EDTU Member wins TU National Grand Prize Raffle

Jim Brown

I was pleasantly surprised when I received a call from the national TU office informing me that I had won the grand prize in the 2012 Trout Unlimited Sweepstakes - a week-long trip to fish in Alaska at the No See Um Lodge. I connected with the owner of the lodge, John Holman, and booked the first week in July 2013. My 14-year old son, Andrew, and I had a trip of a lifetime.

The No See Um Lodge is located on the Kvichak River in the Bristol Bay drainage. The No See Um Lodge is a first class operation - the cabins are comfortable, the food is excellent and the guides and pilots are all professionals. The lodge can accommodate 12 guests per week. The operation has three planes and six guides including the three pilots that also guide. The guide/pilot to guest ratio allows the lodge to meet the needs of all the guests and provide a variety of fishing experiences.

John and his fellow pilots are able to fly to rivers and lakes up to 100 miles from the lodge. This allowed us to fish many rivers for a variety of fish species during our week in Alaska. We fished the Kvichak River for Sockeye Salmon, the Gibraltar, Copper and American Rivers for Rainbow and Char, and the Nushagak River for King and Chum Salmon. We had a great time casting big flies to Chum Salmon and hooking up on about every fifth cast. The highlight of the trip was a great day fishing the American River. My son and I both caught a number of large Rainbows, but Andrew managed to hook and land a 24 inch Rainbow on a dry fly and 5x tippet (see photo of Andrew with No See Um Lodge owner John Holman). The large Rainbow took Andrew into his backing several times.

As I mentioned earlier, the No See Um Lodge is located in the Bristol Bay drainage. The lodge is located about 40 miles from the proposed Pebble Mine. We saw much of the area around the proposed mine from the air and fished many of the rivers that would be impacted by the mine. One point that the No See Um staff pointed out is that in addition to the environmental issues raised by the mine itself, there will be major damage to the Bristol Bay drainage from increased barge traffic on the rivers, including the Kvichak, as well as damage to this pristine wilderness from roads that will be built to access the mine. The Bristol Bay area is a national treasure and we cannot allow it to be ruined forever by the Pebble Mine.

For more information on the No See Um Lodge go to www.noseeumlodge.com.