We made so many memories during our #30daysinalaska adventure. We visited and fished four different regions of the state, with Anchorage being our “home base” where we usually spent a day or two before heading off to our next stop.
Our first lodge experience was at Intricate Bay Lodge (IBL) on Lake Illiamna. This area is part of the Bristol Bay area of Alaska which includes many different rivers and lakes. Our week at IBL was an amazing first trek during our time in Alaska and included fishing 5 different rivers…. Copper, Alagnak, Gibraltar, Battle and Moraine Creek. We experienced fly out fishing in sea planes guided by our pilot and his plane “T-Bird and the Dirty Girl”. While we had many highlights along our trip to this region, which also includes Katmai National Park, one of our favorites was our “Guide Talk” with the guides of IBL.
After flying back into Anchorage, we ventured up toward Denali National Park, home of the tallest peak in the US. We were very lucky to actually get to see Denali right before we dropped into the little village of Talkeetna, which was the setting for the TV show Northern Exposure. In Talkeetna, we found great food, quirky shops and some awesome music. Nearby, we also found Montana Creek, which was one of the spots we fished without any guide, which is always interesting for two reasons; 1…. we were on our own in serious bear country, and yes, we carried our own bear spray and, 2… we used our own wicked smart fishing skills (chuckles) to find good holding spots for fish… picked our own flies to use… and yes, caught fish, including our first Chum!
Our third week in Alaska found us traveling to the small native village of Quinhagak, then jet boating up the Kanektok River to our tent camp at Alaska West. If I had to pick one river that was simply “lights out” awesome fishing of all of the TU Top 100 Trout Streams, it would be the Kanektok. We had a blast exploring this river from where it flowed into the Bering Sea all the way up to where Togiak Wilderness Area begins. We fished the main channel and the braids targeting species from salmon (Silvers, Chum, Pinks, Kings and Sockeye), to Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden and Grayling. While the scenery in the area was breath-taking, it was the fishing that was the big draw. We held our largest “Guide Talk” on the last evening in camp that turned out to be a hoot.
Our last week in Alaska was on the Kenai Peninsula where we were joined by fishing buddy James Kelley. Guides from both Alaska Troutfitters and Mystic Waters Fly Fishing showed us the Kenai, Russian and Quartz Creek. Wading the Russian and Quartz, watching for bears and picking off rainbows and dollies along the way was just exhilarating. The Kenai was just so impressive with its size and color which is caused by the glacial silt in the water. The pictures you see in our “The Last Frontier” video aren’t doctored in any way…. the river is truly that color of blue!
We hope you enjoy this “highlight” video of our time in Alaska. We had to pick just a few favorite photos, otherwise the video would be a full length movie! Enjoy…. and….