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Thread: Field and Stream: The Alaska Experiment

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    Default Field and Stream: The Alaska Experiment

    Can two anglers from the Lower 48 fish their way from Denali to Kenai - with spectacular salmon and trout action in wild and beautiful country - on just $200 a day?


    Apparently these guys were using 6wt rods and flies, but would one be able to do this with ultralight gear (10-15lb line) and lures/spinners? If so what type of lures and spinners would work the best?

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Ultralight or light rods with 10-15# test would work well for trout, but will be too light for fighting salmon in the streams. I'm partial to 1/4 oz castmasters and spoons, especially the lil cleos which have sadly been discontinued.

    We've used the light rods with 10# test for silvers and pinks in the saltwater, they work great with buzz bombs. But give the fish the advantage of the current of a river and you want to move up to medium weight gear with 17-20# test.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungGunner View Post
    Can two anglers from the Lower 48 fish their way from Denali to Kenai - with spectacular salmon and trout action in wild and beautiful country - on just $200 a day?


    Apparently these guys were using 6wt rods and flies, but would one be able to do this with ultralight gear (10-15lb line) and lures/spinners? If so what type of lures and spinners would work the best?
    Yes. I've done it with an ultralight, and 10lb test braid.
    Fighting pinks on an ultralight spinning rod is a riot.

    Keep in mind that in many crowded areas I wouldn't recommend this. People will get pissed if you're fighting a fish for too long and/or chasing it down the river.

    Fishing sockeyes at the Russian would likely break an ultralight, and or snap your 10-15lb test line.
    Smaller stuff should be fine though (pinks, trout, dollys etc)

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    you could do that easy...my favorite setup for silvers ( mainly at the mouths of streams) is 14# test on a med-light spinning rod with a #4 silver/ silver vibrax....for spinners- anything vibrax or mepps up to number 5 size should work wonders, especially early in the morning....roe works great to....as for spoons- pixies, castmasters, krocadiles, dardevles......flies are also a good way to catch silvers as well as trout and big grayling. the streams on the parks highway at their mouths also have burbot, which are great eating and fun to catch...use chunks of salmon meat or salmon roe on the bottom in the murky water to catch them. if your gonna be fishing uncrowded waters at all, i suggest packing a sidearm for bears. when will you be taking your trip?

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    I'd recommend 17-20# test and a rod/reel to match. It should handle anything you'd encounter on the way just fine without having to fight the fish forever and tire it out. In crowded areas, the longer it takes you to land the fish, the more people get pissed off, and if you accidentally foul hook a good size fish you more than likely won't be able to get it in in a timely manner (or at all) on ultralight tackle. Just my 2 cents.

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    Default Just getting ahead,

    Im planning on taking the trip the summer after my senior year...Next year Im going to be a freshman. So Im just making sure I have everything ready for a trip of a lifetime with my best friend. Thank you scnettek for giving me that confidence in the tackle I want to use. I dont want to fight huge heavy lunker salmon like Sockeyes or Kings but I want a challenge when it comes to 6 or 7lb pink or silver. I know about the bear protection idea because Ive been reading (too many ) of the threads on here and Im planning on bringing an 870 with an 18" barrel and 3" slugs Because although my Blackhawk would be more comfortable, as a defense thing I would much rather trust my life on a 700 grain slug than a 300 grain bullet

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungGunner View Post
    Im planning on taking the trip the summer after my senior year...Next year Im going to be a freshman. So Im just making sure I have everything ready for a trip of a lifetime with my best friend. Thank you scnettek for giving me that confidence in the tackle I want to use. I dont want to fight huge heavy lunker salmon like Sockeyes or Kings but I want a challenge when it comes to 6 or 7lb pink or silver. I know about the bear protection idea because Ive been reading (too many ) of the threads on here and Im planning on bringing an 870 with an 18" barrel and 3" slugs Because although my Blackhawk would be more comfortable, as a defense thing I would much rather trust my life on a 700 grain slug than a 300 grain bullet
    Valid point on the shotgun.

    Keep this in mind though. With a fishing rod in hand, how quickly can you get that shotgun off your back?
    A handgun you can reach, draw and fire quickly and accurately with 300 grain bullets would be my choice hands down.....just my $0.02

    Bears don't always give you 30 seconds notice

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    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    i second the handgun point....while a shotgun is nice to have, it may be tough to get to in time. i personally carry a .44 blackhawk, and ive always been confident with it and my ability to shoot fast and straight enough when needed...but its all in your own opinion and what your comfortable with...however, you could invest in a military sling like the army uses, so you can just pick up and shoot from the front of your body, though this would be uncomfortable while fishing... I wouldnt be surprised if you didnt see a single bear during your trip, as many dont, but you never know when or where you will.

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    Another note on light tackle. My wife caught a 24 lbs Salcha king on an ultra light loaded with 6 lbs test and a tiny panther martin. She was not trying to hook a king obviously, but it happened. The fight lasted about 45 minutes. The only reason we continued the fight was that no one was around to disturb. She had to run down the bank, fight from the boat, and finish from the opposite bank. Point is that it is possible to land a king on an ultra light set-up, but it takes a lot of time and luck; it also probably ensure the death of the fish after that kind of fight. I think ethically a medium-light should be used if you are targeting anything larger than pinks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akshrop View Post
    I think ethically a medium-light should be used if you are targeting anything larger than pinks.
    The main point I was wanting to make...

