6 Weeks In Alaska!

mr trout

Trevor Hutton
#1
So I found out today that I got chosen to go to Alaska during the summer to do fisheries research and study salmon ecology (and other stuff) for about six weeks! Can you tell I am a little excited? Anyway, I will be up there mid-july til the end of August. We spend the first couple weeks at lake Aleknagik and the rest of the time at Lake Iliamna. Main focus is the Sockeye Salmon fishery, but we do all sorts of stuff and then we do an individual research project as well. (anybody have any sweet ideas?)
I talked with a few guides at the show in Bellevue, but what else should I expect as far as life and fishing (aka - whenever Im not busy doing studies and writing papers...) in the area? I know bugs are a concern, and I plan on being well equipped for those pests. I am going to need to get at the vise and tie up all my flies that I think I might need in advance. I'm thinking leeches, flesh flies, egg flies, sculpins, big dries, mice and such would be the name of the game. Anything else? What else do I need to know? Is it summer yet? Dang. - Trevor
 
#3
lucky bastard... let me know if they need any more people with a degree in fisheries/freshwater ecology to come up there! im lookin for stuff really hard... havent gotten lucky yet
 

Kent Lufkin

Remember when you could remember everything?
#4
Get yourself a shotgun - a 12 ga pump with the shortest legal barrel allowed, a nylon sling, and a couple boxes of slug loads would be best. Failing that, take the biggest caliber revolver you can buy or borrow and a nylon holster. At the very least, get a magnum-size can of pepper spray.

K
 

mr trout

Trevor Hutton
#5
Kent Lufkin said:
Get yourself a shotgun - a 12 ga pump with the shortest legal barrel allowed, a nylon sling, and a couple boxes of slug loads would be best. Failing that, take the biggest caliber revolver you can buy or borrow and a nylon holster. At the very least, get a magnum-size can of pepper spray.

K

Yeah, I haven't checked, but being that it is a University Of Washington program, I doubt we are allowed to pack firearms. Which I think is ludicrous... I am definately going to have some sort of protection though. I would go with the Shotgun if I could, no doubt about it. I am also thinking a little bit about having my bow shipped up after the course is done and doing some Caribou/bear/anything hunting, but I have a feeling that will have to wait until next time I'm up there.
 

Ringlee

Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
#6
You wont need it. Just have to carry it around on your back. Only a couple of places that we fly out to that people carry guns. Not very many people go there.
 
#7
Beads, beads, and beads. By late July and August the trout key into Salmon eggs. Try to get up into the smaller water in Katmai if possible, it's the greatest show on earth that time of year.

If you take a sidearm, file off the front sight. That way it wont hurt so bad when the bear shoves it up your ass :)
 
#8
goose575713 said:
lucky bastard... let me know if they need any more people with a degree in fisheries/freshwater ecology to come up there! im lookin for stuff really hard... havent gotten lucky yet
goose575713-
check the American Fisheries Society's website, click on the "job center" link
there are many job postings in AK. The job categories are broken down into B.S./B.A., M.S., PhD, student opportunities, and seasonal/temporary. Also check ADF&G's website, and USAjobs
I'm in the same boat, only I'm focusing my search on WA.
Good luck, Highfly
 
#9
Good to hear you get to go up w/ UW, Trevor! My labmate goes up every year to study sockeye, I'm sure you will see each other up there.

Send me a PM and I'll hook you up with other grad students in Fisheries who are also going up-- it seems that about half the school travels to Alaska for the summer. Nearly all of them fish, so once you talk with them you'll know exactly what to expect. I don't think you'll get to travel far from the study sites, but that won't matter because the study sites were chosen for their abundance of salmon!

Do you know who you'll be working under?

thanks,
Jim
 
#10
I guided one year out of Aleknagik at Mission Lodge. The two major fisheries there are the agulawok, at the head, which is a great rainbow fishery, and the wood river at the outlet, neither of which are any great secret i.e. they get pounded every day by the multitude of lodges and local fishermen. There are a few other feeder streams as well that anyone can figure out from looking at the topo. You won't be alone up there, the wok (as people call the agulawok) has at least a dozen boats on it every day, sometimes a lot more. From what I've heard the Wood has really come back and has a lot of pressure, too, especially during Silver season. The Wok is actually a pretty darn good dry fly fishery for Rainbows in July, one of the best. Big wulffs with a nymph dropper can make you feel more like you're in Montana than Alaska. Of course the standard egg and flesh patterns work as well (a lot of people swear by beads but I've done just as well with glo-bugs too). Most folks fish drit-boat style by rowing their jet sleds, that is the most effective way to get to the fish as it's a pretty powerful river. It's alos a dangerous river that should only be run by experienced jet-sledders, there are boulders in there can can rip a boat apart. There are also a lot of dollies around, both in the river and at the outlet. One option for less pressured fishing is pike in the lake, nearly every cove has pike in it. The big "if" is going to be transportation. If you don't have a boat, it will limit you to fishing near where you're located. Even if you do have a boat be careful. Storms come up on that lake fast and it can be exceedingly dangerous in a hurry. Just keep an eye out for high winds and stay at home when they come along.

Of course one obvious fishery is sockeyes in the lake. But you'll soon find that sockeye are very reluctant to take flies, some times it's downright frustrating. All those thousands of fish and all they can think about is spawning!

When I was in this area in 1991 there were some serious bear problems. Be sure to talk to fish and game about the current status and precautions. I believe the bears are protected in this area and some of the scariest bears encouters I have heard of have occured in that lake chain (wood river-tikchik).

As far as Illiamna goes I can't help yo there but I have a feeling you're going to find some even better spots to fish there than in Aleknagik.

Have a good trip try not to work too hard.

-John