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Thread: Good fishing close to small airports

  1. #1

    Default Good fishing close to small airports

    Hello all,

    I am planning on flying my Skyhawk to Ak this summer, and am interested in maybe landing at some out of the way airports that have a river, stream, or lake nearby where there is some good fishing (any kind). Camping streamside is a definite possibility as I will be bringing hiking equipment and a mountain bike. I often fly out of a 2000 ft grass strip now, so that will be about my minimum for airport size. I'm not sure what month I will be there, but I plan on staying awhile, at least a month. Is it too much to think that flying to a far away place like King Salmon or Bethel would be a good idea. I have about 1000 hrs flight time, and do not plan on pushing bad weather at all!
    Anybody have some favorite places that they are willing to share? I would think that if you can get to rural places that can only be reached by plane or boat, it won't be so crowded. Been looking forward to this for some time!

    Regards,
    Bruce

  2. #2
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    First check out the sport fishing page of the Alaska Dept of Fish and Game web site;

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/statewide/index.cfm

    On that page you will find the run timing for salmon in all over the state and lots of other useful information. During the summer they will have current reports on the various salmon runs.

    I kind of doubt that anyone is going to give up their favorite hot fishing spot on a web site but one of the better kept secrets is flying into the Soldotna Airport for salmon fishing. The Kenai River runs right next to the airport and you can walk down to the river for some pretty good salmon fishing. I haven't done it in quite a few years but if you catch the run right you can get a few Reds or Silvers there in a few hours. One of the things you may find odd about fishing in Alaska is that many people will fish late into the night and morning. Don't be surprised if your getting ready for bed at 10:00 or 11:00 at night and you see someone just heading out to go fishing. They may be using the fishing excuse to get away from their wives and drink beer, or they may know something about the local salmon run.

    Also since you've come all the way to Alaska why not spend a couple of bucks and get flown into a really good fishing spot. It will also give you a chance to hear some pretty good lies from a local Alaska Pilot. One of the contributors on this site has a float plane service in Homer, he might be a good one to talk up and maybe work out a deal.

    Have fun on your trip, flying in Alaska is a lot of fun, just be prepared to sit out the weather. Don't forget to buy a fishing license. There is no death penalty in Alaska except for Fish and Game violations. (a sample of one of those Alaska pilot lies).

  3. #3
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    I would not rule out Western Alaska (like the Bethel area) because of your time, just allow plenty of extra time so you don't have to push your way through places like Merrill pass in even slightly marginal weather. The best place I've ever seen for fishing right next to a public airport is Quinhagak during silver season. Even a rotten fisherman like me can't miss!

    Of course out in the bush fuel availability and price can present a challange. If you have room in the plane few extra jerry cans of gas can ge a great asset.
    Louis Knapp

  4. #4

    Default

    Bruce, you might want to check out Iliamna. The Newhalen River is right there, sockeye run generally starts about the 3'rd or 4'th of July and camping is right there at the airport. If you're there later in the year (August 15-September 30) there's a late run of sockeye that spawn in the lower river (by the airport), and that pulls in a lot of big trout out of the lake.
    If you want to fish in Alaska don't waste your time with hip boots. Bring waders.

  5. #5

    Default Illiamna and Portage Creek

    Check out the Newhalen at Illiamna. The "strip" is big enough that if you cant take off or land there you might as well stay home. It is about a 1/2 mile walk down to the river but in July it is worth the short walk.

    The other one would be Portage Creek. I think the guy you want to talk to is Chris Carr. He rents boats there, I think he is on the forum. The strip is something like 1500' with about 1300' useable. I have taken a 172 fully loaded out of there a few times with no problems. Clear approaches and departures with very little terrain to worry about.

    There are several other fishing spots that I have taken a stock 172. I dont know if I would recommend them because you are looking for 2000'+ airports and I would feel bad if you bent your plane trying to do what I do almost daily in the summer.

  6. #6

    Default Thanks for the replies

    Thanks for the replies and info everyone. I'm excited about heading out in June or July. I hope to visit all the places mentioned, as I am sure they are good locations. I think the Lake Clark area, Iliamna, Quinhagak, and Soldotna are on the schedule. Be hard to fish Alaska and not at least try the Kenai!

    Regards,
    Bruce

  7. #7
    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    Default nushigak

    If I were flying about alaska the last week of June thru the first week of July I would go to Ekwok and fish for kings. They can be caught right off the beach just a short walk from the air strip. One of the locals told me the air strip was about 3,000 ft, but I am not a pilot so I don't realy know how reliable that is. I do know that a c-127 landed while I was there.

    The other place I would go has alreay been mentioned that's Iliamna.

  8. #8
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    i havent done it for probably 10 years but there used to be a guy in skwentna (just north of anchorage) who would meet you at the airstrip there and rent you a boat you could use to fish for kings at 7 mile slough across the skwentna river from the airport. end of june/ early july is getting a little late most years for kings there though. i think the guys name was john kalmbach?.

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    I wouldnt recommend Southeast if your not into pushing bad weather, Ive only been flying here a few months (5 days a week) but can count on one hand the number of good weather days so far. Most of the time its marginal at best. Good fishing though.

  10. #10
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    JLA, Quartz Creek

  11. #11
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    There is no death penalty in Alaska except for Fish and Game violations. (a sample of one of those Alaska pilot lies).


    Maybe, but not far from the truth...and they have planes too!!

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