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Thread: What Would You Do?

  1. #1
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    Default What Would You Do?

    Hey Guys,

    I stumbled across this site while I was doing some Alaska research online for my first trip to Alaska. The site is awesome. My Dad, Brothers, and I are coming to AK from June 12-26 and plan to fish the Kenai Peninsula. For us this is truly the trip of a lifetime and Im so grateful to get the opportunity. I do alot of Flyfishing and Spinfishing in the rivers and streams of MI and have always heard the stories of AK, but to be able to live them would be awesome. We dont have alot of money to spend so we are renting a motorhome and will be attempting a do-it-yourself trip. Im hoping you guys can help me out. I already bought the Gunnar Pedersen book on fishing the Kenai and Ive been searching old posts on the forum but curious to see everyones recommendations on Campgrounds, fishing, etc aka your best experiences. So to my question.

    If you had two weeks in Alaska for a do-it-yourself trip without guided fishing trips where would you go and when? Let say your top 10 places to fish? Also do we have any chance at Kings from a river bank?

    Thanks so much for your help. Ive spent pretty much the last three days glued to the computer looking at pictures and reading articles I have no idea how im gonna make it to June 12th haha.

  2. #2

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    From the 12th -26th you should be able to get into some kings at Ship Creek in Anchorage. This is definetly combat fishing with a city background, but you have a good chance at landing a king. You might also be able to get into some kings at the Eklutna Tailrace about 20 miles north of Anchorage off the Old Glenn Highway. If you are willing to venture even further north the parks highway streams offer a chance to land a king from the bank, but become weekend only fisheries in the middle of June. I would definetly visit the Russian River and fish it hard to nail some reds on your flyrod.

  3. #3
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    I'd definetly try to get a campsite on the Russian River. Fish the confluence to experience the combat fishing. It's really not that bad and you will be fishing the first Red run. Also hike and fish up and down the river. The hike into the falls is beautiful and there is an awesome fishing hole at the start of the fishing area from the falls trail. Make your way down and fish the holes while making it back to your camp site. Lots of wildlife to see and take lots of pics of.

    Definetly also get in on a Halibut charter. There are lots of outfits that charter from Deep Creek, Anchor Point and Ninilchick but you may want to get a charter out of Homer for the experience of Homer. Homer is beautiful and there's lots of shops out on the spit for souveniers and there are some really great seafood restaurants as well. You will probably want to go to the "Salty Dawg" saloon to quench your thirst and sign your name on a dollar bill and post it on the wall. There are thousands of dollar bills from all over the world on the walls and ceiling of that joint. Definetly a must see!

    If you know how to row a raft, go to Max's place in Soldotna and rent a raft and fish the Kenai. The Red fishing will be a lot better and you don't have to fight the crowds! (as much).

    Don't forget Seward. You will have plenty of time to check all areas of the Kenai Peninsula. Seward is georgous and a great place to do a combo charter for Buts and rockfish.

    I'm sure more folks will chime in as the people here are awesome with incredible advice. You are guarranteed to have an awesome time and it won't be your last!

    Take lots of pics and video! You will love the KP!

  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    What species are you most interested in catching and how do you rank the species? Do you strictly want to fish or do some sightseeing? Would you be interested in fishing for some of the less popular species in a trade off for some solitude on a few days of your trip?

    It's a balancing act between spending all your time fishing one or two river systems at the expense of not seeing much of the state vs. spending too much time driving and not enough time fishing.

  5. #5
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    Default Type of Fishing

    Thanks for the great info so far! To add a little bit about our plans we were hoping to do as much fishing as possible and we were hoping that staying within the Kenai Peninsula would give us more time to fish and less time spent traveling. We really want to go after some Artic Char and Graying. We wanted to at least attempt a day at fishing Kings and a decent amount of time fishing Reds. Would love to get into some big rainbows as the average around the rivers I fish is about 8-10 inches. Also would love to find at least a few spots to hike into with the flyrod and fish grayling, rainbows, or salmon to maybe avoid the crowds a bit. Seward looks like a great place so Ill add that to the list. It looks like the Russian River Campground is completely booked solid so we are gonna have to find another place around there any suggestions?

    Thanks again!!

  6. #6
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Are you in decent shape? If so, hike up to Crescent Lake for grayling. If you care to camp up there, make it a two day hike and fish Carter Lake for rainbows on the 2nd day. As for the Russian, hike upstream of the parking areas for less crowded fishing. The best thing you can do at the Russian is to watch people for an hour before you start fishing. You'll notice that 10% of the people catch 50% of the fish. It's not because they're in the lucky spot. There are little differences in technique that make all the difference in the world when fishing for reds. The time spent just watching will make a world of difference later.

