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Thread: Trying to plan a trip to Alaska, need some info

  1. #1
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    Default Trying to plan a trip to Alaska, need some info

    I started posting here trying to get a little info about fishing up here in the NW. I tried my luck in a couple of streams, caught a couple of itty bitty salmon, but I am gonna give the steelhead a go this winter.

    Anyways, I just got back from Texas doing some floundering with the old man, and we decided we are going to go to Alaska next year sometime to do some fishing. My mom is taking my sister to Europe as a college graduation gift, and Europe is not our thing unfortunately so I told him we would go up north.

    I would like to do some salmon fishing, and Halibut maybe. I was looking on good times of the year to go, maybe someone could point me in the direction of a charter, etc.

    A little background info on us: HE lives down on the Gulf Coast and we have spent alot of time fishing for speckled trout, redfish, flounder, and the like. A little bit of offshore here and there. Neither of us have done any flyfishing, but would love to learn, but a charter where I would have to bring our own fly gear prolly wouldnt suit us, as we have no experience.

    I am not real sure of how much to expect on spending either. Just never have done anything like this. I imagine an all inclusive deal would be around a few grand or so, but I really dont know.

    This might be a weird topic for this board, but this is the closest thing I have as a source of info for alaskan fishing.

  2. #2
    Member Bent fin's Avatar
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    you came to the right place. but the choices are so vast alaska is so big and the runs verry in difrent parts of the state. so ill give you the prince of whales speel. POW has many uncrowded nice rivers for salmon trout and steelhead. on the west coast(Craig alaska) the ocean fishing is great for all salmon and halibut and bottom fishing.and for a all inclusive three day trip you are looking at 2-3 grand.well worth it.

  3. #3
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    Default Timing

    Timing is everything in Alaska. You need to decide what you want to catch. Then that will tell you when you need to go. If you want to catch a few big fish go for Kings. If you want to catch big numbers of fish think about Sockeyes and Pinks. Fun on a fly rod Silvers. You can go for Halibut during all those runs.

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    Default Plus price and other stuff

    You mentioned a couple grand for an inclusive trip? If we had a good idea of how much you were willing to spend roughly that would help. Some stuff is very worthwhile but expensive, some worthwhile but cheap. Some stuff is grouped up (Kenai penn), and some isn't (southeast). So would you fly to different places or prefer to drive a rental around?
    Do you want to see anything in peticular? (like say Denail....Mt McKinely for a tourist) or just in general like say "I really want to see some glaciers"

    For fishing you don't need to be a fly fisher to fish fly only areas as in Alaska it is about your terminal gear not what type of reel you use. Seasons vary withing species and within the state (southeast get fish earlier than Anchorage, and anchorage gets fish b4 fairbanks or farther north.)
    Good luck!! Give us some details and lot's of folks will help out.

  5. #5
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    Default Alaska fishing Trip planing

    Here check out this siTe and see if there is anyhting yhou can use for planning your trip.

    www.alaskafishingsuccess.com

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    I just looked at that site and it is pretty good. Good info, longer than I would type, and good links.

    One thing about halibut charters........ask the guy what type of line he/she uses, and how often they replace it. When you get to the boat (better if you can get there the day b4 your charter to check em out.) look at the line and conditions of the rods. If they are bad save your money and get another charter.

    Last one I went on (took my dad late season, and didn't check out the charters myself, let my dad do it) The guy was a joke. Dirty boat. Old line that was tied and re-tied (we lost every single big butt), and made his own leaders and weights (which is fine but then don't get ticked when someone loses one) and old nasty bait. I wish I would have checked it all out before as they simple things like a dirty boat tell you a lot.

  7. #7

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    Click my username and read my Dutch Harbor reports from my August trip. If you and your dad want solitude, basically no competition, and incredibly good halibut fishing (size and numbers) just 10-30 minutes from port (and a good variety of other game fish as well), then a trip to Dutch would be hard to beat. Plenty of scenery too.... humpback whales, volcanoes, puffins, and several bunkers from WWII built into Dutch's main islands (Amaknak and Unalaska) and nearby smaller islands. (The Japanese bombed Dutch Harbor on June 3-4, 1942).

    I plan on going to Dutch in September next year to hopefully be there when the silvers are making their run up two rivers there.

    By the way, I'm in Texas and fish Port Aransas a lot. And gig flounder too... though I never got around to getting all the right gear to be able to get good at it. I did catch several flounder during my Dutch trip (arrowtooth flounder). But I was told they aren't any good to eat.... meat is too mushy or something. They didn't turn out to be very good bait either. All we could catch on cut flounder was more flounder. They were thick in some places we stopped, a real nuisance (sucks spending five minutes hauling a 5lb flounder up from 200ft knowing it might have grabbed your bait right before a big halibut would have). But in other areas they were non-existent.

    Quote Originally Posted by youandwhosearmy View Post
    I started posting here trying to get a little info about fishing up here in the NW. I tried my luck in a couple of streams, caught a couple of itty bitty salmon, but I am gonna give the steelhead a go this winter.

