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Thread: Trip of a Lifetime

  1. #1
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    Default Trip of a Lifetime

    Good day, all. I am a brand new member and am already very impressed with how helpful this web-site has been.

    My father and I have been threatening to plan a fishing trip to Alaska for a good 15 years now. Unfortunately, despite our best intentions the rigors of life as we know it has prevented these plans from ever taking shape. The good news is that we are both at a point in life that should allow us to make good on that which we have only talked about before.

    That being said, and two weeks into my research, I'm finding it to be a daunting task to find a location/facility that will provide us the "trip of a lifetime" that we are striving for.

    Here is a quick list of criteria that will hopefully help anyone interested in helping us refine our search understand what our priorities are:

    -Neither of us have ever fished in Alaska and would prefer a guided trip.
    -We have NO interest in standing shoulder to shoulder fishing with others.
    -Catching fish is important, but we are in it for the total experience.
    -A lodge is needed as we would prefer not to camp and like the idea of being fed well and having a nice warm bed.
    -We prefer freshwater fishing, ideally either wading or floating.
    -We are novices with a fly rod but would like to fish with both fly and light tackle.

    Any specific guides or lodges that any of you think might fit the bill would be great. Also, thoughts on general areas and/or river systems that we should target would be much appreciated, too.

    Good fishing, everyone.

    Doug

  2. #2
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default fly in

    given your selectivity - you will need to do a fly in trip to a lodge. You won't get too far away from people on the roadway.

  3. #3

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    You may look up tik chik lodge they do great with all the things you are looking for

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    given your selectivity - you will need to do a fly in trip to a lodge. You won't get too far away from people on the roadway.
    Yep, fly in lodge or maybe a float trip. Stay way from the Kenai Peninsula if you don't want people.

    Look to the Bristol bay rivers.

  5. #5
    Member garnede's Avatar
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    Try looking at Wood-Tikchik State Park. There are plenty of lodges there. It offers most alaskan fish species, both lakes and rivers, and world class fishing.
    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/

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    Katmai Fishing Adventures is a great fishing adventure with salmon, trophy trout and they are in a key area, King Salmon on the Naknek River, for fly outs to special spots that do not take expert technique to have a great chance at very nice fish. I know both Heath and Nanci and some of thier guides and all are top notch. All that plus located on the Naknek River which in itself is a desired destination.

    I have no association with the business just friends with the owners.

    George

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    I've been to a few of the lodges out in the southwest. Depending what your target species and timing and budget there is quite a selection. Instead of plugging for a specific lodge, I would recommend you start with the 2008 December issue of Fish Alaska Magazine. They've got some good reviews in there.

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    First of all, welcome to the forum


    I agree that SW Alaska is where you should look. Lots of great lodges in that area. I have talked with the owner of the Goodnews Lodge, which is the only lodge on the Goodnews River. That is a real plus since there would be less people to share the river with. Another thing that may be of interest to you and your dad is that at this lodge, they have two clients per guide. This would be ideal for you I feel. Great king fishing in the first two weeks of July. Incredible rainbow fishing during certain times. And this river has a wonderful run of silvers in the last week or two of Aug and into Sept. Which also is good timing for rainbows. Just depends on what you are after. I did a float trip on this river two years ago and had an awesome trip. We spoke with a few of the guides and they were unusually friendly. Invited us to the lodge for some hot chocolate and what not. Doing float trips, this is a bit unusual from my experiences. We passed by the lodge as time did not allow a visit, but it looked like a top rate set up to me. Lots of jet boats in good shape, clean grounds, and overall just a picturesque location.

    http://www.epicfishing.com/htmlfile/frame.htm
    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.

  9. #9
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    Default Go with Doug

    at http://www.blueberryislandlodge.com/
    he is here on the site and has a really nice place.
    He is not blowing his own horn, so I will for him..
    you will do well with him..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  10. #10
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    Some Lodges I reccomend:

    Good News River - Good guys great fishing, not as many people as other lodge accessed areas less expensive than fly out lodges

    Talaheim Lodge - Heli Fishing is hard to beat

    Also blueberry island looks sweet
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default Quit dreaming and start planning...

    The only hurdle to make your dream is to make the committment.

    It's a lot easier than you could ever imagine if you use the tools available.

    The best way to start is to visit this site's bookstore and review the works of those who have gone before you.

