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Thread: Minnesotan seeks salmon and trout...

  1. #1
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    Default Minnesotan seeks salmon and trout...

    Hi all,

    Down here, we do musky, pike, walleye, bass, and panfish. I've been dreaming about trying Alaska for salmon and trout (which I have never done), for a long, long time (I'm 47, so yeah, a long time). I'm coming up for the summer to explore Alaska and have a few months to play.

    Seclusion and quality fishing are the most important to me (I refuse to combat fish). I may try halibut fishing once while I am there, but I'm much more interested in casting and exploring. I'm considering bringing my boat, or a canoe - but in either case, I also expect that I will be hoofing it too. I'm not afraid to walk for miles to experience the quality and seclusion that I am referring to.

    King salmon and big rainbows would be high on my priority list, but catching fish in general would be a blast. This will all be new to me.

    NOT looking for honey holes. I'm a fishing guide here in Minnesota, so will do fine with a few general pointers to get me started (ie: check the 30 mile stretch of river west of mile marker XXX between this and that town).

    I've been reading on here for a couple of weeks, and am learning a lot from all of your wisdom, so thanks!

    I have all summer. I can do Valdez to Fairbanks; Anchorage to Kodiak Island.

    Any advice or suggestions is greatly appreciated.

    Tim

  2. #2

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    Here's a hot tip for you- Bring a selection of your musky and pike spinners and spoons. Years back a couple of guys from Wisconsin showed up on a remote king salmon river we were at. They just brought their tackle boxes and didn't have time between flights to pick up local favorites. They showed me their boxes and asked for a few recommendations. Then they proceeded to kick our butts up and down the river on their home gear. Many of their standards outfished everything local we owned.

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    Its going to be kinda hard NOT to combat fish for kings without a boat or plane. A lot of places that are open to Kings get hit pretty hard. Plus, with our low King returns the last few years I expect this years to be no better. Dont be to let down if you dont catch a king, the last few years we have had some ridiculously low return numbers.

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    You can reach seclusion and quality fishing right out of the community of Kodiak for costs that are reasonable. You won't need a boat or a canoe, only the determination to be an early riser to drive, park, and then fish.

    Salonie Creek is characteristic of such wishes. It offers great opportunity for silvers and dollies after mid-September. You can reach it on paved road 30 minutes from the center of town, and once you walk upstream to probe and explore, what you dream about then becomes Alaskan reality.

    Leave the crowds behind. This creek and others are typical of what you seek if you wade-fish and are informed...

    Rosenberg; Sarasota, FL / Kodiak, AK / Zhengzhou, CN
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


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    Thank you all for the input...

    Bernard - I've researched the ferry and costs. I was planning on going over to experience Kodiak in early August to do some fishing and possibly hunt a sitka blacktail buck. I have a camper on the back of my truck, canoe, generator, waders, and so on. Any ideas on where to park for the nights if I am moving around? Or if the getting is good, I may be looking for a place to just base out of. Thanks for the tips!

    AllAlaskan - I've been reading about the lack of Kings the past couple of years. That's pretty sad what is happening up there. I have a biology degree and keep pretty close tabs on what's going on with the fish and game. We have a similar situation here in Minnesota with our moose. They are disappearing rapidly, the season is being closed, and they don't really understand why this is happening.

    My quest is for big fish - which is why I mentioned King's, but it's not a big deal. I'd be pretty happy just to catch some new species of fish with a shot at something big. Might give the halibut a whirl, but I've been told it's a bit like pulling up a barn door. What's your thoughts?

    Brownbear - I smiled when you told the story about the Wisconsin boys kicking butt! I definitely plan on bringing some of my unique stuff. It sound like in general, they like stuff with flash and vibration, so I'll bring that, and I'm sure I'll hit the local sporting goods store and get some tried and proven local favorites too. Any suggestions on where to shop and what to get?