    Anyways, I just got back from Texas doing some floundering with the old man, and we decided we are going to go to Alaska next year sometime to do some fishing. My mom is taking my sister to Europe as a college graduation gift, and Europe is not our thing unfortunately so I told him we would go up north.

    I would like to do some salmon fishing, and Halibut maybe. I was looking on good times of the year to go, maybe someone could point me in the direction of a charter, etc.

    A little background info on us: HE lives down on the Gulf Coast and we have spent alot of time fishing for speckled trout, redfish, flounder, and the like. A little bit of offshore here and there. Neither of us have done any flyfishing, but would love to learn, but a charter where I would have to bring our own fly gear prolly wouldnt suit us, as we have no experience.

    I am not real sure of how much to expect on spending either. Just never have done anything like this. I imagine an all inclusive deal would be around a few grand or so, but I really dont know.

    This might be a weird topic for this board, but this is the closest thing I have as a source of info for alaskan fishing.

  8. #8
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Float trip...

    I dont know what your experience level is, but if you were able, a float trip is great option that will save thousands over a lodge. I first went to Alaska in 2004 where I worked a 6 month contract in Kotzebue (NW Alaska). My wife and I are travel nurses. We fell in love with the place and go back atleast yearly now (and forever). We float a different river each Aug/Sept. Did two trips in NW Alaska and this Sept floated the Goodnews in SW Alaska. If you have basic wilderness/paddling skills, you could do the trips we took for sure. We have seen some amazing things on each of the trips. The solitude of these trips is the biggest draw for me. Not to mention some amazing fishing opportunities. If you want any info, send me a private message. These trips are not as hard to plan as you may think and are 1/3 the cost of a lodge. And offer a "real" Alaskan experience in my opinion. But as others have mentioned, it depends on what you are looking for. Let me know if you want any information or pics from our trips.

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    Thanks for all the replies gentlemen.

    I am sorry I so vague in my request for info. The honest truth is I am very much open at this point to what we will be doing. We just wanna get away for a while and see part of this country that we have never seen.

    We love to fish, and neither have done any fishing for these types, so as to what we will be fishing for, thats why I am still trying to decide.

    From first reading and hearsay, halibut and probably silvers seem like fun to go after. Not sure if their seasons line up. My first step was to start looking around on this board, read about other folks trips, and possibly get some good recs on guides and check out what they offer/price, to try and get some good options to discuss with my dad and see what he would be into the most.

    Besides the fishing, we are just looking to have a good time outside, meet some locals, see some wildlife we havent before. Hell I would love to see the northern lights(sorry if thats real touristy), but not sure if that would be a good timing for fishing. Prolly not too interested in coming right at the peak of tourist season.

    Im in the process of still looking around on this site, and appreciate yall's suggestions as it helps to get some better ideas and idea of cost.

    Upland, youre prolly right on the verge of some great flounder runs eh? Hows the water temps? It was still early when I was down in Galveston and the folks place, but there were a few flounder here and there. When that first cool front pushes through, you better be down there with a line in the water. I actually spent alot of time growing up down in Rockport close to you, great redfishing down there.

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    Default A couple more things...

    Forgot to say, we are probably looking for a not so expensive trip.
    Not really wanting to spend three grand for the all inclusive deal, but maybe, I guess it depends on whats included, and how remote it would be and all that. we would want some good guided fishing to pick up some tips and methods for future trips to alaska, and to bring back with me for some salmon fishing here in my new home in Washington.


    Also, what is yalls honest opinions of Texans? I have been wondering since I decided to make a trip up there. I have only met a couple of Alaskans here in the NW so far, and they informed me of ill feelings between the two states. I find that hard to believe and I wanted to just gauge these two possible "bad apples".

  11. #11
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Some ideas-

    If you come anytime between May and September, you will hit "tourist season" dead center. Nothing wrong with that, just making sure you know what you're getting into.

    It's expensive in Alaska, so be ready for that. A typical bush flight will burn your entire budget very easily, unless you just take a short hop somewhere out of Anchorage. You might check out Talaview Lodge, over on the Talachulitna River. It's not far, and they run a good operation.

    An alternative is a saltwater charter out of Seward. If you go after July 4, lingcod season is open and you could do a combo charter for halibut, lingcod and coho salmon. I would recommend Saltwater Safari Company. They have very fast boats that will get you on the fishing grounds quicker than some of the others, which means you get more fishing time. Seward is beautiful, and you'll catch fish.

    Because of the summer crowds, any fishing you do off the road system will likely be crowded. It can be very good, but crowded. I would suggest picking up a copy of The Highway Angler for some tips on great fishing opportunities on the road system.

    Hope it helps!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
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    I'll second Mike's recommendation of a saltwater combo charter. This is what I usually book for visiting friends/family. I like Seward, myself, the scenery is unbeatable. You usually see some whales, at least smaller porpoise, sea otters, many water birds, and you can catch both halibut and silver salmon if you go from mid-July later, as well as other bottom species like rockfish and lingcod.

