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



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  • #16
    check out they have lots of guided trips listed for the Talketna / Valley area for both Trout and Salmon. Best prices around too!


    • #17
      Your first trip to AK.

      Rob; One problem with coming to this incredible state is that you can only see and do so much in the limited time you are up here. If your family is good at traveling then a trip up to Denali and Fairbanks then down to Valdez and back to Anchorage is a beautiful wildlife and scenic trip. It would take about 5-7 days. Once on the Kenai Peninsula a trip to Homer, Ninilchick, Deep Creek, Kenai River, Russian River could easily use up 2-3 more days unless you take time to wet a line. Then all bets are off as often it's real hard to leave the Kenai River when the silvers are willing to play. If a future trip in in the workings then a quick oversight of what Alaska has to offer is often a good way to see as much as possible and then on another visit focus on the parts that were most to your liking. The good part is that there are no bad ways to go. Seward in August is a real good place to focus on a combo halibut/silver or rockfish(lingcod)/silver trip. Should you (and you should!!) go up to Denali Park you will see more animals in the wild than anywhere except Africa. The bus ride in is a full 8 hr. day but the wildlife and scenery is beyond description. Just enjoy your trip and remember that you will NEVER begin to see it all so smell the roses and take lots of pictures.


      • #18
        check out Susitna Valley River Guides (maybe fly guides, don't quite remeber) he'll put you on fish
        I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


        • #19
          1080 and others -

          Thanks for all of the great advice -

          Our Trip will be fairly broad - We will hit Denali, Fairbanks, Talkeetna, and Seward.

          Lots of stuff planned - will fit in two Fishing trips - and lots of family time

          I can tell already that a return visit will be in order - and that one will be a fishing trip primarily -

          I have the Talkeetna river type trip already set -

          Still talking to the good folks in Seward about -

          a. Combo Halibut/Salmon
          b. 3/4 or full Salmon
          c. 1/2 Salmon

          The challenge is that I will be leaving 1/2 the family at the dock(wife and younger son) so just trying to balance things out -

          leaning toward b. right now -

          Thanks again for the input.



          • #20
            Instead of leaving your wife and younger son on the dock, see if you can find a charter that will allow them to come along with you and your other son as observers. The two non-fisherpeople would have a blast watching you two catch fish and they could be designated photographers for the day. Believe me, when the fishing gets good you're not going to want to stop fishing to take pictures. That way the entire family could be involved. When your wife sees how much fun you are having catching fish, she will WANT you to return to Alaska.

            You are in for a great trip in the most beautiful area in the world. Enjoy all that it has to offer. You WILL return...probably several times. It IS that GREAT!!!

            Bernie P.


            • #21
              If you catch a charter out of Seward, I would personally stay away from a larger boats. They tend to park in a spot and folks just jig with a Hoochie. Very impersonal. Also some of them just throw your fish in a basket on the back of the boat and the fish dry out and get warm on a sunny day. They don't care about you once they have your money. Chances are they will never see you again anyways. I fish along most of these larger boats at times, and I get so upset on how they take advantage of people.

              I would find me reputable six pack boat, make sure all my fish are bled out and kept on ice. Good Idea to gut a Silver within 15-30 minutes for a better tasting firmer fish and keep them iced down. Learn to tell the difference between a Silver and a Pink. Throw all the pinks back. They are a canning fish. They do not freeze well and the taste is not worth the money it will cost you to take it home. You only can catch 6 salmon. Make them count. I would also take a full day charter. Its just a little more, but worth it. Get some rock fish also. They are fantastic eating. If you want Halibut, take a charter out to Montague Island, Homer , Anchor Point or Nilichick. Again stay away from the big boats. Rule of thumb, the more lines you have in the water, the better chance you will have a line tangles and who wants to spend most of their fishing time getting untangled.

              Take a camera and binoculars. Chances are your gonna see humpback whales, sealions, dolphins and maybe some killer whales. I agree to take the family along anyways if they don't want to fish and just go along for the scenery. That is only if they don't get sea sick or bored easliy. If they easily get bored or sick take them on a sight seeing trip on a large boat, and if you have a chance, take the 26 glacier cruise out of Whittier instead.

