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Five for Keeps

Alaska rainbow trout are some of the finest in the world. Trophies topping over 30 inches long loom in the rivers and creeks of the Greatland. Here are 5 top choices for Alaska rainbow trout.

Five for Keeps

Story & Photo by Troy Letherman

IT’S 1982 IN THE MIDDLE YELLOWSTONE VALLEY and the high-plains river materializes as a freestone schematic for trouters: cobalt-colored slots of holding water, boulders peeking out like flagsticks on a golf course, reflective riffles that run for half-mile stretches, deeply undercut banks hiding pools of great promise. Here the big sky means a bigger light show and evening descends on the valley in folds of golden drapery. Cottonwoods throw long shadows on the gravel bars at water’s edge; hay fields lay beyond, dotted with second-cutting bales, round and square. The Absarokas rise in the southern distance, the Crazies to the north. I’m too young to row and so I get to cast, even though my little arms and the long rod make for an odd combination. Still the hopper sporadically finds the right spot. Several rainbows. A good brown. Trout for life.

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