    As for kings from the bank, you do have a chance, but that partially depends on how the returns shape up. You can potentially catch kings from shore on the Kasilof, Ninilchik, or Anchor Rivers or Deep Creek. Watch the regs carefully, though. Some of these are weekend-only fisheries.

    As for char and rainbows, you should hire a guide to float the upper or middle Kenai on one of your days. You can catch them on your own, but your success rate will be far better with a guide on the first day. After that you'll have it figured out and can explore on your own.

  7. #7
    Member slimm's Avatar
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    Seward looks like a great place so Ill add that to the list. It looks like the Russian River Campground is completely booked solid so we are gonna have to find another place around there any suggestions?
    Thanks again!![/QUOTE]

    Seward is awesome,, You should be able to snag some reds out nash road about that time.
    Alot of folks think it's to much like work but i have a great time doing it,, you can get 6 a day so if your after meat thats a great way to collect some.. We always camp at the Aiforce campgrounds great fish cleaning facilitys and vac sealers, freezers,shower laundry mat. and cheap ice..

    For camping on the Kenai/Russian you can get a spot in the over flow at the ferry, it's first come first serve, and i think it is a 48 hour stay limit. You might be able to pull out when your time is up then just get back in line and get another 48 hours..We have done it a few times but its been awhile,, im sure someone else can clue you in on more details..

    I think you will be catching the tail end of the run but I have done pretty good on Kings at the Kasilof at that time of year. and theres plenty of camping there.

  8. #8
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    Check the regs for grayling but I think it doesn't open until July. Otherwise if you bring waders you can hike back to grayling lake. It's at mile 13 on the seward highway. You'll need waders so you can get away from the bank so you can backcast. Use any dry fly.

    You can get kings from the bank at Ninilchik at Crooked creek but expect a crowd.

    Do a halibut charter. Catch a big enough halibut and it sort of 'pays' for the trip.

  9. #9
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    If you can get into Coho Cove on the Kasilof then a king is a possibility.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

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

  10. #10

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    As far as the Russian River campground goes. They only allow a certain amount of reservations a year. So it is not fully booked. You may have to put your name on a list, and be there at the time they call names out. But I have never had to wait more than a day or two.

  11. #11
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    Have a great time.

    At http://markandchrislundin.com/Fishing.htm you can see our 2007 and 2009 trip to Alaska. Everything from the Russian, Crescent, Kenai, Quartz, three weeks of fishing. Spend a lot of time here, have a great trip.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKAdventure View Post
    Hey Guys,

    I stumbled across this site while I was doing some Alaska research online for my first trip to Alaska. The site is awesome. My Dad, Brothers, and I are coming to AK from June 12-26 and plan to fish the Kenai Peninsula. For us this is truly the trip of a lifetime and Im so grateful to get the opportunity. I do alot of Flyfishing and Spinfishing in the rivers and streams of MI and have always heard the stories of AK, but to be able to live them would be awesome. We dont have alot of money to spend so we are renting a motorhome and will be attempting a do-it-yourself trip. Im hoping you guys can help me out. I already bought the Gunnar Pedersen book on fishing the Kenai and Ive been searching old posts on the forum but curious to see everyones recommendations on Campgrounds, fishing, etc aka your best experiences. So to my question.

    If you had two weeks in Alaska for a do-it-yourself trip without guided fishing trips where would you go and when? Let say your top 10 places to fish? Also do we have any chance at Kings from a river bank?

    Thanks so much for your help. Ive spent pretty much the last three days glued to the computer looking at pictures and reading articles I have no idea how im gonna make it to June 12th haha.
    AKadventure, where you from in Michigan? I moved here from the Detroit area. I live in Kenai. I have a HewesCraft ocean boat and a Willies river boat, usually it's just the wife and I in the boat, we might have room for you and your buddies. send me a PM and maybe we can hook up while your here.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by KenaiIce View Post
    we might have room for you and your buddies. send me a PM and maybe we can hook up while your here.
    KenaiIce, thats huge. My hat is off to you.

  14. #14

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    akadventure,
    I have been up there 4 times, no such thing as a bad day on the Kenai Peninsula! the only trouble i have ever had fishing up there is too busy looking at the scenery to pay attention to the fishing! I have a coworker (another Yooper) going to be up there during your stay, and he is trying to book a halibut trip. needs a couple more on the boat though. send me an email, and maybe you can all hook up for that.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homertime View Post
    KenaiIce, thats huge. My hat is off to you.
    Homertime, I don't like to guide, but I do like taking new people fishing. I get a lot of pleasure seeing excited they get when they pull up a nice butt or king.

