I've known J. P. Albrecht for over 20 years. JP has gone all over the world with us for at least the past 20 years. I remember vividly a Seychelles trip we took together that was quite simply one of the best fishing trips I've ever experienced. JP played a significant role in that assessment.
In addition, I've been fortunate enough to plan many of his family's vacations... from the Bahamas to Mexico to Costa Rica. I remember in 2003, I arranged a trip for them to Abaco Island in the Bahamas. Julie was pregnant with Tyler at the time. Tyler is now 14! As such, I've watched his kid's grow up. JP has been kind enough to send me a Christmas card every year that is typically a beautiful photo card of his family often on one of their adventuresome trips. Thanks for that JP!
This year Julie and JP took Abigail and Tyler to Alaska. First they went bear watching in the Shelikof Straights then fishing on Lake Creek which is only a float plane away from Anchorage. Looks like they had a great time! Thanks JP for the report! You have lovely family (and you're lucky the kids turned out to look so much like Julie).
Here is JP's report:
|Tyler, Abby, Julie and JP Albrecht|
Thanks for all your help with my family’s trip to Alaska. We had a great time. Alaska is interesting. For many years Julie and I did not consider Alaska. We were a little guilty of having salt in our veins when it came to our fly fishing trips (although the Agua Boa did help put an end to that). It also felt a little strange to travel somewhere without a passport. Hmmm… We get it now. Alaska is a fantastic destination, and at times we felt as removed as anywhere we have traveled. We loved the Alaskan brown bears, and were very happy catching chum and silver salmon.
First up, bears! In Kodiak we had enough time for a hike and a boat tour. We saw humpbacks, eagles, puffins, and sea otters. All good stuff. Our excitement ramped up for our first ever float plane ride to the mother ship anchored off the Katmai Coast. The snow-capped mountains were beautiful, and during our flight we saw more humpback whales around the Kodiak Archipelago and once we got across Shelikof Strait to Katmai we saw salmon in the streams and the occasional pursuing brown bear. We absolutely loved our 4 days of brown bear viewing along the Katmai Coast. The boat we lived on was neat (previously the Time Bandit crab boat from Deadliest Catch TV show), and we had high quality and very close bear viewing. What little we saw of Katmai was awesome.
|Abby and JP|
Now, fishing! Back in Anchorage we made it to Lake Hood, and flew Rust’s Flying Service. Rust’s did a great job and we appreciated the complimentary shuttles. We also enjoyed a beverage and snack at the nearby Lakefront Anchorage hotel while we waited for our float plane. Our lodge for the next 4 nights was about 70 miles NW of anchorage in the Lake Creek region. After a rainy day and a half to start our trip on Kodiak, our weather continued to be beautiful. No one spoke out loud about the nice weather. We kept our fingers crossed. The evening float plane ride to the lodge was quick, and our guide took us fishing that night after dinner. We would fish 3 times a day…after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner. Very strange to get back to the lodge at 10:30P and there still be sunlight. The rooms had a bathroom, an LED lantern and a wood burning stove. Worked great for us. Loved the warmth, smell and crackle of the wood burning stove. The main lodge was nice, and the food was excellent. Love fresh salmon, halibut and cod. The lodge also had a fly tying table, which I enjoyed.
Pink was a productive color for us, and the rabbit strip streamer patterns I tied were simple, quick and effective. Our guide also had several flies we could choose from. We enjoyed picking berries during this trip and the lodge had some fresh salmonberry and raspberry bushes around the property. All this ‘stuff’ is nice, but how was the fishing? Amazing. We saw and caught a lot of fish. The fish took both a fly and a spinner with seemingly no preference between the two.
We caught mostly chum and silver salmon. Both were so much fun to catch, and we had fun discussing which we preferred fishing for. No preference between the two, and both seemed to eat the same fly patterns…though we noticed silvers typically preferred a slightly faster retrieve. At times the chum almost preferred a dead drift in the current with very little strip. We did catch a few pink salmon. They were less exciting (but a fish is a fish!), and the males had the interesting hump. We also caught a few incidental rainbow trout. The trout were beautiful, and got to 12”. Everyone had fun fishing, and everyone caught fish on a fly. There was a couple slow fishing sessions that reminded everyone that we were not at Disney. Our last full day of fishing was our best. The weather cooled and light rain came. The silver and chum salmon seemed to like the change in weather conditions. That cool, rainy day we fished the same spot most of the day watching group after group of fish swim by. These fish were not shy. An amazing day on the water.
The lodge does vacuum seal fish and put it in a freezer if you want to bring fish home with you. We released most of our fish, but I did tell the kids I would check one box of silver salmon fillets if they could catch them. Challenge accepted. There were other boats on the river, and the number of fisherman increased on the weekend. Did not bother us, and did not prevent anyone from fishing or catching fish. My family did try to leave a few minutes early each fishing session to make sure some of our guide’s favorite spots would be available.
|Tyler and Abby|
Back in Anchorage we had a layover and enjoyed walking around downtown Anchorage, going to the Saturday Market to enjoy the crafts and eating reindeer sausage and halibut tacos. The downtown museum is also impressive. Great trip. I will send some pics in separate email.My family would certainly return to Alaska to enjoy its rugged beauty, wildlife, and salmon.JP
If you are interested in this trip for your family, please give me call at 800-211-8530 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org