Alaska Flyfishing Recommendations - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Alaska Flyfishing Recommendations

I am starting my research for a father/Son trip to Alaska. I'm looking for recommendations based on experience. I am trying to keep costs down and don't need a super deluxe food/lodging experience.

What is a priority is a quality fishing experience with a lot of opportunity ...I am hoping to kindle the fire inside my 16 year old son and nothing does this like catching fish.

I'm looking for Silvers, trout, grayling as a priority. You can PM if that works better.

Any help, and/or suggestions appreciated.

Thanks,

DH
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-27-2016, 08:55 PM
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Some Good Runs in the Willow area

Reasonable accommodations can be had as well

I think I fish, in part, because it’s an anti-social, bohemian business that, when gone about properly, puts you forever outside the mainstream culture without actually landing you in an institution. –John Gierach

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 12:27 AM
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Get a copy of Flyfisher's Guide to Alaska, it has info about each part of the state, info about rivers, run timing, lodging info, and travel tips. It's a few years old, but the info is still pertinent. Using the book I did a trip with some buddies for a week in late August on the Kenai peninsula for well under $1000 a person including airfare. We all caught plenty of silvers, a few reds, and pinks, but it was the dollies and rainbows that we all loved and would go back over and over for. Those egg energized rainbows even make Deschutes redsides look a little sluggish. Forget the bigger fish like the one in the photo, the smaller, 14 to 18 inch, rainbows are the real burners.
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"Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers." - Roderick Haig-Brown
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks

So far I'm getting great information. I really appreciate it and it is one of the reasons I enjoy this community.

DH
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 11:05 AM
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Give Ard Stetts a call. Google his name with alaska and the link will come up.

My buddy Ross and I had a great time with him and caught lots of nice rainbows and a few silvers/graylings.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 11:58 AM
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What is your budget?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 03:28 PM
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My Alaska experiences fwiw

Catch a fish. Catch a lot of fish. Catch catch a big fish. Catch a fish. So the story goes. All of this can be done on a single trip to Alaska. And big being limited only by ones definition and desires. Count on rain, always, contstanly, and come prepared! So much for plug Alaska.

My first Alaska experience was at a 1st class fly fishing lodge, at a time in my life when I could afford it. This lodge was located on a blue ribbon river in the Bristol Bay region. Among the guests was a three generation family, grandfather, father, & teen age son, which brought back fond memories of my youth. The timing was second week of July. Until that time the largest fish I had ever caught was maybe a two or three proud bass. We fished three guests to a guide/boat & unless we chose to quit early, always had a shore lunch. We caught Chums, Kings, Sockeye, & Grayling. Fly out day trips to more remote locations were available at extra cost. We often saw groups of fly fishers on float trips & temporary, small tent day camps along the river. Our guide explained that on that type of trip, once you get wet, you never have a chance to dry out. And it immediately became apparent that fishing time was severely impacted by the fact that you had to cover enough miles each day to arrive at your take out on time, and while enrout, you only got one shot at a run of fish!

In later years, I made more trips to less expensive lodges, gaining experience all the while as well as comparing to that first trip. None of which ever really measured up. Some members of the club to which I belonged had made DIY trips to forest cabins flying out of Prince of Wales island. They caught fish but, as you might imagine, it was a totally different experience.

Long story short, no matter how you cut it, Alaksa is expensive. It costs a lot of $ just to get there. Likewise, it costs a lot of money, to get everything else up there. That part of the equation is fixed! No way of getting around it. Factor that into the cost of the trip and consider how much bang for the buck you will get in return. How much quality fishing time, how many fish, how many big fish, bragging rights, the total experience. Bonding time that will be remembered & recalled among friends the rest of your life.

Oh, btw: Silvers, Coho, run late. All the other Salmon will be dead, or close to it by then. Miss the timing on Silvers and you are left wth only resident trout, dollies & grayling. Humpies, Pinks run every other year, and they come in ahead of the Silvers. Odd, even year depends on the river. They can be fun on light tackle. They are good eating when fresh, but usually are not brought home.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-28-2016, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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What is your budget?
I'd like to keep it under $4000 with airfare etc. Some good suggestions on doing that already. Wealth of experiences here.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 10:59 AM
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Pretty affordable to rent an RV and tour around in that. Very popular option, which means you will likely have quite a bit of company (humans, bears, or both) at most of the places you will have access to. Being able to fly in can certainly give you a lot more solitude, but the costs obviously go up substantially. The fishing can be fabulous just about any way you slice it, so if it were me I think I would focus more of your considerations into the rest of the picture in terms of what sorts of experiences you're hoping for. Alaska has lots to offer, but the scale is so big that you really need to narrow your focus down to just one little nibble at a time.

