“I’ve spent a lot of my life on the water, breaking down and pouring my heart into chasing every species I can afford (or can’t afford) to target. I have received several trip invitations this year in addition to planning my efforts and my regular weekend fishing schedule. Dolly Varden’s big following isn’t something everyone gets to do in their lifetime, but I’ve been incredibly lucky with the people I’ve met, the experiences and the opportunities I’ve been able to take advantage of.
Even though my friends and I all have full time jobs outside of the fishing industry, we do some pretty bad things and this trip was no exception. Many anglers prefer to do it all themselves, and we are no strangers to grueling and slightly miserable, extended sailing trips (actually I prefer a form of misery).
Although we had some interesting weather, leaky dinghies, bear encounters and soaked sleeping bags, we were all able to catch plenty of trophy fish and even found some action on the gurgles further down the cruise. During the last 25 years my mind has been consumed by fishing, I have never cared to do much else. People, places and fish are all deeply embedded in my memories and places I have yet to visit flood my dreams.
I’m not often speechless when it comes to any particular fish, but there are a few that I will never forget and this is definitely one of them. It’s hard for me to describe the moment, it was the fish of a lifetime. I can’t thank my friend Jay Panchel enough for the invite. It was a phenomenal trip with a great group of guys who have all either served or are serving our country.”
Fish Length: 35.5”
Estimated Weight: 22 lbs
Article by Flylords contributor Oliver Ancans. Find Oliver on Instagram (@olleyeh) fly fishing and serving in the United States Air Force in Alaska.
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