Summer Alaska Fishing Trip/Honeymoon

TLowell02

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Jul 29, 2015
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Sedan, NM
Hey folks, my wife and I got married last month and are planning to visit Alaska possibly summer 2019 or more likely 2020 for our delayed honeymoon. Other than the idea being our dream, we know virtually nothing about the logistics and cost of a trip other than expensive. We do have a contact in Homer and so far that has been the center of our plan but, mostly because we have no idea what other areas offer.

Some ideas of what we want to experience include returning with lots of fresh fish. Salmon is our top priority but I know from past experience fishing charters get expensive in a hurry. Is inland river salmon fishing productive in the summer? I watched Randy's Dall sheep hunt series where they successfully caught Kings (I think, I can't find those videos anymore) on publicly accessible waters. We would also love to take the fly rods and spend some time fishing for grayling and Dollys (possible fly-in type trip).

I'm realizing what I am asking is very broad but figure no place better to ask others' experiences and any suggestions. Thanks.
 

Bambistew

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Chugiak, AK
What do you consider "lots" of fish?

You can certainly catch a lot of fish, or you could end up with none... All depends on skill/knowledge, run timing, numbers etc for river fishing. I've seen many a tourist come to the Kenai river expecting to take home a cooler full of fish, and struggle to hook up. Many a trip has been ruined by fish showing up a week after their vacation started, etc.

Access to rivers from the road isn't all that great, and it will be crowded just about anywhere you go. My advice is to fish the 3am-7am shift, which tends to be the most productive for me. There are a number of rivers to fish on the Kenai Penn, and your best bet for shore fishing. The rivers north of Wasilla are ok, but they can be iffy on run count and timing, and its usually 2 fish per day.

Timing is everything with salmon. The runs last 2-3 weeks at best, with the best fishing being maybe 7-10 days of that.

King fishing from the shore is next to non-existent anymore, at least not in a capacity that you'd want to create a memory out of. Combat fishing is not for everyone. haha. A charter or fly out trip is the way to go.

Seward has better fishing over Homer, IMO. I'll never fish Homer again, unless its for winter kings, or if you can talk your captain into making his way to the gulf - 3hrs out one way... The halibut fishing is terrible compared to what it used to be, limits are reduced, no fishing 2 days per week, etc, etc. You'll be lucky to bring home 15lbs of fish each off a charter... that will run you near $350-400pp. Seward has a much larger variety of fish on a consistent basis. Stay away from "party" boats only book a "6-pack"

As far as other things to do.

Take a ferry ride from Whittier to Valdez, book a cabin in McCarthy, then drive up to Paxson, book a cabin at Alpine Creek on the Denali Highway about half way, then go on to Denali NP, spend a day or two there, then circle back down to Anchorage. There are lots of grayling/dolly streams along the way to fish. Opportunity to see lots of animals, some wicked amazing country, easily the best you can see from the road system. A huge verity of climate/habitats ranging from rain forest, to tundra. You can also charter an ocean trip out of Valdez or Wittier. Valdez is decent fishing, cheaper, and far less pressure.

Good luck on your trip planning! So much to do, so little time.
 

slatebuilder

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My wife and I took a cruise to Alaska for our honey moon. It was a great time. We went in early June. I looked over cruise itineries and fishing oppertunities in the ports where the ship would be stopping. The cruise line offered some fishing things, however we looked around and did our own thing. We made reservations for 2 1 day flyout trips. We saw all kinds of wildlife including bears on both flyout trips and caught a ton of fish, mostly trout and dollys. We also did a charter for Kings. Again very enjoyable with great wildlife and scenery. We released everything and brought no fish home. This was a fun trip because we got to do some "touristy and domesticated" type things as well as go fishing a few times.
 

TLowell02

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Sedan, NM
Thanks Bambistew! Great suggestions, I will research options in Seward and Valdez. Catching any fish would be nice, returning with fish fillets would be the cherry on top.

Sight seeing is definitely top of the list too. My wife has a goal to visit all the national parks so I think Kenai Fjords will be a 'must-do'. I would love to lay eyes on a Dall sheep, as it is my #1 bucket list hunt.
 

