Last Frontier: Pre-Trip Prep

Prepping for an Adventure

Like all great adventures, this one started out as an idea.

Between washing dishes, helping cook dinner for customers, and setting up camp, we were telling stories about fishing. Then, during dinner, we were listening to stories about Alaska.

Alaska is known for its wilderness and its fishing. These two things have been our ambition since we began our own small adventures as children.

Alaska is known as the last great frontier of the United States. For us, we hope it will be the beginning to many new great things.


Alaska was an idea. An idea that required research.

So we did. We quickly realized that the most up-to-date information about the river levels and fishing came from the Situk River Fly Shop. Bob continues to keep a fairly consistent blog that you can find at the link below.

We were inspired. So we did more research. We found out that there would be a few different options for a possible trip including renting the forest service cabin, staying at one of the two lodges, camping, or doing a combination of the three. We settled on trying to get a cabin.

59.55626, -139.51226
59°33’23″N, 139°30’44″W


Eagle Cabin, Courtesy of, Tongass National Forest

We decided to give it a try.

Four people and six computers later, we were booked for Eagle Cabin in the Tongass National Forest on the Situk River.

“This 14×16-ft. pan-abode style cabin sleeps five people with three single bunks and one double bunk. The cabin also has a table and benches, broom, an oil heater, picnic table, outhouse and campfire ring. A 10×10-ft. meat shed is located outside.” (US Forest Service)

It looks like we are actually going to do this! This is going to require much more research. We started tying and slowly accumulating gear. For Christmas we invested in a traveling rod case which we hope to take on several more adventures. We also invested in a solar charger for our cameras and rain gear. Then, we looked at our bank accounts and decided to stay at home for the next few months.


We read about different fly patterns from Dolly Llamas to yarn balls


Wes tied as many different patterns as he could think of to give us options.






















We also packed and unpacked and re-packed the gear we would be taking with us.

Then we washed our waders and boots.

And we were still twiddling our thumbs.

So, we decided to go fishing.

We are lucky enough to live in a place where it is easy to get to freshwater springs and tons of little fish eager to eat a fly. Dry fly fishing in the

wintertime has easily become one of my favorite things about living in southern Idaho. We took our packs and our gear and started out trying to target bigger fish. We have seen pictures and followed Bob’s Blog long enough now that we know these fish will be bigger than we’re used to fighting.

Southern Idaho not only has lots of freshwater springs, but it also has a remarkable amount of hatcheries. And I don’t care what you say, when you’re learning to fight a fish on the fly and want to test our your new gear, hatchery fish are fun!

Then, when we were ready for more of a challenge, we took to the mountains. With the temperatures dropping to single digits and ice on our fly lines, we were rewarded.


Nope, that’s not a Steelehead. That’s a rainbow.

With Alaska drawing closer, we decided to take to a bit more technical water and much more hiking in our waders. So off to the freshwater springs we went!

The fish here are significantly smaller, but before a trip where you know you’re going to be hiking, it’s important to break in your wading boots and waders. This is also much more technical water and we were able to get into some beautiful and colorful little ones!

After much research, exploring, planning, and saving we are finally on our way.

Cross your fingers everyone! I think we’re in for quite an adventure.

Next Post:

Last Frontier: The Adventure



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