The Missouri River is known the world ‘round for its large brown trout, feisty rainbows, and cowboy attitude. This is where the cool kids come to play, fishing under the endless big sky and basking in legendary hatches thick enough to coat vehicles and determined enough to survive the Great Plains wind.
Permit have achieved somewhat of a mythical status in the fishing world. They are said to be wily. Spooky. Selective. Whatever the case, largely considered more rare and elusive than bonefish or tarpon, they are regarded by many to be the crown jewel of the world of saltwater flats fishing. They are also generally thought of as exceedingly difficult to take on a fly.
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.