              Also the fish packing/cleaning bussiness and the end of the dock is a rip off. If you want to spend a small fortune drop off filets only and not whole fish as they charge you by the pound. If you can, bring your own vacuum sealer if you have one and do it yourself, and get it frozen somewhere, and take it home in a cooler. Its more work, but you will get a better product later.

              I have never fished Talkeetna so I have no advise there.

              The Little Su can be a hoot for silvers and the occasional late run king for hook and release purpose. But with low limits, guided river fishing for silvers is a little pricey unless your happy with a jet boat ride for entertainment.

              If you have the money, do a fly in trip for the ultimate experience.

              If you want a few tips on charters, PM me.


              • #22
                Good Stuff!

                Plenty of great tips were given to you by the locals in the know. This is a great board and I continue to be impressed by what the Alaskan resident has learned and is willing to share.

                I certainly am not local (reside in Florida), but my passion for the place has run beyond twenty years and so many air miles that I've lost count.

                An outsider is certainly not an insider, yet I do know much about the paramenters of getting there and getting back, and what you can expect to encounter in between.

                Feel free to e-mail me if you'd like to talk. It's my dime, and I am willing to assist you in any way that I can...

                "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


                • #23
                  I would suggest that you make your charter and motel reservations in Seward right now. That place can get busy during the silver salmon derby. If it is already booked up, I would suggest Homer.


                  • #24
                    All set with the seward trip now -

                    Thanks for all of your help!!

                    so many options to choose from on this trip -cannot wait for july to get here.


                    • #25
                      Hi Rob,

                      Hope you and your family are in the midst of enjoying a great trip.

                      When time permits after you get home I'm sure there are many others who are reading threads such as this that would enjoy hearing your Alaskan experiences.

                      Also thanks go out to the many folks that chimed in with their ideas and suggestions here on this thread. Some very interesting reading for other folks with trips in the planning stages.

                      - Jay


                      • #26
                        Jay -

                        The Trip turned out Fabulous -

                        Let me summarize -

                        Landed in Anchorage on

                        7-30 - Stayed local - loaded up food supplies at Carrs - ate dinner at Gwennies - not terribly impressed with food at Gwennies - but service and people were very nice -

                        7-31 Traveled up to Denali Princess - enjoyed the ride - it was chilly and Breezy but a good way to break in to AK - attended the Dinner theatre show at Princess - hokey -but we had fun - enjoyed the food and entertainment

                        8-1 - Took the trip to Kantishna - Great weather - Great Wildlife - and we got full view of MMK - The folks up there at the park are so passionate about keeping things as natural as possible -
                        Lots of Caribou, Bears, Golden Eagles, Dall Sheep and more!

                        8-2 - Went to Fairbanks to do the Riverboat Discovery - arrived in Fairbanks early so we went to UAF Museum - it was real cool and I am glad we visited - The Riverboat tour was also pretty cool - learned a lot - and enjoyed a BEAUTIFUL day -
                        On a recommendation, we went to Fox AK and had dinner at the Turtle Club - It was a great meal and we enjoyed the ride as we got to see the Pipeline - so we took pics of our kids at the pipeline for my Father in law - He worked at Prudhoe bay in the late 70's as there was a big contingent of Pittsburgh guys that went up there for the work - so he will love telling my boys the story.

                        We saw 6 Moose near Healy on the ride home - 3 Mommas, 3 Calfs

                        Also saw a HUGE plume of smoke from the fires.

                        8-3 - Travelled down to Talkeetna - checked into the Meandering Moose B&B/Cabins Cathy, our hostess was great - The view of MMK was UNBELIEVABLE the whole ride down that we found ourselves giggling - and we had that same view for the next few days - Had very good meal at The WildFlower in town -

                        8-4 - Took a hike at Little Coal Creek in Denali State Park- 7 miles with Blueberries galore and incredible views of MMK, Beaver Ponds - It was sunny and clear - - We had dinner at The Talkeetna Lodge - it was another great view -

