(907) 320-0787 / (828) 691-8149 newskiesalaska@gmail.com

New Offerings: Shuttles & Gear Rentals!

The success of any business in small-town Alaska depends on its ability to adapt and diversify.  Now that we’ve got a few years of experience running New Skies under our belt, and our gear list has grown, we are able to do just that! We want to make people aware that we’ve added shuttle services and gear rental to our growing list of offerings. We have a raft and trailer that we rent (shuttle included) for the Gulkana River float for $125/day.  We include all necessities for floating(PFD’s, throw bag, oars, etc…). Fishing gear is extra: $25/pole/day.  This includes all the gear you’ll need for salmon fishing.  You need to be aware what gear is legal on each section of river and we can help with understanding the current regulations, as well as helping you to get a fishing license. Lastly, we’ve become aware of the need for shuttle drivers for people running the Gulkana River-Paxson Lake down-so we’ve added that to our repertoire as well.  We charge $75/driver as it is always a minimum of 3 hours for us.  You can cut costs by meeting and picking up the driver/s at Sourdough Campground on your way to Paxson Lake, rather than us having to take our vehicle all the way to the Lake (thus requiring an extra driver to get that vehicle back). We hope these new services come in handy for any and all hoping to get out there and enjoy the beautiful Copper River Valley!~...

The Beauty of June in the Copper River Valley

Ahhh, the beauty of June! Rafting and fishing trips here in the Copper River Valley come back to life and King Salmon are anticipated by every local fisherman, visitor, guide, woman and man looking to stock their larders and fill their smokers.  That’s a lot of pressure on these remarkable salmon that up until a few weeks ago weren’t expected in great numbers.  We’re happy to report King numbers are much better than expected.. Purple lupine and pink Sitka Roses emerge along with a burst of green leaves and grass. Temperatures are climbing more often now in the afternoons and it finally really feels like summer. (Except for the mosquitos…where are they?!) We’re nearly at the end of the month now with Sockeye returning and we’re gearing up for July-the month when Alaska turns it up to 11 and we just try and keep up. Here are a few of the highlights from this beautiful month!~...

Walking the Banks of the Yukon, Driving the Alcan

Walking the banks of the Yukon River last night, in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory (on our annual trip up the Alcan Highway to run the guide business in Gakona, Alaska), we were treated to gorgeous blue water, views of river ice beginning to head downstream, a beaver on the banks and a plethora of signs telling of the rich history of this area.  Most of the signs along that particular river loop tell the stories involving the sternwheelers that did the heavy work of hauling people, supplies, and spoils of the mining activities in the region (silver-lead ore in the case of the Klondike).  We found the dam in Whitehorse, along with its fish ladder to allow the migrating salmon upriver, especially interesting. Other sights on the trip included so much wildlife as always! We saw a hungry black bear high up in a Poplar tree, munching away on newly emerged buds, completely oblivious both to us and the cracking, tiny branches holding him that seemed ready to give way any second. Many buffalo eating the tender spring grass in the ditches alongside the roads broke up that stretch of the trip, and we found the new spring babies especially endearing. Migrating caribou always keep drivers alert, as they seem to be around every corner on some stretches of road, and don’t seem in too big a hurry to move. This trip between North Carolina and Alaska, while long (especially with a 2 and 4-year-old), has become a regular part of us and the kids’ lives, and has become something we look forward to. It marks the passing seasons for us as...

Do Something Different with Salmon: Gravlax!

If you have a stockpile of Alaskan sockeye salmon, stop hoarding it, and turn it into a culinary delight with this Scandinavian recipe for gravlax!   What’s that, you say? No, not lox, as in lox and cream cheese, but similar. Gravlax is a traditional Scandinavian way to cure salmon.  The name comes from the real traditional way to prepare it: burying salmon (lax) in a salty grave (grav). But we needn’t bury fish in the yard, let’s just stick to some pans and plastic wrap this time around. First, do yourself a favor and start with salmon that you know has been taken well care of and frozen as fresh as possible.  There is very little processing done, so the final product is only going to be as good as the quality of fish you start with.  Using frozen fish also assures that any parasites within the fish have been killed. You’ll need: a filet or two of fresh-frozen salmon, skin-on and fully thawed in the fridge (this dish is salty and very thinly sliced so a little goes a long way), lots of dill, some salt, pepper and sugar, plastic wrap and a shallow dish that the filet will fit in, plus one more to place on top. Additional spices are sometimes used, such as cloves or juniper berries, but we wanted to really taste the salmon, so just went with the plain, dill version.       First, place the fish in a shallow pan (after you’ve completely thawed it in the fridge), skin side down.  Mix 5-6 Tbsp salt, 1-2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp pepper and sprinkle over the fish.  Pack the dill on top, completely covering the...

2016 Season Update

Our 2016 rafting and fishing season has been busy and varied.  We just got out of a crazy week packed with trips, are starting to put the finishing touches on our new outpost (more on that soon!) and are awaiting the second Sockeye run along with all the others obsessively checking the bridge and river for fish! The King Salmon season closed early this year due to low King numbers coming in downriver.  It was a bit of a blow to all the local sport-fishermen; guide services and local small businesses especially.  The parking lot at the Gulkana River bridge, packed initially, cleared out almost overnight and gone were both the King fishing business, and the money usually spent on related other things for lodging, meals, etc.. Salvaging our season and making up for cancelled trips (some people only want to catch that monster King Salmon!!) was foremost on everyone’s minds as we started to adjust to a season without Kings; booking more scenic trips, running more shuttles for other rafters and assuring people that Sockeye Salmon are just as fun to catch (and as tasty!) as King Salmon. I can say that there have been a few parties this summer that really reminded us why we got into this business in the first place.  Teaching first-time fishermen and women the ropes and watching as they excitedly caught their first salmon, seeing a Swiss family enjoying river scenery together and being enthralled to see dozens of eagles flying overhead and fighting over fish on the bank, and people genuinely thankful and glad for the experience we helped them to have are among the things we’ll take from the...

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