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Alaska Travel


mizzouflyfisher

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This summer I have the opportunity to go to Alaska for around a month. I can fly and stay for free, but I need some way to get around. I'll have an apt. in Anchorage and am looking for inexpensive ways to get away and camp various places for several days at a time. I definitely can't rent a car. Has anybody had experience with bus or rail services in Alaska? If so, good, bad, where did you go, etc. Any information would be appreciated.

Mizzouflyfisher

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This is Jim Johnson. I own a fishing camp in Alaska. Phil asked me to send a reply to your question, since I spend a lot of time up there.

Where are you staying exactly?

There is some pretty good fishing in Anchorage itself, and there is good bus service around town. There are also some rivers not too far south along Cook inlet that are pretty good. The problem you will run into is that a lot of the best fishing is 2-4 hours away, either north or south. There is a train that runs north to Talkeetna from Anchorage and south to the Kenai penninsula, but I didn't notice the price to be all that cheap. Check out their prices online from Anchorage.

Airport car rental isn't at the airport, but it is the cheapest I have seen. We got cars last year for $300-400 per week. I would think about fishing around Anchorage using the bus service most of the time, make one train ride to a decent fishing area like Talkeetna, then rent a car for a few days to a week and make a run down to the Kenai area. Talkeetna has Mahay's Jet Boat service offers a drop off service back at Clear Creek for a day or as long as you want to camp there. There is a great gravel bar at the mouth to camp on and a decent amount of river to hike up and fish. The trip costs about $60-70 bucks round trip. If the salmon are running, you will have company, but the trip was still worth it.

Jim Johnson

naknekrivercamp@hotmail.com

www.naknekrivercamp.net

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Thanks for the info. I was in Alaska 2 years ago for a 2 week float trip on the Kanektok. Don't have near that kind of cash. I'm hoping to have access to a car for part of the time. The guy I'm staying with is a travelling nurse and has an 8 day on, 6 day off rotation. He has an apt. in Anchorage somewhere. My hope was to travel around with my hosts for part of the time, but be able to get around cheaply (bus, train) for a week or so at a time to camp along certain rivers. That 30 inch rainbow eluded me last trip, but I think I may have seen it. ;) So, I have some areas that I want to fish. Do you have any recommendations on rivers that would be good to camp along for possibly a week?

Thanks for all the information.

Mizzouflyfisher

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The Kenia would be the easiest- in my brief experience in Alaska. Driving along side it we saw lots of campgrounds very nicely kept. The Russian, which runs into the Kenia, has a real nice campground and from there you could fish both. I caught a 27 inch rainbow on a double humpy there right above the campground in 04. It's not remote but lots of water to fish and tons of fish!

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Phil-

What month were you in Alaska? Also, can you hike up the Russian river pretty far? I couldn't tell from the map I was looking at. I saw where the lake was and the marker above which you couldn't fish. Also, I would assume that most of those campgrounds require reservations due to the number of people. Is that correct?

Thanks,

Mizzouflyfisher

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We were there the first week in August. The campground there is very big and I'd say it was only 10% full if that. You can hike all the way to the falls- the line you're refering to. I think they said it was 2 miles. Lots of bears up there- they say. We saw one -

800-bear1.jpg

800-russian_sockeyes1.jpg

The Russian River Sockeye Run

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Thanks again Phil-

I'm very intrigued. Is most of the crowd down by the road? I have no problem hiking a couple of miles. You wouldn't happen to know how much camping cost? I know I can find out, but figured I'd ask while I was on the forum. I'll have to stop by the shop to get some in depth information some time.

Mizzouflyfisher

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We only hiked up 1/2 mile- it's good fishing all the way up. Lots of rainbows and dollys and whatever salmon is running at the time.

Costs- not sure.

Crowds- there will be some because it's so easily accessable. But the days we fished we didn't see very many people.

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Phil-

I was wondering if you had any specific fly recommendations. It's looking like this trip is going to come together, so now I need to start tying. I've still got a couple thousand flies left over from the last trip (my dad and I tied for a group of 6), but any specific patterns would be helpful.

Thanks,

Mizzouflyfisher

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This is Jim Johnson from Naknek River Camp (www.naknekrivercamap.net) again. I posted a nice report yesterday to your fly questions, but apparently my computer ate it, so I'll try again.

Last summer, our best flies were egg flies in #8 and #10's in natural shades of light pink, cream, cheese,washed out orange, etc. We also did very well on beads fished by themselves as an egg in the same colors in sizes 6mm - 10mm, depending on whether we were trying to duplicate a sokeye egg (6 mil) or a king egg (8-10 mil).

One of our best combo's was to fish the plastic bead in front of a cream or white streamer or larger size nymph (size 6 or 8 hex, pm wiggler, sparrow, etc.) This combo also works well with a small flesh fly as the trailer.

Occasionally, a brighter marabou streamer or leech pattern worked well in a larger size like a 2 or 4, fished on a fast sink tip line.

As for campground cost, we stayed at one right on the Kenai, where you could literally fish in front of the tent if desired, for less than $10. The Russian river campground is a few miles away and a little fancier, but still primitive for a few more dollars, but still quite reasonable.

We hiked all the way to the falls and fished the Russian and didn't see many people at all. It is a 2 mile hike, with a few bears around for atmosphere. Speaking for myself, I saw more 5 - 8 pound rainbows than people, by a long shot. There were also lots of salmon - sockeye earlier in August and silvers after the middle of the month. These rainbows are smarter than the average Alaskan bow, but we managed to put several big fish on the beach each day.

Jim

I suppose I should add that pictures of the nymphs mentioned can be seen on www.hillsdiscountflies.com under the steelhead flies section. Look at the pm blond, dirty blond, and the multiple versions of the Hex nymph shown. Also check out the strip leeches, string leeches and popsicles. I assume that you know what a sparrow is. If you prefer a different sculpin pattern, tie them in both small sizes like 6's and 8's and larger sizes like 2's and 4's. Woolhead's work great, but are too much work for me to tie.

Jim

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