One Spot Open on the July 2013 Alagnak Trip


In my last note…I mentioned that I had a cancellation.

Well, I thought I had it filled, but learned yesterday, that the person couldn’t make it either.  But the first person had put down a deposit, so what I can do is use his deposit ($500), to lower the cost of the trip to $1300….  Plus air fare to Bethel, AK and back home.  I am letting the members of the OFFC club know first, but will be sending out emails to everyone who has floated with me in the fast Thursday night…. .

So if you have any interest in floating one of the great salmon and rainbow rivers in Alaska, for $1300, From the evening of the 19th of July to the 28th of July,  contact me via email, right away…

The Overlake Fly Fishing Club is sponsoring three Alaska Float trips open to club members in good standing. We are planning three – at cost – trips this year with everyone splitting the expenses.  We floated the Kanecktok the last year, 10 days, for a total cost of $2313.02.  Not bad for a long float trip.  We had pretty good weather up until the 9th day, and it started to rain, causing us to come out a day early.  The rainbow fishing was fair, the char fishing good, and the Silver fishing was excellent. We had three new club members from Minnesota – Rex knew them in a former life when he was working at 3M. We also had John from Portland and Ed from Montana join us.

2013 we are offering  one trip on the Arolik River – July 19-28.  .  If you check out the Arolik, it’s a shorter river, about 45 miles, with a good run of Char, Kings, Sockeyes, and Silvers.  In addition, it is known for its large leopard rainbows and similar to the Kanecktok, they do go for mouse patterns and large sculpins.  The Kanecktok trip will be for Silvers, char and Rainbows.  We should start to run into the Silvers by the third day, as well as its famous char at the confluence with the Klac River.  The char run can be so good, that you can have a 100 fish day.  Recently – the last issue of Fish Alaska, feature the Arolik River, be sure to read this review, it speaks of the excellent Rainbow, Char and Salmon Fishing.

Why Split expenses:  As with our other trips, everyone will share in the rowing, camp set up and tear downs, and will help with some of the cooking.  On the Arolik, we will be really watching the weight, and will scale back quite a bit from what we normally take on the Kanecktok.  The Arolik river is on the west coast, north of Dillingham, and South of Bethel.  We’ll fish till we drop, eat well, and we won’t have to lie about the size of our fish.  We’ll take pictures and leave footprints and be dazzled by the beauty of our surroundings and the fish we will catch as we float quietly down the river, in search of wild rainbows…  We are estimating the cost for a trip will be between $1800 and $2200, depending upon how many days we will be on the river.

Some interesting tidbits of info from PapaBear Flying Service, and other sources:  “The Arolik River flows northwest from Arolik Lake through the Eek Mountains. The upper portion of the river is small and depending on the time of the year and current rainfall, can be fairly shallow. After the first 10 miles, the river almost doubles in size and flow and this is where the fishing really turns on!!  The fishing begins each year in mid-June with the King Salmon run and culminates each year in mid-September with the Rainbow fishing reaching it’s peak and the end of the Silver Salmon run. In addition to Rainbow and Salmon fishing, the Arolik Adventure also offers great Dolly Varden and Grayling fishing. The Arolik River Is World Renowned for its World Class Rainbow Trout that lurk in the river.”

And a little history:  During the first few decades of the twentieth century, prospectors and gold miners formed the most significant group of non-Native users of the Arolik River and its tributaries. In 1921, George L. Harrington of the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) wrote, “Practically every white man in the region has had at some time during the last three years an interest in one or more claims in the Arolic basin.”101 Gold mining activity took place in the Arolik River basin from about 1900 until World War II. The number of miners and mining operations fluctuated, and the scale of the mining activity remained relatively small. However, mining was significant locally, and gold from the Arolik River drainage contributed to the overall placer gold production of the Kuskokwim region, which reached $1,299,000 in 1940.

