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Up in Alaska, correspondent Bob Robb tells us that long-time Alaskan guide James Boyce has begun to outfit salmon and halibut fishing trips out of the town of Port Alexander on the remote southeastern tip of Baranoff Island. Boyce is not a fly fishing-only-type outfitter by any means. In fact, the bulk of his trips so far have been focused around what is called "mooching" and jigging. Boyce does say he wants to build up his fly fishing business, though, and for that reason we include this brief review: Robb writes:

"Sport anglers have been fishing the waters of Baranof Island for many years, usually basing their trips out of Sitka, the island’s largest town. Baranof Island’s many pristine streams hold good numbers of anadromous species, most notably king, pink, sockeye and coho salmon, as well as cutthroats and Dolly Varden. Saltwater anglers have had good success on all salmon species, plus bottomfish such as halibut.

"Long-time Alaskan hunting and fishing guide James Boyce has been guiding fishermen in Sitka-area waters since 1985, when he made the town his permanent home. An ex-navy SEAL with Vietnam combat experience, the soft-spoken Boyce has a penchant for hunting and fishing areas where the crowds are not. ‘Sitka fishing can still be very good, but in my view it’s starting to get crowded,’ Boyce told The Angling Report. ‘That’s why I have decided to re-base myself near Port Alexander. The salt water fishing here is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Alaska.’

"What Boyce has done is build a lodge. He completed it in 1998 and calls it Cape Ommaney Lodge. In essence, it is a large waterfront house that sleeps four to six. It has all the amenities, including incredibly comfortable featherbeds. The small town of Port Alexander where it is located has a year-round population of only about 75 people. No commercial sport fishing has ever occurred here. In fact, few casual sport anglers have ever traveled to the area. The reason? There are no services. Access to the region is by sea or float plane only. It is too far from anywhere for day-use boaters to come, and there are no motels, bed & breakfasts, fuel docks, food, bait and tackle shops, or other services needed to support such visitors. ‘Everything we have here at our lodge is flown or barged in, including boat fuel,’ Boyce says.

"So far, most of his fishing has been out of a customized 34-foot aluminum-hulled Seawolf boat, the "Gunsmoke," which he had built in 1998. It features twin Volvo diesel engines, a full electronic package, 110 volt electricity, TV/VCR, full galley, and sleeps four comfortably. His operation is currently focused around mooching and jigging for salmon, and jigging or bait fishing for halibut and rockfish. His 1998 results were incredible. On a four-day trip in July, my party caught large numbers of kings to 35 pounds, silvers to 15 pounds, halibut to 155 pounds, yelloweye rockfish to 15 pounds and assorted other rockfish species, all on light tackle. Even novice anglers were regularly into fish. We saw several whales each day, passed by sea lion rookeries, and were graced with some of the most incredible – and untouched – scenery I’ve seen anywhere in Alaska.

"Of possibly more interest to Angling Report subscribers is Boyce’s readiness to take clients fly fishing in area streams for silver salmon, Dolly Varden, and sea-run cutthroats. ‘Many of these streams have literally never been sportfished before,’ Boyce says. ‘The clients I have taken to these areas have had red-hot fishing.’ If you want to look into this trip, 1999 fully-inclusive trip packages will cost $2,200 per person from Sitka. That’s for four full days of fishing, the air charter from Sitka to and from Port Alexander, and once in Port Alexander, literally everything else except liquor, which must be purchased in Sitka beforehand, and your fishing license and salmon stamps. Bait and tackle are provided for mooching and jigging, but fly fishermen should bring their own tackle and flies. For more information, contact Baranof Expeditions."

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