Kellsey Perkins runs the back office at Deneki Outdoors.
Last summer on a trip to Alaska West, she learned that our trout are salmon-sized.
Nice fish, Kellsey.
Last month Kellsey Perkins, the financial mastermind at Deneki Outdoors, joined a bunch of like-minded women at the International Women Fly Fishers’ annual festival. Here’s her report on the highlights.
I just returned from the International Women Fly Fishers Festival near Bozeman, MT along the Gallatin River. Amazing women, incredible experience. What a cool sport this is!
Here are some of my highlights:
You can learn more about the IWFF on their web site.
Kellsey Perkins runs the numbers for us here at Deneki Outdoors. We recently let her out of the office long enough for her to take her first trip to Alaska West, and she was pretty blown away by the whole experience.
We thought a first-timer’s perspective would be interesting, so we asked her to put together…
1. The numbers of fish. The quantity and variety of fish at Alaska West is truly amazing. I had no idea there would be fish jumping all over the place while the two anglers in the boat were each fighting fish. You can look into the river and see 50 fish along one river bank. My fishing buddy on day 1 had the perfect quote -“Is it OK to lose count?” The variety of species to fish for and different types of fishing to do is also really cool. And I was worried I wouldn’t catch anything – boy was I wrong.
2. Tent camping can be really nice. The angler tents, dining tent, lounge tent, hot showers are all very clean, well organized, warm and comfortable.
3. The staff is outstanding. I was expecting a good staff, but every single staff member seemed genuinely happy to be there. The guides are super knowledgeable and flexible with the style of fishing you prefer. The instruction was right on and not overbearing. When I needed help, I would get some hints, a few practice casts then they would leave me alone to figure it out – it was perfect. The support staff work their tails off and are still happy to chat, and the schedule never seems rushed, but everything happens right as planned.
4. You can fish a half day if you want. I didn’t know you could come back to camp pretty easily for hot soup for lunch on a cold day. I actually took a couple of half days off and it worked out really well. My boat would either pick me up at lunchtime or drop me off. It was really nice to have that option.
5. Homemade cookies and brownies for lunches! ‘Nuf said.
Although most of our male guests at Andros South are pretty cool guys to hang around with, we know that as a female angler it’s nice to have some other women around too.
That’s why we’re hosting a Ladies Week at Andros South, from December 3 – 10 this year! The idea is pretty simple.
Whitney Gould (Alaska West guide extraordinaire) will be on site providing casting instruction for anyone who’s interested, and Kellsey Perkins from ‘Deneki Corporate’ is getting in on the fun too. 4 day and 7 day trips are both available.
Ladies, want to join us? Men, want to earn some serious brownie points by sending the female angler in your life?
Late this past spring, Kellsey Perkins – The One Who Keeps the Financial Wheels on the Deneki Bus – headed to Andros South with her husband Carl for their first ever bonefishing trip. We asked Kellsey for a write-up on her trip, and she was happy to oblige with some tales of first-time bonefishing.
Of course I had planned to learn and practice casting before we went to Andros South. 150″ of snow, epic skiing and life got in the way of any learning before our getaway. Showing up at Andros South with very low expectations of my personal fishing success was OK with me – I deserved what I got. I was extremely happy to be there and considered it a bonus if I managed to get a fish in the boat.
My husband, Carl, and I were lucky enough to have Andros South Manager Trevor Covich give us some casting lessons on the beach the evening we arrived. Standing on the white sand beach with 80 degree turquoise water, practicing casting for bonefish was a pretty amazing way to start my learning. Of course my super coordinated, athletic husband was casting like a pro in no time – grrrr. Me? Well, I guess we’ll see if the lessons helped.
It’s not like trout fishing! We couldn’t see those damned fish to save our life. Our amazing guide Charlie would put us right on them, say, “do you see it? 12 o’clock, 50 yards, moving left”. Uh no, not really, no, not at all. Carl was first up, thankfully – saving my embarrassment for later. He stood on the bow of the flats boat while Charlie poled around, looking for and finding the invisible fish. “Cast! 10 o’clock, 20 yards, coming at you!” First cast Carl hooks the bugger and lands it. Wow, this must be easier than I thought! Charlie, “It’s early, he was a dumb one. They just get smarter as the day goes on.” 2 hours later Carl lands fish #2. It’s my turn and major flailing is about to begin.
I manage to hook my thumb first thing. A few practice casts, lots of opportunities, lots of failed casts to get to the fish, loads of flailing. “Cast now! Tip down! Strip, strip, strip!!!” again and again and again. Man, Charlie has loads of patience. I’m casting at fish I can’t see, I’m casting half the distance where the fish supposedly is, the wind is totally screwing any chance I have of getting the fly close to the fish. “Strip, strip, strip!!” “Little guy on!!” I’m not skunked, I couldn’t be happier. Got the little guy in the boat, and fumbled around in an attempt for the picture of possibly my only fish.
We had lunch on the West Side of South Andros Island, looking towards Florida somewhere over there beyond the aquamarine horizon. After lunch it was windier and the tide was high, so into the channels and mangroves we went. Of course I hooked the mangroves and watched 15 bonefish swim around Carl’s feet as he released my fly off the branch.
Finally we’re in the middle of a very wide channel, and I’m thinking, why are we here? Charlie stops, and I think he’s coming to give me some casting advice. I throw a few casts with him in the bow with me. “Strip, strip, strip!!!” I strip and…fish on! Really? I thought we were just practicing! As the fish takes line Charlie jumps towards me from the platform to untangle the line that is wrapped around the outside of my reel. I got my second bonefish in the boat – success!!
I’m hooked and vow to gets lots of practice in before the next time I get the opportunity to hunt the wily bonefish again.
If you’re just getting started bonefishing, check out our free Bonefishing 101 download!