Alaskan Tourism

How To Pay for Your Dream Trip to Alaska

Pay for your dream tripHas a fishing trip to Alaska been on your mind? Have you ever had a desire to go and give it a try? Have you ever dreamed of doing it and said “Someday I’ll try it”? If so, there is no time like the present. Too often we let life and indecision get in the way of us fulfilling our dreams. We put them off or procrastinate them, sometimes until it is too late. Maybe you just don’t know how to pay for your dream trip to Alaska?

 

Maybe money is the problem? Maybe you don’t think that you can afford to go? If so, this is an obstacle that CAN be overcome. It just takes a little time and effort and some dedication.

 

One good way to overcome the money obstacle is:

1. Set a goal. In xxx month of xxx year, I will have the money saved up to go. Write it down and put it where you will see it and read it every day.

 

2. Start to save money towards your goal. If you are going to go 3 years from now, divide out the estimated cost of the trip by the months left to prepare. Put that much money aside every month in an account or even cash in an envelope. Mark the envelope “Alaskan Fishing Trip”.

 

3. Be dedicated to reach your goal. Don’t let petty things get in the way of your savings. Be determined that you will stick to your goal and don’t let other things “steal” your trip from you. Don’t be tempted to skip a month or to “borrow” from your Alaska fund.

 

4. Find other ways to contribute to your fund. Have a yard sale. Sell some unneeded stuff on Craigslist or Ebay. Work some overtime hours at work. Maybe a temporary part time job or even delivering pizzas at night for a while. Dedicate all of these extra proceeds to your Alaska fishing fund.

 

5. Allow yourself to dream about and to think about your upcoming trip. Wise men tell us that our lives tend to move in the direction of the things that we think about. Daydreaming about your future trip to the point that it becomes an obsession will almost guarantee that it will happen. Spend time reading about Alaskan fishing and find people to talk to about it. Spend time researching it and studying about it on the internet or in books and magazines. These will all help you to be focused and dedicated to reaching your Alaskan fishing trip goal. They will also help you to have perseverance or “stick-to-it-ness” in attaining your goal.

 

If you will just stay with it and follow your plan, you WILL make it. You will be surprised at how quickly the time will come for you to go and you will be surprised at the fact that you are prepared when the time comes, both financially and physically. The money will be in the envelope and all of the dreaming and reading and talking will have you prepared in knowing what to take and what to expect and how to catch the big ones.

 

Here at FishingTripToAlaska.com we are dedicated to helping you learn all that you need to know about fishing in Alaska. Check back often for more tips.

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - July 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Categories: Alaskan Tourism, Bottom Fishing, Fishing, Halibut, Salmon   Tags: , , , , , ,

Travel and Vacation in Alaska

Travel and Vacation in AlaskaLots of people travel to Alaska each year for a vacation, whether it be just a trip to see the sights and to experience some of those the great Alaskan attractions, or whether it be a specific get-away from everyday life such as an Alaskan cruise or to try the great Alaskan fishing.

For many people, Alaskan vacations have been a once-in-a-lifetime goal but it is becoming more common for people now to return over and over as they get a taste of the greatness of the attractions that Alaska has to offer. People sample the beauty of nature in Alaska, with its bountiful wildlife and beautiful views and they get a sense of freedom as they realize just how much empty space Alaska has to offer and how few people there are to take it in.

Let’s face it, Alaska has many views and many experiences that cannot be had anywhere else in the world. I refer to things like humpback killer whales that make a game of putting on displays for the visitors and hundreds of glaciers that seem to calve on demand just to show off their stuff to those who come to see. I refer to the thousands of bears who just want to eat salmon and don’t care who is watching and photographing them while they do it. Even the plentiful presence of the thousands bald eagles everywhere seems to further ingrain this beauty and sense of freedom into our subconscious minds.

