Sometimes a snap shot of the past is discovered, a moment in time that was memorable to those who lived it. A piece of history to those who can experience the story through words left behind. If you can find the meaning and give it some thought, this could be the greatest fish story ever told.
I recently acquired this fish, a wooden fish, a wooden fish with a story behind it. Much like a hidden map tucked away in an old painting, this adventure is permanently recorded on the back of the carving. The anglers in the story were once household names in the local fly fishing community, Alaska has changed since they regularly haunted the waters, but much remains the same.
The story begins below, exactly how it was written.
Ames & I left Anchorage on Sept-1-26, first to Duck Shack. Good evening shoot in the rain. I shot a good overhead mallard. Morning shoot was very poor. Hunted with Karl Johnstone in evening. Lake Clark Pass was open Monday morning so we flew to the cabin at Pike Lake near Illiamna. Refueling at Port Alsworth. Lousy wet weather. Stove burned up in cabin. Left gear and flew to Lower Talarik Creek.
Using Hardy 6/7 I took this fish and two more ~32″ and 28 1/2″. Magnificent fighters. We had spotted them from the air and landed in a small lake to fish the outlet. Saw caribou crossing the river. The tundra was in bloom. Beautiful! Flew on next day, fish Kaskanak Flats (fish Newhalen). Flew on to Nonvianuk, saw 4 bears on beach.
Ames caught a beautifully colored fish. Flew on to Kulik, Ames got 8 pounder. Pretty day hot & sunny. Rough take off. To Naknek had a sauna and steak dinner at cabin. 10/1 many Big ‘bows at Trefon’s Cabin on Naknek Lake. Also many bugs. Next day many more Big Fish. To Brooks in afternoon many bears. Landed in river, John Prestage came by. Sauna & Steaks again. Next day closed cabin for winter.
To Talarik. Ames got “Trip” fish. Crossed lake to Gibralter. Many small fish. To Pike Lake Cabin. Returned via pass to cabin at Trading Bay, then home, as weather was too good to hunt.
To me, this is the greatest fish story ever told. How many words were described about this fish? Four to be exact. It is the catch of anybodies lifetime, why not put those feelings into words and add them to the story? Was the battle epic? Did this beast of a Rainbow jump? Did it take you into the backing? Did you have a net? All valid questions with no answers.
The greatest fish story ever told wasn’t about the fish, it was about the adventure.