Talachulitna River - Alaska

I guided for a lodge on the Talachulitna River in the Summer of 1998. I learned alot about guiding that summer. It was hard work, and it was sometimes very rewarding. It was also not a specific job that I would not recommend for any one else.

There are alot of fishing lodges in Alaska, and there is a broad spectrum of fishing experiences. Some lodges are better than others and some rivers are better than others. this is true wther you are a guide or a client. There is also alot of potential dangers in the Alaskan wilderness, and a person would do best to go where those dangers are minimized. so when choosing a lodge to fish at or guide at, a person should choose with care, and consider not just price but whole package.
Anyway, The Tal is a beautiful river that lies about 120 airmiles northwest of Anchorage it is a tributary to a tributatry to the Susitna River. The Talachulitna dumps into the Skwetna, which feeds the Yetna, and then to the Susitna. It is a clear river and holds a great trout and Char populations.

We spent most of king salmon season either plugging at the mouth of the Tal or crossing the Skwetna to fish a creek that came in opposite the Tal. This creek was the place to cast flies for Kings. We would cast from our boats into the pond sized pool that was the mouth of the creek. We landed many kings on flies and light tackle. the best flies were the George Cooks popsicles, and showgirls.
The days of guiding King Salmon were long as guys could start fishing at 6am and had to stop at 11pm. I often had a few guys in the boat through out the day as they would often rotate through. as one guy came back with his King for the day, another angler would be motivated to get out and try for a few ours, and so days during King Salmon season where rough, especially considering prep and clean up time.

There were also time that I was given entire days and even a whole week or two where I got to explore the river without clients, after my chores were done. I hike up the Tal and would fish my way down, catching big dollies and rainbows.