Angling Unlimited began running fishing trips over a quarter of a century ago. We’ve earned a long list of loyal customers, many who return every year. In our new blog feature, “Client Stories,” some of our fishing friends share their AU fishing experiences with you and provide insights into what keeps them coming back for more.
Each of these stories is unique. Some of these clients come with family, others with friends or co-workers, and some come alone and join other groups. We have king crazy clients who only come in May or June. We have coho fanatics that wouldn’t consider anything but the last half of August. Our new blog feature provides our long time fishing friends an opportunity to share why they continue to choose Angling Unlimited over all the other options out there. This week’s client story features Tryg Winquist of Washington.
Tryg grew up near the shores of Puget Sound and has fished for salmon most of his life. He ventured to Sitka 15 years ago in search of salmon nirvana, beginning by renting a boat for a self-guided trip. While on the water he noticed a fleet of aluminum Almar boats with blue trim. Unlike the boats almost universally used in North Pacific up until that time, the cabins on these Almars were located in the center and surrounded by a full walkaround deck. Each boat had at least four anglers aboard that were catching a lot of salmon and they were spread out from the stern to the bow. The combination of hot salmon action and a unique boat design intrigued Tryg, so he did some digging and found Angling Unlimited. He booked a trip with us for the following summer.
After a few trips, Tryg fell in love with Sitka’s wilderness and bought a aluminum boat of his own that offered liveaboard facilities, but wasn’t a walk around. He also continued to book a trip with Angling Unlimited each year. Tryg has missed only a couple years of fishing with AU since he began in 2000. For ten years he juggled time between running his own boat in Sitka and fishing with us, Tryg eventually concluded that guiding friends and catching salmon on the untamed ocean was a rewarding experience but he also did more work than he wanted and cut into his fishing time. He finally sold his boat a few years back and now strictly books with AU.
“It’s a lot of work to run your own boat,” recalled Tryg. “I like coming to Angling Unlimited where I know everything is taken care of. All I have to do is fish. I keep coming to Angling Unlimited because of the people, boats and the waterfront suites. It’s always nice to see a smiling face waiting for you once you get off the airplane, too.”
“I’ve been to many places in Alaska,” said Tryg. “I’m attracted by the vastness and freedom you feel when you’re there. Sitka is my favorite because of its quick access to great fishing on the ocean.”
Tryg takes pride in his fishing style. He prefers to mooch with single hooks. Compared to the double hook leader, his strategy is more effective for proper catch and release. Tryg fishes in June for his kings because of the incredible action. If time weren’t taken out for halibut fishing, he figures a group of experienced anglers could make contact with as many as 50 kings on the days when the big schools are rolling through.
He returns to Sitka each summer for the kings, but he fishes Sitka for the variety of fish. He knows he can catch salmon, halibut, lingcod, and rockfish during the same day, all within a fairly short distance once you’re on the grounds.
Tryg traditionally fished in late June, but a few years back the logistics for his group pointed to fishing early June. Tryg had done so well in late June, he was leery of the earlier dates.
The first morning of their early June trip, his group began a drift using Tryg’s usual single hook mooching leader with a cut plug herring. They caught three kings on that drift and caught two more on the next. The bite turned on and Tryg figures their group had the opportunity to catch between 40 and 45 kings that day. Suddenly he didn’t miss his late June dates anymore.
Tryg fished the second week in June in 2013 and witnessed the record salmon run. After watching the patterns for a decade and a half, he knows the future for salmon fishing in Sitka is as bright as an early June king.