Fishing in Alaska can be a complicated endeavor, with
angling success often dependant upon several factorsófrom being in the
right place at the right time to having the right tackle. The latter is
especially important for Alaska, as this obviously isnít a state that
features a gear shop on every corner. Quite often, there arenít even
corners at all.
Thus, planning takes on added importance for an
Alaska trip. Some anglers think they can come to Alaska with hotel and
car rental reservations and plan their activities when they get here.
This is not usually possible. Popular guides are booked well in advance,
while rivers of particular renown are packed with boats and anglers
during historically productive periods. Your best bet is to plan ahead.
Planning ahead not only ensures you get to work with
the guide or charter you prefer, it also allows you to choose the best
of the best. If you use the same charter, guide, or lodge every year,
then reserve your next dates at the completion of your annual trip. We
all know time is of the essence in fishing, so the best possible dates
(traditionally) get booked first.
Whether you are planning an annual Alaska fishing
adventure or are an Alaskan looking to fill the freezer for winter, use
our complimentary online trip-planning service at
www.fishalaskamagazine.com to select the service providers who can best
serve you. Weíve built a form that gives you the ability to narrow down
the scope of your trip and to begin to get information and talk with
service providers specific to your activities. Itís hard to get your
arms around all the possibilities Alaska offers, from all the different
ports in Southeast to the myriad lodges and rivers in Bristol Bay, or
from Kodiak Island and the surrounding archipelago to the endless
Interior lakes and the enormous Yukon River with its man-eating pike.
It helps to plan ahead and narrow oneís focus. Not
incidentally, the principles used to orchestrate a superior trip are the
same ones that allow us to plan and execute a strong magazine.
February is a good time to plan for and finalize your
2005 trip. Many people coming to Alaska start to think about their
itinerary in the December timeframe and make decisions and booking
arrangements from January through March. We donít recommend waiting much
longer than that. If you happen to be here without plans, it doesnít
hurt to call any of the services in Fish Alaska to see if they have
openings. Occasionally they do, and if not, many of our clients are also
dialed-in to who else might be available.
But who needs to wait for the groundhog to see his
shadow before fishing in 2005? By February, many anglers with a jones
for some soft water find that angling out of Homer or Seward for winter
kings is a strong antidote. March 19 is the annual Winter King
tournament sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce. Now is also the
time to break out the reels to service and re-spool them, to check the
integrity of your rods, sharpen hooks, make common terminal tackle
riggings, and get thinking about that first screaming run as a possible
derby winner sprints for open water with the speed of an Alaskan off to
Hawaii in the middle of a winter snowstorm. Start calling around and get
a boat ready or get on someone elseís; itíll be worth it.
For those that need a little extra helping hand, feel
free to call into the magazine office and weíll help in any way
possible. Itís the Alaskan way to help another person in need, and when
it comes to fishing, our job is to help you plan in advance.
óMelissa Norris and