Monday, August 12, 2013

Fly Fishing In Mud River

I have been in Alaska on a kayaking adventure with old friends.  There was much to smile about over the course of our week together.  We were living a travel brochure dream with fine weather, wild life and camp fires.  One day we paddled up the Mud River.  There was low lying fog that morning and some light rain.   The Mud is a  lovely river.  In the near shore waters we saw green algae, and eelgrass. The tide flat extends 1/2 mile to the west of the main channel.  On the day of our visit Bonaparte Gulls massed on the flats.  The Bonaparte is small and graceful with a bright white wing patch and, in breeding plumage, a black head.  Immature birds were travelling with their parents - returning from their breeding grounds in the boreal forest.  They were feeding on insects in the sea milkwort, glasswort, and algae.   We crossed a shallow bar  in the wide estuary and moved into the river. The beach meadow rose away from the river bank, extending to the forest in the distance.  On the meadow I identified beach ryegrass, fescue , and sedges.   I could see columbine, yarrow, ferns and cow parsnip.The yarrow was in full bloom.  Beyond the meadow were crabapple, alder, devil's club, and blueberry along the border with the forest.  The water was perfectly clear. As we moved upstream we could see schools of fish rising in the small pools at the river's edge.  We stopped to fish.   Bear, too had visited this feast,  their paw (and claw) prints visible on the sandy beach.  Two of the six women in our party cast their flies out in the lovely whip/sailing motion that sends the lure softly onto the water.  This was a fishing dream.  Cast, catch.  Cast catch. The water churned as they brought the fish to the beach.   Beautiful bright cut throat trout.  More than we could eat.  We kept three and released the rest.  Today there are men and women in sporting good stores looking at new equipment and watching films of great fishing. We lucky friends had a front row seat.

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