This year’s trip to Cordova saw folks from NY and CT making their first trip to Alaska and having their first opportunity to fish for Pacific Salmon with us. Having fished some of the famous rivers in the East, they were more than ready to try out the water and the fish on the other side of the country.
We got right to it on the first day of our trip by flying out into gorgeous Prince William Sound for a landing on a wilderness beach right beside a lovely little creek where we quickly strung up our rods and got down to business. Nancy was just getting into fly fishing and had never cast an 8-wt rod before, but she learned quickly, and was putting her fly in just the right place in no time. We saw a few silvers in the main pool, and even hooked some that had been around long enough to start turning red, but none of the ocean-bright fish made an appearance. So, we hiked up-stream a bit to a wonderful spot that was absolutely chuck-full of sea-run cutthroat trout. These little beauties always delight everyone although they are nowhere near the size of the salmon.
Our flight back to the lodge that afternoon included an incredible glacier flight-seeing trip over Sheridan Glacier with the surrounding mountains gleaming brightly in the late afternoon sun. To top off the trip, Gale Ranney (Alaska’s most famous woman bush pilot), spotted several groups of mountain goats on the steep slopes, and got us up so close that it seemed like we could reach out and touch them.
The next day clearly made up for the lack of bright silvers the day before, with fish leaping out of the water right in front of us before we could even get a fly attached to our leaders. Everyone was into fish almost immediately! What a change from the previous day! Not all of the fish got landed, and not all of the fish that were landed were shiny bright, but the sheer numbers of fish absolutely made our day. Nancy had lots and lots of opportunity to catch fish and was quick to learn the steps in setting the hook on a large fish, letting it play, and then getting it to the bank. Boy, was she ever proud of herself at the end of the day!!!!
The following day we had another opportunity to fly and went to a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. Its outflow river had silver salmon staging at every creek mouth and resting in every backwater. WOW, did we catch fish! It seemed like we couldn’t take them off the hook fast enough. Needless to say, we all went home with our limit of three fish.
Not too long before we were schedule to head back to the plane, a large brown bear came out of the bushes behind us and had us scurrying to group-up together to warn him off. He turned out to be a very well behaved bear who just looked from us to the fishing hole and back several times before he decided it was wise to just head down river to the next fishing spot. We only got nervous when he turned back around a couple of minutes later to reconsider his decision and we all held our breath until he disappeared into the willows.
The flight back to the lodge was absolutely breathtaking. The early evening sun absolutely lit-up the new snow on the jagged peaks and created burnished shadows on the spruce below, and the world-famous Copper River glowed along its many channels like silver ribbon beneath it all. No pictures could ever do it all justice.
The last day of the trip saw us fishing the famous Eyak River not far from the town of Cordova. Although it had been fishing well a couple of days before, that fishing that day was decidedly slow. That was except for one bright silver to the bank and a couple of other hits, as well as the pink-spotted Dolly Varden char that kept tapping at Nancy’s hook.
It was a super trip with lots of fish. Just what Cordova is famous for. We’ll be heading down there again next year, of course, so if you missed out this year, don’t let it happen again. We’ll be waiting to hear from you!