    YoungGunner, I know you want to hear that you should use what you want and no one is stopping you. But my advice is to use medium-light as well. Ultralight rods are great if all you plan on fishing is pinks and trout, but if you plan on fishing silvers or reds or anything bigger, the responsible thing to do would be to use heavier tackle. You can still have a ton of fun fighting a full size trout or pink on medium-light tackle...I know because I have. You also have to consider that it is possible you may foul-hook a fish at some point and need to get him in quickly to get the hook out without stressing him too badly and killing him. I'm a firm believer in responsible fishing and most people that live up here will appreciate your thoughtfulness if you do the same.

    Like I said, not trying to preach, I just think you should match the tackle to the fish, not just size down for a better fight.

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    Default Books...

    Quote Originally Posted by YoungGunner View Post
    Can two anglers from the Lower 48 fish their way from Denali to Kenai - with spectacular salmon and trout action in wild and beautiful country - on just $200 a day?

    [/FONT][/LEFT]

    If I were planning a trip like you have in mind, I would go to the forum store and check out the fishing section. Buy Gunnar Pedersons "Alaska Fishing" and "Kenai River" books. Great books. Also pick up "Fishing the Alaska Road System" (or similar title). Tons of info there that I think would benefit you. Good luck planning your trip. I am sure it will be a great one.
    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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    I keep a set of "boat poles" in my wooldridge. They are regular ugly stick trout rods w/ 10lb flouro on them. They do everything from catching landlocked silvers and stocked bows when tooling around finger testing the boat to pulling in silvers on my moose hunt last year. My cousin and I got into em good when the moose never showed up last year. I just flipped a purple egg sucking leach and BAM, silvers and even managed to pull in a dolly! No one around and WAY more fun than fighting them in a crowd w/ 25lb test on my 9' silver pole!

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    [QUOTE=YoungGunner;541120] I dont want to fight huge heavy lunker salmon like Sockeyes or Kings but I want a challenge when it comes to 6 or 7lb pink or silver.


    I don't mean to nitpick, but you've got the silver (coho) and the sockeye (red) backwards. Just one more thing to learn before you take the trip...

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    So the main point is to use medium tackle as opposed to ultralight? I dont want to disturb anybody but the plan is to stay as FAR away from people as possible. I dont want to fight some big fish to the point where it dies for my entertainment, but when it comes to smaller(ish) creeks and rivers do the big fish even make it that far up? Im sorry if I'm bieng a little ignorant because I understand how absurd some of my questions sound if some (tourist) asked me these kinds of questions here in colorado. Also, when would the BEST possible time be to fight bigger 'bows and dolly's? I was planning the trip for sometime around mid-July to mid or late june?

    And by medium tackle... (its hard for me to judge when a 1 pound trout here is a MONSTER) would a medium action uglystik with 25lb test be considered medium?
    Again I dont mean to be ignorant but I dont want this trip to be unpleasant

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    Default What are friends for?

    Quote Originally Posted by scnettek View Post
    Valid point on the shotgun.

    Keep this in mind though. With a fishing rod in hand, how quickly can you get that shotgun off your back?
    A handgun you can reach, draw and fire quickly and accurately with 300 grain bullets would be my choice hands down.....just my $0.02

    Bears don't always give you 30 seconds notice

    The way it sounds is since im going to have a friend with me, it would be best to have the person with (the pack- with a few essentials) to have a handgun and the other person to have the shotgun. is this a good idea?

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoungGunner View Post
    The way it sounds is since im going to have a friend with me, it would be best to have the person with (the pack- with a few essentials) to have a handgun and the other person to have the shotgun. is this a good idea?
    Actually that happens to be exactly the way my brother and I fish

    I tell him "I've got 5 rounds of .44 MAG in this thing - that'll give you time to get that 12 Gauge off your shoulder!"

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    a 10-15# spinning rod is an ultra light? Thats what I've been using for salmon for years.

    And yea you can use spinning rods to catch fish, look up centerpinning techniques, you can do the same thing with a spinning rod.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Default When though?

    When would be the best time for me to go up as far north as denali (not far for the state but far by means of latitude) to go for the trip? Like i said Middle of june to middle of july or early july to end of july?

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    Just a couple of clarifications. If you want to fish in solitude, do not persue salmon in rivers that can be accessed with a car, you will not be alone! On the flip side, there is phenominal fishing to be had in car accessible locals all summer long. Also the 6wt rods in the article you read are more along the line of medium weight gear. I'd say bring a light rod with 10# test and a medium/hvy with 20#. Those will nicely cover the majority of your needs. Considering the investment you'll have in the trip, having a couple rods geared to your use is well worth the extra expense.

    I'd suggest doing a long loop trip, head from Anchorage out to Glenallen, fish the Gulkanna river, then head N to the Denali Highway. Spend some time in the Tangle lakes area (late June to 4th of July timeframe) and then fish your way along the Denali to the Parks highway. Then work your way back to Anchorage, and head South towards Seward. There is lots of fine lake fishing to be had along the way. If you have the time, rent a canoe and fish the Kenai Canoe Lake trails for a week, or more. This are has wonderful wild rainbow trouts, you'll see lots of wildlife, and very few if any people. There are few places I'd rather camp and just enjoy some time in nature, and catch a few rainbows.




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    Default Ok new idea Dads turn

    I have a 13ft aluminum starcraft boat with a 10hp motor. My dad just read Paul H's reply and told me to bring my boat instead. Would a boat this (small) be able to be hauled around to these littler lakes and would there be anywhere for me to off-load the boat, Any suggestions would be nice



    The boat isnt heavy, two people could carry it to shore from the trailer, but would it be legal?

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