Another Alaska Fishing Trip Thread

Rich M

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Hi Guys - I'm in FL and see plenty of tourists visiting the mouse and theme parks. Last time I went to a theme park was 1997. If you came down, I'd tell you to do the parks for sure, then you gotta hit the beach for a day or two and also have to do an airboat tour to see the wild gators and the "Real Florida", maybe hit the Keys. If you wanted to squeeze in some fishing, we'd talk a bit cause we do have seasons and lots of variety in what is available.

Anyhow - keep getting this urge to visit AK and do some fishing & such. Figuring a 9-10 day trip with 2 more days of recovery at home before returning to work. Time-frame is 2022 or 2023. Budget is $10 K-ish.

I did review the earlier posts and they seem to be focused on lodges and that's a possibility too. With the possible itinerary below, we could squeeze 3 or 4 days into a lodge - wife would like the relaxing and I'd be fishing ever opportunity anyway. We won't be doing an endurance thing - will not be trying to cram as much as possible into the 9-10 days. Figure 1 thing per day with time to putz around and absorb the scenery...

1 Travel day + train ride
2 Glacier/wildlife tour
3 Hike under glacier + grayling day
4 Train ride - Denalli?
5 Fish -buts?
6 Fish -salmon?
7 Fish - mixed
8 Glacier/wildlife/whale trip
9 ?
10 ?

So far have the wants narrowed down to:
Alaska Railroad tour of some sort, the Anchorage -Whittier-Seward trip is the minimum.
Whales & sea life - aside from fishing, this is a primary draw - might do 2 of these
Glacier - from water and want to hike under one
Halibut - just cause
Salmon - just cause - no idea if we want kings or silvers
Grayling - just cause, only need 1
Maybe a fly in kind of thing for salmon & bears - wife isn't on board with this one

Seems like can do most of this from Whittier or Seward or maybe Valdez without too much effort but I bet it gets pretty busy at certain times of year. Are there any other ports that don't get slammed with cruise ships that offer the fishing & tours?

So - for the questions:

Should we do some kind of package deal thru a travel agent or piece meal it?

Any recommended glacier/whale/sea life tours?

Any recommended train trips?

Should we bop around from place to place or just settle in?

I guess the king run ends July 1 and silvers start 2nd week of July... so not much overlap there. Also seems like there will be less of a crowd the end of June as opposed to mid-July and August. Would like to see at least something of a salmon run...

Halibut - this is a bucket thing. Should I do a 2-day/overnight trip to get a little further away from the dock? Be nice to get something over 50#. Just want a possibility for something larger than chickens... Split a private charter or go on a 12+ person boat? Any recommended boat or group to use?

Thanks!
 

Dexter Grayson

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Feb 13, 2017
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Kenai, Alaska
Agree with Vern, Seward is your spot for all the above. Can hike to glaciers on your way to Seward from anchorage. Do all your offshore fishing/wildlife tour out of Seward. Then you can make the 1:45 drive west to salmon fish the kenai. King season ends July 31 btw, but they are getting tougher and tougher to come by. Sockeye should be coming into the kenai pretty heavy by the last week of July. Silver salmon should be in thick throughout resurrection bay. Not many over night halibut trips available, but if you find one then that will be your best bet at a big halibut.
 

thinhorn_AK

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Alaska
I was also going to say seward, there is the exit glacier hike, you can probably fly to another glacier, take a boat cruise and look at stuff. They also have chartered salmon and halibut tours. Grayling are pretty easy to find, you could use a rental car and go get some I bet. In fact you could drive to denali in a long day and probably find grayling on the way and then be in denali to see your bears.

Or you could probably go to the dump of any smaller town and see bears during the summer when everybody is throwing out their fish guts.
 

Salmonchaser

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Mar 25, 2019
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Pendleton, Or
Although I agree with Vern Et. All, Take a couple of days head out to King Salmon. Take a float plane ride out to Brooks Falls, see the bears, fish for Grayling char and Rainbows. Next day Fish the Naknek for sockeye (reds) and Kings. Fly back to ANC head to Denali.
 

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Rich M

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Thanks, Guys.

I guess we'll be looking late July - are we talking the last 2 weeks, or the last week in July?

The bears at the dump thing is too real. I'm very familiar w black bears - just be neat to see the bigger browns doing their things...
 

william schmaltz

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Nov 3, 2017
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AK
I won't argue that the trip to King Salmon is your best option.....

