Booking your Alaska Salmon trip (Part 2)

Booking your Alaska Salmon fishing adventure

In part one of the this two part blog, we talked about selecting your target Salmon species.  In part 2,  we are going to look at, picking your accommodations, your guide, and or your camp.

Now that we have selected your specie(s) you’re going to target, let’s pick a lodge, guide, or camp that will best suit you.

Lodges:  Most lodges offer you a chance at catching multi species during your stay.  Each day you can select from several species in which you want to target.  The only downfall to this, is the price.  Lodges that have their own airplanes, that fly you daily to the best fishing spots, typically cost in the $6000-$9000 a week range.   With that extra cost you get some pretty amazing accommodations.  Life at the lodge can be extremely comfortable and relaxing.  If this sounds like something you’d be interested and can afford, this trip might be for you.

Guides:  Typically, when fishing with a guide, you have already determined the river and species you want to target.  In many cases however, anglers just go with the recommendation of the guide they have selected and meet him/her at a specified river and area.  What do you look for in a guide, that will be best for you?  This is a topic that could be written about, in several articles. When you select a guide, look for one that has experience fishing for the species of fish you want to target.  This goes for anglers fishing at a lodge.  Do the guides have experience guiding for your targeted species?

Experience is a key to selecting a guide, most guide businesses have years of experience under their belt.   Simply searching websites and making a phone call or two, can help chose your guide that best matches your needs.  Get references from the guide that you choose.  This is one of the most overlooked steps, yet one of the most important, when booking a guided trip.

Camps:  Fishing camps, allow you to be on the river for your stay.  Lodges will fly you in and out daily, taking away a lot of prime fishing time.  Guided trips are usually 7-8 hour trips, the rest of the time is spent in a hotel room waiting for the next days adventure.  Staying at a fishing camp typically gives the angler more guided fishing time and a chance to bank fish after your day on the boat.  Make sure of the accommodation when choosing a fishing camp on the river.  Alaska weather can be tough at times and you’ll want to be comfortable during your stay.  Waterproof tents, clothes drying tent, and food! Don’t forget the food, and get references!

Good luck on your next adventure in Alaska!

Booking your Alaska Salmon fishing trip

With all the lodges, camps and guides in Alaska, how do you go about choosing the best place for you?

Let’s look at what species of Salmon you’d like to target?  There are 5 types of Salmon in Alaska.  King (Chinook) Salmon, Coho (Silver) Salmon, Sockeye (Red) Salmon, Chum (Dog) Salmon, and Pink (Humpy) Salmon.  All of these have different techniques used to catch them, different run times, and different quality of meat.

Most popular eating Salmon, among folks is the Sockeye (Red) Salmon. It however, can be the most difficult to catch.  The technique most widely used for catching Sockeye, is called flossing.  Flossing, is an art form, you are basically snagging the fish in the mouth. Granted, sometimes you actually get some of them to bite your small fly or a bead.  The majority of the time however, you zip the line through the water and hook them in and around the mouth area.   It’s the best way to catch these tasty Salmon, but not the most enjoyable way to fish.

If Sockeye (Red) Salmon is your target species, ask your lodge owner, or guide how you’re going to fish and if there are other species to fish for in that area.  Flossing Sockeye Salmon is not like back trolling for big King Salmon.  The novelty wears off quickly, but don’t let me persuade you with my opinion.

Silver (Coho) Salmon are another tasty Salmon and much more enjoyable to catch.  The technique is mostly casting and retrieving a spinner, spoon, stripping a fly and or twitching jigs.  Most of the time you can see these fish take your lure!  Making this fishery that much more enjoyable.  Silver Salmon run later than the King, Sockeye, and Chum runs, usually coinciding with the Pink Salmon run in early August in many areas. Pink (Humpy) Salmon are much like Silver Salmon in that they chase lures, fly’s and twitching jig’s, but the meat however is not like that of a Silver Salmon and are mostly just a catch and release fishery.

Chum (Dog) Salmon kind of get a bad rap.  Often called Dog Salmon by the locals of Alaska.  The meat on the Chum Salmon turns soft quickly once in the river system.   They have a mild taste much like Steelhead and are excellent to smoke.  Many of the Chum Salmon fishing coincides with King runs on many rivers.  Most of these fish are caught while targeting King Salmon, striking plugs, bait, and spinners.  Topping off your fish box with a few Chum for the smoker isn’t a bad idea, they are a lot better than eating Tule Salmon, that is for sure.

King (Chinook) Salmon the most sought after sport caught Salmon in Alaska!  The size and strength of these Salmon are superior to all other species.  Kings are aggressive biters and can be caught with several kinds of different fishing techniques.  Big King Salmon, are also tasty when they are fresh from the ocean.  With a lot of options for fishing opportunities for King Salmon we will focus the continuation article on them.

The second part to this blog will share some rivers that are best for catching King Salmon.

Toman’s King Camp

We are getting ready for our annual Toman’s King Camp on the Nushagak River.  Dillingham, Alaska is the nearest town in the area and is known for it’s variety of different types of fish and fishing.  From our King Camp alone you can catch King Salmon, Chum Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Grayling, Arctic Char, Dolly Varden and Northern Pike.  That’s a lot of variety to chose from.  Our main focus is on King Salmon, hence the name Toman’s King Camp.  The season is going to start the 17th of June and we will be fishing until the 10th of July.  Hope to see some of you at camp and or on the river!

King Salmon fishing in Alaska
Beautiful King Salmon