Our Unguided Alaskan Fish Bum Floats are set up to give experienced back country anglers a totally customizable option that provides whatever level of gear and support they need on top of the main thing they wouldn't otherwise have - access.
A lot of time goes into the planning each of these trips, both on the part of the clients and on the part of our staff here at Hemispheres Unlimited. This is a function of making sure we come up with a plan that is going to put you on the right river at the right time for your skill level, fishing preferences, and overall expectations, plus with the right stuff to get you down that river in comfort and safety without having us along for the ride. Very few outfitters provide self guided options for exactly these reasons - too much time and too much liability. But since the earliest days of our company's experience in developing the original Trout Bum Program down in Argentina, we recognized that you guys are out there. People just like us who have the know how and the wherewithal to go it alone, and who either can't afford any other way or just prefer it like that. So the program was born, and is slowly but surely getting redeveloped in other environments around the world, like Alaska.
The Fish Bum Alaska program is great too in that with so many rivers to choose from in our area, we have a lot of options with respect to rowing abilities. Some of these floats require significant whitewater experience, and some of them can be done by anyone who has ever handled a boat on moving water. All of them though require at least a level of back country know how that can only be obtained through time in the outdoors on your own, and clients planning for an unguided float will be asked about their experience and skills before the trip is sold. We reserve the right to decline provision of this program in the event that we feel it may put you in danger.
For the most part though the kinds of folks who are attracted to the idea of an unguided float in the first place are just the right kind to pull it off, and so far it has been an incredible experience for everyone who has done it. The trips are usually planned to allow clients to miss only a full week of work and a sample itinerary generally ends up looking something like this:
Prior to trip - Plenty of time in consultation with a Hemispheres Unlimited Trip planner figuring out which river is right for your group, what the timing of the float should be, and what gear you will need/want to have included in your package from us.
Saturday - Leave home for airport, fly to Anchorage, overnight in hotel. (See Travel Page)
Sunday - Leave ANC for Iliamna on Lake Clark Air at 8:00 am. Pick up in Iliamna around 10:00 am. Load gear in the float planes, fly out to river, set up boats and camp, and be fishing by 1:00 pm.
Monday through Friday - Float, fish, camp, and enjoy the spectacular scenery.
Saturday - Break down last camp and row to takeout by 10:00 am (on some rivers you will camp at the takeout). Pick up and departure via float plane for Iliamna around 10:30 am. Depart Iliamna for Anchorage at 12:00 pm. Depart from Anchorage to your home airport anytime after 3:30 pm.
* Some rivers require more than a week to float, and extra days can be added to any river based on client preferences for trip length.
WHAT WE PROVIDE:
- Air transport from Iliamna to river via de Havilland Beaver Float Plane (3 in fleet)
- NRS self-bailing rafts with frames, oars, pumps, life jackets, and patch kits
- Cabelas Guide Model tents
- Frame cots
- Sleeping pads
- Cooking Supplies: stoves, fuel, pots/pans, tableware, utensils
- Camp tables and chairs
- NRS dry bags for your personal gear
- Bear proof food storage containers
- All needed consultation on which river to select, what else to bring, and how to be safe and catch fish!
* We can provide more, or less; just give us a call and we'll discuss
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO BRING:
- Sleeping bag (15 to 30 degree)
- Satellite phone (can be rented in Anchorage, ask us where)
- Food (we are a Mountain House dealer, so you can buy this upon arrival)
- First aid kit
- Alcoholic beverages if desired (no glass bottles)
- Water purifier and backup
- Bear spray (we can rent this to you)
- Fishing gear
- Fishing license
- Waders/boots (no felt soles or spikes/studs allowed)
- Polarized sunglasses
- Water bottle
- Personal items (camera, sunscreen, bug repellent, wader repair kit, toiletries, etc.)
- Clothing including thermal layers and water/windproof jacket, PLUS SPARES in case you take an unexpected swim and the weather doesn't cooperate
* A much more comprehensive list of suggestions and information is included in our Client Welcome Info PDF for this program, which you will receive upon signing up.