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Ronan's report

Wednesday 10th September, 2008

Well, having just returned from a trip north, Matt suggested that I put together an overview of Alaska. I thought about it over a couple of PBR’s and I reckon that I just can’t do it. Seriously, you’ve read for years about all the Alaskan superlatives; “The Most ____”, “The Biggest ____”, “The Deadliest ____”, and “Extreme____”, with some sweet bear maulings thrown in for spice. It seems like every reality show on TV lately is using Alaska as some sort of credibility prop. It’s getting to the point where Texans are gonna start being embarrassed for us. The last thing a Looper needs is a travel guide so here’s what I have to say about it…

Here’s the secret about the AK that they don’t tell you in the advertisements; you might spend a gajillion dollars on a “once in a lifetime” trip and get your ass handed to you, you know, just like on the South Island. Conversely you may be like the buddhachu and catch every single Steelhead in Mystery River A in two days. It’s all about being in the right place at the right time with the right skills and the right set-up (except for the case of Simon which I suspect also involves Santeria rituals and a Prosek Abel, it’s complicated). You take your chances. What will make your trip is a positive attitude and flexibility. You gotta go with the flow. Sometimes the flow takes you to a place that isn’t a $7k a week lodge in Bristol Bay.

Please do make the trip at least twice, you really should, but leave your plans behind. Put together a DIY trip. Don’t sweat the where’s too much, if it’s connected to the ocean there are probably fish in it (at least when the Salmon are running). Talk to people and make friends, It’s not that hard. You don’t need to fish like it’s a job, fishing is more important than that.

Do all of the things you aren’t supposed to/ don’t think you can do at home (or at your age) like carry boats through the woods, drink beer in the Salty Dawg, packraft through downtown Anchorage, shoot guns in the yard, be ridiculously good looking, make friends with dogs, mow down amazing homemade pretzels, drink and fry, spend a night in a pirate shack, turn a perfectly normal pig into bratwurst, trash a blue pool table (spot Bob’s book in the pile), take your turn at the oars for once, and examine type specimens of the female anatomy in a Kenai Peninsula strip club (sorry, no hyperlink).

That’s some of what I do when I’m home and I’m a well adjusted human being for it. For real, it’s the recipe for Alaska Awesome and you’re getting it for free. Who knows, you may even accidentally catch the Rainbow of your life on a 7" CH string leech and a six weight GLX because the sinking part of your 8 weight type 5 line kept on going into the Mystery River T upon completion of a (smooth and masterful) circle Spey to overhead double-haul cast a couple of days before? Like the saying goes, “the sun even shines on a dogs ass now and again”.

Have faith and have fun!



Awesome stuff from Rob. Sorry if anyone is offended by creative facial hair or girls with guns.


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