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Float Plane Trip to Glacier Fed Creek in Denali

Took off from Talkeetna float plane dock for a day of fishing a glacier fed creek and lake outside Denali National Park. (GPS tracks at end of post).

This was a fishing, not catching day (only day I didn’t get fish) but it was still an amazing day, thanks to both the guide and the scenery. While we both tried everything possible to get an arctic grayling, the fact of the matter is the water from the glacier runoff was too cold in early June.

coffee creek with Alaska Range in background

Float Plane Ride Out

We had a 25 minute ride out to Chelatna Lake (62.516, -151.475), where the pilot landed and we departed for our fishing in one of the most secluded areas ever. there was no one else around. Once the pilot took off, we were on our own for the next six or so hours. Everything we had we brought with us.

fueling up the float plane

Coffee Creek

In any other states in the Lower 48, this would be a river, but in Alaska they call it a creek (more on that in future posts).

The guide and I hiked, bush whacked and criss-crossed our way to the upper reaches of the creek and fished our way down. We did this several times, but no fish, regardless of the flies, etc. The water was super cold in the low 40s.

crossing Coffee Creek in hunt for fish

Bear Country

While we were deep in bear country, and we saw fresh scat and paw prints, we didn’t see any bears. The guide was armed and I had my bear spray. However, bears would not be the problem that day.

bear spray

Attack of the Arctic Terns

Arctic terns are the world champion migrating animal, traveling form antarctic to the arctic every year, where they mate in Alaska’s far north.

Apparently they are very protective and we were attacked repeatedly by a mating pair of dive bombing and clicking noise making terns protecting their nest on the gravel bar we were fishing. Finally we surrounded and left the pair alone on the gravel bar.

I’d rather be attacked by 1.5 pound birds than 800-1200 pound bear.

GPS Tracks

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