Fall was on the hills, with it’s wonderful color when we arrived at Chavey Lakes for our late summer fly-fishing trip. The huge rainbows hung in the water below us as we launched the float tubes in the largest of the three lakes that we fish in this fly fishing paradise just twenty miles or so from Denali, the largest mountain in North America. The chill in the air let us know that the trip would be chilly, and we bundled up as much as possible.
We rigged up for the big rainbows that lurk in this lovely little lake with bead-head lake leeches at first, but just a few fish took the flies. Czech nymphs proved to be a better choice with all sizes of our prey. We didn’t stay out long that evening because it was cold and a cozy fire was beckoning us in the little cabin. Spaghetti was on the menu and not a morsel was left behind.
Day two proved to be even colder than the previous one but we managed to hook several huge fish among the twenty-five inch fish that were giving us some action. Landing such large fish in a float tube is always difficult, and a couple of them slid out the net as we landed them.
We got out of the water for lunch and took a walk to the second lake to fish and warm up. Lots and lots of the fish in that lake also got hooked from the bank, which holds more and more fish each year. Suddenly a large fish grabbed a small lake leech and took off into the middle of a large group of fish that were taking their time on attacking our offerings, and the water swirled and splashed like a whirlwind. We could hardly believe they would create such an event. The fish that had started it all jumped several times and then headed down the lakes. He turned quickly and Deb wasn’t able to keep up with him.
The next day Kirk, the owner of Adventure Denali told us that the temperature was 39 degrees as we launched the tubes on “third lake” which is known for its Arctic grayling. Fish after fish chased our nymphs in the middle of the pods of fish that were all around. We had changed to pheasant-tail nymphs, which is one of grayling’s favorite. Every where a fish was, there were many others just waiting to make a take. Since the tubing was almost as cold as the previous day when we got out for some bank fishing again. The cold seemed to be making the fish ready to grab again, and we had an almost similar event to the previous day’s action. Various pods of rainbows attacked whatever fly we cast to them.
Adventure Denali is a really remarkable location, and I love taking people there every year. The location, the cozy cabin, the great fishing, and the friendly folks taking care of us make it a super place to spend some time. I hope that you can enjoy it one of these days.