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Camp Bob

suggestions for newbie

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Going to be in Alaska from Aug 2nd to the 13th. Have three nights booked on the Kenai with Beaver Creek Outfitters for the end of the trip. Was thinking we'd rent a small camper van and start the trip by heading up to Telkeetna then work our way back to Seward, Homer for some Halibut fishing before hitting the Kenai.

Any advice for places to visit, hike, sight see and maybe some bank fishing along the way?

What can I expect for bank (combat) fishing the first week of Aug. I know the Kings will be done, what other fish may I find and where?

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If you can switch your dates around you may still be able to get into the 2nd sockeye run on the Kenai. By the end of your trip they will be done. Check out the Alaska Dept of Fish and game HSOforum and you can see what the runs have been in past years. By the middle of August there won't be much for salmon running on the Kenai. It will be after the sockeye and before the silvers. If you are on a guide boat you would be able to do some fishing for rainbows. Have a blast up there. Down in Seward you could rent a skiff from Millers Landing and go out in the bay after silvers but I think they might too far out for a skiff until later August.

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+1 for the Alaska Dept Fish and Game HSOforum. They show weir counts from a lot of rivers and it is surprising to see how similar the peak of each salmon species run is from year to year. With a little time invested into the HSOforum, you can plan one heck of a trip around some peak king, silver or red's run. This is the main tool we use to book our annual Alaska trip. We go for the Kings mainly, so we go earlier in the spring

As for the combat fishing, they call it combat fishing for a reason. If you haven't seen pictures of an Alaskan shore with combat fishermen, I suggest doing a google image search. You can literally be standing next to 50 guys, all shoulder to shoulder, especially on a popular river like the Kenai. My biggest suggestion for you is to do some walking and get away from the crowds. Some people go to Alaska for the freezer, others go for the scenery and solitude + fishing. I would much rather fish by myself than around 50 other guys, as I'm sure you would too. If you find a spot to fish on the river with a convienent parking lot close by, chances are there are going to be a ton of people at that spot. Lace up your boots and walk up or down river far enough to get by yourself, preferably down river so the salmon see your lure before the combat army's lures. I've done combat fishing as well as walking off to be by myself. One important thing to remember is bears are hungry that time of year as they are just coming out of their dens in the spring. Just keep that in mind if you go walking off in the woods by yourself!

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Thanks for the info, my dates are actually locked in around work schedules. This will be my first time in 20 years taking any sort of time off in the summer. I actually received the plane tickets and stay at Beaver Creek cabins as a 20th anniversery gift from my boss and board of directors at work. What a great opportunity!

Although fishing is on the agenda, it's not the full purpose of the trip. I fish a lot here in MN and filling the freezer is not a priority. I'd just like to spend a couple mornings and evenings on a bank in between touring, hiking etc. So if there are cool areas to visit with streams that may have fish in them the first week of August I would probably choose those areas to visit. Kieth at Beaver Creek on the Kenai actually suggested staying at his place around the 8th of August as the silvers should be in. 2 days of fishing with him and a day of halibut fishing should cure my curiosity.

Mainly looking forward to learning the areas so I can plan a future trip with my son (now 8yrs old)that would be more targeted.

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Some good advice has been posted already. +2 for the ADF&G HSOforum for timing salmon runs. If you are going to Talkeetna you might as well go to Denali park and take a bus tour into the park. Unfortunately they only allow very few people to drive in on their own. It is an amazing place. Tons of wildlife! Talkeetna is also a big jumping off point for flightseeing (as they call it) around Denali. I love to fly and always have to recommend seeing AK from a small plane. There are definitely a few rivers to fish between Wasilla and Talkeetna. My avatar is a pic of me with a silver on the Little Susitna river. Silvers are my favorite salmon to fish for as they are aggressive eaters and often acrobatic fighters. As JWmiller said you would be combat fishing in the easy to access areas but it's still fun if you're catching fish. You may also want to consider going to Whittier on your way out to the Kenai peninsula. It is beautiful out there and a boat ride/ tour is a great way to see the area around Whittier. Lots of birds, and waterfalls coming down the mountains everywhere. You drive through a 2.5 mile tunnel going through a mountain to get there. If you do this make sure to go on the AK DOT HSOforum to get the schedules for the tunnel. It is only one lane and traffic has to go both ways. There is a fee for the tunnel as well. Please be careful when you drive the Turnagain Arm between Anchorage and girdwood. It's easy to get distracted with the scenery and the road is dangerous. People die there every year. Don't forget rain gear and some waders. Good luck on your trip. You will have the time of your life.

I also recommend looking through some of the other threads on here about AK. Myself JWMiller and others have posted some great pics and info already.

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If you want to get out and do some hiking check out the Swanson Lakes area. Kinda the BWCA of Alaska. Also the road south of the split going to Seward has numorous marked hiking trails that are some good hikes. I didn't think the silvers would be in that early but I was usually working full bore in August so I didn't get time to fish too much then. You'll have a blast.