                        8-5 - It finally rained - but we were scheduled to fish with Travis Laing of AK Custom outfitters - We boarded his jet boat Center Console on the Talkeetna - we headed to Clear Creek and went 200 yards up from the mouth and the 15 fisherman at the mouth - We watched "the Rocks move" and pulled over and started to fish - we were spinfishing with Mepps - and soon got the hang of it and began to catch chums and Pinks - My son and I caught about 40+ fish - and it was pretty cool - we did make a decision not to leave the area and just finish our trip there since the action was good - and we enjoyed Catch and release - We also saw a very nice King that was cruising downstream - it was real cool - you can really see the difference in size of the Kings compared to the pinks and chums that we were catching.
                        We did discuss heading up to Larsons for reds - but it was raining hard, my 14 year old was happy where we were - and my wife and 12 year old were still back at the cabin - so Larsons REDS will have to wait until next time.

                        8-6 - Left Talkeetna - Had the Roadhouse Breakfast before leaving- highly recommended - traveled to Seward - but got caught 10 minutes behind that well reported fatal accident on turnagin highway just before Beluga Pt. so we tracked back to that Potter boardwalk park which is very cool and watched Bald Eagles - and watched Pinks and I think Silvers heading up the stream - and also saw them staging at the Culvert under the boardwalk-
                        Got back on road after a four hour delay and made it to Seward -

                        8-7 - Took the Kenai Fjords tour - again - a BEAUTIFUL Clear day - Amazing scenery - saw Sea Lions, Orcas and Humpbacks - met nice people - awesome trip - my wifes favorite - plenty of Nature eye candy.

                        8-8 - Went to EXIT GLACIER - glad we did - very cool up close - and then backtracked to a town called Hope - (another perfect day)- it was a neat little place where we panned for Gold with two local characters - Dallas and Peck - never did get the big nuggets we hoped for - but kids were successful in getting some gold in a little vial - they were excited - we also saw the commotion and "fishing" for the Pinks at the Campground - it was an eye opening experience watching the fish being "Caught" - but again - it is all new to me - we moved on quickly - my wife was not real excited about the snagging , uh, I mean fishing going on.

                        8-9 - Silver Fishing with Puffin Charters- Captain Andy was a very nice host - we limited on 8-12lb. Silvers out in the Ocean - but fishing inside the bay was tough and we only got a few - we did see a Humpback upclose - and that was cool. The water was like a lake - and again - sunny skies!! (don't hate me!) I did have J Dock process and ship our Salmon - and am already giving out as gifts for those who covered for me at work - and watched over our house/pets.
                        If I were to do it over again - I would opt for a combo trip so we could score some Halibut - but my 14 year old was with me -and we left the other half of the family back at the dock - since this was really a family trip - with some fishing fit in - I though that a Salmon trip would be better if we limited out early and got back to port - - My wife suggested that the next trip should be fishing only, and just connect with some Pals for that type of trip - I agree. and I will get it in writing!

                        8-10 - Left Seward - stopped at Wildlfe refuge, and then to Girdwood - Aleyeska - and then to Anchorage - we rented bikes and rode Coastal trail - which was again a beautiful sunny day - and we happened on a Mother Moose and Calf - did not get too close - or loiter - Had dinner in the Captain Cook hotel at Christians - and it was very good - and good service -
                        Went to Tastee Freeze - and drove over to Kinkaid park - and finally saw a Bull Moose who was roaming through the bushes - darn they are big - his antlers were very big!!

                        Boarded plane home at 1 am - and am still trying to adjust to time change -
                        Thanks for all of your input - it did help - and we plan to visit again - It is a beautiful state - and so many great choices on things to do -

                        We really lucked out with the weather by the way - -

                        a week earlier Seward had monsoon like rain - timing can be everything.

                        Rob Allen


                        • #27

                          Glad you had a good trip man
                          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.


                          • #28
                            Are you ready to go back yet?
                            brad g.
                            So Cal, USA
                            Visit my Sporting Clays website


                            • #29
                              Yes - Definitely ready to return -

                              We had a great Sampling of a wonderful place -

                              The next trip will be a Fishing only trip - -

                              Thanks again for all of your help.


                              • #30
                                Thanks Rob, that was a great report!

                                Can we get in touch with you for recommendations for the dates in July 2011 for such a great streak of sunny days?

                                - Jay


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