I just recently received correspondence from multiple sources for a fishing trip we're taking this year. The planning began in late summer, requesting certain dates for travel and fishing took place in October, and now the confirmations are all in. We're going to Alaska!
There's a lot to consider when booking with a fishing guide in a far-off place like the 49th state. We also had to consider rooming, airline tickets, and car rental. And everything has to coordinate perfectly in order to make for a smooth trip and good budgeting of time and activities.
When booking a guide anywhere, it helps to know the prime times for fishing. Certainly, there are good estimations from past fish runs or spawning times as to when the fishing will be at its best. For example, we're going in June for the peak of the first-run kings along the Kenai Peninsula.
Once we had the guide and rooming tentatively booked, we checked for seat availability on various airlines. We looked to see if we could make flights match with our preferred fishing dates, and when they did, we immediately booked them. Connecting flights and direct passage are to be considered too, especially where arrival times are critical. A quick call to our guide to hold our fishing dates was then confirmed, and down-payments made immediately, so as to hold the reservation.
Then came the miserable experience with the car rental companies in searching for the best rates, and then requesting pick-up and return dates and times to coordinate with our flight arrangements. This is a long process if you hunt for bargains, and rates change from month to month as well.
We also had to make arrangements with our guide to target barn-door halibut on one of the two days we're going to fish for them. This is necessary in order for him to coordinate other anglers who could be on the same boat for that trip.
Expenses are something that also has to be considered when it comes to food, whether you prepare it yourself or dine out; tips for the guide on a daily basis, gas money, and any other spending you desire to do while away on your trip.
There's also the care of your fish. Flash-freezing will be our way to go, and we're going to ship our fish home rather than pay the airlines our money to haul it home for us. Check to see how and if these services might work for you on your trip. However, if you're trophy brook trout fishing in Labrador, for example, you may just need photos and measurements rather than killing your catch.
Intangibles are always a possibility on trips, so have more money available than you think you'll need. You never know what you might encounter on a trip so far from home. Forgot your water-proof boots, and the forecast calls for rain? You'll likely purchase a new pair while away on your trip. And for ease of available time, a quick purchase without much price shopping may be called for.
My sons-in-law and I have been catching salmon and halibut in our dreams for months now; I've been anxious to take them on this adventure for several years. And the closer the departure date comes, I'm sure the excitement level will continue to increase. I don't know that anyone, regardless of how many times they've been to Alaska, could ever lose the thrill of a fishing trip like that. If so, you wouldn't be going anymore.
Brad Kerr is an avid angler who can be reached at email@example.com.