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Alaska Rainbow TroutAlaska Fly Fishing Video

The otter landed softly on the Yentna River and came to a slow stop on an exposed sandbar where 2 jet boats were waiting to take us and our gear across the river to our humble accommodations for the week. A small one room cabin with 2 bunk beds and no electricity was where I upacked my waders and got prepared for the first day on Lake Creek. About 150 miles Northwest of Anchorage is Lake Creek, a small tributary of the Yentna River. From the confluence of the Yentna River to the head Waters of Chelantna Lake, Lake Creek runs nearly 60 miles, boast a salmon run over 50,000 each year and a very healthy population of Leopard Rainbow Trout. Our party was the last trip of the season targeting the leopard Rainbows written about in magazines. Fishing for these fish is very similar to steelhead fishing. We would find a pod of dead salmon or those nearly there and fish behind them with the appropriate pattern. Glo Bugs, flesh flies and mice were our flies of choice and had success on each of them. The sheer power of these fish was remarkable, totally wild and un-spoiled by the stocking of their farm raised brethren, these fish fought as hard as any steelhead or salmon I have ever hooked. Bending our 6 and 7 weights to the cork each fish you hook was tougher than the next. Their beauty was just as outstanding as their strength; deep reds and greens with numerous spots that encroached into their eyes making each fish look like a painting. Jet boats were our mode of transportation to and from Lake Creek with our day Starting around 8:30 and ending between 6 and 7 if you missed your boat home you could surely lasso the mosquitoes biting you through your waders and ride them back. During the evening we would eat in a common lodge that was powered by a generator and heated by a wood stove. We would chat over beer and food and watch the grey sky slowly turn to pitch black through the windows with bear claw markings on the screens. It rained nearly everyday during our stay with only one day partially clearing giving us a view of the Alaskan Range that wraps around the area almost entirely. We did not see any bears but the evidence that they were there was abundant, fresh piles of partially digested berries lingered on every sandbar along with tracks bigger than 2 human hands. The saying that everything is tougher in Alaska is certainly true. I have never been to a place so remote and so vast that it would take a lifetime to just scratch the surface. I am only hopeful that someday I am able to make it back.