Alaska trip advice please

Hi all - I'd like to organize a trip for me and my 80 year old Dad to Alaska. Our goal is to catch a variety of fish, not just salmon, with a guide or guides, on a moderate budget. We don't need luxury accommodations, but aren't interested in sleeping on the ground, either. We're both experienced fishing on multi-day trips, such as for bonefish in the Bahamas, floating the Deschutes for rainbows, spring creek fishing in Montana, etc. Although Dad's 80, he's quite fit and won't require special accommodations. Of course, we'd like to catch lots of fish, but the scenery and general experience is just as important. Any and all suggestions as to time of year, locations, and outfits would be very appreciated. This may be the last big trip he and I take together, and I want it to be a good one. Thanks all!
 

dekartes

Active Member
When you say 'moderate budget', what range are you in? Is this a bucket list trip? What species are you interested in catching Salmon wise? Your experience can be set up in a wide range. If this is your one shot to go experience the fishery with your dad I would highly consider getting off any road system; or at the very least hooking up some fly in day trips with a guide. Check out wildriverfish.com . Mark is local and going on a float trip with him would be a bucket list experience for you and your dad. Tons of information on his site too. There are a ton of lodges that would be fantastic too. I have had plenty of wonderful experiences on road systems; but they just don't match what you get when you go off grid. If combining a lot of sightseeing is a goal, then that might change things. PM me if you want some low downs on specific areas / timing. I hope to do the some trips with my daughter someday! I don't live in Alaska, so my experience is based on what I have learned and is specific to a few areas. Hopefully some locals PM you.
 
When you say 'moderate budget', what range are you in? Is this a bucket list trip? What species are you interested in catching Salmon wise? Your experience can be set up in a wide range. If this is your one shot to go experience the fishery with your dad I would highly consider getting off any road system; or at the very least hooking up some fly in day trips with a guide. Check out wildriverfish.com . Mark is local and going on a float trip with him would be a bucket list experience for you and your dad. Tons of information on his site too. There are a ton of lodges that would be fantastic too. I have had plenty of wonderful experiences on road systems; but they just don't match what you get when you go off grid. If combining a lot of sightseeing is a goal, then that might change things. PM me if you want some low downs on specific areas / timing. I hope to do the some trips with my daughter someday! I don't live in Alaska, so my experience is based on what I have learned and is specific to a few areas. Hopefully some locals PM you.

Honestly, I'm coming at this with little to no knowledge of what my options are, which is why I started this thread. We're not interested in a road-based trip. Mark's outfit looks good, and I'd be interested in learning more about lodges as well. Not even sure what a "moderate" cost would be, lol.

Regarding species, we want to experience catching a mix, not too particular about which. Coho and large rainbows would be a good start. Not interested in sight seeing, but do want to fish in an area with nice scenery.

I appreciate your advice, and anyone else with experience fishing AK who wishes to chime in would be appreciated as well. Thanks.
 
we did a 10 day float last year on the good news .. it cost about 1k each in plane fair from montana to bethel and back.... then about 2k for outfitters fee's which included bush plane drop off and pick up along with raft rentals and a place to stay in bethel the night we got to town..i like this style trip far more then having some guide fuss over you the hole time netting your fish and tying your knots... they pretty much just drop you off at the headwaters with a raft and meet you at the pick up spot at a decided time. with 2 people instead of 3 you can bring enough stuff in 1 bush plane ride out to live pretty good during your trip like cots ,chairs and beers...and still fit it in your raft. i think if your willing to go this route you can pretty much fish anywhere in alaska for around 3k per person.
 
we did a 10 day float last year on the good news .. it cost about 1k each in plane fair from montana to bethel and back.... then about 2k for outfitters fee's which included bush plane drop off and pick up along with raft rentals and a place to stay in bethel the night we got to town..i like this style trip far more then having some guide fuss over you the hole time netting your fish and tying your knots... they pretty much just drop you off at the headwaters with a raft and meet you at the pick up spot at a decided time. with 2 people instead of 3 you can bring enough stuff in 1 bush plane ride out to live pretty good during your trip like cots ,chairs and beers...and still fit it in your raft. i think if your willing to go this route you can pretty much fish anywhere in alaska for around 3k per person.
I'd sure be up for that with a friend my age, but for my 80 y/o dad, that's a little to rustic. He's used to cabins or wall tents with cots. Regarding guides and the degree to which they help or not, I've found it's pretty easy to set expectations and work within them. For example, I have no problem with a guide giving me insight on the particular stretch we're fishing, then leaving me to help others, but I certainly don't want or expect them to hover at my elbow and tie on every fly. Help with netting's always good.
 

landlocked

Active Member
WFF Supporter
Get ahold of Mark Emery in King Salmon. You can do daily trips up the Naknek, or fly outs up and down the chain. Salmon, trout, grayling, streamers, dries) Marks a super interesting guy (he’s got a pretty active Facebook page, done lots of photography for Nat Geo over the years, was an early ultimate fighter, composes music scores for a Discovery Channel, wrestled gators in FL in his younger days... stories forever). The flight to King Salmon is short from Anchorage, and there’s alternate lodging and dining options in King Salmon, not just the high end lodges. Katmai National Park, Brooks, and tons of other sightseeing destinations around Bristol Bay and The AK peninsula are a float plane hop right out of King Salmon. Mark has done lots of filming and producing for Nat Geo out there, he knows where to go. Oh, and he’s a pretty kick butt fly guide also!
 

