Photos by Jim Klug
The name Jim Klug spells “fly fishing” and not only in the States, but on a global scale. Jim, accompanied by his golden retriever, guided clients on Montana’s network of trout rivers as a youngster and eventually started his own fly fishing guiding company called Yellow Dog Outfitters (named after “the guide with the yellow dog”). He is not only a talented guide with exceptional people skills, but has an artistic view of the fly fishing lifestyle through his lenses. In addition to great still photography, Jim is also involved in cinematography and the founder of Confluence Films; in the company of cinematographer Chris Patterson, Confluence Films has released three brilliant fly fishing movies, Drift, Rise, and Connect. Thanks to Jim’s enthusiasm in the sport and his urge to travel abroad, people like us can enjoy this fly fishing photo essay based on his almost annual trips to Alaska. We’ll start with northern pike fishing in the Yukon River. Enjoy!
All tail, a hooked pike slashing the surface to rid the fly.
Rushing up the Yukon River in search of trophy pike.
The Yukon Drainage
The largest river in Alaska and the fifth largest drainage in North America, The Yukon River carries all major freshwater and migratory fish species of angling interest in its country. This includes exceptionally large northern pike (or Yukon pike), sheefish, Arctic grayling, Arctic char (Dolly Varden), burbot, lake trout and five species of salmon, namely king, coho, chum, sockeye and pink salmon.
Flies for Yukon pike.
A healthy Yukon pike.
From all its piscatorial residents, it is the giant pike of the Yukon that thrills anglers the most. Northern pike are widespread through the system, but it is in the lowland waters where the trophy specimens are most abundant. The post spawn period, early summer, is a popular time of the year for these 40 inch-plus brutes that will attack anything from large topwaters, such as Dahlberg Divers, to rabbit fur streamers.
Pike and fly, Yukon River.
Northern pike show off aerial acrobatics when hooked.