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Thread: Trout, Grayling and Dollies....

  1. #1
    Member MICHoutdoors's Avatar
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    Default Trout, Grayling and Dollies....

    Hello...

    I have a few questions about gear. My brother and I will be coming up to AK from Michigan in Early July. We are renting an RV and traveling around for 12 days. We intend on fishing for Rainbows, Grayling and Dollies in streams and lakes. We also would like to fish for salmon on ocassion. If you were me, what gear would you be packing? # of rods, Weight of rods, Waders necessary? Flies to Try? Lighter is probably better since I am sure we will be hiking into some of the fishing spots..

    I would appreciate any and all advice.
    Thanks
    Jeff

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    Default Early July

    For salmon, there will still be kings available in most places, with reds in a few places also. I'd recommend a guide service - mostly because they'll know where to take you, and you can use their equipment - saving you from having to pack the heavier (10wt) rods (you seemed more intent on the bows/dollies/grayling, with the salmon as a secondary target). King fisheries in July are weekend-only, or closed, in some places, so be sure you understand the regs for where you plan to be at that particular time in your trip. The majority of guide services tend to stick to the hardware tackle, but there are some that will run you out with fly rods if you ask.

    For the non-salmon species, you could get by on a single 4wt rod for everything if packing as light as possible is a goal. A nice 4-piece 4wt is great for those hike-in trips. You can get into some bigger bows in a few places (Kenai) that you'd probably be better of going after with a 6 or even 7wt, and the dollies and grayling can be fun on a 2 or 3wt.

    My personal recommendation (free guide service to Alaska )... I assume you're renting your RV in Acnhorage. Head northeast through Glenallen (there's great fishing along the way) and up to Paxson, camping (if you can) at Paxson Lake. Spend a day or 3 on the numerous lakes in the area and charter a salmon expedition on the Gulkana River. Check out this link for more info: http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/region3/pdfs/gulkana.pdf

    From there, take the Denali Highway from Paxson to Cantwell. Again, lots of fishing on this route and a beautiful drive. Once at Cantwell, detour north for an hour to Denali Ntl Park for a day or two. While there, get on a bus (you can't drive) to Wonder Lake one day, and take a float trip down the Nenana River another day.

    After Denali, head back down the Parks Highway making your way slowly back to Anchorage. There is a ton of camping/fishing on this route.

    Recommended stops on the Parks... Byers Lake has some great fishing with decent hiking trails to get around to the backside of the lake. Big camp site, too. Just south of Byers Lake is a Denali view point. If the weather is good, this may be your best view of Denali (including from the park!). Make sure you stop in Talkeetna, probably our most picturesque town on the road system.

    From Talkeetna south are the "Parks Streams"... Montana, Goose, Caswel, Sheep, Willow, Little Susitna. These streams are all very popular for salmon fishing, but the salmon fishing is downstream of the highway, with the upstream portions being better escapes for fly fishing in (relatively) less crowded waters.

    At Willow, there's a decent hike-in option at Red Shirt Lake. A decent 3-mile trail from South Rolly Lake to Red Shirt, with pre-placed canoes, provides a good day going after some Pike. Rent the canoe at a little stand on South Rolly. Although there have been some decent size pike caught here, the last several years has seen mostly smaller ones (15/20" with an ocassional 30"), and your 4wt "hiking fly rod" is a great choice here.

    If this circle doesn't fill up your 12 days (it easily can!) other detours available are:

    At Glenallen, you can detour south to Valdez (120 miles). Stop and see the pipeline up close. Lots of _great_ waterfalls on the drive in. Take a salmon/halibut deep sea charter. Fishing out of Valdez requires a little bit of a boat ride to get to the halibut grounds.

    From Denali, you can detour north to Fairbanks (200 miles). Some pretty good fishing, plenty of great Grayling spots.

    From Anchorage, you can go south to Seward (120 miles) along one of the countries most beautiful roadways (#8 on this top-10 list). Again, salmon/halibut charters are available, and again a lengthy boat ride is required to get to the fishing grounds. However, Seward is also where many people simply take a pleasure/wildlife-viewing cruise, so by taking a fishing charter you can combine the best of both worlds.

    From Anchorage, you can also go to Kenai (150 miles). From about 30 miles north of Seward, you turn off onto the Sterling Highway toward Kenai. At about the 100-mile (from Anchorage) point, you can fish the world-famous Upper Kenai and Russian rivers (if only to say that you've been-there-done-that).

    Continuing on from Kenai another 80 miles, is Homer; the "Halibut Capitol of the World", or a "quaint little drinking villiage with a fishing problem". Come here if you're serious about Halibut, want to get to the fishing grounds quickly, and don't care about the scenic aspect of the fishing trip.


    And there you have "Jimmy's quick-and-dirty RV fishing tour of Alaska in 2 weeks or less".

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    Member MICHoutdoors's Avatar
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    Jimmy... Awesome post! Thanks so much for all the info. Yes we are renting an RV from Great Alaskan Holidays in Anchorage and we will have it for 12 days. As of now we have two nights reserved in Denali and are staying at the Teklanika Campground. The Denali reservations are really the only ones we have. My idea of a good vacation is not one involving a tight itinerary with reservations everyday. We will be heading from Anchroage, up to Denali (2 nights with travel to Wonder Lake one day) and then down to the denali Hwy and over to Paxson. From there we will head south to Glenallen and make the decision to go to Valdez or Skip Valdez and head down towards the Kenai Penn.

