Alaska State Troopers are looking for a 76-year-old Kentucky man who hasn’t returned from a fly-fishing trip on Willow Creek at the Susitna River.

A family member reported Louisville resident William “Bill” Hartlage missing about 7 p.m. Thursday, troopers wrote in an online dispatch. He had left for his trip about 4:30 a.m.

“At approximately [11:05 p.m.], two boat crews departed Deshka Landing for a hasty search with the assistance of [a Rescue Coordination Center] helicopter crew executing an aerial search. The search was focused north on Susitna River from Deshka Landing and east along Willow Creek,” the dispatch reads.

Troopers say those searches didn’t reveal any additional information, and multiple agencies are organizing a ground search.

Hartlage is 6 feet 2 inches tall, 160-175 pounds with gray hair and a beard. He was wearing a light brown or tan fly-fishing vest and gray hip waders. 

According to the dispatch, “He was last seen wearing a brown baseball cap with a yellow/pink fly-fishing lure attached. Hartlage may have worn a large round boonie hat for sun protection.”

Anyone who was fishing near Willow Creek Thursday and has information on Hartlage is encouraged to call troopers at 907-745-2131.

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