More info (From Alaska West):    Fishing with Alaska West on the Kanektok River costs $5000. That price includes 7 nights and 6 days of guided fishing, meals, lodging, flies, terminal tackle and loaner gear. In addition, guests tip an average of $500 and purchase their plane tickets between Anchorage and Quinhagak, Alaska for approximately $700. Fishing on the Arolik River for a week with Alaska West costs $5600.

But float with the Overlake Club and the trip will cost less than $2000.  Actually between $1600 and $1800.

We’ll fish till we drop, eat well, and we won’t have to lie about the size of our fish.  We’ll take pictures and leave footprints and be dazzled by the beauty of our surroundings and the fish we will catch as we float quietly down the river, in search of wild rainbows…Interested?  Contact Dick Lange

Lone Lake Rainbows in December

Another club member and I went to Lone Lake just before Christmas for the first time. The weather was very mild and the lack of wind made it a prefect day to pursue some rainbows. I kicked my float tube across the mirror-like surface and took in the scenery. Tons of waterfowl were enjoying the quiet lake with me. But, within 30 minutes, I was rudely interrupted by two large and feisty rainbows, both over 19 inches! Unfortunately, the rest of the day was quiet and it got a lot colder so it was time to go home for the holidays…

Tom E.

Belize Bone Fishing

Couple catching fish

Two years ago, Michael and I were on vacation in Belize. We hired a guide to target a grand slam and split the cost of the trip with another couple we met who were on their Honeymoon. We felt fortunate to have met the same kind of fly fishing enthusiasts as we were. After an hour, the guide arrived  on a remote and isolated island. This was the kind of island that you could forget every care because, not only did you not know where in the world you were, but it was only you, the sky and the “Ghosts of the Flats”. Everyone was on target catching the prized Bone Fish except for the new bride. But shortly, she joined our ranks. She was standing on the bow of the boat playing the fish and was inches from bringing it in. All of a sudden a huge Barracuda flew up and sliced the Bone Fish at a  precise 45 degree angle between the head and the body. What she actually brought in was only the head of the fish. In our astonishment, I burst out, “Congratulations, you caught your first Bonehead!”

Happy writing, Carrie and Michael Dugan

Drift Boat – How Hard Can It Be?

The day began with great anticipation. Don, my fishing buddy, and I had just purchased a drift boat to fish for steelhead. With no experience whatever, we just assumed that we could learn on the river. We launched on the upper section of an Olympic Peninsula river with no difficulty and gained confidence with each passing minute. Don was on the oars for the first drift. It was after I took the oars that the fun began. We entered a section of the river which was narrow and shallow. As we gained speed, I extended the sawyer oars straight out from the boat in an attempt to slow us down. The loud sound of the blade on the right oar breaking into two pieces was the first sign that things were not going well. The boat quickly started to spin in circles as we were out of control. After we reached calm waters, Don stated the obvious “ You don’t know what you are doing, let me take over” No argument from me. With Don at the oars, we approached another narrow and shallow section. This time, it was the left blade that broke into two pieces. That was just the beginning. The anchor rope became loose and the anchor dropped behind a large boulder in the middle of the river. The boat was now swinging violently back and forth in the white water. We looked at each other for a solution to our predicament. That was a waste of time. As we were swinging close to the river bank, I noticed the water was clear and seemed only two or three feet deep. I suggested that we try to get the boat close to the bank and I would jump in and then walk the boat upstream to loosen the rope and dislodge the anchor. Water depth can be deceiving. I jumped in and was completely submerged in eight feet of water. March on the Olympic Peninsula is not exactly prime time to take a swim. The fun was not over. We tried to hike out but heavy thick mud blocked our escape. Just when things seemed hopeless, another boat with two guys showed up and loaned up an extra oar. Drained of energy, we loaded the boat and headed for the first take out we could find. We now realize how fortunate we were as that first day on the water quickly taught us to respect the power and force of rivers.

See you on the water.

John Waggoner