The North Stars

Apr 21, 2003
Outside Magazine

One more for the road

[Kachemak Bay]
There's prime halibut fishing from the deep salt water off Alaska's panhandle in the east to Bristol Bay in the west, but the appeal of chartering a boat in Homer with Sea Flight Charters—besides an almost guaranteed catch that can be frozen and shipped home for you—is what you'll see along the way. You may catch sight of humpback whales or orcas in Kachemak Bay, and you can stop in the historic fishing village of Seldovia. Kids can handle the "chickens" (halibut under 20 pounds), but even Dad will need help reeling in the lunkers, which can weigh up to 300 pounds.
DETAILS: An all-day halibut charter costs $185 per person and includes bait, tackle, and filleting. (Sea Flight Charters, 907-235-7572,

[Canning River]
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in Alaska's far northeastern corner, is a place so quiet that your thoughts feel like shouts. Tune in to them on Arctic Treks' 12-day raft trip along the Class II-III Canning River—one of eight runnable rivers in the refuge. For 80 miles, rafters negotiate the braided channels of the Canning, surrounded by the Brooks Range, in arguably the most remote area in the United States. You'll sleep in tents for 12 days under a blanket of rain or mosquitoes and come to terms with the fact that there is no "inside." The payoff? The bounty of wildflowers, musk oxen, caribou, wolves, foxes, and the wide-open space of the tundra.
DETAILS: Trips, recom-mended for kids nine and older, depart from Fairbanks and cost $3,350 per person (5 percent discount for families of three or more), including a flight to the refuge. (Arctic Treks, 907-455-6502,