Seward, Alaska is on the famous Kenai Peninsula, a destination for all sorts of outdoor activities like salt water fishing for halibut, river fishing for different types of salmon, sea kayaking, and rafting. It’s impossible to do it all, so we decided to take our chances going after King Salmon on the Kenai River. Based near Soldotna, our host for the day was Chugach Backcountry Fishing, owned by Cory Hetrick.
Our boat was scheduled to be on the water by 6 a.m. to beat the rush, so we calculated leaving Seward two hours before that to arrive on time. We had a 3 a.m. wake up call which meant coffee and tea would play an important role in our day. It was a cold and rainy morning, typical for this part of Alaska, which would prove to be a theme of the day. After making stops for gas and for a King Salmon tag to add to our fishing licenses, we met up with Cory and his friend, Seth. With Steven and all the girls riding with Cory in his company boat, Nels and I hopped in with Seth in a smaller personal boat. Our spirits were high that we would land some fish for our dinners over the next few nights.
Our guides did almost all of the work, rowing against the current, baiting the hooks, etc. Cory’s mom even baked us fresh blueberry muffins, which were delicious. Thanks, mom. We watched on as some of the other fishers landed some sizeable fish. The salmon occasionally jumped around the boat, tantalizing us further and leaving us hoping that we’d get a bite soon ourselves. Nels and I, always curious, questioned Seth about growing up in this part of Alaska. He told us of hunting grizzlies, catching hundreds of salmon during the summer, and working in construction in all over Alaska. That sure is different then growing up in the suburbs of Chicago.
As the rain and cold persisted, a few started to think about getting into dry clothes and then the warm showers waiting for us in Anchorage that day. As any regular fisher would know, fishing can be extremely unpredictable. Some days you catch a fish, some days you do not. Sometimes one person catches ten fish while the person standing right next to them catches nothing. Also, as almost any fisher would say, a day’s fishing beats doing just about anything else, so while we have no exaggerated fishing stories, we did have another great day on the water. Thanks to Chugach Backcountry Fishing for the opportunity.
During our visit to Seward we had the pleasure of staying with three different types of accommodation. On the first night, Steven and Zsofi, and Nels and I split two rooms at the Harborview Inn, a small and cozy hotel style accommodation. We arrived late that night and so we quickly took advantage of our surroundings by settling in our comfy beds for a good night of sleep. On day two Steven and Zsofi moved a few miles out of town at the Exit Glacier Lodge. Located conveniently near Exit Glacier, this new lodge is great for relaxing in a wooded setting. Nels and I moved in with the girls at the Ballaine House, a bed and breakfast located a short stroll from the bay and tourist hot spots. We had great experiences at all three places, and graciously thank our hosts in Seward for making us feel so welcome.
More photos from the day…
TWBR arrives to go fishing for King Salmon with Chugach Backcountry Fishing.
Meagan show off her fresh bait.
The places we stayed…
Ambiance of the Lodge.
One of our rooms at the Ballaine House, complete with robes.
The kitchen at the house, where we enjoyed breakfast.