alaska

What did you forget…

What did you forget…

Alaska is one of those places where you want to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything important.  There is no running to the store once you’re at the lodge, you have only what you brought.  So before you head to Alaska this summer make sure you’ve got these often overlooked things covered: Sunglasses – Sunglasses are a must for eye protection.  I can’t even imagine getting a hook in the eyeball!  When packing sunglasses make sure you grab a pair that are polarized.  When you’re sight fishing you don’t want to miss that fish of a lifetime because you can’t see it!  While you’re at it, throw a backup pair in too.  If you’re looking for high quality fishing glasses Maui Jim’s are one of our favorites.  Just make sure you choose a brown, copper, or bronze colored lens. Sunscreen – Yes, you will need sunscreen in Alaska.  Remember that midnight sun thing, that means sunshine ALL DAY.  A sunscreen stick is a good option.  They’re compact to carry, and you can avoid getting sunscreen on your flies and lines.  Not sure if it’s been scientifically proven, but a lot of people think sunscreen on your fly will actually repel fish. Not what we’re going for! Day pack – The weather changes constantly in Alaska and you always want to have layers on the ready.  So a day pack in a must.  It’s also handy for carrying your camera, extra water, snacks, phones, sunscreen, and all kind of things you might find you want to have close.  No need for a huge pack, something small and easy to carry is fine.  It’s also nice to get one that’s waterproof.  Nothing worse than reaching for those extra layers only to find that they’re already soaked. In our Pro Shop we sell DryCase Backpacks, which work great. Waterproof phone case – I can’t stress this one enough!  I have seen SO many cell phones die.  Wader pockets are not waterproof, so even if you don’t drop your phone in the river the moisture in your wader pockets can be enough to kill a phone.  I can speak to this one from personal experience.  I now own a waterproof phone.  Unless you have a waterproof phone, or plan on leaving your phone at the lodge everyday, please invest in a waterproof phone case.  Lifeproof and Otterbox are reliable choices that our guides use. Our Alaska packing guide has a full list of items so you can thoroughly prepared.  If you ever have a question about what you should bring with you, just give us a call or send an email.  We’re always happy to help!

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Trout fishing in June???

Trout fishing in June???

Yes, there is awesome trout fishing in Alaska’s early season! Early season fishing in Alaska has been overshadowed in recent years by the fall salmon egg glut.  The invention of bead fishing seems to really have changed people’s idea of what the peak season is.  When you talk to people about June fishing they seem to think you can’t catch good trout in Alaska until the salmon spawn and bead fishing is on.  Fake news!!!  Don’t get me wrong – August and September fishing can be epic due to the salmon spawn, but June and July can be just as good.  But we don’t want you to take our word for it.  Here’s a note from one of our well-traveled, well-fished guests highlighting some of the reasons you should consider Alaska’s early season fishing: Last year was eighth trip overall to No See Um Lodge and was scheduled for opening week, June 12th.  I wasn’t sure what to expect as the opening week isn’t bead fishing season when the salmon are spawning and when most fisherman think about fishing in Alaska.  I decided to bring, for the first time, my switch rod and use it all week for something different.  Turns out early season fishing and the switch rod were a smart move.  Here’s why: The rivers aren’t crowded with fishermen in the middle of June as they are later in the season when the salmon are spawning.  All week, I think we saw other people one time. The days are long as the summer solstice is only 10 days away – no getting up in the dark. The weather feels about the same as later in the season.  I have fished in a t-shirt in August and I have hunkered down in a swale in the pouring rain, driving wind and cold temps.  The weather last June was typical – a couple of days I stayed in my wader jacket and several days I fished in a long sleeved shirt. Hey, this is Alaska and if you aren’t ready for variable weather; then you are in the wrong place. The fishing was terrific which is obviously why you go.  The water was low and there had been a terrific salmon run the previous fall which meant lots of salmon fry feeding lots of hungry trout – perfect conditions for a switch or spey rod where a little extra distance doesn’t hurt and where the rhythm of a longer rod fits well in the unbelievable Alaska environment. Several of No See Um guides are steelhead guides in the winter.  For folks like myself who don’t get to use my switch rod as much as I would like, the help of the experienced guides was invaluable. On the very best, day, I caught 25-30 fish on a mile stretch of a river.  I was surprised – pleasantly.  Most of the fish I caught were very healthy and in the 20-24” range. Bottom line:  I have been to No See Um the […]

