NEWS & REPORTS
Adventure in the Yetna River - Alaska
The Yetna river is located in South Central Alaska off the road system. Getting to this remote location is easy for guests. Many large airlines fly into anchorage and then once you have made it to anchorage, most lodges book your float plane rides for you to make it as stress free as possible. The float plane flight is beautiful, on sunny days you can see mount Denali which is the highest peak in North America. This area is filled with dense forest’s and vast wetlands. Bald eagles are all over the place and sometimes you will see the ever so wary moose towing over the ferns on the banks of the river!
We would use Penn Battle 4000’s spooled with 20lb braid connected to a 25ft leader. Our conventional gear tactics are throwing plugs, back trolling divers, and drifting corky rigs in the deep fast water slots where kings like to hold up. As far as fly gear many experienced anglers are quick to grab the spey rods anywhere from 9-12 weight. Some anglers use 9-10wt fly rods if in an area easy to cast. You need large arbor reels with strong drag like the sage 5500. A very important key to the success of swinging flies for king salon is having interchangeable sink tips and sinking line so you can get your fly to the bottom of deep holes with fast moving water, the depths in different fishing spots vary so an interchangeable shooting head is very nice.
On a foggy cool morning Jake, his brother and his father landed on the Yetna River 70 miles North West of Anchorage, Alaska to embark on a four day fishing trip. They stepped off the float plane and onto my G3 jet boat for a week of fishing they will never forget. They were after king salmon, the first and only salmon species in the river during the time of their stay. They are the first of five species of pacific salmon to travel up the rivers to spawn. Jakes brother and father would very good spin reel fishermen with a lot of experience. They were enamored by the crystal clear glacial fed stream.
Jake was very eager to perfect his craft and by day two had his casting down. He told me how he really does not like to fish back home but the Alaskan scenery and screaming bald eagles made him eager to make cast after cast. By the third day the father and brother had caught multiple king salmon. Jake was yet to land one. He was beginning to grow weary from the long days of fishing, but he kept on working at it. On the very last morning of fishing before there float plane ride at 12:30 we set out with one task on our mind, get Jake a king salmon. The father, brother and myself were fully committed to getting Jake a King. With 30 minutes of fishing time left and no bites that morning everyone else was done fishing and exhausted from the long week spent on the water. I was walking over to Jake, disappointed in my-self for failing him. I let him know we only have time for a few more cast. As soon as those words came out of my mouth his reel started screaming and his rod doubled over like he was hooked to the back of a car in a police chase! He hooked the fish in deep swift current and the king used that to his advantage peeling off 100 yards of drag with a couple jumps mixed in. After a 35 minute fight on light tackle and an exhausted Jake, we got the fish in the net. This was the largest King Salon any of my clients had landed this season. I was ecstatic but that pales in comparison to Jake. He was hooting and hollering and jumping all around. This is a memory I truly will never forget and the reason I love taking people fishing.
Jake Schoolfield - US Representative Pointer Outfitters