Fairbanks Day 3

The still high, still murky Chena River.
The still high, still murky Chena River.

My fascination with arctic grayling has become a full-fledged obsession and I think I know why. For the same reason Californians chase the illusive Golden Trout, there’s something appealing and reviving about putting yourself in specific country. These fish aren’t just anywhere, you have to be somewhere to get at them and the journey makes catching them even more special. It’s not a stocked rainbow at a local lake that makes for a good hero shot.
I am a few hours from the Arctic Circle fishing a river that’s flooded and murky from a late ice break up and rain. I had cell reception for maybe 30 of the 120 miles driven today. The Chena isn’t off the grid, but you can see it from there. The fish aren’t the best fighters, they don’t make great trophy shots, but for those who really get what flyfishing is about, the grayling experience makes perfect sense.

Once I leave, I'll be counting the days until I can hold another one of these fish.
Once I leave, I’ll be counting the days until I can hold another one of these fish.

A great way, maybe the best, to finish a day of catching grayling is eating an 18 oz. prime rib at the Turtle Club.

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