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First Trip to Alaska - July 30 throgh Aug. 11 2009 - need some guidance

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  • First Trip to Alaska - July 30 throgh Aug. 11 2009 - need some guidance

    We are planning a trip to Alaska July 30 through August 11 - coming from East Coast - A Family trip mostly - with wife and two sons - 12 &14.

    I will be able to fit in two fishing trips - among the other great things that we plan on doing while up there - Can't wait to get there!

    Would like to fish in Talkeetna for one of those trips - and the other trip would be in Seward -

    I was thinking of fishing up the Talkeetna River -would not mind using a guide since it is our first trip there - need a recomendation - I have one referral so far - just looking for options - I understand from what I have read so far - that Kings will be gone - but Silvers could be running - I am not married to the species - just really looking for the overall experience - my 14 year old would be fishing with me - we are not difficult to please.

    After leaving Talkeetna, We are staying in Seward, so naturally I thought we should try the Halibut fishing - again - with just the two of us - we might be limited to a "Make-up" charter with other folks - please help me with a few recommendations -

    I can be talked into other options as well - but my fishing will be limited to two days - so just trying to pick two solid choices where we can catch fish.

    I am an avid fisherman back east - mainly coastal, stripers, blues, etc - average saltwater fly fisherman - but do recognize that I do not want a DIY trip this go round -

    If anyone can jump in here with some infomation - that would be great -

    Thank you.


  • #2
    First of all, welcome to the forum.

    Being from NC myself, I recognize how hard it is planning that first trip to Alaska.

    I don't know much of Talkeetna. Just took the train through there one time. I am looking at the current issue of Fish Alaska now and on page 32 there is an ad for Mahay's Riverboat Service. Says "Guided fishing and clear creek drop offs. Historic Talkeetna. World class trout and salmon fishing. Call toll free 800 736 2210 " Maybe that would be worth checking into. Also, on page 24, there is an ad for and it says "Heli-fishing with Talaheim Lodge and ultimate access to rarely fished waters". They are located in Talkeetna of course. Sounds cool.

    I have fished on the Kenai Penninsula and can recommend Puffin Charters in Seward for halibut. I had a great trip with them. If in the Seward area, consider getting up to Troutfitters in Cooper Landing and having them take you out on the Upper Kenai one day. This could be a very good day of fishing. They are top notch and have a website with lots of info. If in that area, be sure to stop by Gwins Lodge and get a burger and look around. That is a famous spot for fisherman. Which reminds me, as you are heading south out of Anchorage, you will go by a small town, Girdwood. If time permits, stop by a restaurant called Chair 5 and have a halibut sandwich or burger. Nice microbrews too. Cool spot for lunch.

    If time alllows, take a one day site seeing cruise along the fjords near Seward with Kenai Fjords Tours. Did this twice and the second time (last May) we went on the "Captains Choice Tour". It was a smaller boat than the others and got close to wildlife. We saw all kinds of wildlife. Something you and your family would never forget. I will be doing this trip again myself. Below is a link to some images from that trip. All the wildlife and glacier images were from that day cruise. Awesome trip.

    While in Seward, be sure to check out the Sealife Center. Very cool and educational for the kids too. By the small boat harbor there is a restaruant with windows overlooking the boat harbor. Got the best crab legs I ever ate there. On the way down to Seward from Anchorage, near Portgage, you will see on the right side of the road a wildlife refuge. Bears, moose, eagles, elk, etc.. can be seen there. Drive through, pay like $5 or something and spend 30 minutes checking out the animals.

    Also, near Seward, check out Exit Glacier. You can walk right up to it. Maybe a 1/4 mile hike to it from the parking lot. And if dog mushing is of interest, Mitch Seavey (former Iditarod champ) has the Iditaride in Seward. Check out his website. You can go there and see the kennel of 50-60 dogs and a take buggy ride pulled by the dogs. Neat stuff for anyone wanting to learn more about mushing.

    Lots to see and do in the area. I am sure you guys will have a great trip. Take lots of pictures. Below are a few I got on the Kenai last May. Beautiful place.

    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


    • #3
      Dan -

      Thank you very much for the well thought out reply -

      Of the highlights you have mentioned - many are already on the calendar and booked -

      I will look into Puffin - that sounds good -

      In Talkeetna, we are staying at The Meandering Moose and there is a local guide named Travis that i plan to talk to - My bet is that the guys at Mahays probably all work together at some point - I will be in touch with them as well -

      Our trip is all booked - just now trying to fill in with the Fishing plans and some activities- The Fjord Tour is booked for sure, and exit Glacier is penciled in -
      We heard about the Sealife place and Girdwood - so your endorsement makes me feel even better

      I am finding that word of mouth and networking yields very good information - the brochures and websites are fine - but drilling in deeper really helps get us the information we need. Also actually picking up the telephone (a lost art) and speaking directly with the folks up there and asking lots of questions is valuable -

      The restaurant recommendations were an added plus to your note- as that is our next step in planning out places to dine.

      We are very excited - our first trip - I told my wife - we have not even taken the trip yet - and I already want to go back!

      btw - my folks live in Sanford NC

      Thanks again




      • #4
        I hope this thread keeps going.
        I will be traveling from PA on the 17th of July and Staying until the 31st.
        We are flying into Anchorage and then driving South to Kasilof and fishing a week with Guide Rick Serena.

        danattherock, your detailed description of the area and things to do are greatly appreciated.
        I too will be coming to Alaska for the first time and its overwhelming when you are trying to plan out two weeks of things to do while your there.
        I am coming with my Dad, my 9year old son, and my 16 year old nephew.

