We polled the guests and the guides
and came up with ideas that might help make your trip more enjoyable.
Some of the guests we talked to have been fishing with the Duncans for
over 20 years.
- The Bethel airport is very small. There are usually some Grant Aviation helpers directing you to their vans out back, but if not - take your bags, walk out the backdoor and you will find their
van(s.) They are very helpful. They usually have to make several trips to get everyone and their bags. They are very good at making sure they get everyone and their luggage.
- Earplugs are a handy thing to have on the
small aircraft ride as well as the boat ride up to camp.
- Pack your rain gear (coat and pants) as
well as hat, gloves, shoes and other items in one easy to get to section of your
bags - so when you land at the Quinhagak airfield (or get to the boats), you can easily access the items
for a quick change. The boat ride can be chilly, even on warm day.
The weather can change quickly, so no matter what the weather, bundle
up in your rain gear for the boat ride. You might want to keep your camera accessible - as you never know what cool things you may see on the ride up.
- I bring extra zip lock bags for my small camera and a large garbage
bag for my bigger camera and case. I also keep all my memory cards
and extra batteries in two layers of zip locks. When it rains, it
can really rain - you don't want those items getting wet. I also
keep a few large garbage in my larger camera case, so in case we
get an unexpected rain squall, I can quickly get all my camera gear
out of the rain.
- Always carry your rain gear and sunscreen
while fishing - even if there are no clouds in the sky. The weather
changes very quickly here.
- Take along a pair of yellow tinted polarized
sunglasses for those dark days.
- Bring extra size 7 split shot (the big ones.)
No matter what anyone tells you, bring twice as much (or more) lead
as you think you will need. You can always leave it with the guides
when you leave - if you have any extra - as they run out too and
appreciate any extra lead.
is nice to be able to stop by the tying bench and whip out a few
flies for the next day. No matter how many flies you bring, there
are always one or two hot local flies that it would be nice to have
for the next day. Any of the guides are eager to give you a quick
recipe and show you how to build one.
- As a Deet substitute try Lemon Eucalyptus Insect
Repellent Lotion, It seems to work just as well. Also the Buzz off
clothing appeared to work well for some of the guests. Deet seems
to work best - bring extra just in case. You don't want to run out.
Don't get it in your mouth - it tastes awful. Don't get it on your
waders or fly line - as it eats through just about everything. It
seems safe enough on skin, but use it sparingly.
- Read up on the area. There are some interesting
things in this neck of the woods that would be good to read about.
Things like the tundra and the local Yup'iks
- so much history in this area.
- A Tundra walk is a must. All the guides know
how to get you there - just ask. It's a good 15 minute break from
fishing too. The soft spongy ground and interesting ground cover
are unique. Read
about the Tundra before you go.
- Be careful about a beautiful little plant called "Cow Parsnip"
- it grows all around Alaska and many people are very sensitive
to it. It has pretty white flowers.
- Some people bring sleeping
masks as it is usually daylight when you go to bed. Of course you are so tired after a few days of fishing -
sleep is not a problem for most.
- Ear plugs were a hot item as the snoring from bunkmates or nearby tents were annoying for those that were light sleepers. It's funny how those that snore the loudest always fall asleep first.
- I would suggest building up your arm muscles a bit. You might
want to start a few months before your trip lifting a few pounds
every few days, working up as you go. If you plan on fishing for
salmon, this will be time well spent. These fish are HOT!!!