Alaska Kings On The Six Weight

Ran across this photo yesterday and snapped a shot of it with the phone. It definitely takes me back in the day.

I took this photo when a friend and I were working in Southeast Alaska and fishing as often as we could. There was a good run of kings at that time and they’d push into a system on every incoming tide. When they ran through a rapids they’d sort of daisy chain in a calm area and that is the only reason we landed some—they didn’t want to run back down the rapids.

At the time each of owned one rod, my friend a six-weight Fenwick and myself a six-weight Sage. We were way outgunned by these fish, but what do you do when there are fish in front and you don’t have the ideal tackle? Hell yea, you throw.

I’m not sure if my friend still has that Fenwick. I imagine his father gave him that rod and if it didn’t snap somewhere along the line, it’s probably a treasured item. My rod was a high school graduation present from my father, part of a deal he got when he illustrated one of Sage’s first catalogues. There are a lot of rods I would sell. That’s  not one. I still have it, a 9 foot long two piece RPL. Still love the strength that rod offers. And it’s special when I fish it, which is only occasionally and typically when I’m on the water with my dad.

Anyway, my friend and I would fish those tides and sometimes get wet (watch that tide coming in when you’re standing on a rock in the middle of a river) and occasionally we’d land a fish or two. Usually we’d quit when we ran out of flies or leaders and such—those kings were savage on gear and at the time we didn’t have much of it, nor was there a place to buy more. Our fly lines were chipped up and mostly sank. My friend would tie us Micky Fins and when we ran out he’d go home and tie more. This was some of the best fishing of my life and, oh, do I wish I could go back in time.

We celebrated good days then as we do now, the only difference being we drank Canadian Hunter back in the day and now it’s Makers or Crown or Wild Turkey. If you have a stack of old photos around, it would pay to go through them. Look back on time and all that you’ve been able to do in your life. Pick a rainy day and go back in time.

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