Boo-Hoo!! I wrote this report while sitting inside the Copper on the Fly lodge at Lake Iliamna waiting to return to Anchorage. Unfortunately, our rainbow fishing trip was a dismal failure this year! The weather goddess decided NOT to be good to us, and sent rain and more rain, and even more rain after that to fill the river bank-to-bank with water that looked like chocolate milk or coffee with creamer. Needless to say, everything flooded almost right away and we were marooned at the lodge.
We had fished the afternoon of our arrival, but the water was already high and we just caught a dozen or so fish, all of them small. Hoping for more success and clear skies the next morning we headed back to the lodge for one of Steve's magnificent dinners. All night long it just kept raining (or really pouring), and we could see how bad things were right in front of the lodge the next morning. We all got on our waders, picked up the fly rods and went fishing anyway. We needn't have bothered. One of us hooked a fish, but lost it right away, and that was it.
The water just kept coming up and coming up, until suddenly we began to see logs, branches, big chunks of vegetation and more floating down the river. The situation was getting dangerous, so we hurriedly got back in the boats and returned to the lodge. From there on it was just sitting around, reading, napping, etc. for the next three days before we could get back to Anchorage because the planes were full or were not flying at all! Thank goodness the guys at the lodge put up with the seven of us just hanging around for all that time!
So, you'll just have to read our trip reports from previous years to see just how good the fishing can be here, and wait until next year when we will once again be doing TWO trips TO COPPER ON THE FLY-one in JULY FOR SOCKEYE SALMON AND RAINBOWS AND ONE IN LATE AUGUST OR EARLY SEPT FOR BIG RAINBOWS.
HAPPY FISHING, AND HAPPY WINTER!