This time I win the battle.  I hold up the dolly varden for a quick photo and then release him to go back to the feeding lanes behind the red salmon that drew him here.  In a moment I'll be turned around and in position to repeat the whole process over again.  I'll  be alert to the hesitation of the flyline or a sharp tap on my flyrod that tells me my egg pattern has fooled another hungry trout.   It's been like this all the way down the side channel today with almost continuous hookups.  However, I can recall days where I've had to work to keep from coming back empty handed, but then again,  who's counting.  When you're having this much fun time seems to stand still.   My wife Shellie has commented to me on more than one occasion  that fishermen don't have the same perception of time that normal humans have.  I couldn't agree with her more, but I'll worry later about the commitment I made to be off the river by 8 PM.  I can't be concerned about such trivial details now.  I've got more trout to catch and the fishing may not always be this good.  I know that I will devote the last 5 minutes of the float to trying to come up with a plausible excuse for being late that someone who doesn't fish can understand.  Meanwhile this fly fisherman's time passes rather pleasantly right here on the Kenai.   

Pictures taken by Jimmy Harvey
Last updated on: Nov 21, 1999

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Send mail to: Ernest Helton