Alaska is one of the last frontiers. The reality of things is that it likely will remain so. There aren’t all that many people who are willing to endure the harsh, dark winters there to make it a permanent home and so for the most part, Alaska becomes a summer playground for those who are attracted to its beauty, its grandeur, its freedom, and its bounty.

According to Alaska’s Resource Development Council statistics, 1 out of every 3 visitors to Alaska now is a repeat visitor. They say that almost all of these visitors came first on a cruise ship but are now coming on their own to see and do all of the things that they first saw from a distance on their cruise. They came once and got hooked by what they saw and now want and are taking the opportunity to explore and to experience more in-depth, the things that interest them.

So, whether your tastes are for wild and exciting, or even if they run to tame and quiet, Alaskan travel is definitely something that should be on your list of things to do. You too may be hooked by what you see.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - August 23, 2012 at 12:38 am

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Worried about Sea-sickness While Fishing in Alaska?

Sea-sick while fishingI have had many people ask me “Don’t you get sea-sick while fishing on the ocean in Alaska?” I have to admit to them that I never have. That being said, we are all different and we all react differently to things. While it hasn’t been a problem for me, it could be for someone else although I can’t remember of anyone that has gone with me ever having the problem either.

 

Sea-sickness is actually part of a greater malady called motion-sickness. Motion sickness includes sea-sickness, car-sickness, air-sickness, etc. Essentially what happens is that our bodies react to certain stimuli that comes from sensors in various parts of our bodies. Some of the main sensors are our inner ear which controls our sense of balance, our vision, and other sensors located within our muscles and joints. When we are moving, our mind processes all of the stimuli that comes in and then tells our body how to handle itself. When the motion comes from outside of our bodies such as waves in a boat, or motion from a car or airplane, sometimes our mind confuses the stimuli and doesn’t know how to process the information correctly. This seems to be especially true if the motion comes in from multiple directions at the same time (up and down plus side to side or back and forward etc.).

 

The general symptoms of motion sickness may include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, nausea, or vertigo. Other common complaints could include a general feeling of discomfort, sweatiness, churning stomach, etc. Normally these feelings or symptoms will end as soon as the motion stimuli ends (as soon as you get out of the boat) but occasionally these ill feelings can last for hours or even a few days.

 

For my case, I believe that if your fishing trip is along Alaska’s Inside Passage where you never get out of sight of land, I believe that the visual stimuli problem is minimized and I think that you will find that you don’t have a problem. If your trip is to the western part of Alaska where sometimes land disappears, there is a more likelihood of sea-sickness being an issue.

 

There are several different medications that can help. If you have a history of getting motion-sick from cars, planes, carnival rides, etc, then you might seriously consider bringing along some medication to help prevent having a problem. There are several over the counter type medications available but if you really believe that you may need medication, I would recommend that you check with your doctor prior to leaving home. The most effective medications that work the best require a prescription. They come in pill form or patches that are stuck to your skin a few hours before loading into the boats. Sometimes the Doc won’t even need to see you and will just call in a prescription for you. These medications are very effective and there is no reason for anyone to suffer through a miserable fishing trip when sea-sickness is so easy to prevent.

 

Other methods of minimizing problems with sea-sickness are:Sea Bands pevent seasickness while fishing in Alaska

  • Ride in a spot in the boat where you can see the horizon
  • Face forward and focus on non-moving far away objects
  • Don’t read or look down into or concentrate on things within the boat
  • Don’t watch or focus on other fellow fishermen who may be sea-sick
  • Avoid spicy or greasy foods before leaving or large meals as these things could aggravate the problem
  • Some people swear by Sea Bands which are elastic wristbands that use pressure points to control motion-sickness

 

We are all made differently and what works for one person will be different for the next person. Use common sense along with knowing your own body and you can have an enjoyable fishing trip to Alaska without the annoyance of being sea-sick.

