3:50 AM. We’re stufﬁng gear in the back of the Subaru. It’s routine at this point. This time of year
we swing for steelhead on the Lower Deschutes any free day we get. Always, up early only to
return late. This trip down is no different; routine. Shut the hatch and we’re peeling away from
the curb. 3:55 AM. On the highway by 4:05 AM. A little off the mark, but it’ll be ﬁne. Plenty of
time to eat some pavement, don the headlamps, string the rods, and position ourselves on our
favorite run before ﬁrst light.
Despite being a land of staggering plenty, Alaska's southeast is facing a number of challenges. Proposals for new mining operations and hydroelectric dams are looming and the logging industry -- a spectacular and perpetual loser both environmentally and economically -- is looking to re-establish operations in the Tongass National Forest after largely being set aside several decades ago.
It may seem strange to see Alaska's southeast, which is predominated by the Tongass National Forest, referred to as the "other" Alaska. After all, no destination of Alaska sees more summer visitors than the southeast's largest city and Alaska's capital city, Juneau. Throw in Ketchikan, not terribly far from Juneau, and other southeastern cities like Sitka and the southeast sees over 1 million visitors each summer; considerably more than any other region of Alaska.
We received many wonderful submissions this year from photographers that share a love of fly fishing. Unfortunately, we're only able to award a few of those with prizes. However, thanks to our generous sponsors -- Thomas & Thomas, Montana Fly Company, Maui Jim Sunglasses and Airflo -- we're able to award those few with some very nice ones. For prize info, you can view the original contest page.
In September, I made my way back down to Bolivia for the second time as a host for Tailwaters Fly Fishing Co. Honestly, the first go was not enough for me. I was determined to get back as soon as possible. As expected, I had new experiences, met some great folks, and of course shot a ton of photography.