FishHound Expeditions 2018 Season in Review - Float Fishing Day Trips, Helicopter Fly-In Fishing & More

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With the 2018 Alaskan fishing season in the rearview mirror, it's a good time to read up on what was working during the past season so you can plan for your future Alaskan fishing trip. Many lodges offer their own summaries, like Alaska Trophy Adventures season summary, but we asked one of the guides we work with, Fishhound Expeditions, for a summary. They can offer a few options for guided fishing…day trips, overnights, etc. and we thought the summary they could offer (below) might help if you've been considering guide options.

Adam from Fishhound Expeditions is one of the experts that answer the “Ask the Pros” questions. Check out his season summary below.

Day Trips - Full & Half Day Float Fishing

It was an amazing season on the tributaries of the Susitna! Everything from strong salmon runs, monster rainbow trout, and beautiful arctic grayling and dolly varden. We are truly blessed with where we guide because we have beautiful surroundings, multiple rivers and creeks, and little pressure from the rest of humanity.

The early season proved good despite non-cooperative weather. A big 'thanks' to the inventors of Gore-Tex! The way we run our trips, providing great gear and hot cooked lunches made the weather better for guests. Plus, the fishing was solid…clients who had never held a fly rod where landing 8-20 salmon per trip! Talk about making a guide's job easy.

The middle and end of the season turned out to be one of our strongest in years. Mother Nature finally cooperated with us which made for absolutely incredible fishing. The rivers we fish had strong salmon runs and, after their spawn, provided a tremendous amount of food for the trout and other sport fish. All the eggs, flesh, and smolt in the water made some very fat happy fish! The biggest 'bow was taped at just under 28 inches with many caught over 24 and 25 inches.

Helicopter Fly-In Fishing Trips

Our single day heli-fishing trips really “took off” this year! As guides, we love when we can share our favorite places! Many of these favorite places involve no access other than by air. The peace and solitude gained by air travel in Alaska is truly beyond words and so is the fishing! We access multiple rivers that are only accessible by helicopter. These rivers provide incredible catching not fishing. Our biggest trout was over 30 inches and the cookie cutter trout were about 2 feet and 4-7 pounds. On one single day heli-trip a guest landed 43 silver salmon all on a fly with 4 caught on surface flies, talk about a sore arm!

Multi-Day Guided Float Fishing Trips

We really have it good at Fishhound Expeditions with the locations we operate our multi-day trips. The rivers that we have selected in Western Alaska are some of the last truly wild and remote places left. Completely void of shoulder to shoulder fisherman and exhaust from jet boats or planes that would choke a buzzard! The remote rivers are simply wilderness at its best…just a lot of wild fish and free from any sort of civilization.

Early and mid-season trips produced the best mouse fishing we have ever seen! Catching a monster rainbow trout on this type of fly is an experience rivaled by few things in angling. In one short afternoon session a guest landed 2 dozen 'bows with none under 20 inches, plus about 10 huge grayling all on a home tied mouse before losing the fly to a leviathan that will haunt him and me for many fishing trips to come. The diversity of fish in these rivers is truly remarkable over 10 different species pending time of year and location. All five pacific salmon, rainbow trout, arctic grayling, dolly varden, arctic char, white fish, and even some pike.

The late season fishing for fat rainbows and hot silvers was a blast! We had an amazing return of salmon with fat, healthy, ones averaging 12-15 pounds. We had many great days of swinging flies on two handed rods to chrome fish and the side sloughs proved very productive to catching silvers on top water poppers! With strong salmon returns the voracity of the rainbows feeding on the salmon spawn was incredible! We had multiple days landing over a hundred fish by drifting egg patterns to hungry fish.

The camp scene on our multi-day trips is rivaled only by the quality of fishing. After a fun day of float fishing guests unwind in our portable “lodge” which is a massive cook tent that seats 12 and provides a warm dry place to enjoy drinks and appetizers with a river side view. All food is prepared fresh and with care not dehydrated meal after meal. Our dinners consist of grilled rack of lamb, fresh caught fish, steaks, halibut, ribs, chicken parmesan, king crab and moose tacos to name a few. Breakfast is a variety of meals from freshly picked blueberry pancakes with eggs and bacon, breakfast burritos, sausage egg and cheese scrambles, hash browns, omelets, and more. Most lunches are hot such as cheese burgers, grilled ham and cheese with hot soup, reindeer brats, chili, and a day of sandwiches with fresh veggies and a variety of sandwich meats. We also include a reasonable amount of beer and wine of your choosing to relax with and celebrate at the end of an amazing day.

After a full belly guests retire to their separate sleeping tents provided by us of course complete with an ultra-lite cot and thick insulated down sleeping pad. We provide all high-quality camping gear on these trips except a sleeping bag and a water bottle as they tend to be rather personal items. We even bring a portable shower for guests to utilize when the opportunity is there.

So – as you can see, the 2018 fishing season was great. We heard it from many lodges and their guests too. Review the My Alaskan Fishing Trip site for tips in preparing for your trip to the great wilderness of Alaska and contact us with questions for experts like Adam from Fishhound Expediations.

About the Author: Adam Cuthriell

Part owner of FishHound Expeditions. His wife Kathryn Cuthriell and business partner Dave "Reps" Repta make up the rest of the company as well as their dogs Hatch, Rado, and Pike. They fish, live, and guide in Alaska year-round. When not guiding on the rivers they guide ice fishing on Alaska's numerous lakes. Originally from Colorado, he began guiding at the age of 19 while receiving a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. Adam is also a current state of Alaska EMT.

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