By Brett Coffman
So our last blog ended with us disembarking from the MS Oosterdam. After spending the day at Jean’s house (Angela’s roommate when she worked in Seattle) we boarded the Alaskan Airline’s flight back up to Anchorage, AK. We picked up our rental car and promptly got lost finding our way around the city. The next day after picking up supplies at the nearest Fred Meyer, we set our sights along the Parks Highway north to Talkeetna. The scenery was absolutely amazing - we had a such a hard time keeping our eyes on the road - and were a little skittish due to the strict rental car agreements. (I have a tendency to pull off on any dirt road I think leads somewhere.)
As we pulled off the highway onto Talkeetna spur rd. we scoped out many a clear water tributary to the Big Susitna River which we followed up the road. After finding where we would be staying we checked out the little town of Talkeetna AK. In town there’s a small brewery, a few restaurants, and some tourist attractions that all rely on some sort of Susitna river recreation. We ate dinner at the West Rib and got the best in fresh salmon and seafood.
The next morning we woke to cloudy skies and decided to take a drive down to one of the creek inlets we had seen the previous day. After taking a small hike through bear country, we saw a few gear fisherman nab a few salmon and decided to take a few casts. So we geared up and took the small hike to inlet of the Susitna River.
Immediately my wife and others began to hook up. I was still swinging flies and continued to have problems catching fish. I then began to think of these fish as river fish and looked for structure for which they could take refuge. My first cast behind a current blocking sweeper produced a huge silver flash which was the only time I saw the identity of what was on my line. After fighting the beast for at least 10min he popped off. I’ve never been frustrated, as this was my first big hookup on a real Alaskan silver. The next cast produced nothing. Then WHAM! A big Coho at the end of my line. I got my wife’s attention and eventually led him downstream to an island to land him. We were both ecstatic - despite our catch and release ethic, this fish was to feed us for at least part of the week as we hadn’t bought too many provisions on our trip. Soon after, fish after fish hopped onto our lines - we had a blast catching 3 species of pacific salmon. We had caught the run perfect. Pink, Chum and Coho. To us lower landers this was bliss.
Enjoy the pictures part #3 Denali and beyond is coming soon.