There really is no place like Nome!
Located south of the Arctic Circle on Norton Sound, Nome boasts a rich history of its people and the land. Tom, our guide for this trip was born in Nome and once had a reindeer herd. His knowledge of the Nuikluk River is unparalleled. We were in very good hands. Unfortunately, his wife BJ was away, so Tom was also our chef. We managed!
Fishing for Arctic Grayling is incredible in these waters. This is the place for beginning fly anglers. It is also the place for intermediate anglers and advanced anglers too. The fishing puts your skills to the test, whether you are trying to make a 20-foot cast to where a small stream enters the river or a 50-foot cast to a riffle in its center.
The five guests on this adventure were skilled anglers from Alaska, Washington and Colorado. From the start, it was “one cast – one fish”. We coined the term Grayling Heaven, a well-deserved title for this river.
Our first day began with bank fishing close to the lodge to get the hang of skittering flies on the surface. It was great fun to watch the grayling leap out of the water in dry-fly excitement. After lunch, Tom took us upriver almost to Council to try for larger grayling. Game on! Big fish – and lots of them! We stayed out until well after supper time. It was difficult to stop!
On Day 2, we went above Council to a couple places that held even larger grayling. There was a call for a “certified scale” because we were in Trophy Country! Several nice dolly varden found their way onto our flies. We had a shore lunch and fished the whole day in various spots in the upriver region. It was a day of building friendships and memories.
After dinner back at camp, everyone tied big red and white and shiny flies for northern pike! The uglier, the better!
The next morning was Pike Safari in a small slough downriver from the lodge. We took two boats so the anglers could spread out and cast. This was sight fishing at its best! We put our flies in front of the fish’s noses. Strip. Strip. Strip. Strike!! Holy moly, this was insane fishing!! The water would erupt with these mighty beasts. When the catching slowed, Tom used a rubber frog lure to draw the shy fish from the grasses. It was a great morning to remember!
For our last afternoon of fishing, we went back above Council to a couple of unproven sections that are now officially proven hot spots for big grayling. These waters are so rich with fish. Our anglers continued to hone their skills and were quite impressive. The boat was always nearby for snack breaks or just to give our arms a rest. We stayed out until after 7 – I don’t think any of us wanted this trip to end.
Everything about this trip was special. The river is beautifully clear and full of so many fish! Our guide Tom could not be better – he knows so much about fishing this river and is kind and patient. Lodging, while not luxurious, is comfortable and offers privacy.
The small group size makes it easy to get to know other anglers. Our group included birders – the area is a jackpot for bird spotting. We even found a herd of Musk Ox!!
Close your eyes. Click your wading boots together and repeat after me: There’s No Place Like Nome! Put this trip on your calendar and join us in 2023!