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Thread: Southwest AK fly-out float trip

  1. #1
    Member Kingcobra's Avatar
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    Default Southwest AK fly-out float trip

    Hi

    I am trying to set up an unguided float trip with a couple of my friends to SW AK. Initially, I contacted charter companies out of DLG and BET for floats on the Kanektok or Goodnews but found all the rates quoted to be out of my price range. All prices were qouted on a per person basis, is this normal?

    Any advice on the realities of a somewhat affordable ($800-1500 charter) out of King Salmon or Dillingham in August to float a good fishing river for silvers, dollies, rainbows. We are fairly novice rafters (did the Situk last year).

    The Alagnak and the Kvichak sound like possible options, again any opinions welcome and thanks in advance for the advice..

    Matt

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    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingcobra View Post
    Hi

    I am trying to set up an unguided float trip with a couple of my friends to SW AK. Initially, I contacted charter companies out of DLG and BET for floats on the Kanektok or Goodnews but found all the rates quoted to be out of my price range. All prices were qouted on a per person basis, is this normal?

    Any advice on the realities of a somewhat affordable ($800-1500 charter) out of King Salmon or Dillingham in August to float a good fishing river for silvers, dollies, rainbows. We are fairly novice rafters (did the Situk last year).

    The Alagnak and the Kvichak sound like possible options, again any opinions welcome and thanks in advance for the advice..

    Matt

    Might check into Branch River Air out of King Salmon... Alagnak may be a more affordable trip.

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    The Alagnak aka the Branch River would be an awsome float. Don't even concider the Kvichak for a float trip unless you want to row a ton.

    On the Kvichak there is only about 7-10 miles of good fishing then it is slow water with nothing to do but row. Don't get me wrong the Kvichak is a great river, my business is on the Kvichak but a motor boat is a must as you will want to go back up and hit the run again. If you wanted a great kayaking/fishing trip then the Kvichak can offer a lot there.

    The Branch would be fishing all the way...

    Advice on Branch River Air for fly outs out of King Salmon is right on, Van and his crew are the best.

    George

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    Member Kingcobra's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. My group has decided to try the Alagnak (Branch River) out. Sounds like a great fishing river. Also, sounds like Branch river Air are the folks to get us out there as well. Any suggestions on when? Looking at August for silvers and the local resident population, is middle August better than late August for this?
    Thanks

    Matt


    Quote Originally Posted by George Riddle View Post
    The Alagnak aka the Branch River would be an awsome float. Don't even concider the Kvichak for a float trip unless you want to row a ton.

    On the Kvichak there is only about 7-10 miles of good fishing then it is slow water with nothing to do but row. Don't get me wrong the Kvichak is a great river, my business is on the Kvichak but a motor boat is a must as you will want to go back up and hit the run again. If you wanted a great kayaking/fishing trip then the Kvichak can offer a lot there.

    The Branch would be fishing all the way...

    Advice on Branch River Air for fly outs out of King Salmon is right on, Van and his crew are the best.

    George

  5. #5
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Goodnews...