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4 comments - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - July 9, 2012 at 12:31 am

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Shrimping in Alaska

Alaskan Spotted Shrimp

Spotted Shrimp
photograph from Alaska Dept Fish & Game Website

One of the newest fads in Alaskan fishing is shrimp catching. If you have ever eaten fresh shrimp in Alaska, you will understand why that is. Alaska’s shrimp have gotten themselves quite a reputation among the locals and the visitors.

Alaska has four species of shrimp that are recognized by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. These four species are:

  • Coonstripe Shrimp. Coonstripe shrimp are medium to large in size. They are the second largest of the shrimp found in Alaska, usually averaging 4 to 7 inches in length. They are identified by a dark striped pattern on their abdomen.
  • Northern Shrimp.  Northern shrimp are a medium sized shrimp, slightly smaller than the coonstripe. They are a solid pinkish color with no other markings. They are also known as pink shrimp or spiny shrimp due to extra spines not found on other varieties of shrimp. They are a different species than the pink shrimp found in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Sidestriped Shrimp.  Sidestriped shrimp are slightly larger than the coonstriped shrimp. They are a pinkish-orange color. They have white stripes running the length of their bodies. They are slightly skinnier than the coonstripe variety. They have extremely long antennae on their heads.
  • Spotted Shrimp.  Spotted shrimp are by far the largest of the Alaskan shrimp, reaching up to 12 inches in length. They are identified by their dark red to tannish color and have a white spot at the beginning and at the end of their body section on each side.

 

Shrimp are caught in “shrimp pots”. A shrimp pot is basically a cage or trap. They come in various sizes and shapes. A rope is attached to the pot and the pot is filled with bait and then dropped out of the boat. It is weighted so that it will sink to the bottom. A buoy is left attached to the top of the rope so that the pot can be located later. After a few hours the pot is pulled up, hopefully full of tasty little shrimp.

The bait used can be anything from cat food to salmon carcasses to store-bought pelleted bait. Herring oil or other strong smelling fish oils can make your bait work better.

Shrimp pots are generally placed between 400 and 700 feet deep and near rocky  outcrops. underwater pinnacles and rock-slides. The experts suggest that an extra 15% to 25 % of length be left on your rope to be sure that your pot doesn’t get lost with the tides and the currents.

Catching shrimp in Alaska requires an Alaskan fishing license and a shrimp permit. The regulations and limits vary widely from area to area with some places being closed entirely so be sure to check the current regulations from the ADF&G before you go. The season on shrimp runs from April 15 thru Sept 15.

As with fish and crabs, shrimp can be flash frozen and transported home but be sure that you try some fresh cooked shrimp right out of the water. You will be glad that you did.

The magazine article  found here is an interesting read about catching shrimp in Alaska if you want more information. Also, the ADF&G information on shrimp can be found HERE.

As with crabs, Paralytic seafood poisoning could potentially be a problem with shrimp although it hasn’t been found so far. Shrimpers are encouraged to read the latest warnings about PSP from the ADF&G. That warning sheet can be found  at PSP Warning.

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - July 5, 2012 at 12:49 am

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Catch a Crab in Alaska

Alaskan Red King CrabMany newbies to Alaskan fishing may not be aware that there are lodges, guides, and charters that cater to crabbing.

 

As far as I personally am concerned, crab is probably my favorite to eat of all of the sea creatures that are available in Alaska and as good as it tastes at home, it is even better freshly caught and cooked in Alaska.

 

Alaska is home to several varieties of crab. They are: Red King Crab, Blue King Crab, Golden King Crab, Tanners or Snow Crab, and Dungeness crab. All of these varieties are found in varying quantities and in varying locations within Alaska’s waters. Most commonly found through all of Alaska’s waters are the Dungeness crab.

 

Also varying are the regulations on crabs.  Be sure to check the regulations for the exact waters that you will be on. Basically, crab can be caught and kept at any time if they are for personal use but there are regulations on size and sex that must be followed carefully. Other than following the rules, the only license or permit needed is a normal regular Alaskan fishing license.

