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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Brooks Falls, Alaska

Marco arrived in King Salmon on June 16th on the last flight into town. On the morning of the 17th we made our way to the airport in order to figure out whether or not we could get a flight to Brooks Falls. We worked through the logistics with Branch River Air and determined that we would fly out to Brooks and after three days of fishing and camping they would collect our raft from the airport in King Salmon and fly it to meet us for our trip out to American Creek. After collectively weighing in at a cool 800lbs the 4 of us were told we were only going to be able take a total of 50lbs of gear onto the plane. 50Lbs of gear for four 200lb guys including camping gear is nothing! Our food seemed like the most convenient place to cut weight so we started eliminating our bags of tuna, chicken, granola etc...a decision we would come to regret over the next 4 days.

In the late afternoon we found ourselves and our gear at the Brooks River bridge crossing waiting for a bear to make its way through the river. Apparently the bears have the right of way in Alaska.

After setting camp we decided to make our first meal. Dumping our food out of the dry bag we all had a reality check when we realized that we hadn't brought enough to sustain us for our stay. We figured the best solution was to create a menu in order to assure that we properly rationed what little food we brought. Lunch our second day included one power bar sectioned into 4 pieces and 1 piece of beef jerky.

I'd heard stories and seen pictures of Brooks neither of which do it justice. We had an amazing stay at the campground and met some absolutely phenomenal people. The fishing was everything I had dreamed it would be. I'll let the pictures do the talking. We all have to give HUGE thanks to Steve and Joe and Jeremy who we met in the campground and who provided us with the perfect flies and the food that helped to fill our stomachs. Steve and Joe continued to blow our minds with their generosity when they invited us back to their place in Anchorage and fed us and helped us run errands for three days. Another big thanks to the staff and especially the manager, Jim Albert, who hooked us up with some crucial last second supplies before we left for American Creek. We highly recommend this spot to anyone thinking of traveling to Katmai National Park.

After four days at Brooks we didn't think Alaska could get much better, little did we know the best was yet to come.

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