Journal of Dan T. Cook - Fly Fishing the Globe
Traveling 75,000 miles around the world in search of fish and friendship.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006 - Day 8
The goal was to reach the Pelly River today. It was the only possibility to fish on this section of the Yukon. After the disappointment at the Big & Little Salmon Rivers I had become rather pessimistic that any fish stay in these side rivers throughout the year. Perhaps the combination of the violent run-off and the long, harsh winters make this area uninhabitable. Perhaps I need to travel further up the confluence to find them? Perhaps I just haven’t tried the right methods? Well... I didn’t have to wonder very long about the Pelly. It was the color of cat vomit. Not to mention it was about ½ the size of the Yukon. Not exactly an ideal trout habitat. I decided to have dinner in a side channel while I contemplated the idea of a “fishing trip” down the Yukon.
After peeking at the map, I realized I was only a stone’s throw from Ft. Selkirk. At one time it was one of the busiest towns on the Yukon River. There are pictures of as many as 5 big paddleboats tied up along its river bank. Back in the 1920’s and -30’s, it contained over 300 residents and was even considered as the capitol of the Yukon Territory. After the gold rush and subsequent decline of the riverboat industry, the town slowly withered away until being completely abandoned in the early 1950’s. People just packed up what they could carry down (or up) the river and left everything else. The Yukon Government, in partnership with the First Nations (aboriginal Canadians) Council, has been working since the 1980’s to restore Ft. Selkirk to its original condition and tell its story. The result is a truly incredible experience. To walk amongst the towns buildings and imagine when they where buzzing with activity makes a person wish they had been around to see it.