A fly-fisher's lot is not an easy one in Alaska, where the fish often hold deep in murky water and shun the surface. Even so, I caught my limit of silver salmon on an eight-weight R.L. Winston rod, using a short leader and a heavy streamer.
Yes, the action feels more like slinging than casting. But when you hook a fresh salmon on a fly rod, the result is heart-stopping. For the first 15 minutes, pretty much everything is up to the salmon.
These were caught in a secret spot near Anchorage on a trip with my son, Dan, who knows Alaska's rivers. His first book, Paddling the Yukon River and its Tributaries, has a respected place in the literature of canoeing; his second book, a general canoeing guide titled Paddling Alaska, was published in 2009 by Falcon Press.