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Thread: My Alaska trip of a lifetime!

  1. #1

    Default My Alaska trip of a lifetime!

    This is my first post...I'm brand new.

    Hey guys,

    I am planning a trip to Alaska with my wife and I'm looking to do 2-3 days of fishing around July 5-8 in/around the Kenai River as well as doing some halibut fishing. I am hoping to catch kings, silvers and rainbow trout, as well as a day out for halibut. I am reaching out to see if there's some information on some trustworthy guides as well as accommodations and/or suggestions for lodging. I'm not looking for something 5-star...just a comfortable bed and a cozy room. I've found some comprehensive lodges that include fishing guides and meals, etc. as a package but they seem pretty pricey. Is it worth doing this fishing portion of the trip as a "package" through one of these lodges or should I pay for day charters and lodging separately? I don't mind paying for a great guide but I could go without the bells and whistles. Some of the lodges we've looked into include the Kenai River Sportfishing Lodge, Great Alaska Lodge, and Alaskan Fishing Adventures (Tim Berg's Lodge). Also, does anyone have any opinions with regards to halibut fishing out of Seward vs. Homer? What are your thoughts regarding fishing the Kenai River for the dates I have planned (July 5-8)?

    On another note, other things we'd like to do are a bear viewing day trip (Lake Clark), the Kenai Fjords Glacier Cruise, a few days up to Denali with a Kantishna Wilderness tour and a day in Talkeetna. Is a flightseeing tour of Denali worth the $300+ expense? Any ideas, recommended outfitters, opinions? We have already rented a car for our 10-day trip so we won't be needing any transfers.

    Thanks for your help!
    Jay

  2. #2

    Default

    As for the Halibut/Silver portion I would recommend Crackerjack Charters out of Seward...great reputation and will get you your fish. July is too early for river Silvers. The Kenai will be busy with King and slow Rainbow fishing. I would plan to stay a night in Seward before your charter the following day and again that night...you`ll be tired. In Homer you will get your halibut but not likely anything better than a Seward charter, not to mention the looong drive down. I`ve been out with Silverhook charters on the Kenai and we did good. Dave is a very good operator and will get you on some fish.

  3. #3
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    If the weather is nice, a flight is mandatory. Nothing will show the beauty of this land like flying over it.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  4. #4
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    2-3 days of fishing in Alaska is not a lot of time. But to accomplish what you want in the short time, here are some ideas. The charters out of Seward is great for halibut, bottom fish, Silvers combo. I am pretty sure you can catch all those in one day. Go down the night before and stay in Seward and take the charter out in the morning. This is a full day trip as the it is about 2-3 hours out and 2-3 hours back. I've used http://www.saltwatersafari.com/ and they are pretty good at getting you into fish. For Kings, you should try the Nushagak River. There are a few outfitters that will fly you out for a single day trip. For example.. http://tcguideservice.com/flyin_trips.html#trip01. I've never used TC but only using it as an example. The number of Kings in the Nushagak is pretty amazing and the success rate is astounding compared to the Kenai. You'll get great sight seeing of the land from the float/wheel plane trip to boot. If you want to fish the Kenai for Kings and avoid the flyout, there are lots of guides. Forum member Iceblue is a well seasoned guide on the Kenai and will help you I'm sure. That is if he isn't already totally booked up.

    For bear viewing, there are many outfitters that service a single day trip from Soldatna to the West side of cook inlet. I've been on one and they add fishing to it. I didn't really enjoying the fishing but the bear viewing was pretty fun for my guest. For example.. http://www.salmoncatcherlodge.com/flyout.php . Good luck and enjoy the great land.

    Qkayak

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for your input. I meant Sockeye and Kings not Silvers. Can't wait though. I would love to get a few more days of fishing but we our trying to hit a few parts of the state on a 10 day trip, so that's what I have to work with. I'll also have a pole to drop a line in on every spare moment!!!!I'm thinking we're going to stay in the Kenai area, such as Soldotna. Kenai Riverbend Resort has dates open and I was considering Jimmie Jack also. Any thoughts? Thanks

  6. #6
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Do you already have your dates locked in, or are they flexible? If you're set on the Kenai, the king and sockeye fishing will be better towards the end of July. Kings will be present in early July, but you'll be hitting the lull between the 1st and 2nd sockeye runs. They'll be there, but not likely in peak numbers.

  7. #7

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    Date is pretty much locked in but I want a King first and foremost and then Sockeye, Halibut and Rainbow would be bonuses. First week with bait on a Tuesday should be pretty good right?

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    Member supern8inak's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of fishing for reds during the first 2 weeks of July in the Kenai system. My cousin came up 2 Summers ago and I told him don't schedule until after the 17th of July and what does he do, scheduled for July 3 through the 13th. Just wasn't a good year for that time frame. Kings were slow too. Halibut fishing was great though and I'm not sure how the Silvers are out in Seward at that time. I've never been in a boat out of Seward, this will be the first year. Good luck, there will be fish around to catch.

  9. #9
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    The success rate on the Kenai for Kings is about 50% for non guided vs. guided. The bank fishing limitted for Kings. If you put in your time, you should be able to catch some Sockeyes. The Russian river (flows into the Kenai) should still have some fish (and some bears) down by the mouth for you to catch. As Brian mentioned, you are between runs and the Kenai sockeyes are just starting. Until you figure it out, the Sockeyes can be "elusive". The silvers in the saltl on the other hand will absolutely just hammer your offerings. I've had many guests in cussing on the banks of the Kenai. As I said before, if you really want to catch a king, take a fly out to the Nushagak. Don't get me wrong, I love to the fish the Kenai and have a place on it. I just don't want you disapointed. Good luck.

