Lake Clark: Kontrashibuna, a lake with a name that we still can’t pronounce

Upon landing in Port Alsworth, we picked up some fishing licenses and relied on the quick advice we had gotten from the locals to head towards Lake Kontrashibuna. From what we could gather, there were a couple of boats that we could use and some campsites on the lake that would serve as good basecamps for our exploring. Being that we were in the land of the midnight sun, it wasn’t too worrisome that we were starting our three-mile hike to Kontrashibuna at nearly 6 p.m.

The hiking was quite easy and the only detour we made was to stop at Tanalian Falls. We arrived at the lake and were confronted with a blue so vivid that it cannot be described with words, and can only be partially be captured on film. It’s like the blue in the sky, with a touch of turquoise and some depth and texture. It was incredible, and calm. We grabbed a boat, and based on our experience in the Boundary Waters, Trevor took up the steering while I sat in front with a nearly useless oar.

We made our way to the campsite and discovered that there were 3 SCA (Student Conservation Association) interns camping in the same spot. We shared the fire and they turned in early while we tried our hand at fishing. The fish were biting, we just weren't catching them, so we settled for a dinner of something much more boring and forgettable. When the sun finally decided to set at around 11:15pm, we turned in for the night.

I was up at 6:50 a.m. and the sunrise colors were already on the horizon. The sun finally broke over and onto the lake at just before 7:00am and I found myself canoeing on the lake trying to catch breakfast. The mother of all trout followed my lure right up to the boat and then demonstrated why she was the mother of all trout and understood my lure to be fake and descended back to the depths. Again I returned empty handed. My only condolence was that our campsite was 200 yards from a Bald Eagle nest, so I got to watch and listen to one as it just sat overlooking the lake and its young fledgling. Trevor needed a little bit more sleep than I did and finally arose from his slumber like a bear in hibernation when he got up just before 11 a.m.  We gulped down some coffee, scarfed oatmeal and made our plans for the day.