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Thread: Kenai "Alaska Camping and Fishing Adventures"?

  1. #1

    Default Kenai "Alaska Camping and Fishing Adventures"?

    Anybody tried "Alaska Camping and Fishing Adventures" in the Kenai? How was it? Their website sounds lovely -- catch lots of fish, plus alternatives of nature viewing. I haven't been able to find any reviews of the experience.

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    I have never heard of them, things I would look for and questions to as is where is their camp located, how many guides do they use, 25 years experience, the kid in the picture didn't look 25. The didn't use the owner operators last name. They only have the guides first name and that was it, is he the owner. Is he licensed by Alaska State Parks? Insured? Does he have a registered guide boat if you want to fish the Kasilof or Kenai? Are you limited to only walk in rivers? Does he fish the Russian River? (Seperate Federal permits are required)

    One biggie for a lot of people is they are located in California, they have a CA address and phone number.

  3. #3

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    I wouldnt do it, site looks terrible, out of state owners..... just a large sense of youll get there and most likely be disappointed

  4. #4

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    I'd be careful. They have a "money back guarantee," but if you read it, it guarantees you catch ONE salmon during your trip (most of which seem to be for 7 days of fishing).

    Oh, and they advertise that you'll have an ADVANTAGE because you'll fish with them from shore...that's right, an ADVANTAGE over the folks who guide in boats, because boats are restricted to ONLY those two little rivers, the Kenai and the Kasiloff (hey, these are their words, not mine).

    I assume Yukon knows that community pretty well down there (the fishing community) as he's part of it. If he hasn't heard of them, they probably haven't been around long.

    I suggest you inquire on this forum about other people's experience with quality lodges/outfitters...you'll get actual experiences shared rather than having to rely on a just some outfitter's website.
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  5. #5
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    Here is their money back policy:

    9) MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - If our guides are unable to get you to hook and land at least one salmon during your stay, we will refund 10% of your individual package price

    To tell you the truth, it is cheap and you usually get what you pay for. The other rivers they talk of do have kings in them, but a guide is not necessary, some good info from this board or the Soldotna Hardware store will get you some fish. This just site and their vagueness just raises my "rip-off" meter a bit.
    That being said, it may be a great experience in a unique niche market that other guides have not done.

  6. #6

    Default ????

    As a guide, I am a bit nervous about responding to this thread, fearing that it may be assumed that this is a way to eliminate the competition... certainly not the case here... however I am concerned about the industry in general and most concerned about the experiences of our visitors...

    That being said, I too have many questions regarding this business. Now I know first hand that it is difficult to successfully enter this trade. You need a reputation to get business and yet you need business to get a reputation.

    I think that your endeavor to investigate before you reserve your trip or send a deposit is honorable.

    First of all, the owner's name is Rick L. Serena of Castro Valley California. This man first purchased a license to do business in 2006 with an address in San Ramon California. That license expired 12/31/2006. He purchased another one-year license for 2007 with his address listed as Castro Valley California. This in itself is a bit concerning.

    As a Soldotna resident for 35 years, and a guide on the Kenai, I am not familiar with this man or his business... I have not seen a boat with his business logo or his place of business. That doesn't mean he doesn't exist, I simply am not familiar with his services. I do not know where his camp is. Mr. Serena is not a member of the Kenai River Professional Guide Association.

    Alaska Camping and Fishing Adventures is not registered as a guide service with Chugach National Forest. This area includes most of the Cooper Landing/Seward/Summit and Turnagain Pass areas, including the Russian River, upper Kenai River and other lakes and streams. By the way, a permit is required by Chugach National Forest for any professional service (i.e. guided fishing, guided hunting, outfitters, camps and so on) provided within its boundaries.

    As a guide, I know that you are planning what may be a trip of a lifetime. I encourage the use of professional services to help you enjoy this great state. However I also realize that a poorly run business, or dissappointed visitors are a reflection of not only the specific service provider, but of the industry in general. So, whoever you choose as a guide/outfitter, I sincerely wish that your expectations of an Alaskan fishing vacation are fulfilled. By taking time now to ask questions you are most definitely on the way to success.

    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskanfishguides View Post
    First of all, the owner's name is Rick L. Serena of Castro Valley California. This man first purchased a license to do business in 2006 with an address in San Ramon California. That license expired 12/31/2006. He purchased another one-year license for 2007 with his address listed as Castro Valley California. This in itself is a bit concerning.

