We last met up with fly fisher Chris Hanson back in January, when he told us about his new fly fishing mini-documentary, which earned an Excellence in Cinematography award from the 2021 Real to Reel International Film Festival. For our latest Stories from the Field, we talked with Chris this week about his recent trip fishing in Alaska. Seems like everyone we know is in Alaska these days, and we are happy for a trip report!
Where in Alaska did you go?
Home base was in Soldotna at All Alaska Outdoors on the Kenai Peninsula.
What did you plan to fish for? What did you end up fishing?
The main fish we were targeting were silver salmon and rainbows. And looking to catch some Dolly Varden and other salmon species, as time permitted. Anytime you are flying in a float plane to get to places in Alaska, sometimes Alaska has other ideas and throws some weather at you. We had to do that, got grounded one day, and flew to a different spot on another day. But even with that, everything was amazing. Flying in Beaver in remote Alaska is absolutely breathtaking and then landing on rivers and lakes to fish with no one else around is an experience of a lifetime. We caught silvers, Dollys, humpys (pink salmon), all on the fly. And we took a day to go deep-sea fishing. Caught halibut and rock fish to bring home with some silver salmon.
What other exciting stuff happened?
Having bears walk up the shore that we are on and on the other side of the river looking for and eating salmon. I was fighting a Dolly, and a bear heard the splashing, so it started walking out into the river with its head up staring at me. Then he stopped. Shook his head when he smelled me and walked back in the brush.
What tactics worked best?
Definitely streamers. Threw black-and-white Dolly Llamas and also some ugly white and pink streamers. Ha. Not sure the name, but they worked great.
Until our travel plans come to fruition, we will raise a mug to and live vicariously through Chris!