The group of six anglers that I was leading on the hosted trip to Alaska in the spring of 2008 had come from all four corners of the continental United States. For most, it was their first fishing trip away from home waters and familiar settings. In other words, it was their first trip away from civilization. Left behind, somewhere on the other side of the earth, were I-phones, computers and traffic jams.
Out here in the “bush” there is only silence, silence like a person does not often experience. The only sounds that broke this peaceful bliss during our week were the triumphant yells when someone within our group hooked up with a mighty steelhead and the congratulatory cheers and back slapping when that hard fighting fish was brought to hand.
Thinking back on it now, there was one other event that broke the collective stillness while we were out on the water. It occurred at the end of our fourth day on the river. It had been another stellar day, with many huge fish landed and many more which had not. The look of tired contentment on each and every face in our group could have been used as an advertising poster for why people come to Alaska to fish. The only sound came from our collective breathing as we ascended a steep trail away from the river’s edge in the purplish glow of twilight. I’m pretty sure the all of us were contemplating thoughts of the gourmet dinner of steak, king crab and halibut that awaited us back at the lodge. Suddenly, our silence was breeched by the howling cries of a wolf pack not more than half a mile downstream from us. We all stopped dead in our tracks and listened to the haunting and lonely calls that echoed through the forest. Soon another pack, much farther away in the wilderness, joined in the chorus of loud barking and howling. We all stood and listened while looking at each other in complete amazement for 10 minutes or so. Then, just as quickly as the ruckus had started, it ended abruptly.
Even though I had caught a personal best 41 inch 25 pound steelhead which battled me for 45 minutes on this trip, the memory dearest to me and one I will always consider to be the epitome of Alaska is that true call of the wild moment we experienced.
If you are looking to do more than catch fish, to take home memories that will last a lifetime, then the Curtis Wright Outfitters hosted trip to Alaska in the spring of 2011 might be for you.
If you think you are up to the challenge of fighting this kind of fish check out our Destination Alaska page, call toll free 877-450-3474, email CurtisWrightOutfitters@gmail.com, or visit any one of our 3 fly shops and we would be happy to discuss this trip of a lifetime.