Tying for Alaska

I've been tying flies like a madman, preparing for our trip to Alaska

Five days and counting............five days until Corey and I finally make it up to Alaska. We're spending two weeks up there, and with near 24-hour daylight we should be able to cram in two month's worth of fishing. Out cousin Tyler who lives in Alaska is going to take care of us, lending us his car, camping gear, and putting us on some excellent fishing. Needless to say, man I can't wait! My gear is almost all together, piled in a corner. I've got dry-bags for our 7-day rafting trip down the Taluchulitna River. I've got water filters, first-aid kits, lots of 100% DEET bug dope, some dehydrated food, 5 pounds of venison jerky, a folding saw, my buck knife, and of course two flyrods, an 8 and 5-weight. My raingear is in top-notch shape, and the batteries for my cameras are fully charged.

And then there are the flies. Having never been to Alaska, I have never had the need to tie all these goofy, fluorescent flashy things that apparently Salmon like to eat. So, I bought all kinds of new materials and have been tying like a madman now for the last two weeks whenever I get the chance. My social life has suffered considerably. I don't know what is going to work, so I have been tying various patterns. And since we will be in the bush far from any roads, let alone a flyshop, I don't want to run out of a productive pattern so I am cranking them out by the dozens. Here's a look at just a few of the flies that I hope the fish of Alaska will find to look tasty........
The BB King. I invented this one, and have been listening to a lot of Blues at the vise.
Thor. The Norse god of war should be able to kick some salmon butt.
Big Hotshot Comet. I've got lots of these in pink, red, purple and chartreuse. They are supposed to drive Cohos and Chums nuts.
Morrison's Secret. This is a classic Alaskan fly.
Flesh Fly. Since we are going to be fishing during the peak of all the salmon runs, and many carcasses will be lying in the stream, flies that imitate drifting pieces of salmon flesh should work. I've got some maggot flies as well. This is how you match-the-hatch in Alaska.
The Ktulu. Another invention of mine, just a crazy, flashy thing that I thought looked good.
Drew's Lemming. The big Rainbows of Alaska love to munch on Lemmings, and I tied this one just for them.
Guinea Flash. I've got a freind who raises Guinea Fowl, so I like to use it when I can. So, I whipped up this flashy wet fly to tempt the fish. It's a little more subtle that a lot of my ties.
The Froot Loop. I'd eat it.
The '57 Chevy. Just looks good, and I have heard that blue is a productive color in Alaska.
Babine Special. A classic fly that has been catching anadramous fish for decades.
That's just a few of my recent creations at the vise. I've tied lots of smaller patterns for Grayling, Whitefish and Arctic Char as well. I was already stocked up on Egg-sucking leeches and hundreds of egg flies. Feathers, fur, epoxy and tinsel are littered around my basement, knee-deep in spots. It's a mess. I'm almost satisfied with my fly selection, though. Just a few dozen more sculpins and lemmings, and I'll be set.........
Andrew Geving, Roughfisher at Large