 

Dungeness crab in AlaskaThe following quote comes from the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game website:

Dungeness crab are distributed throughout the waters of southeast Alaska and can be harvested non-commercially year around. Only male Dungeness crab measuring 6.5 inches may be harvested. Anyone with a valid Alaska sport-fishing license can harvest Dungeness crab. However, you should always check the fishing regulations when planning your vacation, as regulations and harvest limits may change.

 

Crab are caught by dropping a crab pot to the ocean floor. A crab pot is a large trap. They are normally about 3 ½ feet in diameter and 1 ½ feet tall. They are built from a metal frame and then covered with a steel mesh. They have a container in the center to hold the bait (usually fish carcasses or remains). There is an opening where the crabs can enter but not exit.

 

When the pots are dropped in the ocean, a rope is left attached to the pot and then is attached to a large floating buoy. This buoy will mark the spot of the trap and then the pot can be retrieved by pulling in the rope. Crab pots are left to “soak” for 1 – 2 days before pulling them in to check them and to remove the catch and re-bait.

 

After the catch, be sure that you eat some of the crab fresh. You will miss a real treat if you don’t. After you eat a few fresh, the rest of them can be cleaned and flash frozen for you to transport back home with you in your fish boxes.

 

Alaskan Tanner Crab or Snow CrabOne caution that is given by the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game and by public health officials is that paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) has been found in the internal organs of Dungeness crab. This is a toxin that is carried by the crabs inside of their organs. There is no problem as long as the organs are not eaten. Legs, claws, and body meat is OK.

 

The following links to crabs from the ADF&G will provide more information on catching crabs in Alaska. Look in the section called  INVERTEBRATES. There is a section for each species of crab found in Alaska.

 

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=animals.listinvertebrates

 

Consider giving crabbing a try on your next Fishing Trip To Alaska.

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 30, 2012 at 12:49 am

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Forest Service Cabins Available to Fishermen

forest service cabin in Alaska

Picture of the Alsek River Cabin from Forest Service Website at http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/cabins/yakutat/alsek_river.shtml

I have written a lot about the fishing lodges and fishing guide services in Alaska but there is a whole other side of this coin that hasn’t much been covered here at FishingTripToAlaska.

There are many, many people who come here and just fish on their own. They come to catch salmon, steelhead, trout, dolly varden, grayling, or any number of other species in the rivers, lakes, and streams in Alaska. Yes, many of them fish the ocean also, completely on their own. Not many people hear about these stalwart folks who just come, fish, and do their own thing.

If this sounds more like your kind of fishing or maybe your kind of budget, I have a great tip for you in today’s post.

The US Forest Service in Alaska has some cabins located within the boundaries of the two National Forests and scattered throughout the State of Alaska. These cabins are located in some of Alaska’s best fishing and hunting locations and are available for rent for up to a week at a time. These cabins will accommodate from 2 to 6 people and rent for $25 to $45 per night.

Some of these cabins are along the ocean while others are located inland on some of Alaska’s rivers and lakes. Most are accessible only by floatplane or by boat. There are approximately 40 of these cabins in the Chugach National Forest which encompasses the Eastern Kenai Peninsula, Prince William Sound and the Copper River areas around the town of Seward. There are another approximately 175 cabins within the Tongass National Forest which covers most of the Inside Passage from Ketchican to Yakutat.

These cabins are maintained and kept in good condition by the Forest Service however, don’t expect a luxury hotel. Most of the cabins have a stove (either wood or oil burning), a wooden table with benches, wooden sleeping platforms, good solid log walls and a waterproof roof.

You of course have to bring your own food, fuel, sleeping and cooking gear and equipment. There is no electricity, plumbing, telephone or drinking water. Even cell phone service may or not be available. Not luxurious but much better than a tent. Some of the cabins do have a rowboat with oars thrown in with the deal.

During the summer, stays are limited to 7 days or ten days during the rest of the months. Reservations are taken up to 180 days before the desired stay. These cabins are popular and fill up fast during the fishing and hunting seasons so reserve early.