    Regarding the fishing.. Yes, My brother and I are avid fisherman and other than sightseeing, fishing will be #1 priority on our trip. We would rather catch Trout, Dollies and Grayling in "out of the way places", than battle other fisherman on the Russian or Kenai rivers. We have considered going the charter/guide route but we definitely would rather try and get some fish on our own (Money is tight these days).
    We dont mind short 2-3-4 hour hikes to get into some good fish so if anyone has suggestions for places to try along the Denali Highway or other out of the way places any info would be appreciated. I am not asking for anyone to give up their "honey hole" but any and all info is welcomed. PM me if you would rather not post specific places.

    Also.. what about waders? Should I bring my breathables or should I just buy Hippers when I get up there?

    Again, Jimmy.. Thanks for all the info.
    What a great site.

    Jeff

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Book..

    There is a book that you NEED. It has over a 100 maps and tells you exactly how to get to certain fishing spots. Great resource. One of the best books about Alaska fishing I have bought. It is sold on the forum store. Also, Barnes and Noble and Amazon online. It breaks the state into sections and tells you all you need to know. And best of all, exactly how to get there. A must have in my opinion. Titled "Flyfisher Guide to Alaska" by Scott Haugen. Below is a link.

    http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...products_id=75
    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 garnede's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MICHoutdoors View Post
    We dont mind short 2-3-4 hour hikes to get into some good fish so if anyone has suggestions for places to try along the Denali Highway or other out of the way places any info would be appreciated. I am not asking for anyone to give up their "honey hole" but any and all info is welcomed. PM me if you would rather not post specific places.

    Also.. what about waders? Should I bring my breathables or should I just buy Hippers when I get up there?

    Try cresent lake on the kenai penn for that hike in fishing that will produce nice fish. Also Symphony Lake in the anchorage area. And bring the breathables. There is always water to cross just deeper than hip boots can handle.
    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.

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    Default Man you picked the wrong time...

    to get an RV & Drive around the state, especially if "money's tight"...with gas prices on the up & up...I will feel for you when you gas up the hog...good luck & have fun & hope you discover some hidey holes, & keep us informed with pics & stories...carry a sidearm/shotgun (nothing smaller than a .40SW) or pepper spray if you plan on going as well, as bears & fish are synonymous...

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default books

    A couple more books you might want to check out are the "Alaska Roadside Angler", and the "Highway Angler", both are by Gunnar Pedersen. They give locations, run timing, fly suggestions, and much more info for many waters that are found on the road system. They are both avaible through the bookstore on this website, and I think they can be found at Barnes and Noble also.

    Jake

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    Default Another newbie asks.....

    I'm in the same situation as MICHoutdoors, except I'll be coming up in mid-August, and know even less. Would any of these recommendations change that late in the season? Also, I will definitely be looking for a day or two with guides, preferably for wade fishing. Any recommendations? Leaning towards Parks area, but if you guys think we'd be better off elsewhere, please say so.

    If anyone wants SW Florida info, let me know.

  9. #9
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Used books = more $ for gas!

    +1 on the Gunnar Pedersen and Scott Haugen books for your trip. Title Wave is one of the used book stores in Anchorage - might save you a few dollars if they have copies...which you'll then spend at the gas pump.

    Ak fishing regs worth carrying with you and checking often. More involved rules than most places. Enforcement officers take their work seriously in my two encounters.

    Waders for sure if you're flyfishing. Fleece pants under breathables if you're in the water for long. Keep Three Rivers Fly & Tackle in mind - probably the last chance fly shop if you're driving north on the Parks Hwy. Friends swear by them for good gear, flies and advice. In Anchorage, the local fly shops are: In S. Anchorage: McAfee's (Diamond Blvd), Worldwide Angler (E. 63rd Ave), and Midtown: Mtn View Sports (Old Seward Hwy).

    If spinning gear - some streams limited to single hook only - be ready to change out treble hooks to singles.

    If fly gear - pick up and fish an articulated leech pattern for trout. Not sure what you're accustomed to, and fishing the big, wet, heavy fly might not be fun...unless you find a good size wild trout with it. Fish deep or tight against undercuts.

    Take care of the fish. Some fish/waters are catch/release waters. Many Alaskans feel strongly about wild (vs stocked) fish. There was a rant on another thread by an Ak fisherman about how visiting fishermen would drag fish out onto the bank, dawdle, take pictures...before releasing the fish. Ugly.

    Denali Hwy - could be slower going than you think. If the ruts and dust are at their best, you'll be impressed and slow down. Should be good Grayling opportunites though.

    Got optics? Bring your binoculars. At Teklanika, I believe you drive in once, then drive out once. Binos will extend your exploration range considerably while hiking or biking in between.

    Cool trip. I've got a beater canoe and PFDs you guys could borrow if you have a rack on your RV and are so inclined. Think carefully about getting into the water here - it's cold with risks, but PM or email if you're interested.

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    I get by with 90% of my fishing on an 8 wt. and a 5 wt. travel rod. I use my 3 wt. when I'm chasing grayling because they are small and don't fight real hard and it's more fun to do dries on a 3. I will be getting a heavier 10 or 12 for kings because they are fun on my 8 but they kick my @** up and down the river when I use it! Just a matter of what you are after I guess. You can get a rod for every situation or just work more water with the same rod, doing the latter I find that most fishing that can be done from shore with a fly rod for most species is accomplished nicely with my 5 and 8 and I can put them in the same rod tube. Don't bother with less than a travel rod, mine are 5 pieces, 4 is ok but I wouldn't go less. Also don't got shorter than 8' 6". I tend to favor my longer rods, lots of bigger water up here.

    There are lots of fish and lots of gear you could chase them with here but if you want to have some money left over for gas (still climbing and it's not July yet) think about the breadth a rod can handle, not the niche it would fit perfect in.
    River Runnin

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    Member MICHoutdoors's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for all the help!! I greatly appreciate it..

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