If you want a big halibut, the overnight trip is your best bet. But there are still good odds of a +50# halibut on a day trip out of either Seward or Whittier. There are a handful of operations out of Seward and Whittier offering overnight trips. I think both Crazy Rays out of Whittier and Outer Coast Adventures out of Seward offer overnight trips that tie in a stay out at Port Ashton. I prefer a six pack boat over a 12 person. Outer Coast is running a 6 pack catamaran that is very nice and rides smooth while offering a less crowded boat. A saltwater trip that time of year is pretty much the same in both places. The Coho feed near the head of the bay at Seward starting early July and taper out late July. Then there is a slow down in the action for a couple weeks before the returning fish start to move near and into the bay mid August. Buy a King stamp, every trip I've taken out of them two places we've caught at least one king.

Seward and Whittier are two very different places. Seward is an extremely busy tourist town. Lots of places to eat, people, and cruise ships. Really nice boardwalk and sealife center. Whittier is more quiet. Mostly locals and day trippers out of Anchorage with few tourist options. Both places have the same experience and companies operating as far as the wildlife and glacier cruises are concerned. We've used major marine for the glacier and wildlife cruises.

Last week in July things have calmed down on the upper Kenai River. Should be fishable numbers of sockeye in the upper river with a good rainbow/dolly bite and a very high likelihood of seeing bears. The lower river should have good sockeye numbers by then. Look at places where they use boats to access fishing areas away from the notorious Kenai crowds.

Easy glacier hikes are Byron and Exit on the KP. Talk to places like Miller's Landing in Seward and they can get you on a glacier. Alternatively, the Matanuska Glacier about 2 hours north of Anchorage is an AWESOME glacier to explore and the drive north of Palmer is pretty awesome.

Denali NP will likely take you 2-3 days instead of 1. You're looking at minimum 7-8 hours of driving one way from Seward with limited stops. Much longer for a train ride. And not to be a downer, but you'll probably just be looking at clouds. I tell people that if they really want to do Denali, start putting in for the road lottery and make a separate trip out of it.
 

thinhorn_AK

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Alaska
I won't argue that the trip to King Salmon is your best option.....

If you want a big halibut, the overnight trip is your best bet. But there are still good odds of a +50# halibut on a day trip out of either Seward or Whittier. There are a handful of operations out of Seward and Whittier offering overnight trips. I think both Crazy Rays out of Whittier and Outer Coast Adventures out of Seward offer overnight trips that tie in a stay out at Port Ashton. I prefer a six pack boat over a 12 person. Outer Coast is running a 6 pack catamaran that is very nice and rides smooth while offering a less crowded boat. A saltwater trip that time of year is pretty much the same in both places. The Coho feed near the head of the bay at Seward starting early July and taper out late July. Then there is a slow down in the action for a couple weeks before the returning fish start to move near and into the bay mid August. Buy a King stamp, every trip I've taken out of them two places we've caught at least one king.

Seward and Whittier are two very different places. Seward is an extremely busy tourist town. Lots of places to eat, people, and cruise ships. Really nice boardwalk and sealife center. Whittier is more quiet. Mostly locals and day trippers out of Anchorage with few tourist options. Both places have the same experience and companies operating as far as the wildlife and glacier cruises are concerned. We've used major marine for the glacier and wildlife cruises.

Last week in July things have calmed down on the upper Kenai River. Should be fishable numbers of sockeye in the upper river with a good rainbow/dolly bite and a very high likelihood of seeing bears. The lower river should have good sockeye numbers by then. Look at places where they use boats to access fishing areas away from the notorious Kenai crowds.

Easy glacier hikes are Byron and Exit on the KP. Talk to places like Miller's Landing in Seward and they can get you on a glacier. Alternatively, the Matanuska Glacier about 2 hours north of Anchorage is an AWESOME glacier to explore and the drive north of Palmer is pretty awesome.

Denali NP will likely take you 2-3 days instead of 1. You're looking at minimum 7-8 hours of driving one way from Seward with limited stops. Much longer for a train ride. And not to be a downer, but you'll probably just be looking at clouds. I tell people that if they really want to do Denali, start putting in for the road lottery and make a separate trip out of it.

I totally forgot about the matanuska glacier, that is an awesome drive too.
 
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