A few Alaska questions....

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Gorgefly, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Gorgefly

    Gorgefly Member

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    So I am potentially goping to be travelling to Alaska for my company about 6-7 times a year and I have a few questions for those of you that fish up there.
    The trips will be spread out over the year probably in the months of Aug., Oct., Nov., Feb., Mar., and Apr. Of these months which will have weather god enough for fishing (mostly Anchorage area)? Also what species would be best to target during these times and which rod weights would suit me best to take. Besides small stuff I have 6 and 7wt. single handers. A 5/6 switch and a 7wt. spey. They spey is only a three piece so tough to travel but all the rest are fours. I realize this is a loaded question. Just asking for any advice I can get.


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. BDD

    BDD Active Member

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    Well, without trying to state the obvious, August and October would be my best two choices from your list. There are lots more qualified than me on the subject but August can be good for coho and char and October can be good for bows and farther down the Sterling Highway, steelhead. That can even be OK in November on mild years but it can be hard to count on. I'm guessing April can be decent for the locals who know where to go too. I wouldn't plan fishing trips for February or March and November can be iffy.
     
  3. hap

    hap Member

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    Close to Anchorage, August is silvers, rainbows, dollies. During the first ten days or so of August there are still red salmon to pick and choose from on the Russian River/Kenai and lots of outstanding rainbows if the reds are scarce.

    October is still silvers, rainbows, and dollies. The Kenai River is still the most incredible river in the World, but often very crowded. There are lots of places to find with a little looking and prodding.

    November is tougher and takes balls of fleece to stay warm. Frequently the outlet of Skilak Lake is open and has outstanding fishing for monster rainbows.

    A relatively inexpensive fly-in to Alexander lake would put you in more pike than you can imagine. My son and I usually do a one-week trip there each year and usually catch at least 100 fish per day each. The largest pike ever seen by man was caught there by ADF&G, tagged, weighed and released. It was more than 10# heavier than the WR which has stood for over 50 years.

    Feb, March, and April are reserved for Washingtonians to fly fish here... ;) There are a few moving waters that may be open and with a little looking one can find fish almost any month. In April '08, I caught a rainbow in Anchorage city limits that most would call incredible.

    The Alaska Fly Fishers meets on the first Monday of each month at the Millenium Hotel, near Lake Hood. You could easily find locals to fish with there and there is a person that keeps a list of folks looking for others to fish with. I am a board member and am at most meetings.

    Will send a PM in a minute.
    art
     
  4. D RAY

    D RAY Member

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    Gorgefly, without question, of the months you mentioned, August would be the most favorable, you could target red salmon, early coho's, maybe some early run steelhead, grayling, rainbows and dollies, plus some pinks if you are really desperate. All the other months you mentioned, can be fished contingent upon the weather. I have caught fish in every month you mentioned. The further you get into winter the lower the catch rate. I would not bring anything smaller than a 7wt. preferably an 8wt. if you have one. If you plan on fishing in the Anchorage bowl, there are lakes that you could get away with a smaller rod. But like you said, it is a loaded question. There are alot of options. In August there's Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage, that has a very good silver salmon run, there's also Bird Creek south of Anchorage about 20 miles, that has a silver and pink run. Further south on the Kenai Peninsula, you have Quartz Creek, Russian River, Kenai River, Kasilof River, Nilnilchic River, Deep Creek, and the Anchor River. North of Anchorage in the Mat-Su Valley, you have numerous streams ( to many to name ), that all hold rainbows, grayling and salmon. You will be able to fish somewhere, making up your mind where will be the hard part. I hope this helps.

    D Ray


    www.d-ray.com
     
  5. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    If I lived in Anchorage still I would fish every month of the year, I've caught fish on soft water ever month of the year except november, february and march. You can fish for silvers in August and October, Feb March and April you can fish for bows in the kenai, steelhead will be poking around in october, remember, regulations require that those fish be kept in the water. Your rod arsenal is perfect, I wouldn't bring the spey though unless you really really like throwing it.

    As for trout August and October are my most productive months but I feel like a dirty whore because the pressure often forces me to fish with plastic to catch fish consistently (beads). I have done real well on dries in august, and october but the situation has to be right.

    The type of fishing you like to do will determine where to go. I like catching fish on dries so I fish in weird places to small fish (well I also swing mice to bristol bay rainbows all summer but thats another story)
     
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Gorgefly,

    If your work takes you to the Anchorage area, are you locked into fishing just that area? If your work allows, I'd tack a week of AL to the August trip and fly out to Dillingham or King Salmon and arrange a fishing trip there for trout and silvers. October still offers some sliver opportunity as HAP mentions, but is also the onset of steelhead season in parts of SE AK and SW AK, or is that SC? April, or at least the end of April offers some steelhead opportunity in SE. I'd try to arrange some extended weekends for the October and April work trips to incorporate some fishing time. You lucky dog!

    Sg
     
  7. "Q"

    "Q" Member

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    I recommend that you go out and purchase a book called "Flyfisher's Guide to Alaska" by Scott Haugen. I think it is the most comprehensive guide where to go/when to go/what to fish for in Alaska. It covers the roadside fisheries around Anchorage and the Kenai as well as the wilderness fisheries throughout the state.
     
