Fishing Alaska on budget

DCL

New Member
#16
I guided in AK for several years and typically go back up for at least two weeks each summer. Sometimes when I go with my buddies, we go on a budget and you can do a great trip for cheap. Part of it depends on how many people you have with you (can you split car expenses, etc?). We did a trip two years ago for about $100/day (not including airfare).

Keys to savings money on an AK trip:
1. Camp. Not only do you stay closer to the water, it's $15/night.
2. Take food and cook it - eating out kills your wallet
3. Rent a car/SUV and split the cost with multiple people
4. Go during the "off season" - Depending on what you're fishing for, September is the best time to go and everything's cheaper

As far as fishing goes - if you go during "peak season" - you'll find crowds - period. The key during these times is to fish at rediculous hours. We would fish roadside creeks from 3:30 AM to 7:30 AM then again from 8PM to midnight. Sure, your sleeping pattern gets screwed up, but you avoid the crowds and the fishing can be great.

Again, go in Aug/Sept - most of the tourists and families have gone home and the locals are working during the days. Someone else made a good point about remote cabins - there are several of these for free (or close to it).

If you let me know what time of year you're planning on going or what you want to fish for, I can help you key in on some great areas. Also, let me know how much of a "budget" you're really on (this means different things to different people).

One last thing: if you think those fly-out lodges are $2k, you're in for a huge surprise - even your "mid-class" ones are $3500/week now...
I guided in AK for several years and typically go back up for at least two weeks each summer. Sometimes when I go with my buddies, we go on a budget and you can do a great trip for cheap. Part of it depends on how many people you have with you (can you split car expenses, etc?). We did a trip two years ago for about $100/day (not including airfare).

Keys to savings money on an AK trip:
1. Camp. Not only do you stay closer to the water, it's $15/night.
2. Take food and cook it - eating out kills your wallet
3. Rent a car/SUV and split the cost with multiple people
4. Go during the "off season" - Depending on what you're fishing for, September is the best time to go and everything's cheaper

As far as fishing goes - if you go during "peak season" - you'll find crowds - period. The key during these times is to fish at rediculous hours. We would fish roadside creeks from 3:30 AM to 7:30 AM then again from 8PM to midnight. Sure, your sleeping pattern gets screwed up, but you avoid the crowds and the fishing can be great.

Again, go in Aug/Sept - most of the tourists and families have gone home and the locals are working during the days. Someone else made a good point about remote cabins - there are several of these for free (or close to it).

If you let me know what time of year you're planning on going or what you want to fish for, I can help you key in on some great areas. Also, let me know how much of a "budget" you're really on (this means different things to different people).

One last thing: if you think those fly-out lodges are $2k, you're in for a huge surprise - even your "mid-class" ones are $3500/week now...
I am planning a trip to Alaska, how do I contact you to discuss. thanks in advance for the help. We are looking to go in September for 10 days, renting a RV and looking to max out at 2K
 
#18
Two summers ago I was in Anchorage coaching basketball for 4 weeks. At the end i had a week left before i flew back to seattle. Spent my time fishing out of an RV all around Anchorage, found the best success by stopping and talking with some local fly shops. When i explained my situation they were more then helpful in guiding me to some fish. Even had one owner come out with me for an afternoon and get me into some amazing Rainbows!

Put Montana Creek on your list, easy camping and great Rainbow fishing. Clancy was not exaggerating when he mentioned big rainbows!
 
#19
You can actually get a guide on the Kenai for a decent price. I would suggest doing this for at least one of the days why you are there. You can fish from the banks but will have much more success from a drift boat. There are also great streams just north of Anchorage that can be easily accessible, just be sure the check the USGS as some of these river can get blown out quickly with the AK summer weather.
 
#20
You have gotten a ton of good advice from several of the above posts.
I have fished in Alaska 5 or 6 times and try to spend 10 to 12 days when I go. About half those days I do it on my own to cut costs. When I go, I try to be there at least the 1st week or so in September and spend it on the Kenai Peninsula. At that time you have a chance to have very good fishing for rainbows, and dollys. If you get some rain or snow you will get fresh silvers entering the rivers daily, kings are done by then and the pinks on the odd years pretty much suck after they hit fresh water in a day or so. There are 4 rivers besides the Kenai and Russian I have fished and done well on at times, and it would be worth it to spend at least a little time on, they are Deep Creek, the Ninilchik and Anchor Rivers for silvers with the right water conditions, Quartz Creek has always fished well for me for dollies.
The best day I ever had fishing in Alaska was fishing was with Billy Coulliette at Trout-Fitters in Cooper Landing, we fished the Kenai below Skilak Lake the 1st week in September, I've guided for 12 years in Wyoming and New Mexico and Billy is the best guide/fisherman I've ever been on the water with, great teacher as well. He's the kind of guide I would like to be. I would fish with Dusty at Trout-Fitters she is a very good fisherman/guide as well, and a good person to spend a day on the water with.
Understand salmon runs very from year to year, so most of my trips have been centered around rainbows and dollys, I look at salmon as somewhat of a bonus. I also would read the book Flyfisher's Guide to Alaska by Scott Haugen, over all its a pretty good book, at least the parts on the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island that I know.
If I can help you in anyway shoot me and email with a phone number by the middle of April. From late April to late September I'm on a 593000 acre ranch in NM with no internet, and cell service that works on about 100 acres.
Good luck with your trip
Gator
 

JesseC

Active Member
#21
I wonder if 20 years from now this thread'll get dug up again and never miss a beat. The Internet trips me out sometimes man.
 

Cruik

Active Member
#22

Flyfishing Dad

displaced Alaskan
#23
It has been a few years since I lived up there, so I don't know how built up the area has become. On the Kenai though don't overlook the Russian River drainage and the upper lakes, and toward Denali and the Park there was good fishing on Troublesome Creek back in the day. Chum, Silvers, Reds and plenty of native trout and grayling. My best producing patterns were all streamers, particularly the bi- and tri-colored "coho" synthetic fur or fishair flies. Good luck.