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BACKPACKER PHOTOS

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Mystery Photos: An Alaskan Fish Story

Editor in Chief Jonathan Dorn heads deep into the Alaskan backcountry and comes back with the ultimate fish story in this gallery.
  • Touch Down: DeHavilland Twin Otters are the workhorses of Alaskan bush travel. In the hands of our expert pilot, the water landing was smoother than any tarmac landing.
  • Living Large: James (left) and Steve unload coolers of steaks and other treats. Note the essential hydration supplies on the rear pontoon.
  • Changing the Scale: Our puny-looking put-in camp from one of the 5,000-foot peaks that ring the lake where the floatplanes landed.
  •  Underway: Small whitecaps made the first hour of paddling a bit bouncy as we exited the lake and started down the river.
  • Dropping Fast: The first few miles of the river lose several hundred feet of elevation. Glenn, our lead guide, rowed the boats through several small falls.
  • Loaded: Each of the three boats carried a guide, one or two of us, and several hundred pounds of food and fishing gear, plus basecamp tents, furniture, stoves. Always close at hand: a shotgun.
  • Big Sky Country: A typical riverside camp, on a gravel bank just below the tundra through which the snowmelt-fed water runs
  • Catch of the Day: Each of us caught several 20-inch rainbows (and released every one of them).
  • Midnight Sun: Late July nights in Alaska don't get much darker than this shot taken at 11:45 p.m.
  • Fish On! Frank coaxes a big Dolly Varden from a brushy bank as Gerry reels in to avoid a tangle.
  • Embarrassment of Riches: Editor-in-chief Jonathan Dorn holds six Dolly Vardens, 1 to 2 pounds each, that he, Steve, and Gerry caught on bright-pink plastic beads that mimic salmon eggs.
  • Master Clinic: Bill instructs us in the art of fly-fishing knots.
  • Old Friends: Jon was joined on the trip by Gerry Krach, James Clark, and Steve Brown -- friends of 35 years
  • Lunker: Jon displays a 15-pound king salmon. Judging from the color, it left the ocean about a week earlier. In another week, it will be bright red.
Touch Down: DeHavilland Twin Otters are the workhorses of Alaskan bush travel. In the hands of our expert pilot, the water landing was smoother than any tarmac landing.
Image 1 of 15

Touch Down: DeHavilland Twin Otters are the workhorses of Alaskan bush travel. In the hands of our expert pilot, the water landing was smoother than any tarmac landing.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1

That's a DeHavilland Beaver, not a Twin Otter.
— Alex

If that is a 15 lb king- Jon must be 9 feet tall and have hands the size of manhole covers. Maybe more like 6 to 8 lbs.
Of course 15 lbs makes for a better story.
— Bestbuilder


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