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Thread: Tongass!!!

  1. #1
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    Default Tongass!!!

    Planning a trip for mid to late april 2011. I just started researching this trip and definately want to do a forestry cabin. I would be flying from buffalo n.y and yes we lost 4 super bowls. lol. Steelies would be the main choice, if i was so lucky to get the karta cabins in the pow vicinity is this one of the sought after cabins? any info or other DIY alaska trip suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default most of those cabins are booked

    For your time frame all of the really good forest service cabins are booked. They book six months in advance and are very competitive. I have the Naha river cabin for the third week in april but may not be able to go. If not i could let you know when i'm cancelling so you could jump on it. I tried to get karta and others but it is tough going to get them during prime time.

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    I appreciate the possible offer. I've heard you have to be on the computer to book when it opens up. i was just looking for a little feedback on the steel fishing and other back up cabins in case i cant get karta. been thinking of doing this trip for awhile, so finally decided to shoot for april 2011.

  4. #4

    Default yeah

    You do have to be on the computer when it opens. If you search through the regular fishing forum you will find a whole thread about self-guided SE steelhead fishing prompted by me and others. On that thread there are some links to some forest service cabin manifests that rank the best cabins by species and give catch reports for 25-30 cabins. You may be able to get some help off that. http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...elhead+fishing

    here is the link. Check out the links i posted on the last post of the thread. That may start to help and please pass on any more info you may get.

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    thank you for the help. I have done several remotes fly-ins in canada, but i know alaska is a whole different extreme situation. this would be my first to alaska and really looking forward to setting this trip up.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by woolybugger141 View Post
    Planning a trip for mid to late april 2011. I just started researching this trip and definately want to do a forestry cabin. I would be flying from buffalo n.y and yes we lost 4 super bowls. lol. Steelies would be the main choice, if i was so lucky to get the karta cabins in the pow vicinity is this one of the sought after cabins? any info or other DIY alaska trip suggestions would be appreciated.
    yes. but planning a trip to a forest service cabin on the karta, situk or the other 1-2 unmentioned accessible cabin locations with 10-100X more steelhead than anywhere else in Alaska, is like planning to win the lottery, or planning to go to a celebration for buffalo winning the superbowl before they start the season. You can get on the internet and, like the rest of us, try to reserve the cabin 6 months in advance at 7 am sharp for year after year till the cows come home, and that doesn't mean you'll ever get it.

    I wish us all luck.

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    what would you recommend if the cabins were a no-go. a lodge is out of the question. any suggestions for a back up plan?

  8. #8

    Default is it really 7 a.m.?

    steve i tried to call USFS and they were vauge about the time. Do the new openings really happen at 7 eastern?

  9. #9

    Default

    No, it's 7 am PST; which is 10 am eastern (or 6 am Alaska time); not more than 180 days in advance. Except for occasional outages/glitches, the reservation system stays on time and doesn't release reservations early (not even a few seconds).

    For other questions, go to recreation.gov.

    backup plan? There are other FS cabins near steelhead streams with much smaller runs of fish. You could try one of those places and maybe you will catch a fish there.

  10. #10
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Default tent

    Can't you take a tent?

  11. #11
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Tenting it in late april really isn't too bad at all especially down south
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    I know this is a old thread, but i would like to thank everyone for the comments and help. Well it only took a couple of years i finally secured Mcdonald lake cabin for end of april 2014. the planning has started, i plan on using carlin air which i hear is very reputable. Oh and i got the cabin before the buffalo bills even dreamed of winning a super bowl or let alone playoff run. I hear the steelhead run is usually a little later for this area compared to other cabins? Any other help or suggestions would be appreciated. thx

  13. #13
    Member AlaskaHippie's Avatar
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    Good on you for sticking to it!

    I can't offer any advice on the area, but I admire your perseverance in getting a cabin all these years later.
    “Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― H.S.T.
    "Character is how you treat those who can do nothing for you."