Hookset

New Member
Hi all - I'd like to organize a trip for me and my 80 year old Dad to Alaska. Our goal is to catch a variety of fish, not just salmon, with a guide or guides, on a moderate budget. We don't need luxury accommodations, but aren't interested in sleeping on the ground, either. We're both experienced fishing on multi-day trips, such as for bonefish in the Bahamas, floating the Deschutes for rainbows, spring creek fishing in Montana, etc. Although Dad's 80, he's quite fit and won't require special accommodations. Of course, we'd like to catch lots of fish, but the scenery and general experience is just as important. Any and all suggestions as to time of year, locations, and outfits would be very appreciated. This may be the last big trip he and I take together, and I want it to be a good one. Thanks all!
[/
Hi all - I'd like to organize a trip for me and my 80 year old Dad to Alaska. Our goal is to catch a variety of fish, not just salmon, with a guide or guides, on a moderate budget. We don't need luxury accommodations, but aren't interested in sleeping on the ground, either. We're both experienced fishing on multi-day trips, such as for bonefish in the Bahamas, floating the Deschutes for rainbows, spring creek fishing in Montana, etc. Although Dad's 80, he's quite fit and won't require special accommodations. Of course, we'd like to catch lots of fish, but the scenery and general experience is just as important. Any and all suggestions as to time of year, locations, and outfits would be very appreciated. This may be the last big trip he and I take together, and I want it to be a good one. Thanks all!

Howdy- I’ve spent time in S.E. AK fishing for salmon, steelhead and cutthroat in the Tongass National Forest. There are several Forest Service cabins at remote lakes that can be reserved relatively inexpensively.

Using Ketchikan as a destination, you can charter floatplane flights as well as outfit (groceries, camping gear, etc.) for your stay at these cabins.

Your main expense is flights. This would be an unguided trip but based upon time of trip and coinciding salmon runs, the fishing can be spectacular. Typically the outlet streams of most lakes with cabins are full of cutthroat and dollies.

I arranged a trip for a 84 year old friend who took his first spring steelhead on fly on Prince of Wales. He was a happy man.

Good luck.
 

Kelzinga

Member
Floating the kenai is not only great fishing but excellent scenery as well with bows and salmon an option. Seward is 2 hrs away then and I went out with jdock charter one day on gear and filled my freezer with halibut, lingcod, rockfish, and salmon. Also a great Grayling lake id share with you but it’s a hike of doom getting up there.
 

Snagly

New Member
I'd look into the Yakutat Lodge for a value-for-money guided destination that was my introduction to Alaska 25-plus years ago. We didn't know it, but we booked into a very quiet week in the lodge in late July: too late for fresh kings or socks, and too early for silvers in the river. Floated down and/or hiked around the Situk for dollies, rainbows and the odd salmon. Then out into the bay for fresh kings and silvers, plus halibut/rockfish. Of course, you can book a prime time week for a particular species, but then you'll have more company. We really appreciated the solitude and great wildlife viewing.
 
I’d suggest the Russian River. A couple hours from Anchorage and easy walking paths. Great trout fishing. Opening of salmon season attracts the crowds but a quick hike creates solitude. You can also float the Kenai for a bigger river experience. Good luck!
 

Shad

Active Member
Second for King Salmon area. I was there last summer. Guides said the fishing was tougher than usual, but I found it easy to catch limits of 5 coho daily, plus a bunch more C&Rd in between. We were fishing the nearby Egegik River, which is a short bush plane hop from King Salmon.

I stayed at the Becharof Rapids Camp (one of only two camps on the Egegik), which was a cool experience. Accommodations are basic, but comfortable, food is plentiful and delicious, and the company is good, too. Lots of the folks had been going there for several years during the same week, and it was kind of like a reunion for those folks. Fun. Would be a cool atmosphere for you and your dad.

I don't know exactly how much the trip cost (it was a gift from a friend who couldn't make it), but I think it was something under $3500 per person, including the bush plane flight from and back to King Salmon, for 6 nights and 5 days of guided coho fishing. They told me they offer an additional flyout trip (a few hundred more) to the upper river, where you can catch big grayling. That sounds cool.

If you're interested, you'll want to go to the website and call Dave (owner) soon; as I said, he gets a lot of repeat business, and the camp only hosts 12 at a time, so space can be limited. I'd go back again in a heartbeat. I just might someday....
 

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