My son Thomas and I are from Arkansas - a great fishing state. Here it's rare, but not impossible to catch a fish more than 20 pounds. I've done it once -a nice Striper. I've been to Alaska fishing a few times before, but Thomas never had. I wanted him to have that experience. We just went there over the Memorial Day weekend and stayed at the Denise Lake Lodge in Soldotna, on the Kenai Peninsula, just where the Kenai River enters into the Cook Inlet.
We were supposed to arrive in Alaska and get to the Denise Lake Lodge at 4 PM and go fishing for the next 3 days. The airlines had a different idea - we got there at 4 AM. It didn't matter to Jim and Elaine Hanson though. They met us at 4 AM, got us checked in to the lodge, rearranged our fishing and guide schedules, and made sure that each day we had the best possible opportunities.
Staying at the Denise Lake lodge is like staying at a home. The lodge is beautiful. Jim is like your dad, and he knows fishing. Elaine is like your mom, and she is a fantastic cook. And Dale helps them both.Every day their goal was to make sure we had a great time. And we did.
After a longer-than-expected trip up there we caught a bunch of fish (I'll have a plastic mount of one of them made for Thomas's wall), met some great people, ate some great food, fished in front of 2 volcanoes, had great weather, and had calm seas. And we EACH had 50 pounds of extra luggage to take back to Arkansas (Salmon and Halibut fillets expertly packed by Jim).
But more important to me is that Thomas had a trip of a lifetime. He had a BIG TIME! Photos don't lie. AND SO DID I!!!
Thank you so much Jim, Elaine, and Dale,
Dr. Alan R. Storeygard, 2013