Photo Essay: Another “Steelhead and Spines” Adventure to Southeast Alaska

Written by: Ian Provo, The Provo Bros


Southeast Alaska offers the twin opportunities of skiing and fishing on the highest level.
Photo by Ian Provo

My brother Neil and I just finished up another “Steelhead and Spines” journey to Southeast Alaska. For us, it’s the most important migration of the year. In the springtime, the mountains are in prime condition. The combination of stable powder and long days attracts a rush of the world’s best skiers and snowboarders. The spines are like no other place on earth, and this is the reason why they come. At the same time, chromed-out steelhead are running up and down the coast, finding their way back to the waters of the Tongass National Forest. So for two months out of the year, this is our home. This is our Mecca, where the pinnacles of fly-fishing and big-mountain skiing come together.


The spines of Southeast Alaska are incredibly challenging.

We had to bust out the waders for a creek-to-peak mission.

Camping on a glacier for 20 days, we saw a lot of amazing sights.

A typical camp on the island, where we slept in the truck.

A glorious evening camped out along the inside passage

The contrast between the dark, tannin creeks and the lush undergrowth made for a mystical setting.

The Tongass national forest is the largest temperate rainforest on earth.

It’s also one of the wettest places on earth. For better or worse, we didn’t see any rain for 9 days.

One of the extraordinary things about this place is the ability to sight fish to large steelies that are holding 10 feet away.

The low water, lack of rain, and sunshine tried to conspire against us. The fish were spooky, but we enjoyed the extra challenge of the pursuit and of course the beautiful weather.

We hooked plenty of fish throughout the trip

Neil and our friend Cody with a nice steelhead.

Off she goes.

Editor’s note: Here’s the original “Steelhead and Spines” adventure:

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