Jump to content
OzarkAnglers.Com Forum

ozarkflyfisher

Members
  • Content Count

    11
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by ozarkflyfisher

  1. ozarkflyfisher

    Alaska 2018

    I had a great time at Naknek River Camp fishing with Phil and Curt (curtisce) the week of 23 June. This was my 6th fishing trip to Alaska and my 5th trip at Naknek River Camp but I hadn’t been back since 2010. It was great to see Phyllis and Jim, the owners and their son James again. They are really interesting people and they always have fascinating stories to tell. This was my first trip flying straight through to King Salmon AK in a day. It seemed much closer than the other times when I overnighted in Anchorage on my way up there. It was so strange waking up in my own bed that Saturday morning the day I arrived and landing a 27 inch rainbow that same evening on the Naknek River while fishing with Phil and Curt. Phil was a very gracious fishing companion. He supplied us with spinning rods, reels, and jigs which really came in handy while fishing for the huge rainbows right in front of camp. The Naknek River there is wide, swift, and deep and requires a boat to properly fish. Some of the biggest rainbows in Alaska are drawn down from Naknek Lake just a short distance above camp to feast on the huge schools of baby sockeye smolt heading downstream to the ocean. At times you can see large rainbows slashing the smolt on the surface which draws the attention of gulls and terns. If the waylay is close enough to reach with a cast then you throw your offering into it and hang on. Sometimes you might hook a tern. I landed two. My biggest rainbows of the trip were caught here. My biggest rainbows in front of camp were a 28, two 27s, and a 26 inch rainbows. It is my understanding that there is a lot of good places in Alaska to fish for rainbows feasting on sockeye smolt but it is not common to see the large schools of rainbows slashing at them on the surface like they do on the Naknek River. It seems that once the sockeye run is in full force the rainbow fishing slows down. Some believe that the sockeye pester the rainbows so much that they return to the lake until the sockeye egg feast which starts towards the end of August. During the egg season in September 2008, I caught four rainbows over 30 inches on the Naknek River in one day. Curt and I spent one day on the Brooks River and I was anxious to see it once again. I caught quite a few rainbows there but mine were all under 16 inches on dry flies. Others caught bigger trout but mostly using leaches. This is the location of the famous Brooks Falls, which is a famous bear viewing area that draws people from all over the world. I only saw two bears. One on the upper river and one at the falls. These were the only bears that I saw on this trip to Alaska. Other times fishing on the Brooks River, the place would be thick with bears. Sometimes you might see 11 bears at once while you’re fishing, and they’re constantly on the move all around you. The sockeye run was not in full force yet and so the bears hadn’t arrived. Curt landing a Rainbow at Brooks Juvenile Brown Bear on upper Brooks River Large Brown Bear at the World Famous Brooks Falls During my week there, it never seems to truly get dark at night so if you still haven’t had your fill of fishing during the day there is the option of taking a boat out and doing some more fishing after dinner. Curt and I boated over to the slough across the river from camp one evening and we landed three northern pike on our fly rods. Here is a picture of the largest one. Curt went out exploring on his own a couple evenings but I understand that he wasn’t too successful. Northern Pike taken with fly rode in slough directly across river from camp Phil, Curt, and I spent portions of some days fishing the riffles at Rapids Camp for rainbows. This is a place where the river is wide and is often low enough to get out a wade around with our fly rods. I caught my largest rainbow of the trip using my fly rod here, it was 24 inches. Phil fighting a large rainbow trout at Rapids Camp on the Naknek River My largest fly rod caught rainbow at Rapid Camp on Naknek River The sockeye run was just starting the week that we were there and so that fishing as a bit disappointing. I was able to creel a limit of 5 on only one day. Usually, during the thick of the run, everyone could have their limits within a couple of hours and that was my previous experience fishing for Naknek River sockeye. Between Curt and me, we brought back one box of sockeye and Curt plans to smoke them sometime this autumn. We knew that Phil would no doubt experience better sockeye fishing in the next couple of weeks after Curt and I had left. Sockeye Salmon Catch During the Last Full Day of Our Trip When Phil, Curt, and I first boated up to Big Creek to fish for King Salmon we didn’t have any hits. Curt and I stuck with fly rods. Phil threw some plugs partly and fished with the guide’s two-handed fly rod partly. Big Creek is usually quite dingy so you cannot see the where the kings are holding. Sometimes you can see the Kings rolling or moving but not often. It is not easy throwing heavy flies, with a 10 weight sink tip line for a few hours without any hits. On Friday, on a last full day of the trip for me and Curt, we dropped Phil off at camp after a morning of sockeye fishing and our guide boated me and Curt back up Big Creek to try once again for King Salmon. This time Ryan, our guide boated us much farther up the creek. We decided to start fishing with the guides plugs and spinning gear. Curt hooked a large King Salmon on practically his first cast and I took some pictures of him fighting the fish but the pictures that I took of him holding the fish are on his iPhone. Curt then proceeded upstream to the same spot as before and prompted hooked another mature King Salmon and we repeated some more picture taking. Curt is one hell of a skilled fisherman!!!!! Then I hooked a large King on a plug in that same hole and I played it for several minutes but the plug eventually pulled out. We boated back down big creek and stopped at several holes and got out and threw our plugs but we didn’t get any more hits by Kings. However, I did catch small char on the plug. I have caught King Salmon up this creek on a fly rod in years past and it is a hoot when the fishing is hot. Curt Fighting King Salmon on Big Creek I’m glad that I finally got back to Alaska. Life is too short to pass up such opportunities and I’m glad that I didn’t pass up this one. Thanks for hosting this trip Phil! It was a pleasure fishing with you and Curt!!!!!!! Best regards, --Brian
  2. ozarkflyfisher

