Alaska fishing cabins
 

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The Other Alaska
By, Glynn Gantenbein

The following is a report sent to the ANGLING REPORT by Glynn Gantenbein, the lucky the lucky person who won the trip to Alaska last year.

The ANGLING REPORT is a publication featuring articles of world-wide trip information specifically of interest to the fly fishermen. Most of detailed reports are submitted by subscribers. The information is interesting and informative for anyone planning a trip outside of their local area. ANGLING REPORT is available for $49 per year at www.anglingreport.com. The last issue had articles covering New Zealand, Panama, Chile, Louisiana and Oregon, among other minor mentions.

After returning from Alaska last year, Glynn was so impressed with the overall experience that he was compelled to write the following article for the REPORT.

“Float planes just aren’t very exciting compared to landing on gravel bars aboard a super cub!”

I’m the fortunate person who did just that in Alaska after winning last year’s Stoney River Lodge raffle through our Laguna Madre Fly Fishing club. This was a trip to the “Other Alaska,” the title of a featured article in ALASKA MAGAZINE. It touted the true remoteness of the lodge compared to those in other areas, such a Bristol Bay (there are about 40 lodges there), where competition for quality water can be a race between airplanes and boats, sometimes leaving lodges at very early hours. I have experienced similar “site competition” in the Amazon basin.

During my week at Stoney River Lodge, while flying out each day, usually with more than one stop, we never saw another fisherman. We did encounter two German fellows traveling in a canoe with no protection against mosquitoes or bears. We fixed them up with deet and a .338 loaner. Being of Medicare age, having traveled through 50 states and close to 50 countries (fishing in many of them), I had decided to settle in and just fish my home state of Texas. However, this was fortunately interrupted by this trip to Alaska. My experience in “fishing the world” is mentioned to give validity to this report in that I’m well able to accurately urge the overall value of a fishing trip.

The true remoteness of the lodge is vividly apparent shortly after leaving Anchorage for the 200 mile plus flight in a light plane. While flying though the magnificent snowcapped mountain range to the west, the results of pilot error are strewn over the many glaciers and valleys below. Quite a number of planes, caught in fog or hostile wind currents, were never retrieved. It was good to know that our pilot, and owner of the lodge, has 30 years practice over these mountains. The scenery registers at a high level in your memory.
After another 150 miles with no sign of civilization, we landed at the lodge on a runway carved into the wilderness. The facilities and service are typical for a first class operation with newer cabins, beautiful main lodge, great food, electricity during awake hours, etc. This is an ideal situation for bringing a non-fishing companion.

The fishing is exciting and the key words in this case are “variety” and “beautiful rivers.” The names are salmon, grayling, char, northern pike and sheefish. All fish are beautiful, but the grayling with it’s huge fin and the multicolored char are to fish what a male wood duck is to ducks – WOW! Landing a sheefish added a new page to my book.

One afternoon, at the meeting place of two gorgeous rivers, I cast a purple egg-sucking leech pattern (the only fly you really need on this trip) 20 times and landed 18 char and grayling. (Good memory locked in). All of these species can well be taken with spinning gear if a member of your group is not comfortable with a fly rod.

A week at Stoney River Lodge costs about $5,000. People always wonder why trips are so costly. Generally speaking the answer is short seasons, large investments, cancelled trips, personnel, etc. In this case the airplane takes first place. I was interested in details and was surprised to find that two front tires for the 1,100 pound super cub cost $2,500, the small propeller $2,000, fuel is flown in at $7 to $8 a gallon, and engine over-hauls required at 1,500 hours are in excess of $20,000. Enlightenment!!! Oh, and you have to have a pilot and pay for the plane.

If you’ve always wanted to go to Alaska on a “once in a lifetime,” or are a returning angler, I can wholeheartedly endorse www.stoneyriverlodge.com (DVD is available.) It’s an excellent value worthy of your time and money, and a great investment for many pleasant memories in the future. And that’s what it’s all about.

The lodge also offers a large variety of big game hunting with a high success rate and guides with 15 to 20 years experience. Photos are posted on the web at www.stoneyriverlodge.com.







Margy and I fished four days and spent several days Bed & Breakfast just relaxing. Fishing was fantastic; catching pike, char, grayling and silver salmon.We caught so many fish, both Margy and I quit counting. Food was fantastic, happy hours to remember, Hosts Curly and Betty Warren have a staff and guides that are superb. We flew out to a different place to fish every day. The sights were to be hold, with many different wildlife to view. Margy and I highly recommend this lodge. Their accommodations are fabulous with individual room heaters, showers and bathroom, fantastic food and happy hours, super hosts, guides and pilots to take you to your fishing spot. Fishing is fantastic. If you are interested in rainbows, let Curly Warren know when you book and he will arrange for rainbows fishing also. The Lodge recommends four fisherman per reservation to ensure high quality accommadations and fishing. The lodge has a sauna that is a big hit after a long day fishing. Check out this web site www.fishingstoneyriverlodge.com which should answer most of your questions on cost, accommodations, typical fishing schedules etc. address is Stoney River Lodge, Sleetmute Alaska 99668. Telephone and FAX number is (907)-526-4211. If you like to visit and fish in Alaska, I highly reccommend this lodge. The lodge can also set up various sightseeing tours while you are in Alaska. Below are several pictures of our fish.

(See more photos in "What's Happening Now" page.)

Great fishing...
Lodge from air
Main gathering lodge





Curly,
Lesa and I got back safely and with no bad delays Sunday afternoon. We are just about recovered. At the Atlanta airport early Sunday morning who should we bump into but John Newton. We gave him a full report of our fishing . He was on his way to Gunnison Col. for a fishing trip. I want to tell you again what a really wonderful time we had. Both of us feel that it was one of the best vacations ever. We would really like to come back as soon as possible, and we hope we can do it next summer.

Tony











 
 
 





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