  16. #16
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    Default Thanks!!!

    Thanks so much for all of the great info. Im so glad I found the site. So far the plan is to attempt Kings from the Bank of the Kasilof first thing, then hit the reds on the Russian and Kenai for a few days during the week, then check out some of the smaller tribs for Rainbows, Grayling, Dollys, and Char. Somewhere in there we are going to attempt to get some fishing in at Homer in the lagoon, then head around and down to Seward and try for some reds down there. Then make a pilgramage to Valdez to chase some Pink salmon. My head is spinning from all the opportunities. Is there some good water from the Kenai Peninsula to Valdez for salmon and trout? And last but not least do you recommend the state run campgrounds over the private or visa versa?

    Thanks again guys for all the help. Much appreciated!!!

  17. #17
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    If you're going to head over to Valdez, that stretch of the trip is the time to try for grayling. The Little Nelchina river has grayling in it, though I've never fished it near the road. It would probably be worth a shot, though. It also opens up good opportunities for bank fishing for kings in the Gulkana and possibly Klutina Rivers.

  18. #18
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Late June still a little early in Valdez...

    Quote Originally Posted by AKAdventure View Post
    Thanks so much for all of the great info. Im so glad I found the site. So far the plan is to attempt Kings from the Bank of the Kasilof first thing, then hit the reds on the Russian and Kenai for a few days during the week, then check out some of the smaller tribs for Rainbows, Grayling, Dollys, and Char. Somewhere in there we are going to attempt to get some fishing in at Homer in the lagoon, then head around and down to Seward and try for some reds down there. Then make a pilgramage to Valdez to chase some Pink salmon. My head is spinning from all the opportunities. Is there some good water from the Kenai Peninsula to Valdez for salmon and trout? And last but not least do you recommend the state run campgrounds over the private or visa versa?

    Thanks again guys for all the help. Much appreciated!!!
    For pinks in Valdez, they may just be coming in by the third week in June, or they could be there in droves, run timing varies a lot...But Valdez is another of those beautiful places with good restaurants that is it's own reward! Also, great halibut charter fishing out of Valdez, plus rockfish. Can't keep lingcod till July 1, but you might catch some fishing 'butts.

    You haven't mentioned travel to AK, presume you are flying...from Valdez you can fly ERA Airlines (www.flyera.com) back to Anchorage and then home. Little prop jets but it's a gorgeous flight if the clouds part. Also, you mentioned saving $$$...you can fly fish home as baggage, I miss the old days when you could take 3 70lb. coolers free, weight limit is 50lbs. now and you pay for each bag...so, fly there with 46-54 qt. coolers with stuff you will consume in AK or wear home...seen lots of guys flying with boots or waders on, big jacket and raincoat, two hats etc. when they get on the plane, then shed them into carryon space, plus carry max carryon, so they can fly their fish. Of course, there are lots of good places to get your fish packaged, frozen and shipped, but it's about $6 lb. to get this done.

    Read the forum stuff about bears...be aware but don't freak about it, it's not too hard to reduce the risk which is small anyway unless you do something stupid...

    PM me if you want to know more about Valdez, I spend a lot of time there. And, your family and you will look at each other before you board the plane home with shiny eyes and say "We ARE coming back!!"

  19. #19
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Correction on my Valdez pink timing...

    Ok, I fish about 45 miles out of Valdez, and there the wild pink run is later. The AK F&G site and Valdez sites say the hatchery run into Valdez, that you can catch from shore, starts mid-June and peaks about the 4th of Joo-ly. So, your 3rd week of June timing should be OK. I'd still do a halibut charter if I were you

  20. #20
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    Save your money books are not needed, there is plenty of free info on the Internet. I always fish the second run of Sockeye in late July, but I know the early run should be good sometime during your trip. Look at Alaska fish counts and look when the runs were strong from year to year and then you will see about when the sockeye will be in. YOu might also look at Hope for Pinks, Valdez is a long ways to go but if you do check out the Kultina river on the way, if the Kings are in it is a good place to catch them from shore, I caught about a 35 lb one there in 2007. A Halibut trip is nice but you have to find a good charter and it will run about 300+ per person, the best way to do it is if you have a party of 6 get a six pack boat and goo for the big ones. Don't use Saltwater Safari in Seward, they ripped me off on my last trip and will never recommend them to anyone!

    I grew up in Buffalo and fish in the upper UP in Mi all the time, going up to the Betsy in Sept.

    Have a great trip and if you nee more info feel free to send me a message, I can teach you how to floss for Sockeye if need.

    Tight lines
    Scott

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