    Smallmouth on a Fly Rod

    I decided to post some smallmouth pictures of fish caught during a three day trip wading trip to New York State last month in hopes that this audience will be more appreciative than the guys at work. When we talk about our vacations and I talk about fishing, I receive comments like, “I hate fishing--it is so boring”. And, this comment is from a guy who goes to Florida with his family for a week and as far as I can tell, mainly just sets on the beach or swimming pool. Oh well, I suppose if everyone was as passionate about fishing as most of us on this board, then our fishing waters would be way too congested. My wife is from the Buffalo area and I’ve come to appreciate the fly fishing in the area through the years while visiting her family. I usually do a Spring and/or Fall Steelhead trip, however some Springs I get up there too late for Steelhead and so, like this year, we mainly fished for smallmouth bass. --ozarkflyfisher This post has been promoted to an article
  3. ozarkflyfisher

    Smallmouth on a Fly Rod

    I decided to post some smallmouth pictures of fish caught during a three day trip wading trip to New York State last month in hopes that this audience will be more appreciative than the guys at work. When we talk about our vacations and I talk about fishing, I receive comments like, “I hate fishing--it is so boring”. And, this comment is from a guy who goes to Florida with his family for a week and as far as I can tell, mainly just sets on the beach or swimming pool. Oh well, I suppose if everyone was as passionate about fishing as most of us on this board, then our fishing waters would be way too congested. My wife is from the Buffalo area and I’ve come to appreciate the fly fishing in the area through the years while visiting her family. I usually do a Spring and/or Fall Steelhead trip, however some Springs I get up there too late for Steelhead and so, like this year, we mainly fished for smallmouth bass. --ozarkflyfisher
  4. ozarkflyfisher

    Smallmouth on a Fly Rod

    Thanks for the kind words everyone. Marty, I miss you and Pat and all of the other volunteers for Casting for Recover and Reeling and Healing in Missouri. We worked with a great group of folks. Those were very worthwhile programs and it’s a shame we weren’t able to keep them going. Best regards, --ozarkflyfisher
  5. ozarkflyfisher

    Smallmouth on a Fly Rod

    Many of the folks that I’m currently working with are some of the most brilliant people that I have ever known. However, I have to say that I pity them for being completely ignorant of the pleasures of the sporting life. --ozarkflyfisher
  6. ozarkflyfisher

    Alaska 2018 - OAF Trip!

    Phil, If you still have a spot open, I'll take it. Best regards, --Brian Ellis
  7. ozarkflyfisher

    Alaska 2018 - OAF Trip!

