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shinde

Summer 09 trip advice

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Starting from scratch with this trip, I've told my son since he was young when he graduates from college we're going on an Alaskan fishing trip. Well, he graduates in May and the time is now.

We're pretty experienced fishermen in our part of the country (MN), with past trips to LOTW and other locations, but not sure where to start with an Alaskan trip when we won't have our own gear/boat etc., and we'll be at the mercy of advice, charters, etc..

May also be including my 70 year old father who's in good health, so looking for suggestions on the following:

1) What months should we target for good fishing action?

2) What species to target - my intial thoughts are salmon and halibut, but really don't know what other options might be available.

3) For those that have done it, what are the "must do" activites? Doesn't have to be all fishing, if there's other outdoor things to experience in Alaska, would be interested in that too.

4) How does one go about selecting a trustworthy guide/outfitter to book through?

5) What type of price range for a one week trip should I expect?

6)Any other general tips much appreciated.

Thanks much, appreciate any advice from those that have been there and have experiences/recommendations to share.

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I'll give you my .O2 to get you started:

#2 first; there are plenty of trout, pike, etc...in AK, but i can get those here (or close) so I go for salmon (and butts) Yes, you can get some salon around here, but not like in AK!

1. May thru the end of July for salmon (and butts)

3. It has to be all fishing. Really. OK, not really, but if you line up a pretty full slate of fishing activities, you'll end up getting whale, wildlife, and scenery viewing in abundence. Maybe a copter to the top of a glacier? And a flyout is a must, but there you get the beauty and cool factor with the fishing.

4. Research, research...when you get an area/timeframe nailed down, you can visit specific websites (lie this one, and otheres dedicated specifically to AK) and hopefully get some firsthand recs from guys who have been there.

5. No way to tell. Our first time (which was meant to be a once in a lfetime, yeah right!) my wife and I went for 19 days and spent 6 grand. And we camped part of the time! A couple years ago I went with a buddy, we camped and limited the charters and I spent about 1,500. Gotta get some of the variables nailed down to get a handle on it.

Tips? Sure...got some time? For starters, figure out location. The kenai peninsula is by far the most popular area, because of ease of travel, varietl of species, and promotion. It's where we went the first time, and haven't been able to try anywhere else (yet!) It does have it all, but it's also got congestion (at times), combat fishing, and lots of tourist. many, especially locals, would say you're not seeing the "real" AK with a KP trip. That may be so, but I promise you, do it right, and you'll have the time of your lives and have lots of variety. Thats where I'd go for a 1st time, unless I was going with a more experienced fisherman.

Decide on a budget (then add 30 percent, just like building a house!) Figure out your must-dos; mine would be:

1. a flyout, especially if you've never done one. Too cool, but do the research and try to go to a slightly less popular spot.

2. Kenai king fishing. Not a universal favorite, some find it too comercilized, too crazy busy, but I still love it, and it's your best chance at a really big king.

Go in Late June or late July. Both timeframes have abundant salmon runs, with the latter having more fish and more fishemen. August is silver month, with some reds still available. Silvers aren't my favorite, but it's an option many folks go for. No kings in August though:(

Enuf for now. It's already getting late for some guides/accomadations for this year, so get on it. Maybe this year with the econ as it is they won't be booking so fast, but my fav Kenai guide is usually pretty booked for prime time by new years...:)

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I would recommend the place I worked at for a few months in '07. It's located in Southwest Alaska far from the road system. They just built an awesome new addition to there lodge that I will be helping finish up this spring, and I think they are going to be re opening for clients this summer. Not sure if they are booked or not though. Check out hunting adventure dot com with the spaces removed. Its another option for you to consider at least.

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Wow! I can't even afford to look at that HSOforum! Too cool, of course, but they don't even list prices on thier HSOforum...I'm thinking 5000 a week/ per person minimum for that place. maybe more. Times 2 or 3? If a person could afford it, It looks like top notch stuff, but you can certainly set up a great trip for a LOT less money.

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Very true traveler, wasn't sure what your trip budget was so just thought I would throw it out there.

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I go there every year to Soldotna..friends live there. However, I have done just about everything there and around there. I also try to do something new each time. For butt fishing I would recommend any charter out of Ninilchik or Homer (Halibut Capital), AK which is past Soldotna. Again for me this year, something new, I will be a doing an overnighter on a charter out of Homer. The reason is that you are able to catch four vs two on one trip since you are out on the water for two days. There're also not fishing the chicken fields either. Another cool thing we did last year was a guided trip on the upper kenai for some rainbows. It's all catch and release but there are nice size bows plus great action on a fly rod. You just show up and they fit you for everything, waders, rod, ect. Another great experince would be out of Seward. Grab a charter out of there and do some sight seeing, sea lions, whales, puffins, glaciers, maybe some bears on the shoreline and of course, eagles and otters. Plus you can spend sometime fishing for sea bass which is delish to eat!! It is an all day trip, 1/2 sight seeing and the other 1/2 fishing. Once you are on top of the fish, you catch one after the other and you will limit. It's kind of like crappie fishing action wise just way bigger fish!

