For eight years and counting, the Bureau of Land Management – Alaska has hosted an annual Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (PHWFF) outing at the Delta Wild and Scenic River and Tangle Lakes area. The BLM partners with PHWFF Alaska by providing boat transport to participants and the Wrangell Institute of Science and Environment prepares meals for all of the volunteers.
We are pleased to share a comprehensive article about this special wild place and the incredible veterans and volunteers who visit it each year through Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. Below are accounts from Alaska Regional Coordinator Jan Schnorr, a stunning video filmed, and produced, by BLM – Alaska, and a powerful account from volunteer Cindi Crawford entitled “Spiritual Renewal in the Land of the Midnight Sun.”
June 19 – 24, 2018 – Tangle Lakes, AK: This is the largest outing that we hosted during the summer. Volunteers included five Bureau of Land Management (BLM) staff members from Glennallen and Fairbanks along with two college interns; three volunteers from the Wrangell Institute for Science and Environment (WISE), and 10 PHWFF volunteers from Anchorage, Wasilla, and Fairbanks. Participants and volunteers traveled 300 miles from Anchorage to Tangle Lakes via numerous vehicles where participants checked into the Tangle River Inn (two participants per room) and volunteers set up camp at the BLM Campground two miles away. This outing required considerable logistical coordination between the agencies/businesses because all food and equipment needed to be transported to the site. The closest grocery store is located 90 miles away. In addition, special arrangements were also made for two National Destination Outings participants who flew into Anchorage. They had an opportunity to go salmon fishing on the Kenai River prior to traveling to Tangle. The fishing conditions were very marginal because the river was extremely high; however, the participants caught fish and they really enjoyed it. – Jan Schnorr, Regional Coordinator, Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Alaska
Cindi Crawford shared her Tangle Lakes experience with us in a short piece and we are pleased to share it with you below.
“Spiritual Renewal in the Land of the Midnight Sun.”
Renewal of ones spirit can best be obtained in the wilds of Alaska-specifically Tangle Lakes, truly the Land of the Midnight Sun. Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing participants came together on June 21, to celebrate the Summer Solstice with 19 hours 1 minutes and 21 seconds of daylight.
I recently had the honor and privilege of being a volunteer for 12 PHWFF participants traveling to the remote Alaska wilderness of Tangle Lakes. Ten participants from the Alaska programs and two out of state participants from Tennessee and Alabama programs converged on Tangle Lakes, about a 300 mile journey from Anchorage. Thanks to hosts Nadine, Jack, and Violet Johnson from the Tangle River Inn and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) crew, Tim Sundlov, Mike Lindsey, Jason Post, Joe Hart, and Keith Genter, our participants experienced premium grayling and lake trout fishing.
The event was kickoff by a dessert potluck orchestrated by the Wrangle Institute of Science and Environment volunteers headed up by main chef Robin Mayo. The following two days were filled with many trips up and downriver via jet boats, supplied by BLM, to the pristine headwaters of the Delta River for long days of catching/releasing beautiful grayling. Nymphs and parachute flies seemed to be the menu of choice for the hungry grayling. Despite the high water conditions and a pesky wind, many participants experienced 30-50 fish per day catch rates. Evenings found some participants cruising the shores of Tangle Lakes in search of lake trout or for some just enjoying the serene beauty of the surrounding landscape.
The last evening of the event found all participants and volunteers enjoying a delicious potluck of hamburgers, cedar planked BBQ’d fresh king salmon provided by Tim, and a grilled fresh lake trout on the menu cooked by the WISE/BLM crew. A special thanks go out to Bob Pawlowski for coordinating all the meals and bringing all the food for everyone! It was so good.
This trip could not have been possible without the support of the Bureau of Land Management, Tangle River Inn, WISE, PHWFF volunteers and funding from a private donor and the leadership of Jan Schnorr for coordinating all the details. Thank you for making this a very special trip.
For more information about Project Healing Waters Alaska, please visit https://projecthealingwaters.org/progr… or visit BLM Alaska for information about BLM-managed public lands https://www.blm.gov/alaska.”