the Marines, and since returning from a deployment to Afghanistan with the Army, it seems he has been getting a lot of fishing in.
In fact, the first thing he did when arriving in Anchorage was stop to catch a couple of King salmon.
Of course, I'm only joking. After serving in Iraq, North Africa and Afghanistan, Chris deserves all the fishing time he wants. He was
previously stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and since returning from his last deployment was afforded the opportunity to
live in Alaska and of course, had to say yes. As you can see from the pictures he is enjoying it. Chis is our Perfect Fly Steelhead
and Salmon expert, but that isn't meant to insinuate he isn't a great trout angler. He grew up on New Yorks Salmon River and
tributaries of Lake Ontario, where he has fished most of his life. He even guided for a while between serving in the Marines for
eight years and currently, the Army. His "Stalking Appalachian Trout" instructional DVD clearly shows he can catch trout, even
under adverse conditions, as well as catch steelhead and salmon.
Chris' journey didn't just begin once he got to Alaska, it started well in advance. Before leaving on his cross country excursion
Chris stopped to fish his home waters and the tributaries of Lake Ontario for some spring steelhead. From spey fishing, to single
hand rods, and even a float rod, Chris enjoys catching fish and feeling the headshake of an angry salmonioid or mykiss on the
After chasing steelhead with his spey rod in the tributaries of Lake Ontario, he loaded up his truck and began his adventure to the
last frontier. But first a stop in Vancouver, BC to fish with bamboo rod maker James Reid. James and Chris fished a number of
rivers in close proximity to Vancouver in search of steelhead on the swing. Chris only managed to feel the tug of some local bull
trout, but something was better than nothing! Next up was a stop in Terrace, BC to visit another fellow fish bum.
There are a lot of great and renowned steelhead rivers that dump into the Skeena River that runs through Terrace, and with so
many choices Chris was all ears when his local fish bum buddy Greg gave him advice. During his stop in Terrace Chris fished the
main stem of the Skeena, Kispiox River, and the Kitimat River. After many hour of rowing his pontoon, casting, swinging step, and
repeat, he finally connected with a British Columbia steelhead on the swing. Although he only managed one steelhead during his
trek through BC I'm sure he will head back for more to feel the tug of a wild steelhead.
On his way out of town Chris stopped at rod maker Bob Clay's house and shop, located in the Kispiox Valley on the banks of the
Kispiox River. Chris was fishing a Riverwatch Bamboo spey rod made by Bob during his excursion through BC. Chris said it was
only fitting that the first steelhead on the Riverwatch was caught in BC where the rod was born. Bob Clay and James Reid are
some very talented rod builders, and it is no wonder why Chris chose to spend his hard earned money on one of their masterfully
built rods. I think Chris was bit pretty hard by the bamboo bug while he was over seas reading all those John Gierach books. One
thing Gierach wrote in his books is that he fished graphite spey rods because bamboo spey rods were too heavy. I guess he has
never held a James Reid or Bob Clay hollow built rod, because if he had, he would probably own at least one of each. After
enjoying lunch at Bob's place and getting a tour of the shop, it was time for Chris to head out to Alaska.
During the trip up Chris was blessed with decent
weather, by decent weather I mean only rain
along the way with little to no snow. Well except
for the five inches of lake effect he had to go
through on his way out of New York. By the time
Chris arrived at the border to the Yukon Territory
he found plenty of snow. Luckily the roads weren't
terrible and he was able to get to Alaska safely.
Amazing how the only snow on the roads he
encountered were in NY and the Yukon territory.
Chris' journey to Alaska certainly sounds like a
fun filled fishing trip, but as with any long distance
travel involving a less than new trailer, there was
bound to be problems. Along the way he was
plagued with multiple trailer issues from things as
small as a loose hub, to leaf spring shackles
completely sheering off. I'm sure a new trailer
would have been the best option, but when you're
on a trout bum budget, you have to make due with
what you have. Not only was Chris towing most of
his personal belongings in that trailer, but he was
also sleeping in it along his journey. It certainly
wasn't pretty, but the trailer held up all the way to
Alaska, which was the whole intent from the
beginning. Right? It was dubbed the steelhead
shanty, and for good reason. By the time Chris
arrived in Alaska and spent a couple nights in an
Anchorage hotel, he felt a little too spoiled. So
what did he do? Packed his tent and sleeping
gear and headed down to the Kasilof River for
some steelhead fishing!
This was only the beginning of Chris' Alaskan
adventure. Stay tuned for more.
Chris Moves To Alaska
A Good Reason To Join The Army
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Premiere Issue August 2013
tried to re-up in the U. S. Army recently, but they turned me down. Without even asking my opinion, they said 70 was too old.
They really know how to make a man feel bad. After reading emails, from Chris Tobias, I concluded he made a good decision
when he decided to enlist in the Army a couple of years ago. He had already completed three combat tours while serving in
Skilak Lake Alaska
To Bob Clay's
House and Shop
James Reid's Shop
Chris's Bull Trout
Anchorage King Salmon
Anchorage King Salmon