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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Destinations for 2009 trip?

I've got clearance to go fish someplace exotic next year for a week. I'm trying to decide where to go, and I'd love some suggestions. My ideal trip:
- The guides should specialize in fly fishing and know enough about two-handed techniques to be able to help me improve my game. 2 rods per guide max.
- The river should be large enough for swinging, but small enough for wading. (Don't want to fish out of boat/raft).
- target species: Atlantic or Pacific salmon and/or steelhead
- a dozen or more hookups a day.. prefer more smaller fish than a few truly large ones
- OK with plain simple food & drink, and a clean, dry tent, though a hot showers and drying shed are nice.
- experienced international traveler and still in pretty decent physical condition. Fished Kamchatka once.. and would return.. on the other hand have never fished Alaska, Gaspe, Ponoi, BC, Scotland, Iceland.....

Also would appreciate opinions of travel agents/outfitters.. e.g. Will Blair, The Fly Shop (Redding CA), John Eustice..
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 11:15 AM
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Your desire to have a dozen or more hookups a day leaves out most Atlantic salmon and steelhead. There are one or two Russian Atlantic salmon rivers that can have that kind of production, but they are tough to get on during the peak runs. The Ponoi and Varzina are generally considered to be the best as far as numbers go. One can catch that many fish occasionally on the Great Lakes, but it requires chuck and ducking or maybe indi fishing. In other words, you would not be swinging flies. Truthfully, I think Alaska during the late August and September silver salmon season is your best bet if numbers are that important. It seems to fit all your other criteria also. In Iceland it might take you close to a week to get that much action and in most Canadian salmon rivers a dozen fish in a week would be a terrific week. Mind you, there are always exceptions, but on almost all Canadian rivers you'd be far more likely to leave with fewer than a dozen fish during a full week than more. Catch rates average somewhere in the 0.25 to 0.5 fish per day of fishing on most Canadian rivers, and only somewhat better than that in Iceland. A dozen hookups a day on salmonids is pretty much restricted to Alaska or maybe Kamchatka.
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 01:25 PM
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well if you want a dozen hookups a day.

site sponsor alaska west there are openings for the june 12th-19th week..and dec hogan will be there offering demos. not alot of chums yet however there are also openings in the july 10-17th week which will give you opportunities for kings as well as lots of chums.

the cool thing about akwest is that you can spend your time targeting kings with your two-handed rod but if you are not getting enough pulls to keep you happy, you can go beat up on fresh chum that will tear you a new until you are satiated...then go back after the kings.

Ryan S. Petzold
aka Sparkey and/or Special
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 01:30 PM
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Check out I was lucky enough to go last year for king salmon and it was simply amazing. They meet all the criteria on your list, with the exception of a dozen hookups per day. I'm sure during the silver salmon run you could expect that. The guides are first rate, they work hard and they will improve your spey casting no matter how good you are.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 01:58 PM
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Dozen hook-ups?

While no place will guarantee you a dozen hook-ups it can happen in Alaska, BC and Russia. I have been to all three and booked through Flywater Travel in Ashland, OR. They have been to all the places they book, usually more than once, and will give you the straight scoop on the whole experiene. Check out their website and order their free catalog - total fishporn.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 03:47 PM
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I'd love to find a place like that, too. I will abandon my family and set up residence there.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 05:20 PM
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I second(third) the advice about AK West-awesome fishing experience and the guides really are top notch. Theres this one guy Ryan there that might be one of the hardest working guides around.


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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-03-2008, 06:26 PM
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Rapids Camp on the Naknek River

A few years ago I fished at Rapids Camp lodge on the Naknek river in Alaska.
We split time between fishing Kings on two-handed rods and fishing rainbows on two-handed rods. Often we go fly out to a destination and say float a river for big Rainbows, fishing sculpins on a river like the Lower Morraine. Then we would fly back to the lodge and, after dinner, fish Kings and/or rainbows on the Naknek.

The rainbows ranged from 15"-30" and the kings were really big, of course.

I was there in mid to late July, and the kings on the Naknek were still bright. I am not sure if the Naknek kings have a later runs that on other rivers, but the fish were really fresh.

I am the Mighty Northern Night...In my Folktale Form -Ted Hughes
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 12-05-2008, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

Thanks for the great suggestions.. and the PMs also.
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