Move over, Moab. Take a hike, Sedona. Day hikers looking for the ultimate trekking experience need to lace up their boots, fill up their water bottles, throw on their packs and head out to Juneau, Alaska. Boasting the claim “it’s where the mountains meet the sea,” and “where the city meets the country,” — Juneau is a day-hiking mecca.
Alaska is a place many anglers dream of. There are five different species of salmon, grayling, char and Dolly Varden, rainbows, and northern pike. The trouble is that a trip to one of the fly-in lodges will run over $3,000 for a few days of fishing, but if you plan it right, you can fish on your own for around $100 per person, per day. That’s right — food, lodging, plane fare, for a little over $100 per day! Here’s how I pulled it off.
The Kenai Peninsula is a scenic wonderland on the southcentral coast of Alaska. Tucked in a cleft of the southwest end of the peninsula is Kachemak Bay. The town of Homer sits on the north shore of the bay and is the jumping-off point for its exploration. On a sunny winter afternoon, I took a water taxi from the town of Homer to explore this pristine waterway.
Two hundred and twenty-five road miles and just over 100 air miles southwest of Anchorage, the city of Homer lies on the north shore of Kachemak Bay in southcentral Alaska. With its bayfront location and snowcapped mountain vistas, it is perhaps the most beautiful city on the impossibly scenic Kenai Peninsula. And lovers of outdoor activities will be hooked by Homer, the “Halibut Capital of the World.”
On a recent January visit to Homer, Alaska, my friend Jane had the opportunity to do a little deep-sea fishing. She came up with a charter operator who was willing to take a rookie angler out trolling in the frigid water. Alaska in January can be a dismal time, and open-water fishing can be a grim, unpleasant experience, especially for a beginner. But sometimes you just get lucky!
I decided one more cast and this already fabulous day of not just
fishing, but “catching” was complete. Another series of jumps at the downstream end of the pool told me more ocean-fresh pinks had arrived. One final cast would limit me out so I launched the pixie into the center of a grouping of expanding concentric rings. BAM! This one was hungry and angry!
“Tim,” I whispered. No response. More forceful this time: “TIM!” A movement had caught my eye as I glanced upstream past the clearing along the bank where we were all busy casting. “Move towards me slowly, there’s a bear behind you,” I said as I motioned
with my eyes.