The following links will give you much more information on locations, facilities, rules, and availability of the cabins.

 

Tongass National Forest

Cabin General Information   (+/- 175 cabins) 

Cabin Listing by Name     (specific locations and details)

Cabin Listing by Map     (general location of cabins)

 

Chugach National Forest

Cabin Listing  (+/- 40 cabins)

Cabin General Area Map

 

All reservations are made through http://www.recreation.gov/ . Choose Alaska as the WHERE then CAMPING & LODGING then CABINS as the final choice box.

More information can also be obtained from the Juneau Forest Service Office (phone 907-586-8751)

 

I hope that you will find the information useful in planning your own Alaskan Fishing Adventure. 

 

UPDATE  7-24-12 I recently came across this link that is a very concise summary of what to expect at these cabins. Very good information.

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 28, 2012 at 6:10 am

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Northern Lights in Alaska

Northern lights over Alaskan fishing tripOne of the extremely cool things that you could experience while fishing in Alaska is the aurae borealis or northern lights.

The northern lights are an extreme wonder to those of us that don’t live in a northern latitude and haven’t seen them before. Just imagine the entire sky full of  vertical streamers of bright greens, blues, and/or reds.

The northern lights are caused by the reaction of certain electrical charges that come from solar winds reacting with the Earth’s outermost atmosphere.  This energy combines with the presence of oxygen or nitrogen in the air to form the different colors.

The northern lights are invisible in the daytime. With Alaska’s constant daylight in the summertime, this treat is reserved for the early spring and fall time visitors. The best viewing months are from late August through early April and the best times of day are usually from 11 pm until 2 am.

There are ways of predicting the solar winds and thus, northern lights, but they aren’t extremely accurate. Mostly the northern lights come as a surprise treat for the avid fisherman who spends a little time…fishing in Alaska. 😀

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 15, 2012 at 7:58 am

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Fishing in the Land of the Midnight Sun

Midnight sun over the mountains in AlaskaI have written over and over about Alaska’s beauty and about her natural resources and about her bounteous fishing. Today I will mention another thing that could come as a surprise to some visitors. Alaska is sometimes called the “Land of the Midnight Sun.”

Due to Alaska’s far north location, the sun acts differently than it does for the rest of us in the US. Alaska is so far north that when the sun moves South during the winter time, it ceases to shine in Alaska for a few weeks. On the sun’s return trip north, it does the opposite. It shines all of the time. While the night time does darken some and the sun does disappear over the horizon, it never does completely get dark. As we all know, June 21 is the longest day of the year. So, for a few weeks on either side of this date, there is essentially no darkness.

This is just one more thing that could take the average newbie fisherman to Alaska by surprise but it could be a great advantage to the fisherman in Alaska on a limited time trip. It theoretically makes it possible to fish 24/7 for a few weeks during what is already some of the best fishing time of the year. 😀

I had heard the term but didn’t associate the meaning until I experienced it for the first time. When I spent my first night out in a boat in Alaska, I was pleasantly surprised that, while it got darker, it never got dark enough to hamper seeing my fishing lines or to interfere with driving the boat even at midnight and the wee hours of the morning.

To me, this is just another bonus that helps make Alaska the fishing capitol of the world.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 6, 2012 at 12:19 am

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Tracy Arm Fjord, Before You Fish

Tracy Arm Fjord iceThe Tracy Arm Fjord is another of the very popular tourist sites in Alaska.

A fjord is a long narrow deep channel of water that has been cut out of the surrounding rock. Fjords usually have high rocks cliffs that tower over them. In the case of the Tracy Arm, there are granite walls about 3000 feet high that line the narrow passage. The Tracy Arm Fjord is located roughly 45 miles south of Juneau, Alaska.  It is approximately 35 miles long. It has become a very popular destination and is accessible by boat or by float plane.

