Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Take a Kid Fishing

fishing with kidsHow many of you out there can remember your first fishing trip? How old were you?  Can you remember where it was? Did you catch any fish? Who else was there? Spend a minute and see if you can answer these questions.

I don’t know if I can remember exactly which was my first fishing trip. I DO have little bits and pieces of several trips when I was very young. I can remember exactly which fish were caught and while I don’t know the location, I can vividly remember some of the scenery and the details of the location. I also remember my Dad and uncles who also were there.

I know that those early fishing trips were very important in shaping my future as a fisherman but also as a person. Some of the lessons that I learned were very important to my future as I learned lessons about not always winning no matter how bad you want it (the fish didn’t always bite) or about being prepared both physically(gear and clothing) and mentally (learning how to do things the right way). As I grew older, the lessons were more advanced and more personal.  I learned that if you were prepared, you were also more successful.

Fast forward a couple of decades… Now it is the memories of my own kids and their first fishing trips. What will they remember? What legacy have I built for them? Will they come to have the same love for fishing that I have? Will they learn and keep a respect and reverence for Nature and all of her accomplishments? Will they be willing to do their part in saving and preserving the birds and the animals and the fish for their kids? Will they learn to live in harmony with all that is out there in the world? Will they learn the same lessons that I have learned? Or, will theirs be different?

I believe that we have a duty to our kids and to all of the kids out there to give them the same opportunities that we were given and to plant in them the seeds that will allow them to develop a confidence in themselves. I believe that fishing should be required for all kids. I think that fishing can bridge a gap between where they are and where they need to be… in many different aspects of their lives.

I would encourage you to take a kid fishing. Teach them how it is done. Give them opportunities to experience nature. Help them learn that the fish aren’t biting every time but that they will bite next time or the time after that. Allow them to lose and to win at the game. Show them that fishing is just like life. Teach them to apply their fishing lessons to their lives.

I believe that fishing can make our kids into winners at the game of life.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - July 3, 2012 at 12:29 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Fishing for Tsunami Debris in Alaska?

Tsunami Debris in AlaskaOver the past few years my interest in and fascination with Alaskan fishing has grown. I find that my attention is constantly caught by items in the news and on the internet that pertain not only to Alaskan fishing but also to Alaska in general.

I am interested in gold mining in Alaska. The glaciers interest and fascinate me. Whenever oil or petroleum in Alaska is mentioned, I always listen more closely to the news. My attention is also grasped by many of the scenic and nature related attractions of Alaska, some of which I have personally seen and many of which I have not yet experienced but someday hope to be able to see, experience and participate in.

I have experienced just a little bit of the beauty, grandeur, and of the vast natural resources (aka fish) 😉 that are to be found in Alaska and these things have touched me on a deeply personal level. While I will probably never leave my established home and life in the lower 48 to move and settle in Alaska, I have come to idolize what Alaska has to offer both to me and to other people. These are just a small part of the reasons for my website and blog. I love the parts of Alaska that I have experienced and have a great desire to help others to develop these same experiences and love for something so beautiful and bounteous and wild.

I should also state, for the record, that I am NOT an activist for any particular cause. Specifically, I am not against drilling for oil in Alaska or elsewhere. I am not against digging out the gold or other minerals that are found in Alaska or anywhere else. I am not against using any of the natural resources that our planet has. Etc., etc., etc. I believe that they were given to us to be used by us for our advantage and to provide the things that we need to survive and even to thrive during our time here on this Earth.

With that all said, I DO believe that we have a responsibility to do ALL that we can to protect and preserve these resources so that we don’t extinguish them and their ability to perpetuate themselves. We DO have the responsibility to pass these things on to our kids in as good or a better state than we received them. When we do things that could have a permanent undesirable effect on our environment, we have the responsibility to put safeguards and protections in place that will ensure the survivability and sustainability of our resources for the future.

I have been watching in the news lately as reports have started to come in about the arrival of debris from the Earthquake and tsunami that happened in Japan in March of 2011. All of this “stuff” that was washed away during that terrible natural disaster has been adrift in the ocean for many months. Now, the ocean currents have carried it North and East to the Alaskan coastline, where it is starting to wash up on the beaches of this pristine wilderness. According to a recent article in The Bristol Bay Times (www.thebristolbaytimes.com/article/1220arriving_on_the_tide_tsunami_debris_sightings), this debris includes everything from soccer balls and plastic water bottles, to glass ball decorations and even a 125 foot long derelict fishing boat.

The Alaskan coastline and the Inside Passage of Alaska contain thousands of miles of beaches and coastline, some of which never sees a human being for years at a time, if ever. The very thing that makes Alaska beautiful is now an obstacle in managing this disaster.

I well remember the cleanness and beauty of the oceans and rivers of Alaska. One could stand there and well believe that mankind had never set foot in that place. One could catch a fish and well believe that this particular fish had never been targeted by human hands before.

I can’t help wonder how this debris will affect the fish, wildlife, birds, and plants that call Alaska home. How long will it take for all of this plastic and man-made material to break down to its elemental beginnings?  What will happen when the birds and fish and animals eat this stuff?  Will it cause them harm? What about the possible effects of radioactivity on and among some of this floating garbage? What other poisonous compounds are in the bottles, cans, and barrels bobbing their way towards Alaska? The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/23/japan-tsunami-debris_n_1540581.html) quotes experts who speak of mass casualties already among the shorebirds who eat the washed up garbage.

What about the people who live there? How will their lives and livelihoods be affected by all of this. Most of them depend on the environment for life, whether it be for food, shelter, and sustenance, as in the case of the many native Alaskans who still live primitively, or whether it be the newcomers who work as fishermen, miners, or who make a living showing this wonderful place to the rest of us when we come visiting? How will these people cope with an estimated 1.6 million tons of garbage still believed to be heading their way?

I understand that this problem comes from an unforeseen natural event. I understand and sympathize with those who suffered and died in this catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. I just can’t help but wonder what we, as a human race, can do to ensure that beauty remains on the Earth for our grand-kids to see and experience. What can each of us do in our little sphere to do our part in saving this heritage for the future generations?

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by AlaskaJim - May 25, 2012 at 12:07 am

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

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