  8. Rainbow Springs Lodge is located next to the outlet of Double Springs (a.k.a. Rainbow Springs) and is the third largest in the state of Missouri and the largest privately owned spring in Missouri. Besides me being an avid fly fisherman and our understanding of the significance of the spring on the property as the primary source of cold water for the North Fork River trout fishery, I have a family connection to the property. My Great Great Great Grandfather on my Mother’s side, John Wesley Gunter, Homesteaded the property the Spring is on in 1861. My Great Great Grandfather “Bud” Gunter sold the Spring to developers in the early 1900’s. My Grandparents lived just down river of the place at Kelly Ford in the 1930’s when my mother was born. When Myron McKee of River of Life Farm started managing the property and making the lodge on the place available to the public I was anxious to see the spring and grounds once again before it possibly fell into the hands of the government or developers. I was able to convince enough of my siblings and Gunter cousins to stay at the place last fall and we had a very enjoyable October weekend visiting there and we had fantastic weather. It was great to revisit some of the old family cemeteries, homesteads, and rehash some of the old family stories and legends during this mini-family reunion. Regrettably, I wasn’t able to spend nearly enough time fly-fishing on Rainbow Springs as I would have liked to but I did manage to catch a few trout and hooked one enormous rainbow. Many of my cousins showed an interest in learning how to fly fish and I spent the bulk of my time assisting them. Only my wife and I had waders so the places where my cousins could successfully cast a fly rod were very limited but we managed to catch a few rainbows and even one small brown trout. The southern branch is much longer, has more flow and is much more accessible to the fly fisher than the northern branch. Downstream of the vehicle bridge on the southern branch is the best looking trout water but I had very little time to sample it. I hope to get back there and fish the spring branch if Myron is still allowing guided fishing on the place. The spring branch is difficult fishing and a lot of the folks that I talked to were disappointed in the fishing there so I doubt that the guides have been spending much time on the water of the spring branch. However, because of my family connection with the property I’m interested in fishing the property once again while it is still available to the public. If anyone else has fished The Rainbow Springs spring branch recently I would like to hear of your experiences. Does anyone know if Rainbow Springs Lodge sustained much damage during the recent floods on the North Fork River? I noticed that River of Life Farm as the reservations blocked out on the place until April. I would be very surprised if the lodge wasn’t partially flooded but hopefully the damage wasn’t too substantial. --Brian Ellis
  9. ozarkflyfisher

    My Stay at Rainbow Springs Lodge

    That is interesting; I never knew Governor Nixon and Tom Nixon were related. Tom used to attend the FFF Southern Council Conclave in Mountain Home years ago. I think I was communications chairman of the FFF SOC when I heard of Tom’s Passing. If Rusty says Governor Nixon is a good fly fisherman, I believe him. One thing is for certain, one can’t get to that level of politics without being extremely smooooth when there is a need for it. I envy guides that have the opportunity to spend the day and fish with some famous people. However, when I bring up the subject with fly fishing guides they seem to always tell me without fail that they’d much rather have a client that could cast and fish than one that can’t but is famous. The story of Governor Nixon fishing there reminds me of a distant relative (Clarence Gunter) working as the caretaker on the Rainbow Springs Property when I was a child. My uncles would chuckle when they told stories that Clarence had to “salt” the creek with some Rockbridge fish because some VIPs were coming to fish. However, the fish in the spring branch now seem to be wild fish. Shelby Nold, the caretaker last fall, (is he still there???) told me that the big fish that cleaned my clock was named Fred. He looked and acted like a wild fish to me? With the current wild trout regs on that section of the North Fork River now, I’m not sure if the state would allow the current owners to stock the spring branch if they wanted to, but I’m not certain about that.
  10. The Virgin Group CEO said Tuesday that the British company's U.S. operations would move to the heartland city of Branson, Missouri See this! --Ozarkflyfisher
  11. ozarkflyfisher

    Much Awaited Alaska Videos And Pictures

    Phil and Bill, Fantastic pictures and video!!!! It’s obvious that I great deal of planning, commitment, and dedication was required to make this trip come together. You achieved a very unique and wonderful wilderness adventure that few people will ever experience! I’m very happy for you both! Thank you for sharing!
  12. ozarkflyfisher

    Oaf Member? Look Here!

    ping
×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.