GO FISHING is a look at the area fishing scene through the eyes of local charter boat captains and fishing guides. Today: Bill Miller.
I spent the past two weeks fishing in Alaska with a group of Tampa Bay area anglers, including captain Scott Moore and captain Bobby Buswell.
We stayed at the Alaska Rainbow Lodge, located in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska. Each day we flew out on float planes to the remote areas in search of salmon making their annual spawning pilgrimage up the rivers and streams.
Salmon are spawned in the rivers and creeks hundreds of miles from the Pacific Ocean. They travel to the ocean as they grow up and four or five years later they return to within 100 feet of where they were born to spawn and then die.
We caught mainly silver, sockeye and chum salmon. Silvers were the only ones we could keep, and depending on the river, the limit was two or three per angler. Also included in the catch were beautiful rainbow trout, Dolly Vardens, whitefish and grayling.
Most of the shallow stream fishing was done with fly rods using an imitation salmon egg. In the deeper rivers we used spinning gear and a popping cork with a weighted streamer fly below. This setup is very similar to a setup used here for speckled trout.
Also fishing for salmon were grizzly bears, and lots of them. We saw at least 25 bears a day. If you think fishing within 100 feet of another boat is bothersome, try fishing that close to a giant grizzly. Most were not interested in us unless we left food out, which we did not, or we had a fish on, which we did often. A yell and a wave of the arms usually scared the bears away. These bear scenes were right out of National Geographic.
I have fished all over North, South and Central America, but I had never been to Alaska. It was all I had heard it was and more. If Alaska is not on your bucket list, I recommend you put it on. It is some of the most unbelievable fishing in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.