Many of the cruise ships and lots of the smaller day-trip boat operators frequently pass through the fjord. Its shorelines are dotted with frequent waterfalls caused by melting snow high up in the hills. Trees grow from the rocky walls at odd angles. Wildlife is also plentiful along the passage.

At the end of the fjord are the twin Sawyer Glaciers. While they are not the most famous or the biggest of Alaska’s glaciers, many people say that they are the most dramatic. They are framed by large mountains on either side and are often covered in a mist that amplifies and accentuates the deep translucent blue color of the ice. They really are an impressive sight. These glaciers are famous for the enormous slabs that calve off from their faces. The fjord is literally full of the remains of this glacial calving, with icebergs the size of large apartment buildings being commonplace. The entire length of the Fjord will be full of small pieces of floating ice.

I realize that that this is not an Alaskan fishing topic but for many people, their trip to Alaska may be a one-time thing. I always thought that my first trip would be that way. Little did I know just how captivating Alaska would be. I have been able to see and experience many beautiful and wonderful sights in Alaska and I wish to offer others the insight that I have gained in order to make their trip a little more pleasant and enjoyable.

If you have the time, there are many side trips that will fit well with a fishing trip to Alaska. They will give you a better view and a wider experience as you visit Alaska from faraway places. The Tracy Arm Fjord is one such place. It is well worth the time to work it into your fishing trip agenda.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 5, 2012 at 12:06 am

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Denali National Park Visit

Mt McKinley in Denali National ParkAnother of the exciting, interesting and educational activities to add to your list of possible side trips during your fishing trip to Alaska is a visit to  Denali National Park. Denali Park is located in central Alaska in between Anchorage and Fairbanks and gets about 400,000 visitors per year. Denali is accessible by car, plane, or by the Alaskan railroad system.

Denali Park has about 6 million acres of wild country full of the wild terrain, beautiful views, and wild animals that Alaska is famous for. Of course, Denali National Park is home to Mount McKinley which is the highest peak in the US and in North America. Mount McKinley stands at a little over 20,000 feet in height. In the native language Denali means “the High One”.

Some of the possibilities for things to do at Denali are backpacking, hiking, cycling, photography, camping, bus tours, plane tours or flightseeing, animal/bird viewing, and a myriad of other activities.

Denali is home to many if not most of Alaska’s large mammals including 39 species ranging from grizzlies and wolves to caribou, moose, and Dall’s sheep. Also to be found are more than 150 species of birds ranging from gulls and terns to ptarmigan. One species of critter that is scarce in Denali are fish as the rivers there are poor habitat for fish. The fish that are to be found within the park are more likely to be found along the far western border of the park where the rivers are deeper and slower. Probably not the place to wet a worm.

Fall View of Mt. McKinley in Denali National ParkDenali has several teams of sled dogs that work the park on a regular basis, hauling rangers, scientists, researchers, and others along with their gear and equipment to places within the park. The dogs play a very important part of the operations of the park.

One very dramatic way to experience Denali is from the air with a “flightseeing” trip either from a plane or from a helicopter. From the air, one can cover a huge amount of territory from the mountain ranges to the flat planes and grasslands to the glaciers. One may view the wildlife, plant life, and possible even you may see other hikers and mountain climbers doing their thing. These flights are available in either the plane or the helicopter version. These flights even can land on the glaciers for a “hands-on” experience.

Denali also has several roads and trails that are open to cyclists. If you are into cycling, this may be the perfect opportunity for you to sightsee from the seat of a bicycle.

There are also bus tours that will cover large areas of the park. These tours come complete with a guide who can explain the natural scenes, wildlife, and other sights that are found along the way.

If you enjoy nature and all of the things that come with it, a trip to Denali National Park before your fishing trip may be just the thing that you are looking for. Check it out and see if it may be a fit for you. Use the link below for more information.

 

Denali National Park Information Page

 

Denali Park Live Webcam

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - June 1, 2012 at 12:24 am

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