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THUMP… THUMP…THUMP. Thump. Thump. Thump.

The reverberating sounds of three De Havilland Beaver floatplanes coming to life while the last bits of steam from a waning cup of coffee rise into the crisp Alaskan morning. Foggy memories from one-too-many bourbon drinks during last night’s fish stories give way to damp boots and waders covered in dangling Dalai Lama flies.


We all come for one reason: big, muscular, opportunistic, Alaskan Rainbow trout; but it is the environment that makes the place unique.


Big skies, sheer peaks, and a sun that never disappears, beg for long days of casting large dries and heavy streamers. Days like this create an internal paradox of exhaustion and excitement.

Stirring bears and the occasional moose or lynx wind paths through the raw, untouched Alaskan peaks and tundra.

We bounce jetboats up small side channels to chase trout that haven’t seen a fly in months or drop rafts off waterfalls into isolated areas. Each day brings endless opportunity, and the terrain seems boundless.



From famed rivers like the Kvichak, Upper Talarik Creek, and the Copper, to tiny unnamed water, a lifetime supply of fishing is at your fingertips. Alaska is a dream really. The place seems designed for fly-fishing.



Legendary bush pilots, rivers of lore, and huge hungry trout, paint a picture that is more than enough to fill any magazine article.


Each day in Alaska brings tired eyes, sore arms, and big smiles.

The only question that remains is when can I return.


 Western Rise goods pictured: Tincup Canvas Hat-Coming Soon!, Elk Foam Shop Hat



Words and photos by Will Watters, Western Rise co-founder.