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I could sure get accustomed to waking up and looking out the window at the Tordrillo Mountains every day. The weather during our stay at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge has been exceptional. Warm and not many bugs to worry about. Last night I sat in a wood-burning hot tub and then listened to owls for half an hour before falling asleep.

We spent Monday in two halves. We chased big rainbows on the Talachulitna River, which runs right in front of the lodge in the morning. Everybody ended up with at least one big bow. Bill Klyn nabbed a 23-incher to take first prize. The picture here is a fish my buddy Reed Sherman landed. So great to have him catching fish. He usually won't put the camera down long enough to fish.

After a late lunch we headed across Judd Lake to our favorite spot and proceeded to catch easily more than a hundred Dolly Varden. I also caught one rainbow in the fray. The thing was 24 inches long and as thick as a track star's thigh. Late in the afternoon Bill and John from the lodge rode over on a Jet Ski to deliver drinks. We talked them into fishing and it turned out to be one of the best parts of the trip.

John has worked in Alaska for a couple of years but has never caught a fish here. We set him up and he missed three or four hits before finally hooking up. He was so excited and his enthusiasm was contagious. It was a reminder to the five of us, all longtime anglers, what it was like to catch our first fish.

Mark Freeman told John he had just become a ruined man, like the rest of us fishing addicts. John ended up staying for several more fish and we had a late dinner. If only I could fish as well as John cooks.

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