The Great Alaska Adventure team is planning a five-day fly-fishing trip for the executive team of BlueNote, Inc. at the bequest of the President. The trip will be into the remote back country of Tikchik River, an area known for its wildlife and rugged terrain.
The area is best known for its salmon fishing. The trip will be all-inclusive except that the executives will be responsible for their own transportation to the Dillingham base camp. We will need to provide transportation from Dillingham to the Tikchik River Basin, boat transportation with motors, camping equipment and meals, guides and a four-hour fishing class. We will provide fishing licenses for all the guests and four experienced river guides.
The first thing we need to find to deal with in the planning process is to find a way to get from Dillingham to the Tikchik. Most of the time people going on float trips down the river begin by taking a float plane to the lake at the head of the river.
Our first concern will be the cost of renting the float plane and making certain that it has sufficient space for our guests and our equipment. We will also need to hire four experienced guides who are also adept at fly-fishing and can teach our guests how to fly fish once we get on the river.
Once we get to the river, we will be able to make the float trip in 4 to 5 days. We will plan on food for six days at minimum and also take additional equipment for immediate preparation of our catch. In case of really bad luck fishing, we will take sufficient food to take care of three meals per day for at least six days.
We will also want to take water purification tablets for drinking water and snacks. The boats will then be taken to the river and we will commence our trip down the river. The first thing will be our fly fishing class and then we will have lunch. Then we will float down the river for about four hours and get to the campsite for the evening. We will make camp and begin the first evening of serious fishing. This will be repeated for the next four days.
It sounds simple and like nothing could go wrong, right? Right. Nothing. Except what if the motors on the boats don’t work, it rains every day and the raft capsizes the first day and we lose our food. What if we encounter a grizzly who thinks our guests look like a good morning snack or one of the guests is allergic to fish? What if they forget their hip waders and end up with hypothermia?
Some of these risks we can plan for and account for and some we try to mitigate. For example, by hiring experienced guides we should be able to minimize the chance of capsizing the raft and losing our equipment. In addition, we will hire at least one, preferably two guides with extensive first aid training and survival training, so that they can deal with injuries or illness in our guests and whatever the wildlife try to thrown at us.
We will precheck the equipment before leaving Dillingham to make certain that the equipment is functional. This should reduce the chance of malfunction once we get into the wilderness. In addition, we will take both cellphones and a CB radio so that we can communicate with civilization should we need immediate medical assistance. We will carry flares and the guides will be armed with shotguns in case of an animal attack.
Since we are going in June, the likelihood is that the weather will be cooperative and we should have warm enough temperatures, but we will need to consider what alternatives will be in place should the week of the trip arrive and the weather be inappropriate for a trip into the back country. For example, if we find that the entire week is expected to be rainy and cold, we need to have an alternative plan in place. What is our responsibility if the trip must be canceled due to inclement weather?