The 10 day adventure started today with a trip to Seattle then Anchorage on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Joe and I left at 9:15 am from DFW and after a four hour flight to Seattle and a two hour layover, we few for three hours to Anchorage.
On Tuesday Joe, Arnie, Charley, Schatt and I met for breakfast and then drove down to Soldnotna; a five hour trip after a lunch stop. The mountains, sunshine, flowers, rivers and lakes are just incredible and made the trip to the Alaska Serenity Lodge very enjoyable. The two bedroom lodge is very modern and comfortable with Wi-Fi and Flat screen TV’s in the rooms and the deck overlooks the lake.
On Wednesday we flew in a float plane 45 minutes west and around Mount Redoubt (an active volcano) to Clark Lake for a day of lake fishing. The weather was about 65 degrees and the sun was shining to provide the perfect day for fishing and photography.
We saw bear, bald eagles and cruised up the shore line in our boat just 100 feet away from a mama grizzly with her cub.
Everything about this day makes this one of my top ten ever.
On Thursday, the guys all went Halibut fishing while I drove 2 hours to Seward where I spent the day on a 200 person cruise shop visiting several glaciers and watching whales, otters, puffins and sea lions. The weather was much colder and very foggy.
On Friday, we got out of bed very early and met our Guide at 6:00 am at Sterling, Alaska for a day of wade and drift fishing for trout and salmon. Once again, Arnie caught the largest fish and that was probably because he was on the fastest boat. We stopped to have reindeer hot dogs n the beach for lunch. Then, after returning to our cabin, we barbequed rib-eye steak for our best meal so far.
Saturday was another early morning and we drove 45 minutes to meet our guide at 6:00 am near Cooper Landing, Alaska. We enjoyed a much better day wade and drift fishing for trout and caught some very nice fish in the Kenai River. The white water portion of the trip was much fun and the weather was just right with temperatures ranging from 45 to 65 degrees. At the end of the trip we went to a roadside cafe (where we learned that Paul Ryan was Mitt Romney’s running mate) and had a delicious cup of salmon gumbo.
On Sunday we arose at 3:30 am and met our guide at the boat launch on the river at 4:30 am and fished for “silvers” (Coho) for 2-3 hours. I caught a very nice 9 pounder and just barely beat out Joe for the largest silver. Arnie was blanked out and so we then went to the mud flats that have an incredible view of snow-capped Mount Redoubt (that’s the local volcano). We fished in the same spot, anchored down, for another 5 hours and caught “humpies” (pink salmon) left and right; mostly in the 5-10 pound range. We saw many different birds and a seal came up to a neighboring boat for a look-see. We then returned for steak and salmon on our BBQ at the cabin. Arnie is an excellent cook.
On Monday, Arnie, Charley and I drove to Homer, Alaska on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula and booked a boat tour of the eco-systems and wildlife on the islands in the area. We visited Halibut Cove, a little fishing and tourist town on the islands that was simply amazing and beautiful in every way. Our guide served us smoked salmon and after the 45 minute high-speed boat return to Homer, we drover the two hours back to Soldotna and met Joe and Don for Chinese food. They had been wade fishing in the Kenai River and Don fell in and floated to a sand bar.
On Tuesday we slept in and drove to Cooper for an outdoor lunch on the patio and then drove three hours to Anchorage for a quiet evening at our hotel before Joe and I flew back home the next day. It was about 3 hours to Seattle, a 5 hour layover (we went downtown for seafood one dock) then 4 hours flying to Dallas. It was a long day.