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Pete’s Alaskan tales… I had a dream part two

June 16, 2017

Photography by…. Tricia Lynn Burokas

Chapter two
paperwork & itinerary

….sometimes the things we accomplish in life in no way prepares us for traveling down new paths, and this was one of those times. It was 1997 I had just finished my second year as an assistant hunting guide which was basically an internship where you get paid little or nothing for doing the work no one else wanted to do and hopefully you will pick up some of the ‘tricks of the trade’ along the way. Now I was setting out to try an establish a fishing guide business by January when I worked with my mentor at our first outdoor show of the season.

A little more than three months was all I had, before that first outdoor show in Harrisburg PA, but as I dug further into what was needed I could see light at the end of the tunnel. To be licensed as an Alaskan fishing guide in 1997 was more like law in the old west where there was very little regulations at least compared to becoming a licensed hunting guide with its three year apprenticeship. As far as a business license it was merely a matter of filling out the paperwork, making sure no one else was using the same company name in Alaska and bringing all of it with your application fee to the state courthouse.

While I was filling out the necessary paperwork and setting up a business account at the local bank I was designing my fishing packages based on my two years of fishing in Alaska. I new to be successful one needed something different to literally ‘hook’ your potential client and I thought I had the perfect ‘lure’. There were already thousands of fishing guide business in Alaska for Salmon, Halibut and Trout plus many of the visiting fishermen wanted a solitary, ‘I am the only one fishing for miles around experience’, so I developed a week long wilderness fishing expedition down the Yukon river.

I envisioned that after that first night in Fairbanks when they arrive they would not be anywhere near civilization until the day before they were to return to their homes. The next day they would be on my boat heading down the Tanana river fishing two of its feeder streams that I knew contained Pike of various sizes. By that I meant the first stream I would stop at had only small Northern Pike in it and I did this because I wanted to build up the clients anxiety level wondering if they had made a mistake.

On the second side stream of the day they would be placed on water that for anywhere but Alaska contained some very nice sized Pike. In fact my first clients were so engaged with fishing on that second stream, they never stopped for lunch and it took me moving the boat to stop them for dinner. That nights accommodations were on a sandbar at the confluence of the Tanana and Yukon river, and though a truly remote and barren spot it was brutally beautiful.

Suffice it to say by the time we reached our goal the Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge and its overabundance of monster Alaskan Pike any wisp of anxiety left my clients as they acted at times like children let loose in a candy store.

With the trip outline in my mind
it left just two problems
I didn’t have a boat
or any clients

3 Comments leave one →
  1. June 16, 2017 9:16 pm

    and………… the anticipation mounts for part 3….. LOL


  2. June 17, 2017 2:08 am

    That is the easy part, getting that boat, and establish a set number of clients, you’d already done ALL the work you needed, to ready yourself as a guide…


  3. Jon permalink
    June 17, 2017 7:48 pm

    Been catching up on your postings since returning from a circle trip around Lakes Superior, Huron & Michigan. Your musings & stories about your fishing guide business makes for more enjoyable reading than other media lately.


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