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Phil@loz

Our first trip !!

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Wow. I am still in awe. What a place. I’ve always dreamed of going to Alaska but just never did. I have seen Phil and Duane’s reports over the years and wanted to do that some day. Kathy had seen Alaska before and knew I would love it. So when some friends asked us to join them on an rv trip there we pulled the trigger and then added on a week at Naknek River Camp. The moter home portion was a lot of fun. We picked it up in Anchorage and then drove to and camped in Seward and Homer. Being our first time we kinda went all out. Went on a rockfish charter, a salmon/ rockfish trip and a halibut trip. These were fun cause they got us out on the ocean, we saw unbelievable scenery and some critters, and caught some good fish. On halibut on a six pack with friends we got a 100, a couple 45s, and several smaller ones. The capt was on some fish in shallow 40 to 65 ft deep kelp beds and that made it easier and for feistier fighting fish. Great fun and a box of fillets to boot. To a person our capts and deckhands were good and very personable for their jobs. Enjoyed being with all of them. One regret is we didn’t spend much time around the Kenai river. It appears to be fairly pressured fishing but we did see 4-5 trout caught right at the bridge. The river itself is just beautiful though and I know would be worth a trip just to see it. We did stop in at the Russian river ferry to say we saw it. Since we only wanted to watch a little the kid at the booth said the entry fee would be a beer. Lol. Turned rv in Friday evening in Anc. and spent the night in town. Would have actually liked to spend a little more time there as it has a pretty active downtown area. On Sat evening we flew out to King Salmon, into the REAL Alaska, and that’s when things went to a whole new level of awesome. We were bumped from the camp to the lodge which turned out to be really good for us. Private room with full bathroom, good food, and access to I think some of the more experienced guides. I do gotta tell this. On our first day there we got skunked ! In Alaska ! Lol. We know fishing, we know our guide was more frustrated than us by far, so we were ok. Plus it was us that chose to chase silvers and they were being finicky. So the next day Tanner insisted he’s with us again cause he wanted to show us he can catch fish ! We called it redemption day ! And boy was it. We switched to rainbows and had a day when they were smolting better than usual for that time of year. What a cool way to fish. Watching for “boils” of trout attacking smolts moving down river then casting into them. Thank you Duane and Phil for setting us up perfectly for this !! I caught a 31, 3-4 in the 26-28 range, and several 20 to 25 in fish. Kathy pretty much did the same. We did this a couple days and when the guide day was over we asked to be left on the island till dinner. We caught more good fish this way including Kathy losing a fish I’m certain would have been another 30 or over. First jump 10 yards from us it looked like a whale ! Got guide John after that and after a bit of a tough “test” apparently we passed and things got really good. He had Kathy fly fishing, he helped me with my fly fishing tons more than I’ll ever remember. We hooked and landed gobs of pinks and hooked and didn’t land a whole bunch of silvers. Lol. Great day. Went to Brooks falls for touristy day. Again we were lucky and there were 9 bears there. Unusually high for time of year apparently. Also did some mouse fishing for rainbows that was neat. The coolest day was flyout to contact creek. So many firsts for us. The float plane, hiking in the tundra, Dolly Vardens. LOTS of Dolly Vardens !! And bears. Up close and personal !! We saw a small bunch just as were hiking in. We had to cut off the first creek bend because of one. Then at one point we had a sow across the creek with one cub, then a big old sow with two cubs coming up the same bank. Then those two cubs crossed to our side and we’re moving in our direction. I’ve never seen Kathy so scared. I really thought she was going to make us leave. Said she thought she was going to throw up. At this point we needed to be moving and then one of the other guests with us went down and was floundering around in the water. Like a big fish ! Twice we had broken off fish just so the bears wouldn’t hear them. lol. All we needed. I remember it crossing my mind that I was feeling some fear and wondering if this was really worth it. Turns out it WAS ! Once we got on a bigger gravel bar with some visibility we all felt better. Had another “teenager” bear come along and heard another circling around in the bush to get away from us. All in all a great experience. I was really impressed at our guides John and Chris’s knowledge and experience on how to get along around these bears. And yes they both were armed. Though hidden so as not alarm us sports. Lol. I had told Chris after the trip in that everything else would be just icing after that. At the end of the day he looked at me and said “ you got a lot icing today”! Again, LOTS of dollies. Another day of fishing with John ended our trip on a high note. We finally learned enough to be able to land enough silvers to finish up a box. Caught lots of pinks. And then spent the afternoon fishing smolting rainbows again. What a trip !!! Sorry this is so long but I am still on such a high from this trip I couldn’t quit writing. If they were to see this thanks again to the guides. They were great. And thanks again to Duane and Phil for “getting” us there. We ARE going back !!!

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Yes. We are hooked !! Already talking about dates for next year. Lol. Those silvers were fun. And after having all but three come off the first time at it we felt like we had accomplished something !

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