Nils is from a small town/village in Germany (I over-heard him explain it’s where-abouts and name several times, but for some reason the name has evaded my memory). He’s a very very young 74 year old who could give a 50 year old a run for his money (not kidding). I was dumb-founded when I heard him say 74. When out on the river Nils was all business. His uniform consisted of the G4 Pro waders, a very nifty vest that allowed for deep wading, a sick (very nice) hat that had some worldy feathers stuck in the band, and also a net that was stuck to his back with a magnet. He definatley had good taste in gear. His weapons of choice (rods & reels) were a 3 weight Loop rod and reel, and Sage’s XP 6 weight (the XP was his favorite rod). Like I said, he meant business. When back at camp I would hear him rave about some of the guide’s casting skills and all the while I’m thinking to myself, “Nils you could give those guides a run for their money in a casting competition.” This guy could throw some line!
When out on the river, Nils knew exactly what he wanted to fish. If the run wasn’t fast, and had good cover for a fish to hold in, he would tell us to just go to the next spot. He made his own fly choices, tied everything on himself, released his own fish, and he even made the guides fish with him. That’s right, he made the guides fish!! To say the least, nobody was complaining. It’s not often that we get to rip some lip.
The fishing this week was good. Again the leeches, mice, and smolt patterns cleaned house. The salmon are just starting to spawn so eggs, and flesh patterns are starting to drift through redds. The Nushagak is once again alive with thousands of fish. Bear prints are littering the gravel bars, moose are being spotted in front of camp, the Artic Terns are hatching their chicks, wolves are roaming the tundra, and the rainbows are getting fat. Going upriver from camp is getting tough. The boat ride is full of ducking and diving to avoid trees, sliding to keep from beaching, and tight turns to evade root balls and log jams. A few more days of 80+ degrees and going up river will be a dream.
Back in camp, Nils got out his fly tieing kit and showed me some of his tricks. He watched me tie up a steelhead fly then gave me some constructive critisism. I tell you what, I can make one hell of a steelhead fly now! He was even kind enough to give me a very generous amount of tieing materials. Fox hair, hackles, deer hair, and so forth. Thanks again Nils for all the great stuff I will surly put it to good use! Nils was also a very skilled tier. There are times when a certain fly is working best, and for some reason you can’t keep it away from the trees and submerged logs. That was Nils problem for one day, and unfortunately he lost most of his key flies. So he kept one for an example and that night he tied up some of his own. They turned out pretty darn good, and by-golly they caught fish.
Nils time at camp went by fast. Moose sightings, crazy boat rides, hot weather, bent rods, good food, and great company were all part of the recipe for a fun filled time. It was good to have you here Nils, and we hope to see you again! Safe travels and keep a bend in your rod!
Tight lines——-< ‘)))))><
Dave, Kim, Camille, Nick, Nick, James, and Kris!