Birthday on the Klultina River


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North America » United States » Alaska » Copper Center
July 24th 2018
Published: July 25th 2018
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King for a Day CampgroundKing for a Day CampgroundKing for a Day Campground

Our campsite at the edge of the Klutina River
Last week, I turned xx (not 70 yet), and Tom arranged for us to take a fishing charter on the Klutina River. Unknown to us, this was a 12-hour, 20-mile float and fish trip on a beautiful blue river on a day with temps in the low 70s and blue skies. (We’ve had quite a bit of rain lately.)

We’re camping at “King for a Day” Campground near Glennallen AK. It’s a fishing campground, with spaces for tents, trailers and RVs. We had asked for site # 31, the same riverside place we were lucky enough to get in 2007, and learned that it’s kinda site #31.5 now, as they had high water this spring. I wouldn’t trust little kids in this spot! King also runs fishing charters, and Tom says they’re the best he has ever experienced. That’s certainly true for me.

We drove two-and-a-half hours into the Alaska wilderness (and I mean wilderness) on a rutted dirt road, and launched onto a fast-moving, turquoise-blue river. Our guide took us to his favorite fishing spots (except for one that was occupied by an unfriendly competitor), and we began to fish for sockeye and king salmon. I’m a superb,
Klutina River Put-inKlutina River Put-inKlutina River Put-in

Notice the beautiful blue water color, compared to the color of the water at the campground. Same river, but with no sediment from the melting permafrost.
experienced fisherman (NOT!), but fishing for salmon in the river requires a good eye, good technique and good luck. Tom caught a king salmon that weighed almost 50 pounds and some sockeye salmon. I caught the sunshine and had a great birthday float down the river. I did try, but …

We got back to camp in the evening, where Tom filleted the catch and I retrieved Maggie from the campground staff. They’d kept her for the day, filled her with treats and introduced her to every fisherman in the place. This morning, I once again experienced the feeling of being Michael Jackson’s chauffeur, when everyone greeted her and told me I had a great dog. Sigh …

We had fresh salmon for supper and then spent an hour prepping and putting the fish into vacuum sealed bags. Our freezer now contains about 30 pounds of fish – and we still have four fishing trips to go.


Additional photos below
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Melting PermafrostMelting Permafrost
Melting Permafrost

As the sun warms the permafrost, it melts and runs or drops (in big chunks) into the river.
Sockeye SalmonSockeye Salmon
Sockeye Salmon

Our guide, Skylar, was a huge help
Tom's King SalmonTom's King Salmon
Tom's King Salmon

It weighed 42 pounds 6 hours later after being bled out.
He let me hold it too.He let me hold it too.
He let me hold it too.

Same king salmon, but it looks bigger somehow.


25th July 2018
He let me hold it too.

Blue water
The color of that water is so blue!
7th August 2018

What an excellent way to spend your birthday!
Sandy, the pics of this trip are just beautiful. I am glad you are having such a great trip and birthday, even if you didn't catch anything on this day. I never have luck with fishing either. Love the water and mountains there, and the beautiful white water!

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