Simple (fishing) Pleasures

Simple fishing pleasures

There is nothing more relaxing than spending a day on a cool stream in the middle of July. Fly-fishing provides solace in the scorching heat of summer. Toby Darden, a business man, and avid fisherman shares with us some of his favorite memories of fly fishing in summer.

If you could fly fish anywhere in the month of July where would it be?

"In July, my favorite fly fishing location would be Alaska. There are three or four good months to go fishing in Alaska, with the best two in late July through August. Quite simply, Alaska is one of the best fly fishing areas in the world, with a more diverse fishery than any place I have ever seen, and you need to fish it in July and August. There are other places with a wider time window to access fish, so spend July and August in Alaska."

Simple fishing pleasures
Can you give us an example of your favorite memory from fly fishing in Alaska?

"One of my best fly fishing memories, was a trip I took with Doug Bratton in July of 2011. We fished an eight mile stretch of water known as “The Death March”. We dropped in by De Havilland Otter on a small lake called No Fly Out Lake. It is called that because you can land loaded with fishermen, but it is too small to take off with the same payload. That meant that once dropped off, you are walking back to the pick up point eight miles down river.

We were fishing downstream for the large rainbows that follow the Sockeye salmon upstream in their final, dying push to spawn the next generation. Along the way, they become the food chain and life support for a variety of critters…especially the Alaskan Brown.

We had caught a rainbows all along the route, with the largest a football shaped monster that measured thirty two inches in length and almost half that in girth. They were magnificent fish that we caught, photographed and released back to the river."

Simple fishing pleasures

"I had just foul hooked a chum salmon, and dragged it to shore to release. I was working to retrieve my fly, my last Mercury Streamer which had served me well all day. As I was wrestling to unhook it, Doug was one hundred yards downstream whistling and waving his arms. I looked up, thinking he had landed a trophy, but he kept on with the whistling. Then I looked around behind me and saw a big three year old brown bear barreling downstream. He was either coming for my fish, or for a little larger meal.

Not being interested in joining him for dinner, I backed away briskly and gave him my catch."

There you have it. Apparently Alaska is the place to be in July. Let us know where your favorite location is to fly fish in the summer!

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