    We floated the lovely Goodnews River this past Aug/Sept for 13 days. We flew into Goodnews Lake with Rick Grant (Tickchik Airventures) on a bright and sunny afternoon. The 185 was $1700 round trip and the Beaver was $2400 round trip. The lake is very large and we had been told it had some great lake trout fishing. We saw thousands of reds near the shore and some dollies, but never caught a lake trout. We paddled the 60 miles down to the village of Goodnews Bay where we had a wheel plane return trip to Dillingham. Along the way, we caught many small dollies pretty much throughout the whole river. There were spots where we would see many rainbows but it was off and on. Feeder creeks were productive in most all cases. We floated over some that were very large. The silvers were found about half way down and fishing improved as we got towards the terminus. Bright conditions and unexperienced fly fisherman made for pretty slow action. We would find them laid up deep beside cliffs in outer curves of the river quite often. We would beach our Ally pack canoes and try to sneak back up towards the banks in order to cast at them. More often than not, they paid little attention to our flies. We had taken lots of bright pink flies and caught only a few on them. I finally got some success on a #2 olive bead head wb. The darker colors worked out well. In hindsight, I may have been better off with some smaller offerings. We found a few rainbows mixed in with the silvers. They were being very defensive darting in and out of the mix. Hard to get there attention although we did catch a few. None larger than 22". The weather was unusually nice the whole trip. Bright sunny days. Dang! We saw bears about every other day. All "good bears" at least. On the final night, it was raining pretty hard and I heard an unmistakable sound as a brown bear walked across a small creek near our tents. It was 0300 and the last thing I wanted to see was walking straight toward my tent. He was about a 7.5' bear and had got to within 20 yards of my tent when I got out to take a look. Having floated a few NW Alaska rivers, I had been around bears a little bit. But, I was pretty scared this time. He was walking right towards me when I shined the Surefire M6 in his eyes. All 500 leumen! He froze with his front left paw in the air for what seemed like 20 seconds. Then he turned away and went back to from which he had came. I slept pretty lightly the rest of the night. Luckily it was our last night. He had came across us by chance I feel. It was a windy and rainy night. The river was an easy paddle in our Ally pack canoes. No hazards to amount to anything. Just several places where mid stream rocks had to be avoided. No problems with unusually shallow areas. Some swift sections, but nothing that would classify as Class II. Beautiful mountain scenery all the way down. Wonderful camping sites that were numerous and most always provided abundant firewood. Just a few caribou where seen running the shores of Goodnews Lake. That herd has taken a decline of about 80% from what ADFG told me. They had stopped by one morning to check our license in a jet boat. Nice enough and they hung around for about 15 minutes chatting. They are true stewards of the land. We had some slow fishing for the first 15 miles or so once we entered the river from Goodnews Lake. After that, it picked up pretty good and by the mid way point, we were catching dollies, bows, and silvers. The dollies were consistent through the whole river. Including the lake even. Most our fish were caught on Dolly Dynamite, Battle Creek Special, and Olive BHWB. Caught some silvers on a Pink Marauder (Hills Discount Flies). I feel that they would have worked even better if we would not have had bluebird skies every day. And we did much better in the evening on the silvers. Locating the pods was not hard in the gin clear Goodnews. We will definately go back. Perhaps even this year. I am wanting to try for Kings in early July. After floating this river, I can see where it would be a good place to fly fish for them. Good bank access and not very deep or wide. We could wade the river in many sections and could wade out enough to cast to the middle in 70% of it. A wonderful float with great scenery and very high fishing potential. I hope that our catch rate will increase on future trips. I will also hope for more typical SW Alaska weather. Here is a link to pictures from the Goodnews trip. When you click on the link, you can select "view slideshow" in the upper right side.

    http://www.flickr.com/gp/21144083@N02/vWNU8w
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

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    Member jockomontana's Avatar
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    Default alagnak all the way

    Matt,
    three buddies and me floated the alagnak for a week last september. will definately go back again someday, quite possibly this fall, and then every fall thereafter.... last week in August would be ideal for stellar rainbow fishing and a chance at some chromer silvers! you wont be disappointed.

    we flew with High Adventure Air outta Soldotna, longer flight to the put-in but only a short drive from Anchorage. very professional outfit.

    unguided is the way to go. good camping, adventure, and phenomenal fishing. be sure at least one of you has a waterproof camera; one of my buddies dropped his in the drink, and another suffered some water damage under the lens.

    be bear aware. pack light. and enjoy!

    jeff.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Pentax

    Pentax has a nice waterproof camera. Got one for my last float. The W30 I think they call it. Good quality images too. Perfect to keep in the wader pocket or fly vest.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  8. #8
    Member Kingcobra's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks all for the insight. Jeff, would you say that early September is better for catching Silvers?

    M

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