The Orvis “20 Days in September” Contest – Part 2

#1 son reeled in this Montana Creek rainbow in early September.

Early last week I wrote about Orvis 20 Days in September contest, where the goal is to get twenty days of fishing in this month. The contest stemmed from Orvis editor Phil Monahan’s lack of days on the water in July 2014, so he challenged himself to get out at least 20 times in September. The following year he challenged the Orvis community to do the same and it’s now an annual contest. I decided to participate in the challenge and post my progress here.

So we’re fourteen days into September and here’s how I’m doing…  Continue reading “The Orvis “20 Days in September” Contest – Part 2”


The Orvis “20 Days in September” Contest – Part 1

Phil Monahan 2016 calendar
Phil Monahan’s 2016 20 in September calendar. Photo: Phil Monahan (

Orvis editor Phil Monahan didn’t fish very much during the summer of 2014. To make up for his lack of fishing, he challenged himself to fish 20 days in September. Twenty days on the water is probably way more than most of us get each month but I think it can be done, especially if you live in the Mat-Su Valley, where we are spoiled with fishing options. Monaghan wrote about his 20 Days in September Project back in 2014 and has since challenged Orvis fans to do the same with the Orvis 20 in September Contest.

I became aware of the contest just two days ago, September 1, and immediately decided that it was something I wanted to try. Here’s how it works (from  Continue reading “The Orvis “20 Days in September” Contest – Part 1”

Youth-Only Sport Fishery Opens on Fish Creek Saturday and Sunday


ADF&G is opening the Fish Creek Youth-Only Fishery on Saturday and Sunday, August 5 – 6, 2017, from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. each day. The Youth-Only Fishery allows anglers 15 years and younger to fish for all species, except king salmon, in waters between the ADF&G markers at the mouth of Fish Creek and ADF&G markers 1⁄4-mile upstream of Knik-Goose Bay Road. Come to Fish Creek expecting to have lots of fun and getting very muddy.

Continue reading “Youth-Only Sport Fishery Opens on Fish Creek Saturday and Sunday”

Fishing Report Roundup! (July 15, 2017)

You’re doing something right in life if your waders stay wet all summer long. Photo: Ryan McCormick

The Fishing Report Roundup gathers reports from around the web for your easy reference. Reports from multiple sources provide you with an idea of what is happening in an area and where to focus your efforts in the upcoming days. Remember that fishing reports state how conditions are on a specific day or week. Conditions can quickly change since first reported.  Continue reading “Fishing Report Roundup! (July 15, 2017)”

How to Dispose of Fish Waste in the Mat-Su Valley

Fish Waster - ADFG
Photo: Alaska Department of Fish and Game
The Valley’s Fish Creek may open to dipnetting by Emergency Order on July 10 if ADF&G projects the escapement to reach the goal of 50,000 sockeye salmon. On the same day many will head south to participate in opening day of the Kenai River dipnet fishery. Thousands of fish will soon be filleted, smoked, vacuum packed or canned and there’s no better time than now to review how to properly dispose of fish waste in the Mat-Su Valley.  Continue reading “How to Dispose of Fish Waste in the Mat-Su Valley”

Learn Two-Hand Casting Techniques at Upcoming Alaska Spey Clave

Leopard rainbow trout from the Susitna watershed caught on a two-hand rod. Photo: Ben Rowell

The Susitna watershed’s big water is ideal for casting long two-hand fly rods. It also has many roadside streams that call for shorter switch rods and single-hand Spey casting techniques. Having these tools in your arsenal will open up water that has been out of reach by being too far away or limited space for a backcast.

If casting two-hand rods is your preferred fishing style, or if you would like to learn a new casting technique, this Saturday’s 4th annual Fly Fishing Fair and Spey Clave, hosted by Alaska Fly Fishers, is a great opportunity for free instruction from some of the best casting instructors in the state. This year’s event is being held on Saturday, June 3 at the scenic Russian River Ferry Crossing in Cooper Landing.

AlaskaFlyFishers_Spey_MAY17 Continue reading “Learn Two-Hand Casting Techniques at Upcoming Alaska Spey Clave”

Missing from the Sportsman Shows: Bentley’s $300K Fly Fishing SUV

Problem: We load up the same old truck, drive the same old highway to the same old fishing hole, and catch the same old fish with our same old buddies. It’s a routine we’ve had for years that is desperately in need of a shake up.

Solution: Thankfully Bentley Motors identified our problem and tasked their top designers to come up with a fix. Behold Bently’s Bentayga Fly Fishing SUV by Mulliner – a Valley angler’s cure for the same old routine (or something like that).

Continue reading “Missing from the Sportsman Shows: Bentley’s $300K Fly Fishing SUV”

Spring Cleaning: Get Cash for Your Fishing Gear

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at Mar 27, 2017 3.14.49 PM
Alaska Fly Fishers Annual Auction provides opportunity to sell your lightly used gear.  

The Valley streams are going to open up any day. Okay, that’s not accurate but the sunshine and warmer temperatures sure made it seem like it. The truth is that it’s still cold and streams are locked up in a thick layer of ice.

With the creeks still frozen, it’s now time to get our gear ready for when that first bit of water opens up and that means stocking fly boxes and prepping tackle now instead of putting it off until May.

No signs of breakup on the Little Su. Photo taken on March 27, 2017.

A good opportunity for fly anglers to sell new or lightly used gear is at the upcoming Alaska Fly Fishers (AFF) Annual Fundraising Auction. For years, AFF has offered fly anglers the chance to place gear into a silent auction with 10% of the final sale price going to support AFF initiatives.

Here’s how it works…

Continue reading “Spring Cleaning: Get Cash for Your Fishing Gear”