Cordova, AK

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by onthefly, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. onthefly

    onthefly New Member

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    We spent 9 days in Cordova Alaska fishing for Silvers, Dolly Varden, a few remaining Pinks and Reds and even some Halibut. It was a great vacation, and it had it all. The first few days the fishing was slow, as they hadn't had any rain to speak of for about 2 months. We decided to take a day to go up to Child's Glacier. It was pretty cool to see the ice calving into the Copper River. We took the lone Silver we caught and grilled it at the overlook, and watched nature at work. It was pretty amazing. You can't ask for more than 70 degree days full of sunshine up there!

    After that we got serious about fishing. We tried all the usual places, such as Ibeck Creek and the Alaganik Slough, but the fish were just not running yet. We ended up having to hike the Eyak River Trail, and fish the Eyak right where it comes out. There were three of us, and we pretty much limited the four days we fished that place. The rain started the last couple of days, and the size and freshness of the fish improved near the end.

    We even got trapped at the Eyak Lake Weir, where we were fishing at the fly-fishing only water. A big Black bear walked out, not 30 yards from us, and in the way of our only escape. He was the biggest black the locals have seen up there, and we had left the bear spray and gun in the truck. We were fairly nervous, as we had a couple of nice silvers on the stringer, but he just caught some salmon of his own and sat down to eat them. After about 30 minutes he decided to move along, and we were able to take our fish and beat it back to the road, in time to see him swim across the river below us, and nab another silver to eat. It was quite amazing to see an animal like that close up!

    Following is a pictoral view of what we accomplished. I recommend it to anyone who wants a great DIY Alaska trip. Feel free to contact me if you would like some info, it's quite an adventure!
     
  2. VO2Max

    VO2Max New Member

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    THat looks like one hell of a trip! Congrats on landing so many great fish.

    If I may ask, as my wife and I are planning a trip for next summer to Alaska to fish and sight see, where did you fly in and from where? what sort of lodging did you use? camp or hotel? what weight rod(s) would you suggest? what type of flies would I need to tie/collect to be successful there? What sort of set up is necessary there along the lines of sink tips vs. split shots etc for drifting/swinging? I appreciated any help you can give us in advance as this is a life long dream for me. We will most likely be kayaking a bit too so any suggestions as to where to go would also be greatly appreciated! congrats once again and I appreciate any assistance you can lend.

    Erik DeRoche
     
  3. onthefly

    onthefly New Member

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    My Dad and fishing buddy flew in from PA, and I flew in from Seattle going out, and returned to Portland. I live in Vancouver, WA. We stayed at a B&B in town, there are plenty available. Always recommended is the Salvation Army, they rent a couple of rooms above the store. We paid $120/night, and you can easily sleep 4 at the place we were at. There are some cool cabins call the Bears Den, and they are a bit more pricey, but you get a car and boat with the deal. I'm sure you can find info if you look around. I also heard there are some forest service run cabins, but don't know much about them.

    I would take an 8 or 9 wt. fly rod. I used my 7 wt. to start, but it needed a bit more backbone to land them after the first few. The fish averaged 8-12 lbs, with the biggest over 15. I tied a ton of flies, and needed almost all of them. Purple egg sucking leech was the most successful fly, and near the end of the trip when the fresh fish were pushing up in I was having luck with Chartruese bunny leeches and marabou flies. I used a sink tip for the most part, a Teeny 250 or 300 is what I was using mostly. Any sink tip or shooting head can work just fine, as long as you are also weighting your flies. I used different sizes of barbell eyes on most flies, with some wrapped with lead too.

    You can kayak on the Eyak river, I saw lots of folks doing that. Also, they kayak out in the bay, and the day I left the coho were jumping like crazy there! Lots of people were hooking up, from shore and from boats.

    I recommend going out one day for Halibut/Ling Cod, etc. There are several charters that go out of Cordova, and it runs $250/day to go out and have a blast! You can have your fish processed in town, I would use Prime Select. They charge around $1.60/lb., and will take your salmon and halibut and vaccuum seal and flash freeze it for the trip home. They will keep it there for you, and when you are ready to go you take your cooler and settle up. You can also have them pack a wetlock box for shipping on the plane too.

    You have to visit the glacier when you are there, it's a bit of a trek, but totally worth it. There are plenty of eagles and bear, moose and beaver to be seen. Not much in the way of "womanly" things, only about two or three interesting shops in town, and no where to go. If your wife is not into fishing, it might not be the right spot for you. Cordova is very small, only about 2500 residents. Keep in mind that everything is really expensive too. Gas was over $4 per gallon, and meals were quite spendy.

    I would totally do it again though, and I recommend it for everyone who can do it!! Check this website and do a search for Cordova. http://www.alaskaflyfish.net/ There is plenty of good info there, and you might find another area that will suit you better.

    Good luck, I hope you get a chance to go. It was a truly "magical" trip!
     
  4. Diehard

    Diehard aka Justin

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    Very cool! Sounds like it was an awesome trip. That Black Bear encounter will probably be something you'll always remember
     
  5. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    great pics!
     
  6. Drag-Free Drift

    Drag-Free Drift Member

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    Congratulations on a great trip. My buddy and I were there for a week and a bit in July '99. Interesting place, but expensive, as you say. We had a pretty good time overall, but the rain, often torrential, came down all day every day. As a result, most streams were unfishable. We were camping, so we stayed wet. We had to content ourselves with a few chums and pinks from a beach that also contained a dead and decaying killer whale. That's Alaska, though. Timing is everything, and the chance of rain is ever present, especially in Prince William Sound.
     
  7. Timbersage

    Timbersage New Member

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    I will be heading up there next week and will try and give all an update on locations, flies, and further adventures - thanks for posting this thread on Cordova.
     
  8. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

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    god I love coastal cutts...
     
  9. Nick Metzman

    Nick Metzman Member

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    Nice trip it sounds like you had a lot of fun. It must have been pretty cool seeing the bear especially watching him catch the fish and swim accross the river. Thanks for sharing.

    Tight lines, tight loops
    -Nick