        We are fishing with the guide until the 26th and then we are on our own for the remainder of the trip.
        Was thinking of doing a flyout day trip, can you reccommend a trip?

        Thanks again for all the information.


        • #5
          If you are

          going to spend any time at all in Anchorage there is always Ship Creek. There is a Comfort Inn right on the banks of the creek to stay at and there is a bait shack that rents equipment and sells licenses there. Almost all of the guys and gals there are willing to help out to get you on fish.


          • #6

            While in Talkeetna you HAVE to stop at the West Rib and get a pint of Ice Axe and some Chili. After a long day of salmon fishing and a stomach full of food from the West Rib, you will think Jesus him self is walking on your soul. (I'll be up in Talkeetna in late pumped!)


            • #7
              Originally posted by milz44 View Post
              Was thinking of doing a flyout day trip, can you reccommend a trip?

              Thanks again for all the information.

              One thought, check the website for Scenic Mountain Air. They are a fly out service in Moose Pass. See what they say about taking you to Upper Paradise Lake. There is a state cabin there you can rent for $45/night and it comes with a boat. This is the only cabin on the lake, there is no trails to the lake, and it is great grayling fishing. Solitude and scenery are a given. This would make a nice day or overnight trip for you. The cabin is a log cabin style and has a place for you to put sleeping bags. Take a cooler of beer and something to grill out at night. Sounds like a perfect escape to me. Planning on doing this myself in Sept.
              The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rob Allen View Post

                btw - my folks live in Sanford NC

                Small world, that is 45 miles up the road from me.

                Good luck on your trip. As for the Kenai Fjords Tours day cruise. You could change that to the "Capt Choice Tour" most likely. It is the same basic deal, just a smaller boat that gets you much closer the wildlife. Something to consider perhaps. I have done both and there is a big difference in my opinion. But both are wonderful day cruises. Take your camera.
                The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


                • #9
                  The Talkeetna river is a great inland experience in August. The crowds are not as thick as during King season. Steve Mahay is a stand up guy and has been operating in the Talkeetna river for like 30 years. I have a cabin 16 miles up river and he has helped out me and many others out a few times. You will mostly be fishing Clear Creek which is about 8 miles up river. The river boat rides is a pretty neat trip. These not "great" eating compared to the ones you will get out of Seward. During that same time of year Seward Silver will be in full swing. You can do a combo charter out of Seward with most charters. My favorite is Salwater Safari. Those guys know where the fish are all the time. I typically use them for my team building events for my company trips. The combo trip will get you into Silvers, Yelloweye, black bass, Halibut, and maybe some lings. You will want to book with them earlier as possible.


                  • #10
                    IMO you can't go wrong fishing anywhere in Alaska. I didn't care if I had to fish in the toilet my first trip up here. But IMO, I think you have something backwards; you need to fish Seward for silvers! That will be right in the thick of some of the best silver fishing there is, and during the derby too. Too bad you're going to miss the 4th of July parade and Mt. Marathon run. I live in Seward but my favorite place for halibut is out of Anchor Point. You want to spend half a day or so at the Sealife Center for sure and exit glacier. Make sure you book your room early here or you'll be camping out in the city's waterfront park @ $25/night. Besides Homer, there is no finer eye candy in the world than Seward in summer. Plan on staying up about 20 hours a day; you can sleep when you get back home.

                    BTW, Shehateme: Nice bow!


                    • #11
                      My wife and I are going to Fly into Anchorage from Georgia July sixth pick up a camper drop by her Aunt and Uncle for a visit then head for the Kenai Penn. where we are going to mix a couple of days fishing with a couple of days sight seeing. This is also my first trip and I can not afford to waste any time learning who what when and where.I would like to try for Kings with a guide on the lower Kenai one day and then solo for Reds in the Russian River area.If someone has first hand info please help. We are going to continue down to Seward and the info on this area has been a great help.Fishing is my number one hobby and photography number two can't wait.


                      • #12
                        Welcome to the forum. For kings, I have used Jimmie Jack and he runs a top notch outfit. For reds, just look for all the people standing elbow to elbow. It will be hard to miss.

                        The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.


                        • #13
                          Joe Hanes @ Fish Magnet, Reuben Hanke @ Harry Gaines Kenai River Fishing, or Adam Reid @ Big Ried Guide Service, are three that I would recommend on the lower Kenai River.


                          • #14
                            Puffin Charters

                            Four of us booked a combo trip with Puffin Charters in 07'. When we got to the office that morning, the gals told us the waves were too big to get out of the bay, and they were knocking 50 bucks off the price because of it. Long story short- Capt Houli got us out to a chicken patch, so everyone caught 2 Halibut. Then we went pack to Pony Cove and it got crazy. There were 10 people on the boat, and we had at least 3 Silvers going all the time. We easily lost more fish than we caught, and the boat came in with 60 silvers, 20 halibut and a half dozen black bass. I'll go out with Puffin everytime I'm in Seward now. Here'a a pic at the dock.


                            • #15
                              Lots of choices....

                              Give some thought to booking a combo trip with Crackerjack or ProFish-n-Sea charters. They have good boats, good crews and know how to fish. I have a 26' boat and fish Seward a few times every year. My oldest daughter and I took a combo trip with ProFish-n-Sea for my birthday present. There were 8 of us on the boat. Everyone limited out on sivers, halibut from 25 to 100 lbs, ling cod to 50 lbs and a few yellow eye. It won't happen every time, but they will look hard for the fish.


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