  14. #14
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by woolybugger141 View Post
    Any other help or suggestions would be appreciated. thx
    I haven't been there in twenty years, but that cabin used to have a john boat with oars. If you want to fish the inflow or explore around the lake, a small outboard and a couple gallons of gas would be handy. I've rowed the length of the lake and back, but it's a long row. If you intend to only fish the lower end of the lake and the outflow river, then don't bother with a motor. The river is world class steelhead and cutthroat water, and you could spend weeks fishing between the outflow and the salt and not get bored. Be really careful if you wade; you can't hardly step foot in the water without disturbing redds. Lots of bear sign in there, and I imagine they're thick when the salmon are running, but never saw any during the spring steelhead run. It's a stunningly beautiful place.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
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  15. #15
    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by woolybugger141 View Post
    I know this is a old thread, but i would like to thank everyone for the comments and help. Well it only took a couple of years i finally secured Mcdonald lake cabin for end of april 2014. the planning has started, i plan on using carlin air which i hear is very reputable. Oh and i got the cabin before the buffalo bills even dreamed of winning a super bowl or let alone playoff run. I hear the steelhead run is usually a little later for this area compared to other cabins? Any other help or suggestions would be appreciated. thx
    I have seen ice on the lake in April, so depending on our winter you could encounter some of that also.

  16. #16

    Default

    Tried to pm you but you dont have enough posts. We were at that cabin this spring (second week of may) with mixed results.

    Beautiful spot though.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by woolybugger141 View Post
    I know this is a old thread, but i would like to thank everyone for the comments and help. Well it only took a couple of years i finally secured Mcdonald lake cabin for end of april 2014. the planning has started, i plan on using carlin air which i hear is very reputable. Oh and i got the cabin before the buffalo bills even dreamed of winning a super bowl or let alone playoff run. I hear the steelhead run is usually a little later for this area compared to other cabins? Any other help or suggestions would be appreciated. thx
    I was there within the last decade. I've not heard anything like that about steelhead timing being later there than in other cabins. Late April is when people typically go for steelhead in SE AK, but the range is anywhere from late March in the snow, to at least mid-May. I remember reading the cabin logbook and there were steelhead caught in May at McDonald. Also, remember, that in the spring - there are hunters using these cabins for bear, and sometimes both bear/steelhead.

    I did my first steelhead trip last April to another cabin, and was successful (3 large steelhead landed in a week). This is not a big numbers fish. The water is cold (high 30's), and there can be snow, and steelhead fishing takes more patience than other species of fish. The other fish that is often present that time of year are sea-run cutthroat. It is a little easier getting around the stream/creek margins in spring because the brush is not leafed out.

    McDonald has a nice inlet stream (Walker Creek) at the other end of the lake from the cabin, 5 miles away, and there is at least a mile of stream that can be fished there until it turns into a series of waterfalls. A rental motor is recommended, at least 6 hp, and even then it is a 25 minute run up the lake. The outlet stream from McDonald (Wolverine Creek) has no tidal flat at all - it just empties into deeper salt water. Most of the fishing of the outlet stream is within 1/2 mile of the cabin.

    The cabin is well-kept, with big deck, and lots of light (skylites, translucent deck roof).

  18. #18
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    Default

    thx stevsch for the helpful info! much appreciated

  19. #19

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    I will also be on POW in mid April for 2 weeks.
    what I am curious about is the size of hooks to use for my flies. My home river is the Anchor River on the Kenai Peninsula and I tend to use size 4 and ocassionally 2's but that is because the river is small often shallow and our steelies smaller than those on POW. Any recommendations of size and favorite flies would be great. I also fish beads.... and I assume they are effective there in the spring. By the way, we landed a cabin...

  20. #20

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    IMHO the best hooks you can buy are these. Size #2 tends to be too big for almost every application. We exclusively use #4 for southeast steelhead with great success. Amazing purchase with the offset and if you snell them on we have a very high hook to land ratio. The best part is how cleanly they come out without damaging mandibles or leaving large bloody puncture wounds. They may cost a bit more than others but I firmly believe it is worth it.

    As far as non-bead terminal tackle we used to bring tons and tons of things but have found that keeping it simple and having a good presentation is just as good as having 1,000 options in the tackle box. Dolly llamas, #4 black and white dumbbell eyed ESL and green but skunks are all I carry anymore.

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