dropping” practice paid off as we able to fish several holes and then move on to a different river for the afternoon. Trout fishing overall, was very good. Many longtime guests were thrilled with the opportunity to fish new water and found some new favorites. As is the norm, June and July produced our best weather and least numbers of competing anglers. August and September provided some big, fat trout but also tends to be the most popular time for Southwest Alaska, again having exclusive rights to a beaver allows for on the go changing of plans. Life around the lodge was smooth with our attentive, dedicated staff. I got many comments on how good they all were and expect most to be there in 2014. The new gazebo was a huge success, well worth the wait, and many enjoyable evenings were passed around the fire and horseshoe pits. I also witnessed more people in the river than normal, some water skiing and swimming but most just taking a quick cool down dip from the sauna. We had another successful year using Trans Northern for our Anchorage-King Salmon flights and anticipate the same for 2014. John Holman President, Pilot & Guide

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