Gravel roads don’t have the adventurous chops of a two-track. Still, turning off of pavement stirs that part of the brain which knows wilderness. When the road disappears...
Mighty rivers wind their way from mountains to ocean. Thanks to nature's cycles, life giving moisture returns from the ocean to the headwaters of these winding rivers, just as the salmon do. In southwestern Alaska, these rivers act as conduits between the sea and the tundra, helping to drive these cycles on which so many living creatures depend. From the Bering Sea all the way to the lakes at its headwaters, the conduit that is Alaska's Kanetok River remains unaltered by the long reach of man.
It was a fresh season and the never ending “off” season was finally over. My fishing companions and I had been planning our opening trip for far too long. The location was southwest Wisconsin’s driftless area, which offers endless possibilities of runs, pools, and riffles. We managed to talk my father into letting us use his pop-up camper, which beat the hell out of holding each other close to stay warm in a tent (our only other option due to budget constraints).
It was late Thursday evening and I had just landed in Seattle where I was meeting my life long buddy, Jay for a weekend of fishing and camping in the Cascade mountains. I was schlepping my gear through the terminal with a Sage rod tube protruding from my backpack; a beacon stating that I was in town for fun. Walking toward the curbside I was mindlessly checking my iPhone one more time before stepping off the grid for 2 days. That's when the email from Chad came in looking for a photo spread for hatchmag.