Fly Fishing Alaska, the Sportsman’s Dream - By Nick Freeman

“We need the tonic of wildness... At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” 

― Henry David Thoreau 

Why Alaska?

Alaska. The last untamed wilderness, a land of giants.  The very name causes sportsmen of every cloth to drool.  A place of almost limitless space and untold horizons.  This outdoor paradise is on the bucket list of literally every sportsman I know.  Its remoteness and natural bounty, its oversized fish and abundant wildlife make Alaska the end-all-be-all mecca for anglers, hunters, and adventurers. I've never wanted for excellent fishing rivers and lakes growing up in Montana, but even this boy has to tip his hat to Alaska's wilderness.

There are so many things that attract me to Alaska – I've always wanted to see the northern lights or breaching pods of whales and feel the primal instincts well up when met with real wild.  This is where the earliest migrants came from Asia to the new world, hunting and fishing the whole way.  This is what every outdoorsman searches for: an adventure and quarry to match the landscape. 

I've never been to Alaska other than in my dreams, but as a fly fisherman, it doesn't seem to get any better. I know more than a few people who have been fishing up there, and they talk as if they had been to Nirvana. The water is so good, so untouched, and so full of trout that may have never seen a fly presented to them in their life. This is the trip that dreams are made of.  Scaly, muscled, line–ripping, reel-zipping dreams.

If the tales about this state are half true, I feel safe in saying that it is incredible.  A trip to Alaska isn't simply about fish; there is something so primal about the place that it must be seen and felt to be understood. Just the opportunity to spend time there is a quality investment.  The bountiful wildlife and undeveloped land take you back to a time and place every conservationist and sportsman should experience.  Sportsmen who put their money down to protect lands such as these should have this picture clear in their mind when they think about what they are trying to protect.

What's holding you back?

The one factor holding me back from jumping into an Alaska trip with both feet are the schematics. I've never had to deal with a country so big and wild that an airplane is the preferred mode of travel. In my mind, that kind of vastness complicates a trip so much that I don't know where to start.  I also want to make sure that I'm squeezing in every drop of action-packed sporting adventure.  If you put in the effort to travel all the way up there, a guide or the advice of someone who knows what the hell they are doing is key. To me, proper equipment, techniques, know-how, and experience are crucial to a successful trip. 

Alaska is not the place to be underprepared, which is why the Alaska Adventure program that Cutthroat Anglers provides is such a great opportunity.  Colorado rivers are just waking up and have another couple of months before they are in top shape, so why not start the year off right and take this opportunity to float flies past some of the biggest and most ferocious sport fish on the planet?  

If you are like me, you've poured over maps looking for water—hard to reach, mountain-bound water with fishy potential.  But it's hard to plan trips without having been out on the water before; a map can only show you so much, and I know that probably more than half of my excursions to new territory won't yield any big fish.  All my favorite memories in the outdoors have been with men and women who know the area and who have the experience and technique to open new doors, to provide what can be achieved only after years of specialization and dedication to a craft.  These are the guys you want in your boat. After all --- we're all here to catch fish, right? 

Cutthroat Anglers has a system in place to get you to the prime locations at the right time while providing food, board, and transportation.  They have it worked out so you don't spend half your vacation worrying about logistics, and they have the timeline down for the legendary Alaskan salmon run. If there is the right way to cross Alaska off your bucket list, this is the way to do it.  Trips of this magnitude usually take months to plan, but if you take advantage of the package that Cutthroat Anglers provides, all you have to do is give them a call and you're on your way.

What to expect?

Alaska is an old Inuit term meaning “that which breaks against the shore.” I'm not entirely convinced that is intended to mean the ocean.  It could mean the tens of MILLIONS of salmon that invade Alaska's rivers every year. The stories and size of these fish are legendary. Not to mention the trophy trout that lurk year round.  These would be once in a lifetime sized trout anywhere else in America, but in Alaska, they call it a decent afternoon.  Or whatever you call an afternoon in Alaska– the sun is up for 22 hours a day this time of year.

You should also bring a camera to capture some of the wildlife you're bound to run into. If you are there for fish, the odds are that there will be plenty of other animals going after them too—bears, wolves, eagles and if you are close to the ocean, whales. Prepare for trout as well, the Alaska Adventure program takes you to Alaska's only designated “Trophy Rainbow Trout” ecosystem – the best of the best. No matter what, you'll find yourself a part of the environment as just another animal out there enjoying the glorious sunshine.

You can't overestimate an immersive experience like this.  A trip to Alaska allows you to set yourself far away from everything else in your life and spend quality time doing something you love in an extraordinary setting.  You may want to know what to expect when you go, but the best part about a trip like this is that it's impossible to know what incredible things may occur, what lifelong memories and experiences you will have.  That's the great thing about adventure – you never really know expect. All you know is that it will be worth it.


Contact us at 970-262-2878 for availability on this year's trip!

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