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Thread: Memorial Day family camping/fishing sugg.

  1. #1
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    Default Memorial Day family camping/fishing sugg.

    Looking for a spot to camp (pop-up style camper) with family and possibly do some fishing with the kids (8, 10). I have a canoe if it's a lake suggestion. We live in Eagle River, but obviously willing to travel a few hours for a nice spot. Open to any and all suggestions, as this will be our first family camping trip. Thanks.

    Eric

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    North.....The kenai peninsula will be freaking nuts.....Plus all waters down there dont open untill june 11 except for the 3 kings.....Ninilchick deep creek and anchor. Teh peninsula lakes will be open but lots of folks there too......I have done lake louise on memorial day....There are stocked lakes on the road in you can fish...Plus if you go to the end of the road over the causeway at lake louise and park on the top of the hill...Look down to your right..A nice little stream down there has grayling....Willow...sheep and montana creek are alos some choices but there will be some crowds there too
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    Default If you go south ---Centenial Park is Not busy yet.

    Though there will be some people ,it won't/shouldn't get too crazy til later in June and definitely after 4th of July.The park could be a decent base to go from or to places that might appeal to the kids.Probably don't want to use your canoe there but the park should have the walkways in the water by then.If you really want to bring the canoe,Johnson Lake,near the Kasilof River is good flat water.It might be a little busier being closer to the 3 rivers alaskachuck mentioned (Anchor,Ninilchick,and Deep Creek).Go out and have some fun with the kids,they grow up waaay too fast.

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    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I am actually going south a bit this year for memorial day for the first time in a long time.....Im gonna camp at quartz and relax and hit Watson lake up on saturday with the drifter then gonna fish summit lake for the 1st time ever in my 30 years up here....Pending the ice out on summit
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

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    Thanks for the advice Chuck-I'm just ready to get out with the kids and catch a fish or two, don't care what kind. Mark, we moved up here a year ago and have never been to Soldotna. Is the park a nice place to camp? Like a lot of us I don't get a lot of time off work, so I blew some money on one of those "Jumping Jack Trailers" hoping that the convenience of it would allow me to get out with the kids a little easier than a big travel trailer. I was also thinking about finding something in the Talkeetna area if anyone knows of some nice spots.

    Eric

  6. #6
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    My wife and I had a pop up for 7 years untill last year and upgraded to a 23 foot camper....Served our very very well and we gave it to out daughter.

    The parks highway streams are fishable that time of year...The only issue is weather...When it rains up there they go to mud pretty quick..... There are probably a few lakes in the area to use your canoe on up neat Tal too Im just not to familer with that area..... Also engineer lake on skilak lake loop road is good for canoes....land locked salmon in there...catch them on small spinners......Campsites and pits and bathrooms too.....

    Hidden lake campground is nice but I would not canoe on the lake is all.....


    Kelly peterson lakes on the sterling highway have fish also down south.....


    Just a few more idea
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  7. #7

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    Finger Lake near Palmer has good fishing, a great campground, good bathrooms, and will be very busy. Another plus is that is has a wide variety of fish to catch and will probably be warmer than just about anywhere else if we have high pressure. And, on most occasions, they are suckers for a bobber and piece of shrimp right near the boat launch if the ice just came off. If you get there early, you should be able to find a spot to camp there. If not, well your pretty much out of luck no matter where you go on that weekend. I prefer the salt in Seward for that weekend personally to hopefully catch the first halibut of the year and maybe even a king or two. Probably not the best idea in a canoe though....

  8. #8
    Member Mark Collett's Avatar
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    Default You Have So Many Options

    If you really want to use your canoe,I'll throw another possibility your way.Rainbow Lake,which is about 14 miles north of the Sterling Hwy on the Swanson River Rd. in Sterling,has a nice little campground.There are developed camping sites,not sure about restrooms,and a real pretty lake that gets very little fishing pressure.Rainbow trout and arctic char should be very hungry by Memorial Day.At river mile 12 is Dolly Varden Lake ,another little gem with the same species of fish.Odds are good that there won't be too many people at either one.Plus,if you are new to your canoe,there should not be any traffic to intimidate you or the kids.That could be a nice place to go for a quiet weekend with the family.
    Just a couple more miles up the same road is the Swanson River.Lots of folk canoe there.In fact,I love to take my wife up there in our kayaks for silvers,but that won't be for a while.But again,it should be nice and quiet.
    Centenial Park in Soldotna is a nice park,but it will get crazy in July.Of course,that's true for the entire Kenai Peninsula that month.Another option is Swiftwater Park,also in Soldotna.Both are city parks that are well maintained and right on the Kenai River.Not the best place for a canoe.
    The drive down here from Anchorage is one of the prettiest drives in the state,however it is also the deadliest stretch of highway in the state as well.Too many folks get in too big a hurry and do stupid things on the road.If you come down this way,do be careful and take your time.No one wants to be a statistic.......
    Regardless of where you finally choose to go,I hope you and your family have a great 1st camping adventure.Lots of choices,good luck.
    Last edited by Mark Collett; 04-10-2011 at 19:09. Reason: saw a mistake

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    Member kuskoblues907's Avatar
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    TR, couple questions. Are the fish in Finger Lake worth eating? I guess I'm just wondering if the lake itself is polluted enough to harm the fish or those eating them? Is there a lot of boat traffic Memorial Day weekend? I do notice a few boats with fishing lines in the water when driving by or running the boat for a few minutes, just curious I guess.

  10. #10

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    The lake is a clean. As far as how the fish taste, well how good of a cook are you??? I think they are fine and dandy as far as trout go. It could be a different story by the end of summer though, but they are good in the fall when I have kept one or two as the boys really only want to release them in the cooler.

    As far as the boat traffic, that is really hard to predict. There could be a lot of boat traffic, or it could be slow - it just depends on when the ice goes off. If it goes off in the beginning of May, you will probably have company, but it won't be crazy. If it goes off near the end of May, there will be a good number boats doing a shakedown, but it will still be perfectly fishable. BTW the fish are right next to shore early in the year anyway.

  11. #11
    Member Jack Salmon II's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.R. Bauer View Post
    the boys really only want to release them in the cooler.

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    Bradley/Kepler park. Get there early or see if you can reserve a spot. Short drive from you house, two small lakes you can use your canoe or rent a boat to take everyone out. Motor restrictions in effect and boat rentals are rowboats. The best spot in my mind would be across the bridge and to the last camping spot to the left. You won't have much traffic by your camp. Comes with a fire ring and good hiking trails while not on the water.

    George

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    Member kuskoblues907's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. Next time I'll be sure to drop a line and see how that goes.

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