Even those of us working in the travel industry get the pre-trip, giddy, can’t concentrate, excitement the week prior to an upcoming trip. My giddiness is in full swing as I start packing for a trip aboard SV Bob departing Sitka this Friday for six days of Steelhead fishing through the Tongass National Forest.
I’ve known Captain Blain Anderson and his wife, Monique, for over half my life, since we all used to work for the Forest Service during summer break from college. Joining us for the trip is Montana-based fly fishing guide Bill Buchbauer. Billy formerly guided heliskiing in Haines in the Spring and became a close friend on down-day fly fishing and fly tying sessions.
Frankly, I’m not sure what I’m most excited about for next week; Spending a week on a beautiful 50′ Catalina, chasing monster Tongass Steelhead, or getting a full week of quality time with old friends. It all works out to what I expect to be a very fun combination.
We often put together fishing trips aboard our fleet of Alaska charter yachts for clients, so I thought this would be a good chance to outline what I’m packing for the trip. Since this is a late-April departure, temps will be a bit cooler than Summer in Southeast Alaska, but the packing list remains nearly identical.
- Quick Dry Pants (Patagonia Rock Craft)
- Gore-Tex Shell Jacket (Simms Slick Jacket)
- Rain Pants (Helly Hansen PVC Bibs)
- Midweight & Lightweight Wool Base Layers
- Expedition Weight Fleece Pants (to wear under waders)
- Insulating Jacket (Simms Fall Run or Patagonia Nano Puff)
- Down Jacket (Feathered Friends Helios Jacket)
- Heavy Wading Socks (SmartWool Mountaineering or Simms Exstream Wading Sock)
- Quick Dry Shorts
- Wool Beanie
- Baseball Hat
- Gloves (Simms Fold-over Mitts)
Fly Fishing Gear:
- Three Single Hand Fly Rods (Scott S4S 8 Wt & 7wt; Echo E3 8wt)
- Three Fly Reels (Waterworks Lamson Guru Reels)
- Full Sinking and Floating Lines; Variety of sink tips
- Waders (Simms G3 Stockingfoot Waders & Guide Boots)
- 20 Dozen Flies
- Day Pack (Simms Headwaters Large Sling)
Headlamp, Trail running shoes, Xtra Tufs, Flip flops, Polarized Sunglasses, Cameras (Canon S120 & GoPro)
Some notes on packing for traveling in Southeast Alaska: Few places on earth test the waterproofing of rain gear like the Tongass National Forest and keeping dry is essential to staying warm. Base layers like wool and synthetic insulators such as fleece and Primaloft perform well even in wet environments and help to dampen the bone chilling cold of drizzly days. Top quality outerwear can make even miserably dreary days completely manageable.
I like to pack a variety of layers that can be worn separately on warm days or all together on the coldest days. This helps lighten the packing load and allows for comfort through any weather. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear!
Stay tuned for the trip report upon my return in two weeks. And if an Alaskan Steelhead yacht trip is of interest to you, there are still spots available on some fantastic vessels for May 2015- Contact Expedition Broker for further details!