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Bush Plane Beer Drop

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November 01, 2013

Bush Plane Beer Drop

By Kirk Deeter

I have seen some heroic flying in the wilds of Alaska.  But the single greatest feat of aerial artistry I've witnessed happened a few years ago, above a certain steelhead river, courtesy of a pilot who humbly chooses to remain anonymous.

Several guides and anglers (myself included) were experiencing symptoms of hops deprivation one afternoon.  We radioed for assistance.  And within an hour, we heard the low, distinctive rumble of a DeHavilland Beaver.  The relief flight had arrived.

"Captain Suds" made a quick pass over the drop zone.

On the next pass, he hung a package by a rope out the pilot's door, holding the rope in one hand and the controls in the other.  You can see the orange package by the pontoon under the plane, shortly before the pilot let go of the rope and the package splashed into the river.  Also note the intense focus of the guide with the landing net.

The package:  A case of beer, wrapped in a plastic trash bag, and buoyed by being strapped inside a personal floatation device.

Package landed.  Anglers happy.

I am never surprised by the sheer ingenuity of Alaskan pilots and fishing guides.  If anyone else has a better fishing/beer run story to share, I want to hear it.

Comments (11)

Top Rated
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from Kris24 wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

Awesome!!!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

Hops deprivation, love it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

Camped on the bank of one of my favorite trout streams staring into a campfire we spoke of the wonderful fishing we had that day. We slowly sipped beer, smoked cigars and otherwise enjoyed the moment. Several deer walked past unusually close to camp, squirrels and chipmunks played on the bank and the rumble of the stream almost hypnotized you to sleep. I had just commented to my buddy that it doesn't get any better than this when he stood up and loudly explained, "The river is full of beer! The f..ing river is full of beer!" I glanced over to see our stash of beer which we dunked upstream floating past camp. It was only Old Milwaukee but it's appearance at just the right moment did make things better.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jhjimbo wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

Yea, air mail, special delivery.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

I've seen Beavers full of beer and booze arrive at survey camps above the Arctic Circle back in the 1970's. Every Friday.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

The Alaskan flower is the big, blue Chevron gas can...strewn along Alaskan interior river banks. I've not seen many beer cans, but imagine they are there as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

That's great!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

And i'd say that un-named beer river is the Karluk River on Kodiak Island.

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from Happy Myles wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

Have twice had similar experiences. Once we were working cattle in the sage and rim rock when the local store keeper sailed by in his Piper and dropped us a six pack ,it drifted in ferried by a barley sack parachute. Another time in the high lonesome of elk camp a smitten chap hired a light plane to drop a bottle of champagne by parachute for our cook who he had a crush on. She had run off with a wrangler, but we sure enjoyed the bubbly in her absence.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgtsly wrote 24 weeks 2 days ago

Weekends on an Army installation are often times filled with the outdoors and "oat sodas". Our electronics repair shop had taken up a collection and rented a boat from the MWR office and stuffed several coolers full of Dixie and Coors (8 cases) and just launched when our "pilot" figured out he couldn't operat saib boat. The Canoochee was pretty rapid and teeming with alligator and water mocs so going for a swim was not wise. A buddy and I jumped in my truck and sped down river to the landing where we were to spend the night and fished and waited for 3 hours before he rounded the bend and we were able to get a rope to him and bring him ashore. I did have a 12 of MGD and Coors Light in the truck so at least the 2 of us didn't go thirsty. SGT Flowers has not lived it down to this day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FLYFISHDOG wrote 24 weeks 2 days ago

This kind of reminds me of a float down the Colorado river. Your basically on the river for 5 days with only what you can carry. Fishing floating and paddling in the Grand Canyon can delete the beer stock quickly. Buy day 3 the barrel was starting to run dry so the guide used his satellite phone to call a buddy who ran a hiking tour into the canyon. He hiked 6 hours and we met up with him at the ONLY spot you can get to the river from the rim. That was the most expensive beer I ever had. But it was worth every cent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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from Kris24 wrote 24 weeks 5 days ago

Awesome!!!

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

Camped on the bank of one of my favorite trout streams staring into a campfire we spoke of the wonderful fishing we had that day. We slowly sipped beer, smoked cigars and otherwise enjoyed the moment. Several deer walked past unusually close to camp, squirrels and chipmunks played on the bank and the rumble of the stream almost hypnotized you to sleep. I had just commented to my buddy that it doesn't get any better than this when he stood up and loudly explained, "The river is full of beer! The f..ing river is full of beer!" I glanced over to see our stash of beer which we dunked upstream floating past camp. It was only Old Milwaukee but it's appearance at just the right moment did make things better.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

Hops deprivation, love it!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jhjimbo wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

Yea, air mail, special delivery.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

Have twice had similar experiences. Once we were working cattle in the sage and rim rock when the local store keeper sailed by in his Piper and dropped us a six pack ,it drifted in ferried by a barley sack parachute. Another time in the high lonesome of elk camp a smitten chap hired a light plane to drop a bottle of champagne by parachute for our cook who he had a crush on. She had run off with a wrangler, but we sure enjoyed the bubbly in her absence.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

I've seen Beavers full of beer and booze arrive at survey camps above the Arctic Circle back in the 1970's. Every Friday.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 24 weeks 4 days ago

The Alaskan flower is the big, blue Chevron gas can...strewn along Alaskan interior river banks. I've not seen many beer cans, but imagine they are there as well.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

That's great!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

And i'd say that un-named beer river is the Karluk River on Kodiak Island.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgtsly wrote 24 weeks 2 days ago

Weekends on an Army installation are often times filled with the outdoors and "oat sodas". Our electronics repair shop had taken up a collection and rented a boat from the MWR office and stuffed several coolers full of Dixie and Coors (8 cases) and just launched when our "pilot" figured out he couldn't operat saib boat. The Canoochee was pretty rapid and teeming with alligator and water mocs so going for a swim was not wise. A buddy and I jumped in my truck and sped down river to the landing where we were to spend the night and fished and waited for 3 hours before he rounded the bend and we were able to get a rope to him and bring him ashore. I did have a 12 of MGD and Coors Light in the truck so at least the 2 of us didn't go thirsty. SGT Flowers has not lived it down to this day.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FLYFISHDOG wrote 24 weeks 2 days ago

This kind of reminds me of a float down the Colorado river. Your basically on the river for 5 days with only what you can carry. Fishing floating and paddling in the Grand Canyon can delete the beer stock quickly. Buy day 3 the barrel was starting to run dry so the guide used his satellite phone to call a buddy who ran a hiking tour into the canyon. He hiked 6 hours and we met up with him at the ONLY spot you can get to the river from the rim. That was the most expensive beer I ever had. But it was worth every cent.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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