A day on The River


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“Alaska, the last frontier for sportsmen that love to fish and hunt. To me, it means the Kanektok AKA the "Chosen River", with Duncan & Sons. I have been privileged to be able to fish at their upper base camp the last 3 years. When you book a trip with a new outfitter, you are always somewhat worried about what you will experience on your trip. All our research pointed to great fishing, staff and accommodation; we were not disappointed!

We have booked our week each year during silver season. By doing this we fish silvers, dollys, grayling, and the impressive leopard rainbows of the "Chosen River." Six full days of fishing, great food and a wonderful staff. It's the only fishing trip I go on where by the last day my arm says "no more", I've caught so many fish.

Now I want to tell you about a day we spent on the River in August 2009. We fish the mouse in the side channels at this time, but floating on the main river we fish flesh flies 85-90% of the time. At this time of the year the big "bows" are zeroed in on flesh.

During the winter I tie my flesh flies. I like to experiment with color and size. Last year I had some leftover egg yarn and used a 2" piece for a tail on flesh flies. We caught twice the number of trout with it.

Doug McGhee's Flesh and Yarn Trout Special

Now back to that day on the River. Drew, our guide, met us at the boats and informed us we would float out of camp. I tied on the flesh and yarn and started casting. By the time we reached the silver slough below camp, we had released 5 rainbows. We knew it would be a great day.

Rainbows orient around structure in the river (log jams and root wads), so you tend to loose alot of flies. I was lucky enough that day to catch 21 bows on that fly I had tied on that morning. We fished the "miracle mile", Star Wars, and other hot spots below camp. While slipping into the start of Star Wars, my good friend and fishing partner Steve Krueger caught 3 rainbows larger than 23" on 3 consecutive casts. By the end of the day, when Drew was preparing the boat for the trip back to camp, Steve caught our 80th rainbow of the day.

I know that we will probably never experience another day on the "Chosen" like that August day in 2009, but you will find Steve and I trying our best to better it every August, God willing.

Doug McGhee

February 2010

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