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Tuesday September 9, 2014

Skagway was the gateway to the gold fields for the thousands who flocked to Alaska and the Yukon with the hope of striking it rich. Skagway may have boasted the shortest route to the Klondike, but it wasn't the easiest.

Over 100 years ago, the White Pass route through the Coast Mountains and the shorter but steeper Chilkoot Trail were used by countless stampeders. Many a would-be miner perished on the treacherous Chilkoot Trail.

The gold rush was a boon and by 1898, Skagway was Alaska's largest town with a population of about 20,000. Hotels, saloons, dance halls and gambling houses prospered. But when the gold yield dwindled in 1900, so did the population as miners quickly shifted to new finds in Nome.

Today, Skagway has less than 1,000 residents. It still retains the flavor of the gold rush era.



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Excursion:  Chilkoot Lake Freshwater Fishing

Your adventure begins aboard a high-speed catamaran for a scenic cruise along North America's longest and deepest fjord to Haines. Enjoy spectacular views of waterfalls and ice-sculpted peaks as your guide provides informative commentary and points out marine wildlife.

From Haines, enjoy a scenic 30-minute drive to Chilkoot Lake, one of the most picturesque locations in southeast Alaska. Go fishing aboard a 30-foot pontoon boat surrounded by majestic mountains and Sitka spruce. Chilkoot Lake offers some the best fishing in southeast Alaska with four salmon runs a year from June to October. The lake is home to four of the five salmon species found in Alaska waters as well as Dolly Varden (a type of char) and cutthroat trout. The unique waters of Chilkoot Lake are the perfect habitat for these fish. The cold, clear waters of the swiftly moving creeks created by melting ice fields on the surrounding mountains are ideal for salmon spawning beds. The salmon average 5 lbs. to 15 lbs. depending on species and Dolly Varden are plentiful. Steelhead and cutthroat trout catches, though rare, are always an exciting event.

Spin cast rod/reel, tackle, rain gear and snacks (soft drinks, bottled water, granola bars, candy bars, nuts, cheese and crackers) are provided. Every fisherman is in control of his or her own spin-cast rod and reel. There is a maximum of six guests per boat and the tour operator is the only fishing company on the lake. Your experienced guide assists with everything from new fishing methods to untangling your lines while you relax and absorb the grandeur of the surrounding snow-clad mountains. Fishing is conducted on a catch-and-release basis.

It's an experience suitable for fishermen of all skill levels and a time to truly commune with nature.





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