Category Archives: Alaska

Near-Death Experience

Last week, I was as close to dying as I have ever been.  Was driving back from town about half-way between Ophir Creek and Glacier bear with the window open,  when a bee hit the mirror and bounced into my crotch.  I did the classic idiot bee panic that I make fun of others for and almost went into the ditch at 50mph.  In my defense though,  I wasn’t freaking out because there was a bee in the car,  I was freaking out because there was a bee in my CROTCH and I was just in my gym clothes…  Thankfully,  I survived and the bee didn’t.  But it was a close one…

Interesting Morning

The ACE Air Cargo mail plane arrived this morning at 4:05am.  I fueled,  Teen assisted the flight crew with offloading the mail and UPS.  On our way into town to deliver the 592lbs of mail,  there were two bears in the grass just outside the Pate Construction yard.  We stopped in the road and watched them for about 10 minutes.  One darted into the trees immediately,  the other stayed on the road shoulder,  grazed a little on clover,  then huffed and walked past us toward Ophir Creek.

After delivering the mail,  we headed back to the airport expecting to see the bears again.  Nope.  Instead,  standing on the center line of the Ophir Creek Bridge was a beautiful cow moose and her two freshly hatched calves.  Mom was watching the trees,  while one calf walked around her in circles and the other stayed down in a tiny pile of fur.  She really didn’t care that we were there at all.  Just kept staring and listening for the bears to come and attack her babies.

We watched them for about 20 minutes as they slowly ambled down the road,  staying on the centerline.  Eventually they moved over into the trees on the right and we drove past.

So much life (and death) here.  It is still amazing to see this sort of thing and I hope I never get jaded to it.  Every spring,  there would be tiny moose calf tracks around the cabin on the Italio.  We’d see the tracks for a week or so,  then they would disappear.  Then…  a pile of bear scat with those tiny hooves in it.  This cow sure has a hard spring ahead,  trying to keep these tiny guys alive.

This was a calf we came across back in 2005.  Wandering alone on the Old Italio flats,  3 miles from the nearest tree.  My guess is he didn’t survive the night.

I Have Finally Had Enough

No,  I haven’t made a post in a month and a half and yes,  there is a reason…

There are always people who find it fun to crap on others,  as if this will boost their own self-esteem.  I have had to deal with a handful of losers since opening the fly shop that have to place blame on why their life (or trip) sucks.  Certainly can’t blame themselves for their inability to catch fish…  I try to provide accurate information on what is happening on the rivers here in Yakutat,  so visitors can make the best decisions about their trips and know a little of what to expect.  But to some,  that is unacceptable.

In March,  it was looking like we were going to see a dramatically early run,  with high water temps and no snow.  The winter fish had already been down throughout the river for nearly a month and as the flows dropped after the mid-month storm,  tremendous numbers of spring fish were coming in all at once.

I have far less influence on when people come than most think.  Most people have scheduled vacations from their jobs and non-refundable airline tickets,  so their dates are set 6 months ahead and have no ability to adjust for an early (or late) run based on anything I type here.  But…  if the run is coming in and the best fishing of the entire season is happening when ordinarily there are few people on the river,  some people with flexible schedules can drop what they are doing and react to what is happening.

But it doesn’t increase the total number of people coming…  It just enables some people to get their trips out of the way earlier,  relieving the later crowds and having fewer people fishing over spawners like we have in May.  My reports don’t harm the river,  just shifting the people around a little bit so the entire season can be enjoyed.  If anything,  it helps the river.  But that’s not what the losers were saying…

Believe it,  or not…  I am the reason the Situk has been ruined.  One guy e-mailed saying I was selling the river out.  Let’s see…  The lodges make money on the Situk.  The rental car places make money.  The gas stations,  the restaurants,  the city government and Forest Service all make money off the Situk.  The guy running the fly shop?  Not so much.  You see,  we just started our 12th season and I have yet to make back my initial investment.  So I have literally been working every day in the shop for 12 years and writing reports and answering phone calls at 5am…  for nothing.  Zip.  Zero. Ya,  I’m selling the river out.

The bitching mostly comes from non-locals who at some point had someone “sell” them the Situk and they were just fine with that.  But they crap on me because I would dare to let someone else in on the secret.  These losers also follow my blog to find out what is happening for their trip,  but are jerks to me and dragging my reputation into the toilet because other people read my reports too.  I don’t have a lot of patience for people anymore who got theirs and then try to prevent others from enjoying the same things.  Or the guys bitching about me posting reports,  while they themselves post glory photos on their Instagram page for their much smaller audience.  Kind of hypocritical.  Essentially,  I have a group of haters who are angry that I tell people the truth of what is happening.  If you have a problem with the truth,  you may want to rethink your life.

Most of the people I have met because of the shop are an absolute delight and my life is richer because of the friendships we have made.  The tiny number of morons tend to cast an oversized shadow over the good times.  What a sad and pathetic life you have if all you can do is complain about people who are just trying to do their best.  My apologies to all the new subscribers that this is the first post you’ll read.  You deserve better,  but then again,  so do I.  I’ll be taking time off from the blog and won’t be posting any fishing reports for a while.  I’m tired.

Openings and Hours

And Yakutat Lodge is officially open as of today.  You can buy food in Yakutat every single day of the week now!  Glacier Bear had been opening for a few weeks weekends only,  but they should be daily now too.

Fly shop hours are 10am-6pm closed on Sundays.  This is the first season we have been closed a day a week during steelhead,  but after 11 years,  I need a day off.  And we will also be closed Wednesday April 10th.


It is April 4th and there are a LOT of fish coming in.

Since my last report,  the river has continued to drop and we had bright sun almost every day.  Reports were that the fishing really slowed down up above 9 Mile,  with the fish going into hiding,  or being very easily spooked.  Multiple reports that the waves of fresh spring steelhead continue to stream in at the mouth.  One report that there were a ton of tight-lipped fish down there,  but all the other reports are that they are on.  One guy this morning said he stepped into the first hole right off the landing and saw 7 fresh ones in the tail-out.  Landed one and moved upstream,  where he landed 4 of 4 casts…  Overcast yesterday probably made a big difference.

Still not a lot of fishing pressure,  but certainly a lot more than we’d usually expect to see the first couple days of April.  I’d expect this coming weekend to be pretty crowded,  because IT SHOULD BE CROWDED considering how many fish are already in the river.

Is the run early,  or do we have the right conditions for a big run?  No idea yet.

We were supposed to have rain last night,  then snow this morning and back to rain every day.  So of course the sun is back out again and other than a brief sprinkle,  no real precip so far.  Flow is down to 170CFS right now.  Through most of the past week,  water temps have topped 44 degrees in the day,  while dropping back down to 38 at night.  If it does turn to rain,  the temps will be stabilized with lows of 40 and highs of only 42.

Here is a photo sent to me by Matt Carr from a week ago as the flows were still dropping into the “ideal” range…


Nobody Wants Me to Share This!

OK,  the guys here right now are being very coy and unwilling to share any fishing info…  Because the run is in…  NOW!  Conditions are perfect and although the run was not early,  it is coming in in a hurry.  Probably too late for a quick trip this weekend,  but the coming week looks EXCELLENT!

It’s On!

Rodeo Hole

Someone reminded me that I was going to post photos Chris took of the Rodeo Hole before they started cutting.  Well,  here it is…

This was all before the storm too…  They were able to cut a path through.  After 3,000 CFS,  it may have swung some of this junk to the bank,  or flushed it out completely.