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Old 01-10-2011, 12:13 PM
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Default Re: looking for float trip outfitter

Hi caseryan,

I checked out both of the guides you asked about.

Wild River Guides

I tried several of the web sites listed for Wild River Guides and none of them worked. They don't seem to be on the server that the links originated on. Do you have a good link to their site?

Ouzel Expeditions

They are an active outfit with a wide range of rivers to fish. They offer two rivers close to Anchorage, Lake Creek and Talachulitna. I would not fish these rivers unless they offer a very good price. I have fished both of these rivers but not as a float.

The Tal is a favorite river for Anchorage fly fishers and you will encounter a lot of activity. There is a good population of Rainbows with good size but not great size like some rivers offer. The river does get runs of all five Salmon over the season. You need to time the float as certain years the river is low and the float starts at the flats instead of from the lake. The flats are about mid-river. So it would be a shorter float. There is a lodge at the lake outflow and a couple in the flats.

Lake Creek has a good run of Kings and Silvers. I see that there literature says there are also get Reds. Lake Chelatna is at the head waters of Lake Creek. There is a landing strip and lodge on the shores of the lake. My wife and I always flew into the Lodge on labor day for our last of season trip. That strip was the first bush strip I landed at. Good Rainbow fishing and Graying at the headwaters. Lake Creek gets a lot of action at the mouth when the Salmon are running. You can reach it by river boat from Anchorage/Wasila areas. There is one lodge on the lower river stretch. The lodge does floats on the upper river. Not near as many people float Lake Creek like they do the Tal. In the late 70's the Tal had better Rainbow fishing than Lake Creek.

Float Trip Considerations

Float trips can be a lot of fun. You see a lot of country and wildlife. Some trips are do it yourself where the outfitter provides the boats and flies you into a debark point and picks you up at a pick up point. This type of trip is not for the inexperienced.

Then there are trips that you make camp at selected locations but you move the tents and gear with the float. This is a good float but cuts into your fishing time. The best float trips is where there is a guide and two dudes to a boat. The outfitter has camps set at various location and you drift and fish to each camp. The guides cook and you help with camp chores. Some may provide a cook so when you stop the cooking is ready or getting ready. You don't have to worry about pitching tents or making camp. This is all taken care of by the outfitter.

There are many different ways you can arrange your trip and you need to know exactly what the outfitter is going to provide and especially what they don't provide. Always sign a contract and get trip insurance.

There is one aspect of a float trip that you should consider. Since you are floating the river you won't be fishing the same location all the time. You will have stretches of river that don't hold many fish and the fishing will be slow. You may be on a really hot stretch of river with everything you want to catch. The fishing is so hot you can't stand it. At dinner while you are talking about the great fishing, the guide tells you "tomorrow we will have to move down river to keep on schedule." Dang, that is not what you want to hear but that can be a part of a float trip. A lodge can fly to where the fishing is hot every day but a float is stuck on one river. There could be long stretches of river that the fishing is poor or non-existent. Just don't expect fish at every cast and you it will be fine.

Picking a River

The best way to pick a river is to target your fish. Make up your mind what fish is most important to you on your trip. If Salmon is your most important fish then pick what Salmon is most important. This will help you pick the time of year to go and what river. If Salmon is your target pick a river that dumps into Bristol Bay or other rivers on the Alaska West Coast. This way you will get bright fresh fish with big runs.

You are already behind schedule on planning your trip. To get the best trips at the best times you should have started earlier. The longer you wait the less options you will have.

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Last edited by Frank Whiton; 01-11-2011 at 10:34 AM.
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