When planning your trip to, make sure you hit one of the salmon runs on the Kenai for reds, a blast! If you get up there and a good rain has been forcasted or it has been raining for a few days, I would skip the kings in the river unless the the river has settle a bit but if not get a drift boat out into cooks bay but one of the river mouths. The river will turn up fast and the kings will not run since it gets so cloudy/dirty, they loose there sense of direction. They pool up outside the mouth in Cooks Bay and wait. The commercial guys had a field day last year with big numbers in the nets during the rain periods while I was there. Spent four 1/2 days with no action!! If it hasn't been raining and the kings are running, you will defiantly need to be on the river as the action will be great! Again for a guide, I would just do some internet surfing and call the Chamber of Commerce in Soldotna, Homer, Seward, ect as they will have a list of guides and chaters to go with and what is available. It is also priced pretty fairly on all avenues too since it is a business. The Chamber will tell you that as well. I could keep going on, but do some research on the area you want to fish/visit and you will have a great time. So much that you will probably be back again! Good luck~ I will be back during the last week of July, first week of Aug...last week of king season and the start of the red salmon run, if mother nature has it planned again!

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Oh, I forgot one other important piece, make sure you have a really nice camera with changable lenses, if possilbe....trust me, it will be well worth it! I learned the hard way my first year. The wildlife, mountains, rivers are amazing and the pictures will speak for themselves!

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Salty Dawg....great place and a must if in Homer! Great call Alwaysonthemove!

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Thank you very much for all the very helpful and detailed info guys - much appreciated!

Still working on this, hoping I'm not too late for this season, but I don't want to rush it and "settle", if I have to I may end up moving this back one year. I'll know more when I've got a bit more of a plan firmed up and find out how booked things are.

Thanks again!

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surfs, what's your e-mail addy? I've got some questions for you, if you don't mind.

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Shinde,

Update us on your plan.......Just curious....

I am heading up July 19th for 10 days....our usual trip is to the Kenai, rent a cabin and fish Reds for a week with a break for butts....able to keep all my gear up there at a buddies, so all we do is rent a cabin and a car.... usually end up spending 1200-1700 per guy.....

This year we are doing 5 days, 4 nights on Price William sound chasing silvers, butts, and salmon shark.....a little spendy, 2000/guy for 5 days....but what the hey....

Been going up for 13 years now.....wouldn't miss it...my definition of summer.....I have some good charters and places if you need them srlarson at hotmail, and I can pass along....

Sounds like tourism is down up there so should be some deals.....the folks I talked to are saying 250,000 less than last year....

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Don't for get to hang your underwear on the wall too and don't throw any type of cigg/cigar but on the sawdust floor. Contact Ron Fey at Moose Creek Lodge....he has fishing trips, flyout trips for fishing and bear watching ect. I stayed at his lodge a few years back with my son...it was awesome...google Moose Creek Lodge....located in Soldotna..

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For halibut and salmon fishing out of seward I can't tell you how strongly I would recommend Profish-n-sea charters. They catch fish when others don't do so well and are good clean, honest, top notch gear and guides, great boats and no [PoorWordUsage] like you get with a lot of guides. Steve posts their reports from almost evey day all season, not filling their HSOforum up with their greatest days from the last 10 yrs.

Even if you don't fish in seward go there, its a cool town.

If you like Thai food, hit up the little "Thai BBQ and Cafe" in Sterling, its between the cutoff of the Sterling highway from the Seward highway (so its on your way to Soldotna/Homer) and the town of Soldotna. Its gun by a old swedish doctor and his Thai wife. Good stuff, they have a bunch of tame wild turkeys milling aroud too.

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2nd that. I fished with Steve on the ProfishNsea about 10 years ago when he was still working for Andy Miezrow of Crackerjack. Great fisherman, and Seward is indeed a very cool town.

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Alaskadreamin,

Thanks for you info - you're about to have mail.

I've decided to wait until next year so I can plan properly, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the info you guys are providing.

There's no substitute for hearing what those of you who have gone have experienced, what to do, what to avoid, etc..

Thanks a ton!

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Im heading up to Alaka again here in july. Im gonna spend 3 days in Girdwood. My brother is coming with and he has never been there or anywhere. Wondering what should a couple of guys do. Butt fishing, Salmon and trout, Glacier hiking, sit down and drink beer for a day, claming,

We will have my buddies truck while he works for a few more days. Then we are flying out to bristol bay area from kings.

We might head to whittier and possible throw shrimp traps out and try butts there too.

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