    If you choose Saltwater Safari, I strongly suggest the 6-pac boat...they have a couple of big boats that take 12-20 people or so. The experience on a smaller boat is much better in my opinion. If this is an option you consider, check out Crackerjack and/or ProfishNSea charters - they are both second to none. Prices for these combo trips will run you about $300 per person, having gone up with the rising fuel costs of late.

    This is also a way to put a lot of fish in the freezer, if that's something you're after, but then you add processing and likely shipping costs.
    "The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent in fishing" Assyrian Tablet 2000 B.C.

  13. #13
    Member Bent fin's Avatar
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    the spotsman shows are going too start up in seatle. i think in january you can go and check out a lot of lodges all over alaska.and work out a deal with them directly.if you get a group of four or more you can get a better price.

  14. #14

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    Yep Brownsfan, I agree with you. I don't understand people who book with a guide without knowing anything about him and then just say "oh well" when they break off a nice halibut or end up catching far more trash fish (Irish Lords, arrowtooth flounder, etc) than halibut because the bait is too small and/or too old. It's too far to travel and costs too much to get there and see cheap rods, frays in the line, sorry bait, a captain who really doesn't care if you have a good trip or not, etc.

    With today's braided lines, there's no excuse in my opinion for guides to not be spooled up with line that's capable of hauling up ANY size halibut a client hooks into. If if a good braid is supposedly "too expensive" on Alaskan shelves then the guide needs to learn how to use a computer and buy some off eBay for a fraction of the shelf price (or at least find a friend or relative who'll get it off eBay for him).

    Quote Originally Posted by Akbrownsfan View Post
    I just looked at that site and it is pretty good. Good info, longer than I would type, and good links.

    One thing about halibut charters........ask the guy what type of line he/she uses, and how often they replace it. When you get to the boat (better if you can get there the day b4 your charter to check em out.) look at the line and conditions of the rods. If they are bad save your money and get another charter.

    Last one I went on (took my dad late season, and didn't check out the charters myself, let my dad do it) The guy was a joke. Dirty boat. Old line that was tied and re-tied (we lost every single big butt), and made his own leaders and weights (which is fine but then don't get ticked when someone loses one) and old nasty bait. I wish I would have checked it all out before as they simple things like a dirty boat tell you a lot.

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    you might look at Kodiak. You have the halibut and salmon charters, an abundance of guides and enough streams and roads to do it yourself if you choose. Something to think about.
    My wife is from Texas and she did not experience any animosity. As long as you understand that if you were to divide Alaska in half, Texas would be the third largest state ( sorry someone had to say it )

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    This may be something to consider... There is a class you can take in the Kenai/Soldotna area (Kenai Peninsula) from the Kenai Peninsula Fishing Academy. It is about a week long and includes classroom sessions and plenty of fishing. There are three guided fishing trips included in the class - a river trip on the Kenai River, a fly-in lake and river fishing trip and a halibut charter.
    The class includes food and lodging. It's about $1800 each.

    I'm not associated with the Academy, but as a newby Alaskan, am signed up for a class next spring. Here is a link if you want more info:

    http://www.kenaifishingacademy.org/

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    I would also check out some of the self guided lodges in SE alaska. I have done 2 of them with my wife and we had a great time. We went this year to one north of Juneau and I finally caught my big halibut (127 lbs). They can be as expensive as you want them to be or If you are willing to do your own cooking and fish cleaning they can be fairly inexpensive for alaska. There are several of them up and down the coast from Ketchikan to PWS. If you are interested send me a pm and I will try to help any way I can. The biggest problem I have is trying to figure out how I can afford to go back every year instead of every 2 years. good luck

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    The highway angler book 2 is another good start for you along with the book fishing on a budget.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

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    Quote Originally Posted by youandwhosearmy View Post
    Also, what is yalls honest opinions of Texans? I have been wondering since I decided to make a trip up there. I have only met a couple of Alaskans here in the NW so far, and they informed me of ill feelings between the two states. I find that hard to believe and I wanted to just gauge these two possible "bad apples".
    Bein' a Texan & livin' here I have yet to get into any REAL heated debates over the issue. If there's any guff involved it's the "Everything is BIGGER in Texas" theme because the state of Texas itself is dwarfed by Alaska. It's a pride thing here in Alaska and I definitely respect it. I proudly wear my UT Longhorn caps, sweatshirts, and T-shirts without any grief. If anything, I get that "Hook 'em Horns!" hand-sign quite often. Especially when I throw 'ole Bevo on my car antenne during college football season. Overall, I don't believe there are any bad feelin's towards Texans...if anything, there's a good deal of respect & friendliness involved. Especially if you know how to smoke good 'ole fashioned BBQ, then you got friends for life here!

    Just be respectful, friendly & curtious and folks up here are just great! Except there are those select few who don't like anybody but that's their own personal problem, so I just ignore them and move on.

  20. #20
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Oops! A correction!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    ...You might check out Talaview Lodge, over on the Talachulitna River...
    Oops! I meant Talaheim Lodge! Mark and Felicia Miller run an excellent operation involving helicopters to get you to the best hotspots.

    Sorry for the mix-up!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

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