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i live in chugiak its about 30 min north of anchorage. jzych @ alaska. edu take out the spaces thats me email. shoot me a email and we can go try to catch some silvers where i live. id be glad to take ya out. i moved up here from mn so i know what its like trying to find some fellow fisherman to help a guy out.

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+ One important thing to remember is bears are hungry that time of year as they are just coming out of their dens in the spring. Just keep that in mind if you go walking off in the woods by yourself!

wait a sec...mid August?? Those are some lazy a$$ bears grin!

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here is an example of the weir counts we were talking about, for anyone who is interested. This is the Deshka River's weir counts for the Kings for 2010. If you go to the actual HSOforum, you can scroll down and you get a excel spreadsheet that has the actual number of fish from the weir count for each day throughout the season. It is extremely cool how you can see the number of fish that came thru the weir each day, going back for several years. It really is a great tool for planning a trip. The Deshka's data for Kings goes all the way back to 1995, which is pretty amazing to have that type of info available.

full-27725-6758-screenshot2011_03_11at6.

For our Alaska trip last year, we were there and fishing on the Deshka, among a few other rivers, on June 6th-16th, which was pretty good timing! grin

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Camp Bob,

Specifically for your case, here is what the Kenai looks like for Sockeyes. As you can see, there will still be sockeyes running up the river when your there, the only thing is it is about 1/10th of what it would be if you were there 3 weeks earlier.

full-27725-6759-screenshot2011_03_11at6.

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Really cool graphing!

Lets see one for the MN DNR rivers (french, knife, sucker etc.) I am trying for the first time this spring and can't wait.

The DNR guys in Duluth have been helpful. If anyone else is going, give me a shout. I a capable fisherman and reliable but looking to learn the ropes of Coho and Loopers.

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how did you do on the deshka? i think we went around the 15th or so and for the two days the our group of 5 landed 8 fish. all were between 23 and 30 pounds nothing huge but fun fish for sure.

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we had a group of 7 and we fished the Deshka for 4 days, the last day was the day it was opened up for using bait (it was a saturday if I remember corrently). I think we landed either 11 or 12 over the course of those days. The fishing wasn't fast and furious by any means, and 2 of the people in our group were little kids, so we spent some time helping them out and teaching them the ropes, and 2 more were girlfriends/wives who gave up fishing after 30 minutes after their arms got sore . we saw a ton of fish caught from boats around us. one day we went wayy up stream, probably 2.5 miles and were completely by ourselves and did a lot better up there and that is where I caught my 31 LBer.

where were you fishing on the deshka? it sure was a zoo out there at the mouth of the river on the day they opened it up for using bait. boats were literally tying up to each other (20-25 boats) making a huge line of boats at the mouth. I personally would never do that. talk about tangled lines when you get fish on, and we saw it happen numerous times.

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Fishkid my dad and two of my brothers live in Chugiak. My dad is real close to the airport. My brothers are a little farther away. Do you fish Peters creek for silvers? It runs right next to my dads property. We never really fish it but we did once last summer and got one right where it dumps into the ocean. I have seen trout in there too but haven't really tried for them. Where else do you go in the area? Jim creek that dumps into the Knik can be pretty good. I would suggest Jim creek to you too campbob but don't want to send anyone back there without a 4 wheel drive truck.

Fishkid do you ever eat at Pizza Man in eagle river? I love that place. Always go atleast once while I'm there. Also You should really try the chef stop. It's a big red lunch truck that parks on the main drag in Eagle River during the day. They have great Philly sandwiches. My brothers friend owns it and it's no roach coach. He is a talented chef and runs a catering business. I recommend these couple of local gems to anyone that makes it up to AK.

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you guys are a lot of help, thanks. The fish run charts are great, now I just have to spend time with some maps identifying river locations and compare them with the run graphs. I'll get it figured out and the wife will never know that I built the trip around fishing?

Suggestions for cool off the beaten path locations are greatly appreciated.

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ya i have eaten at pizza man we had our ducks unlimited meetings there. as for peters creek i only got dollies in it and i just fished by the disk golf course. as for jims creek thats where i did alot of duck hunting and fished for alot of silvers there. i get back there in my 2 wheel drive dakota few little bumps but she makes it lol. thats where i was going to bring them if we met up. ya i would not send any one back there that has not been back there before. it got really wet and muddy so i would park at the gravel lot and hitch hike my way in lol. i live right by the birchwood saloon and work at the gun range right by the air port.

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You mentioned renting a camper van. Last year I had 2 guys fishing with me that had rented one. They said it was very nice but came with only one thin blanket. They frose the first night. They had to buy a couple of sleeping bags to keep them warm. Make your wife happy. When you rent the van, make sure they supply enough blankets. It can be cold in August in Alaska. Good Luck!

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