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Thread: FIRST trip to Alaska?? READ A BOOK!!

  1. #1

    Smile FIRST trip to Alaska?? READ A BOOK!!

    Hi guys,

    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!!

  2. #2
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Well Said Soda

    Very very good explanation. It is folks like you that we enjoy helping and if you keep this up your buying the first round. Nice Job.
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  3. #3
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    Default This guy is fired up!

    I've read a lot of comments from the impending "first-timers" and none of them can hold a candle to the excitment in you.

    Your explanation did all of us an honor.

    Beware! Alaska can really get to you. It did it to me in 1988 and I simply could not put it down. That circumstance of a surrendured seat and a free ticket took me to Anchorage in June during the first run of the reds. All it took was that first Kamikazie trip to the Russian/Kenai confluence and I was history.

    I kept right on returning every other year, and then each year, and then twice a year. I literally drove my wife nuts because Alakska was all I would think about. I would have relocated in a heartbeat, but she wouldn't. That left the only one recourse; find a way to do something credible about my passion with Alaska to let me continue on with it.

    I became an author, a publisher, and a fishing tackle distibutor aligned into the Alaskan market. I will soon become a motivational speaker who will go national in support of literacy using Alaska as my underlying theme. (http://www.literacyauthor.com) All of these investment adventures are tied into the Big One, and that's the awesome land you are heading to.

    My days of teaching end in just 29 contractual days; 37 years instructing kids is enough and it's time to move on. Soon I will be free to do even more things that are Alaska related. In the meantime, I still have to reside in Florida because that's my wife's sales territory and it would be unfair of me to pull the rug out from under her at a time in her carreer when she is doing so well. Eventually, she'll call it quits and we'll sell out and move to the Pacific Northwest. She won't move to Alaska, but if I can get us to the region I mentioned, I will then be close enough to be able to make the investment in a secondary property that is in the Last Frontier.

    Mind you, this is all because of that first sockeye I caught so many years ago. You have absolutely no idea what lies ahead until you make that first and then that last cast. What will happen to you in between is the upcoming discovery you have now committed to.

    Trust me. Based up the dialogue you have been having with many us, you are about to become history...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  4. #4
    Member Hammer Hog's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard R. Rosenberg View Post
    ...make the investment in a secondary property that is in the Last Frontier.

    I had to laugh when I read that part. Because my wife gets nervous every time I mention getting a place up there, especially when I keep talking about what boat we'd buy. But for now it is only a dream that will likely never happen...not any time soon anyway!

    I too have read Alaska Fishing. It's a must have. In fact it will be reviewed here shortly because our July trip is just weeks away.

    I also agree with the comments made about this forum. It's very informative, plus 99% of the folks on here answer any newby question with respect like no other. You guys rock!

  5. #5
    Member monello's Avatar
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    Default Bet he won't make it till June

    Soda

    You've got the fever real bad. I thought I did, but you have me beat. I still think you will explode before in anticipation, so you won't actually make it to the 49th state.

    Not everyone who fishes Alaska gets the fever, but those of us that have it understand the passion that is Alaskan fishing.

    I'm about to embark on a 4 month journey to fish for 2 1/2 months. I've foresaken my job for the ability to not limit myself to a fast 2 week trip to the Kenai. I bet I won't regret it years from now. I can always earn more money later.

    So I guess we'll see each other on the water in a few weeks.

  6. #6
    Member DRIFTER_016's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernard R. Rosenberg View Post
    I literally drove my wife nuts because Alakska was all I would think about. I would have relocated in a heartbeat, but she wouldn't. That left the only one recourse; Divorce!!!!

  7. #7
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sodabiscuit12345 View Post
    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!!
    'Alaska Fishing' is a great book but the majority of the water it covers is in south central. "The Highway Angler" covers all major hwy's in the state and some minor ones. It is a great read and a must if you plan to go north to fairbanks and beyond. And it is still helpful in south central. I plan to leave a copy in my glove box all summer.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by garnede View Post
    'Alaska Fishing' is a great book but the majority of the water it covers is in south central. "The Highway Angler" covers all major hwy's in the state and some minor ones. It is a great read and a must if you plan to go north to fairbanks and beyond. And it is still helpful in south central. I plan to leave a copy in my glove box all summer.
    Thanks man. I think Ill get it then.

    Again, the way I figure, if I spend $30 on the book, and it finds me a creek/river where I catch fish for a day...would that $30 be worth it?

    HECK YEAH!!

    Monello, do you think its normal that I feel this un-relenting pressure around my temples???

  9. #9
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    Default Short time

    8 more days to Alaska !

    Matt Drayton, Chef de Cuisine
    Captain Steve's Fishing Lodge
    www.captainstevesfishinglodge.com

  10. #10

    Default Wow

    Yeah, Salmon Fever is catching on. We have FINALLY rounded the corner from winter into summer here (Spring is just a glimpse out of the corner of your eye; only but a fleeting moment in time). Reading these posts, well, gets my fish blood pumping. Any time y'all get here, don't hesitate to look me up - always open to spending time on the river with someone. I have a two man cataraft, and don't think my wife will be able to go out fishing as much as I plan to. Just send me a pm and would be glad to discuss some good fishing.
    As to the new book by Gunnar....just bought it myself a few weeks ago. The main diff I could discern from the Highway Angler (same author) was that 1) "Roadside Angler's Guide" is much larger and printed in nice glossy stock paper, and full of color photos. 2) The new book is most definitely more geared toward S.Central Alaska. Other than those two points, much of the same info.
    By the way, yes, we Alaskans do also utilize these wonderful literary resources.
    We also can sometimes get rather jealous of you lwr 48'ers in that you come up here and travel to all the sweet spots that we are unable to - usually when we take vacation, we go somewhere cliche like hawaii or mexico!

  11. #11

    Default web sites

    Yep, you did well by reading those books. I know them all, and recommend them frequently.

    Then there are web sites. None of them will be as detailed as the books - they're just web sites, after all - but they can nevertheless provide some very nice overviews to add to your base of knowledge.

    My two favorites are the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game's Sport Fish Division site:

    www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us

    Browse the whole site, but zero in on 'Sport Fish Publications', then check out the Regional Sport Fishing Brochures.

    and this one - a new site that provides an excellent overview of the whole state:

    www.alaskaflyfishinggoods.com

    Have a great trip.

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