September and the fishing is fantastic
Posted By Linda Branham on September 10, 2013 @ 2:24 pm
I'm back in the swing of things now, gone 10 days and it seems like I never left.  I was able to say hello and goodbye to old friends at the airport in Igiugig, and fly back to the lodge with the new weeks guests.  So much fun seeing the people that we have known so many years that they feel like family.
Kenny Meyer with beautiful rainbow-

We have had some wind this week and some rain, but not enough to curtail our adventurous anglers.  The rainbows have been large, colorful and prolific. 
Currie and Jesse, nice bow!

I will try and show some of the best shots that have been taken during the last couple of weeks.  We had a group of 6 Texans that we ended up taking under wing this week, as their trip to Mongolia was canceled at the very last minute due to flooding.  Hardy sent us an SOS from the airport and we were able to rearrange things and fit them in for a few days.  They can't seem to get enough fishing, but I think they are enjoying themselves and catching plenty of big bows. 

Awesome Bow Hardy!

Brooks River has always provided plenty of entertainment in the summer, sometimes the bear antics, sometimes a wolf grabbing a fish under the falls, and sometimes it is a slight bit comedic watching the NPS try to govern the people and bears in a calm reasonable manner.  I do believe they have a tough job on their hands. We mostly go there to fish, as it remains one of the most pristine streams in Southwest Alaska.  Some of the tourists that are there only to see bears are quite shocked when they discover there is a person fishing out there amongst the wild bears!  We do it everyday and the wise guide knows exactly how to handle bears.  I think that a multitude of years teaches one to respect the bears, you always give them a wide berth, but also know when to show some bravado. It is amazing to see the interactions with people and bears, mostly built on fears honed by reality TV shows, and books that go into great detail with "scary" bear tales.  All designed to toss common sense by the wayside so we can develop an irrational fear.  But this is true with so many things in life, including fear of spiders, snakes, wolves, which creates an overreaction that creates the short end of the stick for the "feared" species.  Think about the things you fear most in life and try to rationalize its origins.  You might not even remember when that fear became a part of your life, it very well could have started when you were young and vulnerable, fed to you in daily doses by someone that had formed their own irrational fear, probably handed down by someone else.  I believe there is such a think as "healthy respect" for a wild animal ____ but fear leads us down the road to stupid decisions and tends to throw common sense out the back door.  The fight, flight or freeze responses have been our historic choices, really no different from the bears first perception of encountering a human while out foraging for food.  How we respond is probably key to the way the bear is thinking in that instant.

Bob, first time fly-fisherman____Wow!

The colors of fall are just starting to consume the tundra.  The birches are displaying shades of yellow, the wild mushrooms and berries are prolific and ready to be eaten, by a bear for its dessert, or by us for a culinary treat.  The other night we had a feast of Alaskan King Crab and Arctic Caribou medallions with wild mushrooms sautéed in homemade pasta.  We don't always get to have an "all" Alaskan dinner, but thanks to Jon and Bob, the other night was an exception.

  Nice fish guys!

This morning the sun is shinning and the light is beautiful.  During breakfast a small brown bear browsed on the front lawn while we were having coffee.  They sure are eating machines!  They waste no time and consume so many berries so quickly I am envious.  Yesterday a sow and her 3-cubs wandered through, always in a hurry to be somewhere else.  Once in a while they stop and take a nap and when they do it is normally a long one, frequently an airplane starting up will send them on their way.  They seem to be fat and healthy this time of year, which they should be if they are to survive the long hibernation of winter, sometimes giving birth to tiny little cubs during this downtime, which I still find amazing and miraculous. I'm always in awe of nature and what each moment can unfold.

Great bear shot taken by Tom King