Wayne Trzyna's Fly Fishing Page

Wayne and Gary's Excellent Canadian Adventure

In British Columbia, Gary and I peered from the rim of a remote Canyon. It was pristine, mysterious, and powerfully alluring. We had arrived there on a whim, picking the blankest-looking spot on the map. We had little information about the river, no hope of finding a shuttle, and not nearly enough time to float the 30 or so miles. (Gary had to be back in Missoula for a meeting in three days.) Repeatedly, we thought it through, each time reaching the same careful, logical conclusion: Floating the river on this trip was out of the question. At best it would make a good dream for a future trip.

But, not unlike the eroded rock on the river banks, our logic was being slowly sculpted by the flow of the river as we gazed at it's timeless flow. Each time we passed close enough to the gorge to get a glimpse at the flowing river, another bit of logic was carved off by the sight, until finally it was undermined to the point that it sheared off and was swept away. Now we knew what we had to do. We would find a way. We would make it work, somehow. The gorge, with its persistent mysterious flow, had drawn us in.

Here are Gary's story and photos of the trip.

We also floated the Elk River.

Naknek River, AK

Here are some photos from a trip to the Naknek River in June, 1999. The Naknek is a big Alaskan river at the mouth of one of the world's most productive salmon spawning drainages. June is when juvenile sockeye salmon smolt migrate out to sea by the millions. Large rainbow trout try to get larger, by feeding on the smolt as they swim down river.

[CLICK] Wading the "Rapids" section on the Naknek, a shallow area through which the smolt must pass on their way to the ocean. Large rainbow trout lurk here to trap the smolt.
[CLICK] A Naknek rainbow trout caught on a smolt imitation.
[CLICK] Gary Aitken with another rainbow (a large buck) also fooled by a smolt imitation.
Note: these are lake-resident rainbow trout, not ocean-faring Steelhead, though the ocean is only an easy twenty mile swim down river. It is theorized that during their evolution these trout had no incentive to enter salt-water, given the abundant salmon-based food resources in the river and lake system: smolt in the spring, eggs all summer, and spawned-out adult carcasses in the fall.
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