  6. #6

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    The American River in Kodiak has a good king run, catching 10 in a day is not hard at all. Also great silver and dolly fishing depending on the time frame. There are many places to camp, but the american river has a longer road up it with many pull outs to park for the night. Have fun and good luck!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerof2013 View Post
    Might give the halibut a whirl, but I've been told it's a bit like pulling up a barn door. What's your thoughts?
    Light tackle halibut are a hoot. Bring your musky/pike rods. Up to about 150 pounds or so they can be really fast and make long runs. A 200+ looks good on your facebook page or christmas card, but most I've caught don't fight as hard as a decent 100. And if you only find fish less than 100 on a trip, why in the world would you want to use heavy rods anyway? Those 30-50's will show you lots on your musky rods.

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    I will have the musky gear along. We've caught sturgeon bottom fishing around here (up on the Rainy River) - up to 100 pounds. Lots of fun and makes a lot better fight out of it.

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    You will catch "some new species" when you go out for Halibut. It really is something to try at least once. Sockeyes are really fun late June and July. A very different way to fish. They are a ball if you watch and learn from the locals. The locals will be very helpful if you ask. Have a great trip!!!

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    The tip about spots beside the American River are quite accurate; you'll take a side-road after the paved-road bridge crossover. This area offers seclusion once you wind your way into it.

    There is also superlative Dolly Varden Char opportunity in this river...

    Rosenberg; Sarasota, FL / Kodiak, AK / Zhengzhou, CN
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


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    One of the finest "remote" trips on a budget is a float of the Deshka and Moose Creek either the 1st or 2nd week of June. 1st week of June the kings are just starting to trickle into the upper waters: by the second week they are well dispersed in the river. This is the only river now in the area with sustainable numbers of kings, and retention allowed. Put your canoe into Moose at Oilwell Road, plan a 5-7 day float, with 2 days on Moose hook and releasing grayling and rainbows, and the rest on the Deshka. Plan one day walking up No Name creek for rainbows; beautiful, dark, leopard trout that aren't huge, but on light tackle are a blast. Wild fish that are cookie cutter 16's. Camp spots are nice soft sand all along the river. Once the Kroto and Moose join up and become the Deshka, kings will be in many of the deep holes and fast runs. Canoeing is very easy, with the main hazards being rocks just under the surface of stained, placid water that are difficult to spot. There may be a very short class 2 rapids or 2 on the way, unless there is a ton of rain, at which point there may be a few more stretches. Pre arrange with a guide for pickup at the mouth of Deshka: FishTale River guides and IFish Alaska are a couple I know that fish the Deshka and should be able to ferry a canoe back up to the landing. Just be sure to reserve the bow section of your canoe for Ben's 100; a case a day should about do it!

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    Not sure where in Mn you are but if you have a chance stop by Thorne Bros. tackle in Blaine. Very knowledgable guys in there and a few have been up here fishing. There was one older gentleman that was working the fly fishing area that was very knowledgeable. Good luck
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerof2013 View Post
    I will have the musky gear along. We've caught sturgeon bottom fishing around here (up on the Rainy River) - up to 100 pounds. Lots of fun and makes a lot better fight out of it.
    Wow, 100 pounds! You must hold the new Minnesota state record. That being said, if you want really big king salmon than you better go to the Kenai. 100lber's are caught every summer there.

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    Tim, where are you in MN? My parents live in Brainerd and my sister in Eagan. I've been a muskie guy for a long time, but mostly on fly. If you're bringing muskie gear, DCG's or any 10's or 12's will be too much. Baby Girls, Rabbid Squirrels, Mepps and smaller 6 and 8 blades will work. Flash and vib are the ticket, but a DCG or Supermodel is just too much. Not saying a fish could never happen, but you'd be better off with smaller offering, which is still bigger than what most guys use for salmon. Small spinnerbait may not be a bad idea either....again a small muskie spinner is still larger than what most guys throw for salmon and you'd be better off getting down to the fish instead of trying to entice one upwards to hit a bucktail.

