Subscriber-Written Fishing Trip Report

ART BARRON fishing trip to Alaska Elite Charters
in United States Alaska



DATE AND PLACE OF FISHING TRIP
Report ID: 2027 How Trip Was Conducted: Guided
Date of Trip: September 5, 1997 to September 8, 1997
Place of Trip: United States Alaska - Water: PAVLOF HARBOR AND PAVLOF LAKE (NOT AN AREA FISHED DURING REGULAR SEASON). - Specific Area: 65 MILES SW OF JUNEAU NEAR ADMIRALTY AND BARANOF ISLANDS

OUTFITTER, GUIDE AND BOOKING AGENT DETAILS
Outfitter (or lodge): Jason Wolverton, Alaska Elite Charters. PO Box 605. Sitka, AK, 99835-0605. Tel. 907-747-6133. Fax 541-753-8427
Personal Guide (if any): JASON WOLVERTON, SCOTT KNUTH, ROGER COLE (COOK: ARIEL MCCAIN)
Booking Agent (if any): Jason Wolverton, Alaska Elite Charters. PO Box 605. Sitka, AK, 99835-0605. Tel. 907-747-6133. Fax 541-753-8427
Trip Arrangements
(if self-guided):
Local Fly Shop(s): N/A
N/A

DESCRIPTION OF FISHING
Species Sought/Availability: Salmon, Silver - Availability: Scarce
Salmon, Pink - Availability: Scarce
Trout, Cutthroat - Availability: Scarce
Trout, Dolly Varden - Availability: Average
Halibut - Availability: Average
Description of Catch Made: SEE SEPARATE WRITE UP.
Type of Fishing: WADE FISHING, EXCEPT FOR HALIBUT, WHICH WAS FROM BOAT.
Equipment Used: FLY RODS FROM #6-9 WEIGHT. HALIBUT ON RODS SUPPLIED BY BOAT. BOTH FLOAT AND SINK LINES.
Flies Used: BIG, BRIGHT AND UGLY VERY FAST AND SLOW STRIP
Description of Hatches: DID NOT FISH OFF HATCHES.
Water/Weather Conditions: TWO DAYS BEAUTIFUL SUNSHINE, ONE DAY MIXED AND ONE DAY MOSTLY RAIN- HEAVY AT TIMES BUT BEST FISHING DAY.

SERVICE RATINGS (excellent, good, fair or poor)
Condition of Equipment: Excellent Knowledge of Water: Excellent
Quality of Accommodation: Excellent General Fishing Knowledge: Excellent
Quality of Food: Excellent Ability to Communicate: Excellent
Overall Service: Excellent Overall Personality: Excellent
Name of Airline: WINGS Airline Service (1 to 10): 8
Airline Comments: TOOK A WINGS FLOAT PLANE FROM JUNEAU. COST $150 EACH ROUND TRIP - SEVEN PEOPLE. FLIGHT TIME ABOUT 25 MINUTES. PLANE RIGHT ON TIME BOTH WAYS.

SUMMARY REMARKS
Problems on the Trip: NONE, EXCEPT THE WHALER TOW ROPE GOT CAUGHT AROUND ONE SCREW AND TOOK ABOUT 45 MINUTES TO CLEAN.
Highlights of the Trip: SEE SEPARATE WRITE UP. AS FOR A FISH IT HAD TO BE MY 200 POUND HALIBUT.
Cost of the Trip: BOAT CHARTERS FOR $3,000 A DAY FOR UP TO 10 PASSENGERS.
Would You Recommend This Trip to a Friend? Yes
Why? IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE. SEE SEPARATE WRITE UP.
Are There Non-Fishing Activities? Yes
If So, What Are They? WHALE, SEAL AND PORPOISE WATCHING, HIKING, DIVING, BIRDS, COLLECTING CRAB POTS, TRAP SHOOTING.

SUBSCRIBER INFORMATION
Name: ART BARRON
Contact Information: Tel. 609-492-0151 FAX. 609-492-3642 - 400 JEFFRIES AVE., BEACH HAVEN, NJ 08008

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS AND/OR OUTFITTER/BOOKING AGENT REBUTTAL
This is one of those rare reports where it was poor fishing but it still gets a rave. I was invited by a friend for four days of fishing on the Alaska Pride, a 65-foot ship which sleeps eight comfortably but can accommodate ten. The ship's owner/operator (Jason Wolverton) prefers groups of six or eight and trips of at least five days. This was its first year of operation. Season is mid-April to mid-September.

The fishing was the worst they had experienced all season. This was partially due to the lateness of the season and this year has been a poor silver run because of the effect of the El Nino. The warm water had the silver run starting late and not as heavy as usual. They were still coming in during our trip. We fished Pavlof Harbor and Pavlof Lake (65 miles southwest of Juneau) picking up some silvers and pinks at the falls at the entrance to the harbor and at the lake itself. Additionally we caught Dolly Vardens and Cutthroats at the lake. We also fished Halibut outside the harbor. I caught a 200 pound halibut, which was the largest halibut landed during the season. Several smaller halibut were caught. We were told during peak season it is not unusual for people to catch over 50 fish a day and we saw video tape backing this up.

What made this trip so spectacular was the totally accommodating crew of four, the variety of fishing and non-fishing experiences. On our second day we fished salmon and trout at the falls and lake in the morning. In the afternoon, before we went after halibut, several of us followed a pod of humpback whales in the 17' Boston Whaler for about an hour (we saw whales every day). We also saw porpoises, harbor seals and bald eagles. We saw no Orcas but saw some video tape of some taken earlier in the season. Late in the afternoon, after Halibut fishing, we pulled the four crab pots they had in the area and got enough large Dungeness crabs to have a crab feast that night and crab omelets for lunch the next day. Also as a late afternoon appetizer, we had fresh halibut cubes boiled in salted water and served with melted butter -- it was indescribably delicious. Everyone shot traps off the bow of the boat when we were waiting for the halibut to bite.

This is brown bear country and, although we did not see any bear, we saw plenty of sign and heard bears a few times. You are never alone without a guide with a shotgun or rifle which is fired a couple of times when you go ashore to let the bears know you're around.

Depending on the time of the year you can duck hunt. The day before our arrival two of the guides had limited out on ducks at the lake. They can also accommodate divers as Jason and Ariel McCain (the cook) are experienced divers and the ship has been chartered just for diving some weeks. Hiking excursions can also be arranged following old logging roads through the forest. Other wildlife in the area include beaver, deer, muskrat and otter. To say this offers photographic opportunities is an understatement. In addition to the Boston Whaler they have another metal boat to ferry people and a float boat at the lake which can take four people.

Improvements for next year are float tubes for the lakes, a couple of kayaks and additional storage space to store gear in the staterooms and on the stern to stow fishing gear. The food was not only plentiful, but spectacular. The crew lets you plan your day and everyone does not have to do the same thing. They could not do enough for you to make the trip enjoyable. A couple of the amenities are two bathrooms with hot showers and a washer and dryer. You feel very safe as one of the crew is on watch all during the night. Navigation equipment is set up to warn if any boat should invade your space during the night or if by chance the anchor slips.

All seven people on the trip were experienced fishermen except for the two women. It is rare when everyone agrees the fishing was not very good, but everyone agreed the trip rated a rave. One of the advantages of being on the ship is you move to where the fish are up and down the coast. Several of us were talking about a return trip next season with our families.