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Swinging for Kings in Alaska

Swinging for Kings in Alaska

Join us in June 2018 for kings and rainbows on the swing If you’ve been looking to fish Alaska with a spey rod…June is the perfect month for it!  We will be offering two featured weeks, June 11-18 and June 18-25, where the focus will be swinging flies. In the spring the trout are hungry and aggressive, and will absolutely attack streamers and mice.  This offers a great opportunity to work on your technique with a lot of positive reinforcement.  During the week of 18th-25th we will shift our attention towards swinging for kings.  There’s not much that can compare to hooking a 20+ pound king on a spey rod. When fishing for rainbows we recommend a 11′-12.5′ 6wt switch or spey rod.  Depending on the water conditions, and your preference, you could be fishing a mouse with a floating line or streamers on sink tips.  King fishing will be on the Nushagak and/or Alagnak, two of Alaska’s best salmon rivers.  We will be using 12.5′-14′ 9 or 10 weight spey rods and fishing heavy, with sink tips and big streamers. Experienced spey caster? Great!  We will get you right into fishing.  However, one of the best things about spey casting is that there’s always ways to improve.  So we can help you fine tune your casting motion and your fishing techniques. Never picked up a spey rod, or just getting started? Not a problem! On Monday we will offer an afternoon of spey casting instruction to get you started.  Whether you are a total beginner to fishing with a two-handed rod, or are looking to improve your skills, we will customize the instruction to your level and goals.  Over the course of the week we will keep working with you to give you a solid foundation to build on. Spring in Alaska Of course we can’t talk about June in Alaska without mentioning the weather!  The average highs are in the low 60’s and there’s that midnight sun.  All of that sunlight makes for a stunning landscape with bright greens and all shades of vibrant wild flowers.  With daily fly outs you really get a chance to enjoy all the different scenery from the ground, and the sky.  It’s a great time of year for Alaskan adventures! Contact us for more details or to book your spot!  

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Alaska Nothern Lights & Winter Greetings From the No See Um Crew

Alaska Nothern Lights & Winter Greetings From the No See Um Crew

Things slow down during the winter, but we don’t spend all of our time around the lodge fireplace daydreaming about Alaskan fly fishing adventures. Yes, we look forward to the first spring melt in April, and visions of sockeye and rainbows are always dancing in our heads. Still, our No See Um crew stays pretty busy. If you wonder what we do up here at our Alaskan fishing lodge during the off-season, prepare to be surprised. There’s Always Work to Be Done It may be hard to believe, but not everything we do up here is glamorous. We deal with the same winter chores that you take care of, but our sub-freezing days and nights require heavy winterizing around the lodge. We don’t just insulate pipes. Our chimneys, heater intake systems and propane tanks need special protection. We do our fair share of snow shoveling too because that boardwalk to the hot tub and sauna won’t clear itself. Of course, it’s important to make sure that the open bar is always stocked. We never know when company might drop by. We Still Have Plenty of Fun If you imagine us hunting and ice fishing during the winter, we confess to loving both. Living off the land is an Alaskan tradition, and appreciating this wilderness paradise runs in our blood. Where else can you go wolf watching just a few miles from the back door? How often can you look up and count bald eagles soaring overhead? When was the last time you heard North America’s largest owl sing his evening love songs? These are just a few of our favorite winter things, and we take pictures like crazy too. For us, the cold months are almost like a vacation. The Northern Light Skies Dance at Night Our amateur photography talents aren’t limited to winter treks through Katmai National Park or the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. We aim our cameras at the nighttime skies and capture the world’s most incredible light show. It starts with a faint glow and slowly builds into an incredible curtain of colors. Our Northern Lights ripple and dance as they drape the sky with brilliant reds, blues, purples and greens. It always takes our breath away, and the dazzling display is different every night. Did we mention that this miracle only happens during the winter up here? We know that our coldest months don’t appeal to everybody in the Lower 48. That’s OK because we make the most of our downtime. When we see you in April, the lodge will be in top shape. The rivers will be running with dollies and bows chasing salmon fry, and we’ll be saving you a place here on the banks of the Kvichak. When you’re ready for the Alaskan fly fishing trip of a lifetime, No See Um Lodge will be ready for you.

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