Cruising Alaska — Now It’s a Family Thing

October 8th, 2022 by admin No comments »

If you’re thinking about a family vacation to Alaska,Guest Posting and you’re wondering if your kids would enjoy a cruise to “The Last Frontier,” wonder no more. Young family members from toddlers through teens have a blast on big ships and small as their vessels sail through the protected waters of Alaska’s Inside Passage. Aboard ship or ashore, there are lots of kid-friendly, parent-friendly, and grandparent-friendly places to see and fun things to do.

It’s true, only a short decade or two ago families with kids aboard Alaska cruiseships were as scarce as Alaskan Dall sheep lambs in a grizzly bear’s lair. But the times have changed — big time. Today you will find, in addition to the traditional hefty contingent of seniors and near-seniors aboard each ship, a growing number of families. Sometimes these groups are multi-generational, with gramps and grandmas, moms and dads, and kids that range from gangly teens to babes literally in arms. The reason? Word is out that Alaska’s attractions are sure-fire hits for travelers of any age: attractions like humongous whales breaching full length out of the water, grizzly bears chasing salmon along forest creeks and rivers, icebergs (sometimes as big as a tour bus) crashing, splashing, and thundering off the faces of miles-long glaciers.

Too, there are opportunities to mush in a dog sled behind a team of charging huskies – after helicoptering to a lofty mountain-top glacier no less! Kids and parents can ride bikes through towering forests or down mountain paths and trails. They can also kayak among whales and sea lions. Whole families can fish for lunker king salmon. Or try their luck at gold-panning in creeks and streams. Newest craze for the young and the young-at-heart is riding a zip-line through the upper canopies of towering spruce and hemlock forests in Ketchikan and Juneau — hanging safe and secure in a harness as they “zip” along a steel cable some 130 feet or more above the forest floor.

Fishing Alaska: The Alaskan Sampler Plate…Part I

March 16th, 2022 by admin No comments »

I just recently returned from my first fishing trip to Alaska.

If you have ever dreamed of heading to the last frontier, but have continuously put it off because of this reason or that—STOP PUTTING IT OFF!!

I myself, found reason after reason to delay one of my “dream trips” until I could no longer stand it any longer.

“Damn the time constraints and load up the Visa card boys–were headin’ to Alaska!!”

What I expected was a : ‘you should have been here in the seventies’, “spawned out” fishing destination–but what I found was a place I can’t wait to return to.

The Kenai peninsula-which to a lot of fishermen is a place that is overfished and to easily accesible-was just fine to me. Eleven different types of fish, from fourteen inch Grayling to seventy pound Halibut found it’s way on to my fishing rod, and considering I only had one week to fish in Alaska, I would say the only way I could have experienced more fish …would be to order the Alaskan sampler plate at the Red Lobster!!

Each and every day seemed to get better and better.

Lets take a look at my own personal Alaskan Sampler Plate….

We started with a nice little three mile hike complete with float tube “necklace” and blister inducing wading boots to Fuller Lakes. We were after Grayling, which would serve as a nice little appetizer of fourteen inch “dancers” on our five weight fly rods. The three mile hike would also help to take a little of the “starch” out my overly stimulated fishing gland-which was “swollen” with anticipation of fish filled waters.Evidently,they don’t believe in switchbacks in Alaska, because the trail seemed to go straight up,and when we got to the end of the trail-the sweat I wrung out of my shirt made me wonder why I even bothered to bring waders!!

When we got to the lake, a small five acre lake, it was shrouded in fog and I could only trust that Clayton- our friend, pseudo-guide,and part time mountain goat- had led us to a five acre lake, since you could only see about twenty five yards in front of you.

Nonetheless, tubes were filled and we set off into the fog like ghost ships disappearing into the great unknown.It might as well have been the start of a trans-Atlantic journey for all I knew, because as soon as Clayton paddled thirty yards out–Greg and I were on our own with nothing but the occasional splash of a hooked Grayling to act as a sound beacon to guide our way.

Eventually, after kicking around in my float tube for a half hour,I found a nice twelve inch Grayling. Then another and another…until I giggled happily as the hooked Grayling danced around me. My “giggles in the mist” attracted Greg and Clayton and after twenty or thirty fish ,we decided to leave Fuller lake. Thank goodness Clayton and Greg knew how to get back to the starting point on the lake,otherwise I might still be up at Fuller Lake, living on Grayling sushi.

I never did actually see that lake-and I hope it wasn’t an abirition–cause I sure had fun!!

Fuller lake was the perfect warm up, so to speak, and after a brief rest at Camp Yuppie Fisher,
we were ready for a little “Sockeye Swinging”.

Now, before you think that this is some sort of kinky Alaskan male-female-fish menage -a – trois, or the latest winter solstice- blues busting dance craze, understand that the Sockeye Swing is a technique of catching Sockeye Salmon on a fly.

Or- snagging them in the mouth -as the local guides like to refer to the techniques rather unique use of fly, 3/8 oz weight, and nervous “shoulder twitch”!!

Boy–it sure catches a lotta fish.