    Depending on what rods you use for muskies, they may be too much for salmon in the sweet water. On the rare occasions I throw gear, I'm using Big Nastys, Big Dawgs and maybe a Sling Blade. They're all on the heavy side for salmon. Not that a salmon wouldn't put a bend in one, but you're not casting a pounder 100'...you're casting a 2oz spinner into a pool in front of you. (I'm speaking of Kodiak fishing.) And a Nasty or Dawg isn't going to let you feel anythig and it's just a club. Now in the salt, an 8'6" heavy rod would work well for lings, salmon and even halibut. I've not done any of those on conventional gear in years and years, but on a fly, I'm using 10-13 and even a 16 wt.

    Unless you do a fly in or something remote, you're going to have accept the fact that you may be on a quiet little hole and here comes a guy, or a guy and his family and start fishing right next to you. It's just how it is. It's not rude, it's just how it is. I'm not saying it's combat, and I won't do combat either, but don't expect to be the only guy on the water unless you've flown in to get there...and even there, other guys have planes too.

    I can't speak much to KP or interior fishing, but I can help you out with Kodiak if that's your thing.

    And from one muskie guy to another; 52 on a fly last fall. Fun fish, but we muskie guys like to think muskies are the top of the pile for fight and strength....not even close.-
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    Not sure where in Mn you are but if you have a chance stop by Thorne Bros. tackle in Blaine. Very knowledgable guys in there and a few have been up here fishing. There was one older gentleman that was working the fly fishing area that was very knowledgeable. Good luck
    Thornes is good people and I make my pilgrimage there every time I'm in MN! If you're near Walker or the south end of Mille Lacs, stop in at Reeds. If you go to the Walker store, Jeff Kemp runs the fishing department...he knows everything anyone needs to know.

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    I live in Deerwood and work in Brainerd most days. Have been guiding for skis all around the northern half of MN for the past ten years or so - but I'm on Millie a lot. I have been to Thorne Bros. numerous times, but it's been a few years. I get to Reeds regularly, but usually in the summer.

    Hoping to get to Kodiak in August and early Sept. I want to fish trout and salmon, and hunt sitka deer and possibly goat.

    That's a very nice ski - esp if you got it on a fly! congrats. Got a new pb on the pond last summer myself. It's been a long time coming...

    I was planning to bring smaller spinners like you talked about, while trying to get deeper and in their face - so thanks for the confirmation. I'm bringing my truck and camper, so will probably bring the kitchen sink while I'm at it!

    I've been around the Brainerd area for a long, long time. Used to own THE PHOTO CENTER by fleet farm for 20 years, so I know a lot of people, and might know your parents?

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    Penguin - ignorant, useless statement. I wouldn't turn in a record if I caught it. You shouldn't open your mouth when you know nothing about the person you're speaking of...

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerof2013 View Post

    Hoping to get to Kodiak in August and early Sept. I want to fish trout and salmon, and hunt sitka deer and possibly goat.

    That's a very nice ski - esp if you got it on a fly! congrats. Got a new pb on the pond last summer myself. It's been a long time coming...

    I was planning to bring smaller spinners like you talked about, while trying to get deeper and in their face - so thanks for the confirmation. I'm bringing my truck and camper, so will probably bring the kitchen sink while I'm at it!

    I've been around the Brainerd area for a long, long time. Used to own THE PHOTO CENTER by fleet farm for 20 years, so I know a lot of people, and might know your parents?
    Trout are a far secondary fishery to dollies on Kodiak. There's 20 dollies for every rainbow....but there are rainbows there. Salmon that time of year will be silvers, depending on water levels and old pinks.

    And if you do the goat thing, you'll legally need a guide. I know one if you need a suggestion on one.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by summerof2013 View Post
    Penguin - ignorant, useless statement. I wouldn't turn in a record if I caught it. You shouldn't open your mouth when you know nothing about the person you're speaking of...
    With an ego like that I bet you're a better guide than Walleye Dan....I was calling b.s. on your new
    MN state record sturgeon. You would have posted it to your website if you or your client would have caught and released it. Can you tell I know who you are? Be careful where and what you post....

  20. #20

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    summer2013, I'm with penguin on your sturgeon claim. Let's see some photos of hundred pound Minnesota sturgeon (no Columbia River or Wisconsin sturgeon, please).

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