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July in Alaska
Posted by bakerb on Oct 08 2004
There are thousands of places to fish in Alaska that will provide the fishing you desire. Unfortunately, if you will be fishing the road system (I personally include both Kodiak road system and Gulkana/Klutina as roadside fisheries) you will find thousands of fishermen as well. Obviously, some areas more than others.
I have fished the Gulkana and Klutina Rivers (I even chartered once from Moose). These are great rivers with good populations of fish. I caught my largest King Salmon (45 LBS) with a Fly Rod on the Gulkana. But, these rivers are popular and accessible (I spell lots of people). Not like the Parks Highway streams (see following paragraph), but there will be competition on most of the favorite holes.
If you really want to see a spectacle, visit the Willow Creek, Montana Creek or Ship Creek (downtown Anchorage) during the peak of the King Salmon run. This is an amazing sight. One would not imagine that so many people could be found in the whole State of Alaska. There is a whole culture of sportsmen/women in Alaska that actually enjoy this type of fishing. It must be a social thing.
As Moose mentioned, the best option is to fly-out to a remote stream (the more you pay - the more remote you get). Please don't be deceived into believing that because you fly to a river you will be alone. There are more private aircraft per capita in Alaska than in any other State. Most people use those airplanes to go fishing! One morning I flew to a river across the Cook Inlet to fish for Silver Salmon. By the afternoon there were 14 airplanes parked on the short grass strip (most Pilots in the lower 48 wouldn't even call this a strip). However, a fly-out will definitely provide the most solitary experience.
Here is the bottom line. If you have the resources ($$$) to visit an exclusive lodge 600 miles from Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula, I do not think you can go wrong. But this will cost you $5K / person / week. If you can only afford a road trip up the Parks Highway, you can fish for the price of a rental car. Either option provides you the opportunity to catch King Salmon, Red Salmon, Pink Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden, Arctic Grayling and Northern Pike during the period you mentioned. It is a matter of how much work you want to do yourself to find the where, what, how and how many other people you want to see when you do it.
Having said all this, let me tell you that I stopped along a Parks Highway stream on July 2 for the night. I went for a midnight stroll and caught 9 King Salmon (I released them all) and about 20 Rainbow Trout by 7AM the next morning. I did not see another soul, but I did have to share the stream with a prowling Grizzly Bear. Keep in mind, I went for a stroll (meaning I walked about 2 miles from the road). You will not find solitude near the road!
I hope this helps.
Benjamin K. Baker
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