Alaska is an amazing place with amzing scenery, game, and fish. It is known as a pilgrimage destination for anglers and if there is ever a chance to go, do it. However, if you are looking for a classic fly fishing outing, you better do your research and talk to your guides or else you may end up with a little different experience. While we had a good guide and I landed a monster Rainbow of about 10 pounds, it is hard to classify what we did as fly fishing. My friend and fishing partner Tommy B. (Bluffton, SC) recently set off to for 3 days of fishing in the Soldotna, AK area. Due to bad weather conditions, we were only able to fish 1 of the 3 days. The fishing for Rainbows consisted of "slinging" 10 foot 8 weights along side the drift boat and floating down the river. This is the flyfishing equivilent to vertical jigging. When the balloon sized indicators go down, you set the hook. Quite often I found myself drifting along with one hand in my pocket staring off at the landscape; not exactly fly fishing. We landed a few medium fish and the one large fish but we were totally over gunned for them. In addition, we caught a few Silver Salmon which, according to our guide, do not eat flies in the silted water. Instead, we tossed heavy duty spinning reels into slow pockets and caught a handful of these large but non-fighting fish. We even trolled some with giant casting rods and plugs after the Silvers. Like I said, talk to your guide first if you expect to fly fish! Also, the guides are so worried about harming a fish that they will not let you hold them for a picture. This is why there is no footage of either of us with a fish in hand or a release shot. Despite the lack of fly fishing, the trip was a great experience and the scenery alone is well worth the trip.

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