Mike and Belly Dancers

Mike Overcast shares some news about the Cast and Carve season:

Just before I left Jackson Hole for Alaska, I received a package from Montana that I have been eagerly awaiting. Last fall, master fly tier and pattern developer, Jeremy Garrett, promised me some flies to run some tests on in Alaska. Garrett's Belly Dancer is tied on a 2/0 hook with a weed guard loaded with nickel-plated lead beads. It's a heavy bugger and looks a bit like an overgrown Zonker with Alaska Salmon color schemes. He built the flies on their own leaders that look to be at least 30# test. Of all the flies I have tossed at kings in my 20 years of outfitting in AK, this one looks like the killer. The hook is tied upside down and will not get hung up in the rocks and the swim motion of the body is going to flutter up and down similar to a herring and shrimp. I can't wait to tie one of these on to my 10 weight and go on the king hunt.   A big thanks goes out to my longtime hunting and fishing buddy Jeremy Garrett for the flies.


 "Cast and Carve" has a few slots left for those of you who have not booked in yet. We are looking forward to hosting all of our regulars, as well as skiing and fishing with all our new incoming first timers. Time to blow your mind!

-- Mike Overcast







Gourmet Dining at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge

We take some things pretty seriously at TML. Like skiing the best powder, finding the best lines, casting for the biggest kings. But when we're not outside taking you on incredible heli skiing Alaska adventures, we are serious about eating and relaxing too.


At Tordrillo Mountain Lodge, cuisine is part of the adventure. Our own Chef Brendan Nolan starts the day with a breakfast buffet that includes fresh fruit, homemade pastries and a hot dish, all served with international coffees and teas. Even our field lunches have his signature touch. Homemade soups, gourmet sandwiches, and loaded brownies fuel the back half of the day.



Dinner is nothing short of a gourmet gastronomical experience, replete with suggested wine pairings. Chef Nolan’s commitment to field-to-table menus means that every course features seasonal herbs and fresh vegetables from our garden, Alaska seafood, and regional game dishes. Fresh Kachemak Bay oysters, white king salmon, Alaska king crab, halibut, black cod and scallops are some of the regional specialties featured as appetizers and entrees, along with specialty game dishes such as elk, lamb and pheasant.







Just because it is remote Alaska, doesn't mean it has to be primitive!



Tordrillo Mountain Lodge Changes: New Company - Same Incredible Adventure

Tordrillo Mountain Lodge Changes: Things are a changin' at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge! The New Year brings a big wave of excitement to our premiere Alaska adventure lodge. History will recognize 2012 as the year that the lodge operation goes pro on its own. Starting in May, Tordrillo Mountain Lodge will take over all Alaska heli skiing operations and close the chapter of Epic Quest as an operating partner. This means a lot of things to our guests. And to us, change means even more incredible experiences. We intend to up the game on all fronts.  We have launched a new website and will keep fresh content running on the site and the new Facebook page and Twitter account. Watch for new pictures and condition updates as the 2012-operating season gets rockin'. Stay tuned for details on what’s to come and what to expect as the year progresses. We look forward to keeping you informed and excited about the Tordrillos.

Please visit our new website and join our league of Facebook friends. Follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/tordrilloheli We commit to making 2012 the greatest year TML has ever seen. Keep in touch with us as we make it happen!


Cast and Carve

Cast and Carve is a combination of corn snow Alaska heli skiing and King Salmon fishing. Performed annually, this run of adventures has long been the favorite of all TML guides.  We all start talking and making plans for the annual corn harvest and King hunt, deep in the winter. This season is not an exception, as it will be our 15th year of the annual pilgrimage to the Tordrillos and the surrounding waters.  We learn a thing or two each year about fishing and new corn runs. Last year we really let the Kings have it. Tommy Moe came up with the jigging for the King’s approach, and he repeatedly hammered the fish, easily coming home with 100% catch rate for his boat--again and again. Its amazing, after 15 years, we are still learning and continually trying to perfect the trip.

The word out there is that the King run should be exceptional. Based on ocean data and counts, as well as runs of Jack salmon the year prior, this year should see a good run. Not average like this past season, but exceptional. This biological info gets us thinking... There were a lot of Jacks in the river this past June, so maybe we are in for a big run. Which further gets us thinking... What new gear and flies are we going to get to maximize our catch?

Here are  just a few:

The “Belly Dancer”
It's amazing to me that presently fly tiers and expert fisherman are still inventing new fly patterns that are increasingly effective--there are so many!  Our buddy,  Jeremy Garrett informed me that he had sold out his secret weapon pattern and would be willing to give us a few, which is good for us!  This is a fly we are certain will be the “go to” for Kings. We are waiting for the shipment, and will post a picture when we get them in our paws.

The ”Moe Special”
These jigs proved their worth last season when Moe’s guests landed eight Kings on one jig. It was impressive that the jig made such a difference in catch rates. We researched it more and found a number of interesting jig patterns we will be using this season.

The nice thing about fishing the Tal from year-to-year is the increased understanding of the river and its nuances.  Where to fish guests who are fly casting and where to get first-timers into their first King, is a question we can answer. It does not matter if you have no skills as a fisherman, it only matters that you have the desire and drive to put a little time into it, in between sessions of corn snow heli skiing, that is.

alaska helicopter skiing

Heli Skiing Films: The New Ski Film

Heli Skiing Films: Now-a-days if a ski movie isn't chock full of heli skiing footage it won't get much attention. Here is a gallery of some of the sweetest Alaska heli skiing shots in two of the most notable recent ski movies "The Art of Flight" and "Attack of La Nina". Enjoy...

Heli-Skiing History

Heli-Skiing History

Heli-Skiing history began with Hans Gmoser, a mountain guide from Austria is generally credited to have started heli-skiing back in 1965 in British Columbia. Evidence also suggests that heli skiing may have even taken place in the late 1950s or early 60s in Alaska, Wyoming or Utah based on old photos in ski books.

Years back, taking a helicopter to remote places for the chance to ski untracked powder runs was seen as something for only the most daring. Today Heli-Skiing has become a socially acceptable form of family fun. Ski movies like those put out by Warren Miller show heli skiers navigating only the most extreme terrain. Although those lines are accessible via chopper, the majority of heli-skiers are intermediate skiers looking for an experience. Whether it's the idea of riding in a helicopter through some of the most beautiful heli skiing terrain in the world, skiing incredibly long runs of totally untracked powder and not seeing another soul the whole time besides those in your group, then Alaska heli skiing should be a viable option for your next family vacation.