Have you ever traveled to Alaska to do some sport fishing? For the serious angleróthe person who loves fishingóit can be the experience of a lifetime. There are two primary choices fishermen have when considering a fishing journey to Alaskaódoing everything yourself in terms of fishing gear, lures, discovering when and where theyíre biting, etc. or hiring a charter service. In doing it yourself, you bear the vast majority of responsibility in ensuring you have a great time. When hiring a guide, youíre entrusting someone else with the success of your trip.
Weíre going to assume that if you do hire a guide, youíre going to get a good one. Youíll conduct your research and find someone who provides the service you desire at a good price.
When thinking about which way to goó do-it-yourself or charteróyouíll want to evaluate a few areasó your time restraints, the amount of knowledge you have about the area to which youíre going, your fishing expertise, and how much gear you own.
If youíre a first-timer traveling to Alaskaís salmon-rich Kenai River, it would take a lot of prep and money to get you up-to-speed and outfitted for the trip. If youíve already stalked salmon in other parts of the country or world and have a good sense of what youíll need and how to go about finding great fishing, then it starts to make sense to take charge and go for it yourself.
However, it doesnít have to be an ìeither-orî decision. The fact is there are over 400 registered guides on the Kenai River alone, and they offer a variety of services. Some charter services provide everything, from lodging, to gear, to drinks and food when out on the river, to fishing instruction, etc. Theyíre ideal for a first-time and/or only time salmon angler. Theyíre also a good way to go if you know little about the sport but would like to become more proficient and garner the knowledge necessary to eventually going out on your own.
If youíve done this thing before but not in Alaska, then you may want to hire a guide who can take you to some prime fishing spots on the river. Armed with knowledge of lures, tackle, and technique, youíll be able to enjoy the experience and be with other anglers who are at your level. Unless you donít want to be with other fishermen.
If youíd rather go out on the river with a small number of folks or alone, then youíll want to hire someone who is more exclusive and probably more expensive. They may or may not provide equipment and other supplies. Youíre basically paying for exclusivity.
Always inquire about exactly what a provider means when they say they ìsupply equipment,î ìeverything you need is included,î or ìall the gear youíll need to have a great time is right here.î Often tackle and other articles are considered add-ons and will increase your bill. Thereís nothing wrong with this; simply make sure you understand whatís included and what costs more.
Finally, in considering time restraints, you may make better use of your precious time finding a good guide rather than doing everything yourself. Especially if youíve never been to the area. A good guide, no matter what they include or offer in add-ons, is the key to being successful and having a great time.
No matter what you choose to do, you want to keep in mind that the optimum use of your limited time in the pursuit of salmon on the river of your choice is most important. Once at the location, donít fritter your time away doing things you could have done before you arrived. In other words, make every moment count.