    As a Soldotna resident for 35 years, and a guide on the Kenai, I am not familiar with this man or his business... I have not seen a boat with his business logo or his place of business. That doesn't mean he doesn't exist, I simply am not familiar with his services. I do not know where his camp is. Mr. Serena is not a member of the Kenai River Professional Guide Association.

    Alaska Camping and Fishing Adventures is not registered as a guide service with Chugach National Forest. This area includes most of the Cooper Landing/Seward/Summit and Turnagain Pass areas, including the Russian River, upper Kenai River and other lakes and streams. By the way, a permit is required by Chugach National Forest for any professional service (i.e. guided fishing, guided hunting, outfitters, camps and so on) provided within its boundaries.
    That is good information. I am trying to plan our next trip, we just got back and I am ready to leave another piece of me in Alaska! We wanted to look at other lodges and it would be great to know where to look up licenses and whether they are registered guides. I didnt know we could even locate that information. Thank you!

  8. #8

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    Thanks everyone for all the analysis and info. I must say I disagree with Fishwhacker about the appearance of their site -- I think it looks great. Maybe Fishwhacker is implying that they must've put their effort into the website instead of the guiding, but website skill is so common in Castro Valley there's no reason they couldn't have done both.

    I deleted a lot of words from my initial post on this subject, before I finally posted it, because I didn't want to influence the comments. Their website makes the trip seem perfect. Who could possibly want anything more ? Maybe (OK, probably) I'm getting old and suspicious. When anything seems to good to be true, it usually is. (But, not always.)

    With a bunch of campers there, I assume they can't have enough staff to take everyone go do whatever they want every day. The site does a beautiful job of painting with generalities, that lets the viewer mentally fill in the details with whatever they want the package to provide. I emailed them a while ago with some questions about how their operation actually works (e.g. what's the ratio of guides to guests)-- never got a reply. Even their location isn't disclosed. Is it next to the highway, or in a forest so far from the road that you never hear the trucks?

    That "guarantee" they make such a big deal of does, on examination, fade out quite a bit. If you're there for a week, and they keep you fishing for salmon every day for six days until you catch a salmon to meet the guarantee, that wouldn't really be my idea of a wonderful vacation. I like catching fish, but lack the fisherman purity of some of my friends who are happy fishing even when they aren't catching fish. If I fished for 5 days and never did catch a salmon, having a chance at a 10% refund would not be enough to convince me to go out and try fishing for a 6th day!
    They do provide telephone numbers, and maybe a 5 minute call would give me a much clearer picture of the operation, but it does make me uncomfortable to have the website offer so much information and so few details.

    It sure would be nice to find someone who'd been there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by angelsix View Post
    It sure would be nice to find someone who'd been there.

    Call them up and ask for references. I do it all the time.
    brad g.
    So Cal, USA
    Visit my Sporting Clays website
    http://www.ysr-racer.com

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    Default Accessment/testimonial...

    After browsing the website and reading your comments, I e-mailed this company expressing my interest to participate with them.

    If they accept my proposal, I will offer up an unbiased opinion that should be of interest to forum members, of use to the company, and perhaps have an application in a magazine article dependent upon an editor.

    I won't say I'm the best, but what I will say is that I've spent 20 years as an Alaskan fishing tourist who has some credibilty in requesting this oportunity.

    The proof is in the experience, and that is what I seek...

    http://www.alaskanauthor.com

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    Default Straight from the horses mouth!!

    Alaskan Author...I will take you up on your offer, we look forward to working with you!

    ysr_racer...You are 100% correct, getting those references should be the first thing you do when thinking about any guide service.

    alaskanfishguides...We do not look at the boat guides as being competition, we run a different ship. We often refer our guests to several of you guys who express interest in a guided trip on the river.
    With the number of guides on the river, there is no surprise you do not know who I am. However, I was born and raised in the town of Soldotna and have fished from the Russian down to the Anchor for the past 25 years (picture looks young but I can assure you I am in my mid 30's).
    I too am concerned about the industry and want all who come up to Alaska to have a wonderful time and return!!!

    nickster and yukon...Let's face it, the fact is boat guides fish the Kenai and the Kasilof...that is the way it is!! We fish many more rivers and enable our guests to experience more of Alaska.
    While our money back guarantee is not that much, at least we are willing to stick our necks out there and make the offer!! Let's see the other guides offer the same thing!

    Fishwhacker...I actually like my website and get great comments all the time. I spent the time to build it myself and stubled through the learning process, much more rewarding!!
    As for being out of state. I grew up in Soldotna and have no desire to spend another winter there...does that make me any less of a guide???

    We look forward to working with the author and hopefully getting to know more of the guides.

    Tight Lines to ALL

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