    Nail your destination, and then ask the locals on this forum who reside or travel frequently to that interest area. Trust them; they give great advice.

    Plan ahead. A year out front is not unreasonable...

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


  12. #12
    Member NickofTime's Avatar
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    First and foremost, grab this book:

    "Flyfisher's Guide to Alaska" By Scott Haugen, Dan Busch, and Will Rice.



    IMO, this is the best resource available for remote fishing in the state of Alaska...regardless of wether you spin / fly fish. While it does offer contact info for many lodges throughout the state, It's not filled with 'advertisements' or 'featured lodges; (who pay to be in there). Nothing but good, useful info from people who have actually fished these waters!

    ...Just my $.02

  13. #13
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Great suggestion on the above book. One of my favorites for sure. Tons of info. Each chapter is about a geographic area of the state. Great book.
    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.

  14. #14
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    Default POW

    Have you looked into Prince of Wales for a fishing trip. It is much less crowded than southcentral and still has a good road system you could fish from and not be crowded. After you have had enough of the freshwater fishing for a day you can also go fishing for halibut, rockfish and some crabs in the ocean. Give Mike a call at Coffman Cove Adventures. He offers lodging and meals so you are all taken care of when you are done fishing for the day.

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    Default First off...

    Billing it as the trip of a lifetime makes it hard for the trip to be just that. Yes, the fishing, scenery and wildlife can be amazing, but people get skunked in Bristol Bay too and often the scenery is shrouded in driving rain...thus the lack of people. There are lots of lodges out in southwest Alaska that will vary in accomodations, scope, species and price. None are cheap. The questions you would have to consider are:

    Budget (plan on 4 to 8 k for everything)
    Timing
    Species (often coincides or controls timing)
    Fly or Spin( many lodges out here are pretty fly specific, while others are not)
    Trophy, or numbers (The Goodnews will offer gobs of rainbows but you won't see any Naknek monsters...no matter what they tell you)
    Boat or fly out fishing each day (although, many offer both)

    The top end lodges will offer fly outs on float planes (with boat options depending on location) very nice accomodations, five star meals cooked by a real chef, top rated guides, excellent equipment and access to most top end (not to be confused with best) fisheries in their area. Often you will not fish the same river or lake more than once, maybe twice...but they are often flexible depending on group preferences.

    Middle of the road lodges often have access to good waters at their front door and some do flyouts as well, whether on wheels or floats. housing is sometimes communal and usually not too ritzy but warm, dry, clean and comfortable, food is hearty and good but not likely gourmet. These are often owner operated with a touch of family help at some of them...this can be a nice touch. Great fishing can certainly be had with these lodges, but it won't be a generator powered Ritz Hotel like the top end boys.

    Tent camps lodges like the Good News River lodge, are very comfortable but not hard sided, and as such they are a tent and tents are what they are. Still, they are much cheaper (relatively, I'm a DIYer), and often you will fish what is available on one river or a river and it's tribs, not as much flying going on. However, these are often on places like the Goodnews, Kanektok, Nushagak or Togiak rivers which offer all a lower 48er could imagine from a fishing trip...seriously. I was a fishing fool in the lower 48 before moving to Bristol Bay and everything I do out here still blows my mind...

    What I gather from your post is that you want a guide, comfort, cooked meals etc. well, if you've got the cash, you can certainly get that. Knowing what your budget and comfort level is can help folks put you more directly in touch with a region or a lodge that can help you out. But, I definitely would push you towards southwest Alaska. Alaska is such a huge place that if you want to see everything you saw on the Discover channel or read in a magazine....you need a few lifetimes, but I feel that SW Alaska, offers more of it (fishingwise) in one place than any other part of the state. A trip to a lodge in Bristol Bay could potentially offer you all five salmon, grayling, Char, Dollies, Pike, rainbows....the only thing we don't have here is Sheefish and Steelhead. Some operators in the Iliamna Lake area, even offer halibut options...and it's good.

  16. #16
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    Default

    Thanks to everyone who has offered their input, experience and/or expertise. Being entirely open minded going in I'm continuing to have a hard time getting to the next step, but all the help has been great.

    I'm going to continue doing some homework and likely log back in with all of you once I get a shorter list of destinations figured out.

    Again, many thanks to all.

    Doug

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