I usually go up for a 10 trip in late August with my Dad to the KP where he has a cabin. The fishing has yet to disappoint, though the crowds at times can be a bit of a downer. The lack of ethics among many is bigger downer at times, and we've opted to move locations more than once due to the lame company. We've also met many wonderful people of course; anglers from all over the world, and the social aspect can certainly add to the experience if properly embraced.

P.S. Coho/Silver salmon fresh from the salt are an absolute blast to fly fish for!

JB
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 12:56 PM
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RVing

I have a book called The New Highway Angler. New being relative as my copy is over 20years old. Be that as it may, it's a handy guide book on Alaska & I'm sure all those places are still there. One caveat, however, stands out & must be taken into consideration. Most any place you can get to by car, is going to be crowded! The Kenai being the worst due to it's proximity to Anchorage. Alaska regs allow full time residents 250 fish/year, no holds barred, any/all species, any way you can catch them! The local mind set regarding fishing is "fill the freezer" You might check into the opportunities in & around King Salmon. Fly in (commercial jet) from Anchorage, far enough from the major metro area, still in the Bristol bay area. Brooks Lodge (the most photographed falls where all the bears congregate to catch Salmon) is a must see.

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 05:02 PM
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I'd like to keep it under $4000 with airfare etc. Some good suggestions on doing that already. Wealth of experiences here.
DH
Excluding airfare to/from Alaska. We ended up spending $1k for float plane ride. $500 per day for the both of us for guide services (includes basic food and tent accommodation). Gratuities not included.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 05:01 PM
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Southeast AK should be on your list. Now that Delta flies into Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau, R/T prices from Seattle run about $275/person and can be had for much less.

September is coho season in SE, and there are many roadside options in all 3 of those cities. Here in Juneau, we have an augmentation PNP hatchery that sees coho returns between 30,000 - 70,000 fish every september, and there is a whole pile of public shoreline access to pursue them.

With a rental car and a map of the Alaska marine highway, a fella could go to a few different places in SE and have a hell of a time fishing, and probably stay under $4k for a 7-10 day trip.

The aforementioned Tongass national forest public cabins (all 150+ of 'em) are available to rent from $45 to $70/night, and many are located on excellent fishing systems...an air or water taxi service can be had to most of the cabins, and even with Cessna 206 time at about $500 / hr a fella can get to and from mot cabins for under $1k.

*SHAMELESS PLUG* I wrote an article that appears in the latest issue of Alaska Magazine ("Cabin Fever in Tongass National Forest", April 2016) on this very subject - there are some good resources listed at the end of the article. *END SHAMELESS PLUG*

*ANOTHER SHAMELESS PLUG* I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that I guide in Northern Southeast Alaska, and the outfitter I work for is permitted for over 60 rivers in SE AK. We specialize in 1/2 and full-day fly out flyfishing, and we have several trophy Char / Awesome coho rivers that we take guests to. *END 2ND SHAMELESS PLUG*


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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 11:41 AM
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Looks like you are near Portland, Jet Blue has flights to Anchorage as low as $102 one-way. I'm going up mid June with my 14-year old Grandson, spending a week on the KP and then driving friends car back to PDX. Spending 10 days on lakes in the Little Fort/Clearwater area of B.C.'s "fishing highway". We'll be missing the salmon and egg bite but will do the Kenai Canyon for rainbows 2 days after the opener on June 13th. Highly recommend this trip. Also doing a saltwater trip out of Seward for feeder Kings and halibut. These aren't cheap but boats look awesome and only 6 rods/boat, suspension seats, etc. If you haven't been out of Resurrection Bay (Kenai Fiords Nat'l Park) you really need to do it. If nothing else, do the sightseeing trip for much less $. Feel free to PM me for details if interested in either trip.
Timing is everything regarding the salmon as are water conditions to a lesser extent.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great info. Im still trying to wrap my arms around it.

Thanks again,

DH
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 11:34 AM
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I will suggest Reel Action Fly Fishing located on the Kanektok River.

My daughter and I went two years ago and had the greatest time. August starts the silver season, with 5 different species of salmon in the river at the same time. The rainbow and char are everywhere. The tent camping accommodations are comfortable and the food is good. They are on the water early and stay out late, a true fishing experience. They are family friendly and my fishing buddy, also brought his son. You will not be disappointed!,

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