“I have spent a lot of my life on the water, gone broke, and poured my heart into chasing every species I can afford (or not afford) to target. I received a few invites on trips this year alongside planning my own endeavors and my regular weekend fishing schedule. Chasing enormous Dolly Varden is not something everyone gets to do in their lifetime, but I have been extremely fortunate with the people I have met, the experiences, and opportunities I have been able to capitalize on.
Even though my friends and I all have full time jobs outside of the fishing industry, we make some pretty badass stuff happen and this trip was no exception. A lot of anglers prefer to DIY everything, and we are no stranger to grueling, and slightly miserable, extended float trips (I prefer some form of misery actually).
Although we had some interesting weather, leaky rafts, bear encounters, and soaked sleeping bags we were all able to catch multiple trophy fish and even found some action on gurglers further into the float. Over the past 25 years, my mind has been consumed by fishing, I haven’t ever cared to do much else. The people, the places, and the fish, are all deeply embedded in my memories and the places I have yet to visit flood my dreams.
I am not often speechless when it comes to any fish in particular, but there are a few that I will never forget, and this is definitely one of them. I find it difficult to describe the moment, it was the fish of a lifetime. I cannot thank my friend Jay Panchel enough for the invite. It was a phenomenal trip with a great group of guys who have all either served or are currently serving our country.”
Fish length: 35.5”
Estimated Weight: 22lbs