  8. longstick

    longstick Member

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    Every month you will find fish if the weather is 30 degrees or warmer. August and September you can drive a few hours north or south and find silvers and trout. The rest of the fall and into winter and spring you have only one option....Kenai. October and November lots of big silvers in the upper kenai. If you ever need info call me or email me and I can give you some help. Alot of my clients get to come up for work a few times a year and they love there jobs and alaska. Good luck and have fun, keep that job.
    Jake
     
  9. hap

    hap Member

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    I have to agree with you on that... Scott has been a good friend since long before he wrote his first article. He often stays with us when traveling through Anchorage and I have hunted and fished with him for a very long time. I am mentioned more than several times in that book and portions of it were written on my boat in Kodiak while we were on a deer hunt. I have never met anyone with a stronger work ethic than Scott and I think the world of him.

    And he is pretty handy with rifle, shotgun, and rod.
    art
     
  10. thudpucker

    thudpucker New Member

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    Be sure you bring your 7Mm Neoprene waders. None of those Cook Inlet running waters ever warm up for swimming.

    South of Anchorage, Tern Lake, has a Creek running out of it towards Kenai. That's a good light rod creek. Brushy and all your casts are short. Drys work. You get some surprisingly large Dolly's and Rainbow. Someone told me Cutts are there too but I never saw one.
     
  11. longstick

    longstick Member

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    We don't have any cutts in those parsts, only southeast Alaska
     
  12. hap

    hap Member

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    There are cutts way north of SouthEast... But not in Cook Inlet streams.
     
  13. Gorgefly

    Gorgefly Member

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    Thanks to all for the great info! Looks like I will in fact be heading north for work on occasion beginning late winter or spring this year.
    This will give me a great idea of what to expect. One other question. Since I will probably primarily fish alone does anyone know if I am allowed to bring bear spray on the plane? I assume if it is allowed it would only be in checked bags. Never tried to fly with it.

    Thanks again.....looking forward to it!
     
  14. hap

    hap Member

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    Negative on flying with bear spray. Also, flying in small planes with it is a very bad idea, though they can load it in the float hatches and it will not be the hazard it is when it goes off in the cabin...

    You can fly with firearms and they are orders of magnitude more meaningful than spray. I have seen spray used on bears twice and it did not save either bear's life. If you need defense you need a lot more than spray.
    art
     
  15. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

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    I think he meant in checked baggage. Yes you can bring bear spray in your checked baggage.

    But as mentioned before, you probably don't want to put it inside a float plane, unless it is in the floats. thats what i've always done with mine.
     
  16. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

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    Also, I've used bear spray several times, and it works fine. A lot of people will say you need a fire arm but I totally disagree. I've guided 5 years in the Katmai Region, which is famous for its large numbers of bears, and I've even had some close calls, and never felt like I needed a gun. Just be aware of which direction the wind is blowing, and realize you need to be within about 6 ft for it to work. Spooky, I know, the containers say 15 ft but that is a gross overestimate. More importantly is just being aware and moving out of a bears way when it approaches. Common sense is a much better tool for being bear safe than any gun.
     
  17. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    I don't think you can bring spray in checked baggage either.
     
  18. hap

    hap Member

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    No, I meant anywhere on any commercial airline. It is legal to fly with it on a small plane, just stupid. Bear spray is prohibited in checked baggage.

    As to thinking spary is equal to a firearm, good luck with that. I have also guided in heavy bear country, including Katmai, and have had many close encounters with bears, mostly good. But I have had a number of bad and they got very close to very bad. I have seen two bears sprayed at close range with bear spray and neither bear left the area and it was not an option for us to leave the area. The bears returned more unhappy than the first visit...

    The simple fact is very few bears will actually carry out a charge and most shootings take place before the bear has a chance to back down. Bears shot at 40 yards, the average place where folks start shooting, probably would have stopped. The first bear I shot in DLP was hit first at about 50 yards and made it to my boot tops, but I was younger and far less comfortable around bears. Today I will let bears close to 20-25 yards as long as they show some uncertainty in their actions.

    A bear truly charging is so fast there is little time to wait for the exact right 6 feet...
     
  19. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    I don't carry a gun or spray in the katmai area. I will however carry something when I'm fishing cougar country next fall, bears I can deal with cats I can't.
     
  20. kamishak steve

    kamishak steve Active Member

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    Hap,
    your sentiment is pretty typical of many alaskans. i think it's overkill. The lodge i work for has been in Katmai since before there was a katmai, we celebrated our 60th year last year, and we've never had any bear attacks, injuries, etc. Our policy is spray. Until Obama recently overturned it, it wasn't legal to carry a firearm in the park (or any national park). When you shoot a bear with a gun, its not likely to kill it. In fact, with all the adrenaline it would have before an attack, the bear would likely kill you even after having been shot. Like you said of yourself, when you didn't have much experience with bears, you would shoot at them at 50 yards. My guess is that bear didn't want to have anything to do with you from that far away until you started shooting at it. If you didn't kill that bear, there's a good chance you maimed him. Gun shot wounds will affect the bears ability to feed, and if the wound itself doesn't slowly kill the bear, the injury will negatively affect its ability to feed and it will likely starve to death over the winter. The last thing we need are a bunch of hungry/injured bears. Those are very dangerous animals. The second to the last thing we need is a bunch of yahoos shooting bears from 50 yards away...

    Also, what is stupid about putting bear spray in the float of an airplane?
     

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