The Lodge

The Lodge

As I posted a couple weeks ago, It’s Vacation Time, I spent 5 days fishing in Southeast Alaska with family. Here is the overview of the trip highlighting one of many possible destinations for an Alaskan Fishing Adventure.

Getting there
For us, being from the Seattle area it isn’t a bad trip. We fly from Seattle to Ketchikan on Alaska Airlines. The Ketchikan International Airport is situated on an island across from the small town. It’s an interesting flight into the airport between the cruise ships and fishing boats crowding the harbor and the seaplanes taking off and landing everywhere. After getting off the plane we have to take a seaplane to our ultimate destination. We check-in with Pacific Airways and then head down to the seaplane dock right outisde the airport doors. You climb aboard the seaplane and fly to the amazing Clover Bay Lodge over on Prince of Wales Island. Now you are ready to go fishing.

The Seaplane off to the lodge from Ketchikan

The Seaplane off to the lodge from Ketchikan

Time at the lodge
Once you are at the lodge, and you get your license, it is fishing from dawn ’till dusk with meals in between. You head out in an 18 foot skiff that comfortably takes up to 3 people. The boat is equipped with all the gear you need: rods and reels for salmon and halibut, tackle, bait etc. You are free to explore the area, but honestly, most people wind up congregating wherever the fishing was best most recently. When you head in for meals, your hopefully full fish box, is taken by the dock staff. The fish are cleaned, vacuum bagged and frozen for you. Over meals and evening drinks the conversation naturally leans toward who caught the biggest Salmon or Halibut and where! Plans are made for the next outing and the cycle starts over.

Heading out in search of Salmon

Heading out in search of Salmon

Mornings start early for most of us. People start heading out just as the sky begins to lighten, around 4:30 AM. Then some folks will go out after dinner and fish until the sun sets around 9:30 PM. It makes for a long day but I don’t know anywhere else where the fishing is this incredible. Add in the spectacular Alaskan scenery and wildlife. The wildlife we regularly see includes eagles, black bears, deer, porpoises and whales. Every year I have gone up we have had lots of whale sightings including some very close encounters. Typically we will watch humpbacks and sometimes there are orcas as well.

Going Home
Heading back to regular life is just like heading to Alaska except in reverse. However, there is the added burden of at least one or more 50 pound boxes of fresh Alaskan fish. Most of us have an extra freezer for the fish we bring back. I also recommend a smoker because fresh smoked salmon is a wonderful treat.

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