Alaska Travel Stories

angie and dave's Alaska trip

by angie jones

My husband and I had been planning to visit Alaska for years, waiting for our youngest to be in college, so we could spend some time there and get her to pet / house sit while we were away! On my 50th birthday, we headed out for what turned out to be the most incredible vacation we could have hoped for. I spent hours reading every review and blog I could find online and in publications and after careful consideration chose the one that we thought would have the best fishing and Alaskan adventures; Great Alaska Adventures. There are many outfits to choose from and picking the wrong one would have been dissastrous, but upon arrival we knew we had nailed it! Our first day, upon arrival to the lodge, we were fed a hearty lunch and sent out for the afternoon with our first of many guides on an afternoon trip to salmon fish in a drift boat. We caught King Salmon all afternoon and had a great time. For four days we fished what can truly be described as "world class" fishing with the finest guides in Alaska. We caught Kings, Silvers, Sockeyes, Pinks, Dolly Varden, and brilliantly colored (and big) Rainbow Trout. Our arms and shoulders were sore from all the casting and catching! We saw spectacular wildlife as well; moose, eagles, swans, ducks, Dall Sheep, ermine, caribou, and even a lynx! We had the most fun fishing each day and tried every method of fishing and tackle we could. I really enjoyed learning to use a fly rod, which I had not spent much time with at home. We shipped the salmon home and it arrived as scheduled and is quite delicious. While we were there we enjoyed getting to know the staff and really enjoyed hanging out on the river bank (called a beach there) learning to "floss" and eating fresh grilled salmon cooked by Dale, followed by smores (my personal favorite campfire treat). The happy hours were also fun and interesting to see how the activities are coordinated based on the guests' interests and the weather. One day we were scheduled to fish offshore and the weather was predicted to be a bit nasty so we were quickly rescheduled with our second choice of activites the next day with no problem or hassle. Each night we met our guide for the next day and plans were made to prepare us for our adventure. I can't say enough times how impressed we were with our guides EVERY DAY. These are the most professional and enjoyable people to be with that we have ever encountered in the tourist business! We spent some time doing some things other than fishing; kayaking on the Moose River, Checking out some local shops, mini hikes along the route to Denali, seeing incredible sights and special places with our guide for our touring segment of our trip, visiting Talketna, visiting Denali National Park and the museum and sled dogs, flightseeing Mt. McKinley, and traveling from Denali to Anchorage by train (a real surprise treat and a do-over). Great Alaska took care of us the entire time and we truly enjoyed letting them do the packing, rigging, deck handing, etc. that we normally have to do. Alaska was more beautiful and pristine than we imagined and the people there seem to appreciate and take care of their resources better than we see in other places in the US. After raving about our vacation, I will say that the one area that could be improved upon is the accomodations. The cabins were clean and neat, but very basic and "camp like". We had good weather the whole time and didn't stay in the cabin much, but I could have used a bit more creature comforts - yes, I know, the fishing is fabulous so we got over it and I am a somewhat snobby traveler (I admit it). The staff were great and tried to do anything they could to make our trip better and if we could have stayed a few more days I may have gotten really good at that "flossing method"! Maybe next year?