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    I would not count on the fact the timeframe that you are looking at will be the first bait of the season on the Kenai. Remember that ADF&G will EO (emergency order) bait into the fishery once they feel that the projected escapement goal of kings that come into the Kenai during May - June will be reached. Since ADF&G went to the current escapement range three years ago bait was given in early June two out of the three years. Having said that the timeframe between July 5 - 10 has always been one of my favorites of the season. Why? Well, you know we will have bait, the slot limit is no longer in place below the Soldotna Bridge, the king counts are starting to pick up, and it is not nearly as busy on the river as it will be in another week or so. Sure it might be a little early for the bulk of the second run of Kenai sockeye but there should be some around, the Russian River should still have some late first run fish, and if all else fails the nearby Kasilof River should have enough sockeye available to make it worth checking out.

    Jimmie Jack is a good guide. Riverbend has been around forever but make sure you get them to tell you who your guide is going to be.

    Fish Magnet (Joe Hanes) @907-262-6388 or Adam Reid @ 907-252-2116 are two guides that I respect out on the water. Both have nice lodging as well. Anyway, have fun and good luck!

  11. #11
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    Default Jersey Bassnbow...

    I hope you realize what a great bunch of guys (and gals...) are on this forum, gives you hope and faith in the human race to see how generous and genuine people are on this forum, and looks like you got some good advice here.

    Now about that "trip of a lifetime", I hope you're not that old, because this will likely be the first trip of many in your lifetime, Alaska does that to you!

    Good luck, it will be the best 10 days of your life SO FAR for you and your wife!

  12. #12

    Default

    Thanks for all your help. How is Big Sky? It looks great and has shore fishing. I like the fact that you can drop a line in whenever as well. Does Riverbend or any of the other guides that you recommend have that available? Thanks for all your input guys! Oh, and one more thing, what would be that success rate with a guide on that week? I know it's fishing, but, what can I expect? Probably going to be on a boat with 2 others and my wife, so hopefully I won't get skunked!

  13. #13

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    The Nushagak River for a single day trip seems awesome but way out of my budget. One more question, (for now)... It seems that the Kenai runs 80 miles. Should I stay in Soldotna? If so, recommendations? Will fish be concentrated in a certain area or will they be throughout?
    Thanks

  14. #14

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    I see Fishology Outfitters and Soldotna Bed and Breakfast Lodge in a search in that area. So, should I stay in Kenai or Soldotna?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cap'n Ron View Post
    Now about that "trip of a lifetime", I hope you're not that old, because this will likely be the first trip of many in your lifetime, Alaska does that to you!
    That's no lie! I took my wife on a cruise to AK a while back and I've made it every year since! There are some great people here on this forum and I've made friends for life! This will NOT be your last trip to Alaska and I guarranty that you won't be disappointed. Well maybe disappointed that you didn't spend more time on this piece of heaven on earth!

    Alaska and Alaskans have a way of setting the hook on you so to speak and you will always yearn for more. Good luck on your quick trip and plan for more time next year. You will be back! It's an addiction that can't be cured.

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    Default Check out Tower Rock Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyBassnbow View Post
    I see Fishology Outfitters and Soldotna Bed and Breakfast Lodge in a search in that area. So, should I stay in Kenai or Soldotna?
    Where ever you stay, you will want to stay on the river if possible so that you can do some red fishing. Riverbend has some decent gravel bank for you to flip for reds. The Tower Rock Lodge is right next door to me and I have heard good things about them. They also have some bank fishing as well. There are lots of options between Kenai and Soldotna. Early July is between the peak of king runs on the Kenai and the beginning of the run of Kenai Reds. Check this out for historic run timing. http://www.alaskaoutdoorjournal.com/Sonar/kpcharts.html
    By early July, there should be Kings throughtout the Lower Kenai River. Most guides will fish from downstream of the Soldotna bridge. With the greater concentration of the traffic in the lower section. Check around and choose your guide with care. Otherwise, you might end up with a wise ass running you up and down the river all day instead of fishing.

  17. #17

    Default Kenai recommendation

    Lots of choices on the Kenai and I've tried big outfitters and small outfitters. I now fish and stay twice a summer with Kieth at www.beavercreekcabins.com. Very small operation, four cabins, so you deal with the owners. As far as north of Anchorage, I've used Mahay's in Talkeetna a couple of times and it was all good. Have fun putting together your trip.

  18. #18
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    Big Sky is a good place to stay with good bank fishing. It is one of the phone numbers that I listed earlier (Adam). The other one that I listed (Fish Magnet) has a place to shore fish as well. Both of these outfits have been here for a long time. I would stay in Soldotna or even out to Sterling if it was me. Both have advantages and disadvantages.

    As far as fishing success it is fishing and you just never know but I would think that if you fish for three days with a group of three people that the odds are in your favor of getting a king a day for your group. Of course you could do better or worse as you just never know.

    The good thing about fishing multiple days is that it increases your chances of catching your Kenai King as the more hours that that line is in the water the more the odds tilt in your favor.

  19. #19

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    Jimmie Jack has availability but is on the bay. He says that you can go to some public spots to drop a line about 5 minutes away. He has 4 guides that work with him out of Kenai. How are they?

  20. #20

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    Think I made my decision unless anyone knows something I don't. I've decided to go with Big Sky. Location seems perfect, price is right and accommodations seem perfect. What do you think?

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