I figure since Ive been asking so many questions, I would ask another!!! This time however, I will disguise it as advice/information for people who were like me 2 months ago.
If you going to Alaska for the first time, this forum is extremely useful. Many of the folks on here are more than willing to share information with you. Ive joined several online forums in the past and never have I joined one where I felt I could really ask ANYTHING, without having a more experienced poster mock my questions, or say things like "have you ever heard of a 'search' option?". This forum is filled with REAL fishermen, not keyboard warriors and its very refreshing to see and be part of.
My first question was so general, it almost hurts to admit it. It was something to the effect of: "Juneau vs Alaska - which city is better". As I type this, I sit in front of my screen laughing... Alaska...I meant Anchorage, but even though everyone probably thought it was silly, you STILL helped answer my questions.
Now my advice to you, as a new visitor to Alaska, is to read a book. Yup, books actually work . For me, I first read "Alaska Fishing On A Budget" by our great AlaskanAuthor! (He's trying to use this fake name - Bernard R. Rosenberg or something but his real name is AlaskanAuthor. ). His book was the absolute perfect book for a guy like me to begin with because he talks about using Anchorage as your base - and thats what Im doing.
In 100 or so pages, he took a guy like me, who didnt know the difference between Juneau and Anchorage, and made me understand the rods I needed, the reels, what lures to bring, general timing on salmon runs, waders or not, gave tons of places to stop on the highway to fish, how to handle 'combat fishing' etc etc etc.
The best part is that he wrote it for us, the tourists, and it shows in his book. So many things that AK residents haven't thought about, he does!
The best way to describe his book, is to say its like the longest reply on this forum ever, if you asked: "What should I do and bring to fish Anchorage?". Not only that, he tells you how to save a few bucks! I know Ive thanked you before akauthor, but thanks again.
The second book I read, is by Scott Haugen. Its called Flyfisher's Guide to Alaska (Thanks DANTHEROCK!!) Keep in mind that its not just for flyfishermen. Far from it. It talks about gear as well, but the main thing I got from the book, is the 'where' and 'when' to catch salmon if you're shore-bound. This one is a much longer read, but its now my 'fishing alaska bible'. After reading the first book, I understood the basics of the highway systems, and this book gives me A LOT of details on where to stop, when to stop, and why to stop on the highways going from Anchorage. This book is sooo good, I actually wrote up several pages of notes, so that during my 2 month stay, every week, I have 3-4 different options to go and fish depending on the run timing.
The last book that I am reading is 'Alaska Fishing' by Gunnar Pedersen. Now this book has it all. It tells me how to fish salt, fish fresh, where I can do fly in trips from, how crowded areas are etc. Again, a great read.
Now, those are MY recommendations but Im sure others have read way more books than I have.
What these books have done for me, is that instead of asking questions like "what should I bring to fish Alaska?" - Im asking " What rod do you use on Ships Creek for kings"?
There's a HUGE difference in the amount of knowledge I have, and now on the forum, I can ask extremely specific questions and get extremely specific answers.
Think of it this way, if you are like me, you were hoping someone would write a paragraph detailing what you should do, and what you should bring, and where you should fish. The problem is, these guys dont mind writing one, two or even three paragraphs,but to get the right information, you need to read HUNDREDS of paragraphs!!
Also, the way I see it, I spent maybe $100 on books and read them in 2 weeks. Now if someone said to you:
"Read 1 hour a night for 2 weeks, give me $100, and I'll guarantee you a better fishing trip"
Would you do it? I would. I did. Now I am a lot more confident in my trip. I know exactly where I am going on my first weekend up there, I have 2 weeks planned in late june early july where I will fish a different place everyday. I will charter, kayak, surf fish, creek fish, lake fish, and its all info I got from books, then I re-enforced it with info from this forum. I know the exact mileage from my apartment to many of the King and Red creeks around me for june, pinks & chum in July, and Silvers in August. These books tell you at what mile to stop on the highway!! THey are that specific.
I hope this information helps. Oh yeah, all the books are available in the online book store here.
Now Im going to sneak in a question: Im fishing 'Alaska Fishing' by Gunnar Pedersen, but I read a few post about the book "The Highway Angler" by the same author. Im just wondering if anyone has read both books? I dont know if 'the highway Angler' is more detailed because his book 'alaska Fishing' has A LOT of info on highway fishing. If you've read both, please let me know!!
Tight lines all!!