TLowell02

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Sedan, NM
My wife and I took a cruise to Alaska for our honey moon. It was a great time. We went in early June. I looked over cruise itineries and fishing oppertunities in the ports where the ship would be stopping. The cruise line offered some fishing things, however we looked around and did our own thing. We made reservations for 2 1 day flyout trips. We saw all kinds of wildlife including bears on both flyout trips and caught a ton of fish, mostly trout and dollys. We also did a charter for Kings. Again very enjoyable with great wildlife and scenery. We released everything and brought no fish home. This was a fun trip because we got to do some "touristy and domesticated" type things as well as go fishing a few times.
Minus the cruise, this sounds very similar to our imagined trip. Mind me asking who you used for the fly-out trips? Another dream of mine is to visit the Twin Lakes in the Lake Clark Park where Dick Proenneke's cabin stands.
 

Sytes

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Grats on your marriage!

Will be an interesting thread to follow. More than enough ht'ers that have enjoyed what Alaska has to offer!
 

slatebuilder

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Minus the cruise, this sounds very similar to our imagined trip. Mind me asking who you used for the fly-out trips? Another dream of mine is to visit the Twin Lakes in the Lake Clark Park where Dick Proenneke's cabin stands.

I can not remember the specific charters we used, it's been awhile.
 

ringer

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Dec 1, 2004
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I am fishing the Nushagak again next year with Toman's Alaska camp. That is the best river in Alaska for King salmon IMO. We have caught 100 fish a day for four of us. The camps are all tent camps with float plane to and from camp included. They have a couple of actual chefs and great food. Might be a little rougher than you want for the wife but the fishing is great. Our trip is around $4000 each including airfare. I have fished Alaska 27 times and Homer/Kenai would not be my choice. Mid June to mid July is the King run on the Nush. Sitka is another good trip with halibut, ling cod and kings. Scenic and nice little town for the wife to shop.
 

deer_shooter

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Southwest Pa.
My wife and I got married there in 2006 and have been up at least a dozen times. My best friend lives in Fairbanks so we do have a place to stay in the interior. We have driven just about the entire road system from Homer to Coldfoot as well as the Denali Hwy and the Glenn. The state is so big that trying to see everything is impossible. Depending on when you go and what your goals are, you can find decent fishing without too much trouble. Bambi's post has a lot of good info, King fishing from anywhere accessible by road or foot is combat fishing. We usually go after the King run and target silvers in late July, early august and have done pretty good. I agree that Homer is not all that it used to be. I've not fished Seward but we have gone to Valdez many times. We have found decent fishing from the shore at Allison Point, and if you go during an even numbered year, you'll catch the pink salmon run. You can rent a small boat in Valdez and go out into the bay and fish for salmon on you own if you are adventurous but we've caught pinks by the bucketful from shore. There is also really good fishing for rockfish along the cliff walls on the opposite side of the bay if you got a boat.
On option would be to rent a small RV and explore. Keep in mind the rental companies don't allow travel on the Denali hwy or the haul road. I think you could get away with it on the Denali though. Lots of good fishing for trout and grayling or the road system too.
 

the nikster

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Idaho
Ketchikan is an option as well. A quick flight to POW, rent a truck and fish like heck. I landed 3 kinds of Salmon in 1 day. Plenty of other fishes as well, including halibut. Not sure what the limits are. I rented a cabin with a truck and boat for a week. $4000 split 4 ways for a week was pretty reasonable ( my share was $1000).
The road trip that Bambistew suggested is prime. Best advice you will get. I have driven that route and caught many fish and seen many things.
 

neffa3

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Wenatchee
My wife and I did AK in Sept this year for the first time. Too late for salmon (though there was a few old silvers swimming around) but perfect weather, not many crowds, no bugs, and stellar trout fishing.
 

7Bartman

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Jan 7, 2018
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Maryland
Did a similar trip a few years back. Flew into Anchorage and rented a car and headed down the Sterling Hwy to Homer. Rented a small cabin and went fishing the next day and caught salmon and halibut until our arms were sore. We then headed over to Seward for some whale watching and glacier viewing.


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Bambistew

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Chugiak, AK
Thanks Bambistew! Great suggestions, I will research options in Seward and Valdez. Catching any fish would be nice, returning with fish fillets would be the cherry on top.

Sight seeing is definitely top of the list too. My wife has a goal to visit all the national parks so I think Kenai Fjords will be a 'must-do'. I would love to lay eyes on a Dall sheep, as it is my #1 bucket list hunt.
Wrangell St. Elias NP is way cooler than Misty Fijords, IMO. Odds are good you'll be in the mist and see nothing. Haha McCarthy and the drive into the park is very cool. My favorite park in AK, by far.

Lots of places to see sheep, although usually better sightings in the fall. Once you get your trip lined out shoot me a message, I'll let you know the best sheep viewing spots. Too many to list.
 
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