Trip Planning

Alaska Trip Planning

Photo credit: Carl Johnson Photography

Photo credit: Carl Johnson Photography

Now that you have signed on for the fishing trip of a lifetime you will need to make travel arrangements to Anchorage. Many airlines service Anchorage International Airport so it should prove no different than booking anywhere else in the United States. Plan on booking your flight as soon as possible as summer is the busy season and flights tend to be full. You will not need a passport and flight times from the West coast average around 4 hours. Anchorage.net, the official travel site for the city, has a very detailed breakdown of the approximate flight times to Anchorage from major cities around the world. The site also features information on getting around Anchorage, as well as how to make your way to other places in Alaska from Anchorage. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out favorite things to do in Anchorage.

Trip Insurance

I have looked into several trip insurance policies, bottom line, if you buy for illness and use it for hospitalization it can be worthwhile. If you purchase the CFAR addition it’s expensive but can work for some reimbursement. Here is what I found on this option:

Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) is an optional benefit of travel insurance coverage which offers the opportunity to cancel travel plans for reasons other than those listed as “covered reasons” on a policy. CFAR allows you to bypass that list, giving you greater flexibility and freedom when making decisions about travel reservations. You cannot purchase CFAR separately – it can only be an “add-on” benefit. It is offered as a part of certain comprehensive plan and will only be available if you meet certain criteria. If you -meet all the conditions, most of the policies will reimburse you 50 -75% of your trip costs, unless otherwise noted.

Eligibility Requirements

Typically, a policy must be purchased within 10-21 days of making the initial trip payment to be eligible for CFAR benefits. Often, providers will require CFAR purchasers to insure the entire dollar amount of their travels in order to receive the coverage. Additional requirements may be stated by the providers for those interested in buying a CFAR policy. Be sure to thoroughly read and understand any and all terms before you make your purchase.

Claims Stipulations

Often, trip insurance cancel for any reason policies set parameters around when the CFAR period ends and how to notify travel suppliers in the event of a claim. Many CFAR policies mandate that you must cancel your plans and notify any and all travel suppliers at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled departure. Some travel insurance companies have a requirement of cancellation no less than 72 hours before departure. Beyond that window, any cancellation you make must be made for a stated “covered reason” under your policy details.

The MH Ross Complete seems like a good option. Includes CFAR up to 75% of trip cost but you must cover 100% of the cost of all travel arrangements for Your Covered Trip that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions for this coverage to pay. This policy premium is $2550pp.

Here’s one that looks good until you read the fine print. A $10,000 trip with AIG Travel Travel Guard Platinum, the premium was $1,800pp. The CFAR addition will cover only 50% (if certain conditions are met) and is an extra $700pp. So you spend $2,500 insuring a $12,000 trip with a maximum potential reimbursement of $6,000.

For shopping multiple options check out www.insuremytrip.com.

Getting to King Salmon

Our chartered flight from Anchorage to King Salmon departs every Monday morning, so plan to arrive in Anchorage prior to that. You will want to arrive the day before or before 8 am on Monday. There are many choices for hotel accommodations and some very good restaurants. Look to the right sidebar of this page for our list of favorite recommendations. Stay for a night before your visit to the lodge, or give yourself more time to explore the beauty of Anchorage.

So now you’re here: Anchorage—finally in Alaska. What next? Our chartered flight from Anchorage to King Salmon departs every Monday at approximately 9 am from Anchorage International Airport, Gate L2. We are using TransNorthern to provide consistent and routine service to get our guests and their luggage to King Salmon. Plan on checking in with the TransNorthern gate agent at 8am Monday morning at Gate L2 in the lower level near baggage claim.

You will not need to go through security, but you do need to present identification at the gate. Luggage weight restrictions are standard, but you won’t be charged for extra luggage. Flight times between Anchorage and King Salmon average 90 minutes. There is always a possibility that fog or adverse weather in King Salmon can cause delays on either flight, but we will do our best to keep to the schedule.

Getting to No See Um

Upon arrival in King Salmon, you will be met and transferred to our float planes for a 30-minute flight to the lodge. Once at the lodge, we will give you some time to unpack and unwind, followed by a hot lunch and quick orientation. Your individual gear needs will be evaluated based on what you have already packed, and then it’s upriver to loosen up that casting arm fishing for trout, grayling or salmon depending on the season.

Fishing License

A fishing license is required for everyone and can be purchased online through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Everyone 16 and older needs to purchase a 7-day sport fishing license at a cost of $55. If you are coming between June 15th and July 31st, and wish to fish for King salmon, you will also need to purchase a 7-day King salmon stamp at a cost of $30. After you purchase your license online, you can print it out to bring with you. You will also receive a copy in the mail. To ensure that you will receive your Alaska fishing license in a timely manner, we suggest ordering it online a minimum of two weeks before you leave for your trip or you can purchase it once you arrive in King Salmon. Please remember to bring your fishing license with you at all times when on the water in Alaska.

Fish Processing

We are happy to clean and vacuum pack your catch to take home. Retention of salmon is allowed. Sockeye, Silver and King salmon are considered the best for eating. Chum and Pink salmon, while very fun to catch, are not considered suitable for fresh frozen eating. All other fishing is catch and release.

Since the majority of our fishing is catch and release it’s a good idea before your visit to review the best catch and release practices. Click here to watch Katmai National Park’s short video.

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