“Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda,” in addition to being a song by Beverly Knight, it also describes my general feeling about choices I made for my trip to fish in Alaska last month at the Wilderness Place Lodge.
I chose it because the price was good and included an easy, one-hour float plane ride from Anchorage. The website offered glowing descriptions and dramatic photos of the fishing, plus good reviews from former guests. The accommodations looked very nice and the food sounded great.
I should have read between the lines.
Most of the reviews were by people who had never fly-fished before. The lodge was nice and the food was fair. Dottie and I did catch quite a few fish, mostly salmon, but our goal had been to catch big, wild rainbow trout. We also didn’t expect the area to be so crowded. Wilderness Place was not really in the wilderness, and the trout fishing was fair at best.
I could have listened to Rachel Andras, of Andras Outfitters, who has booked fishing trips for us for many years. Rachel recommended Copper River Lodge. Getting there required a two-plane trip out of Anchorage, and it was more expensive, which is why I made a different choice.
It was not the right one.
So, if you are thinking about fly fishing Alaska for trout then here are just some of the reasons why you should contact Rachel, 530-722-7992, and ask her to book Copper River Lodge for you. It only takes six guests a week. You will know their crew and they will know your fishing goals and abilities very quickly. It is the only lodge on the world-famous Copper River itself. You can walk right down to the river from the lodge and be fishing.
The Copper River is one of the best trout rivers in Alaska. It is easily waded and crossed. Guests can spread out and fish every inch of the river, and it has some of the best dry-fly fishing in Alaska.
This week near Sonoma, the salmon fishing off Bodega was good. Capt. Rick Powers of Bodega Bay Sportsfishing has been finding salmon and rockfish and ling cod for his clients this week. The waters have been flat and calm and the action heavy. Call Rick at 875-3344 to book a trip.
Salmon are also biting inside the Bay near Cal City (off Tiburon), reports Keith Fraser from Loch Lomond Bait Shop in San Rafael. Keith says that halibut and striped bass fishing is also good, with lots of action. He added that tides are excellent this weekend for salmon fishing on the bay. Call Keith at 415-456-0321 to book a Bay party boat.