Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mr. Z goes to Alaska

In many circles I am known as "that guy who fishes a lot" and friends, co-workers and even neighbors will take the time to share photos of their catches with me. One such person is the legendary Mr. Z. Third generation angler; he has fished most of the Colorado high country and beyond. Recently Mr. Z took a trip to the Tsiu River in Alaska in search of silver salmon.

(Above: Hefty fish in the 40lb range and a big smile on Mr. Z. Look at the crooked mug on that fish!!!)

Mr Z got into numbers of smaller fish as well as a few ultra fabulous silver salmon and was kind enough to share a few photos of the trip. He said getting the fish to hit was only part of the test. Landing a big angry fish hell bent on reaching the spawn grounds is something a photo can never describe. You have to taste the experience for yourself.

(Above: This is one angry looking fish. The subtle red hues on the lower body and base of the fins glow like the fire in this fish’s eyes!)

I am very fortunate to know anglers such as Mr. Z and others from the various paths that have been traveled. They are incredibly rich with knowledge and experience. These folks set the bar for my future fishing goals as well as help keep my shameless fish bragging in perspective. Words fail to describe my appreciation but will extend yet another thank you for sharing these photos and some tales from Alaska. “Thank you, Mr. Z!”

Caution! You will encounter bears. In Alaska it is not “if” you see a bear but “when”. This bear came along their fishing party and debated on swimming the river to get a closer look. This bear looks little but if this brownie wants to take a bite or swipe, someone might go home missing a chunk or two…if they make it home at all. People die every year from bears out here. Know before you go.

Silver salmon note: This species is an amazing fish that only exist within a handful of places in the world. Alaska sports some of the best fishing salmon in the world and some of these brutes can reach +50lbs. For more information about this species with some fly-fishing info mixed in, check out the link below. I picked this one because it had a full break down of the life cycle spawn, fry and back to spawn.


Good luck and Good Fishing


Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

I can tell you from experience, there is no better tasting meal than fresh net-caught salmon from the Noatak River, roasted over a campfire on the beach of the river. To. Die. For.

Bill Trussell said...

Alaska is the dream of anyone who is an outdoorsmen. Great Post

Coloradocasters said...

Right now I am pouring over maps, going over budgets and know the planning puzzle pieces won’t even fit sloppy for next year or further out. Some wild places are beyond my current grasp. Thank goodness for the photos.

Fish that amazing should be glorified to a great extent. It takes great management and habitat to keep this species in existence along with an ever so amazing resiliency of nature. Salmon are not allowed to breed time and time again like some other species of fish. They get one shot and out. Yet adult silver salmon can reach +40lbs before they spawn in three years. Nature never ceases to amaze me. I am ever so humbled in the infinite beauty and wonder of it all.

Michael said...

Thanks Matt for those kind comments. This was truly the trip of my life. I shipped home a hundred pounds of these (my limit) and release several times that number. Those interested in the Tsiu River can contact me on Facebook/Michael Zupko.

Razzle Dazzle said...

I was fortunate enough to spend three years with the United States Air Force in Anchorage. What a wonderful place...a place that every fisherman (or woman) should experience at least once in their lifetime! There's no better place to fish than Alaska!

Great post!

Fish on, Fish H8 me.

Coloradocasters said...

Michael, thank you so much for the pictures and the follow up comment. I wasn't sure if posting more detail was going to be a good thing or not. I was so amazed by the fish and forget to ask for that extra layer of approval. You are the best!!!

sage said...

I gotta get to Alaska one of these days!