Written by Cindi Crawford
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 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 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.