First and foremost, thank you for your feedback, as it is extremely important to us, how we do business, and how we interact with our guests.
We would like to sincerely apologize that your experience did not meet your expectations. We take pride in operating with integrity and caring about our guests and their experience, which is why we started our business in the first place. It is always our goal and philosophy to provide our guests with the best fishing experience possible--we are not in the business of "fooling" people and taking your money. In fact, you will see a full refund for your trip has already been issued, which is what you would have received if you'd made the choice to cancel in advance and not gone at all. The amount of pressure we put on ourselves to meet our guest's expectations keeps us awake at night. Anything less than a 5-star experience in which all of your goals are met is a failure to us. A 2-star review and the implications are absolutely devastating to our small business and our hardworking guides and staff. We are pretty taken aback by the harsh title and tone of your review, as any ill-intent or dishonesty is far from who we are or what we stand for.
While you are correct that there are limitations for silver/coho salmon on the Kenai River on Mondays, that regulation stipulates that you can not fish for them *from a boat*. You can fish for and harvest silvers on Mondays, you just have to fish from the bank/water. In fact, we had two other salmon-specific trips operating that day, myself guiding one of them. I was not on your trip, so I am not sure where the misunderstanding of the regulations is coming from or where you heard that you could not fish for/harvest silvers at all on Mondays; I can only speculate that your guide felt and explained that a trout fishing trip would offer a better experience with more action and excitement, based on the conditions that day and what you had expressed to me that you wanted to get out of the trip through our text messages. I was also made aware that your guide did offer at minimum two occasions where you could pull over and fish for silver salmon from the shore; however, you declined those offers to fish for them.
Our business operates with five guides on a daily basis, and we ask questions before your trip like what you'd like to fish for and where you're coming from in order to narrow down the best section of river (it is 80+ miles, broken down into different 5-10 mile stretches) and the best guide to pair you with for the day. Every guide has a diverse set of skills, but they each have their own particular area of expertise or niche. You had a rather lengthy and specific reply in your texts as far as what you wanted to target, which I will quote here: "definitely fish for silvers and trout. But would like to possibly see some dollys and pinks. This is my first time in alaska so I don't know what's where. As far as what fish are where. So, with that said. I'm trying to catch fish and experience alaska from the water". You also mentioned that you weren't sure about snagging (which is illegal), but you would like to try fly fishing. Finally, you mentioned that your wife "will need a little more nice and easy". This is the information from which we made the decision to have you fish in that location with that particular guide. While it is now apparent after reading your review that you did, in fact, have goals beyond what was expressed to us, at no point did you mention that silver salmon were your one and only primary species to target and your reason for fishing in Alaska. Even after the fact/trip, you could have expressed any of this to us, and we would've immediately arranged to take you out again and/or clarify what happened, at a time when we could've done something to make it right.
Many times, when folks have several different goals or things they'd like to try, we set them up with more of a general Alaskan fishing experience, where you target what is fishing best at that time while enjoying the beauty Alaska and the Kenai River have to offer--you get to relax while we do all of the work to put you on fish for 8 hours and have a shot at very nice fish of any species (silvers included). Fly fishing for silver salmon is not an easy feat, even for experienced anglers. It is quite a bit more technical than drift/fly fishing for trout. I'm sure your guide made the decision to fish for trout to ensure you kept catching fish and having fun from the boat, as opposed to pulling over and feeling the frustration of trying to learn a new skill while targeting one of the harder fish to hook and land on a fly or even on bait for that matter. Again, you had said the most important thing to you was to "catch fish and experience Alaska from the water".
That being said, had you expressed that your main desire was to harvest a limit of salmon to take home, we would have set you up with a guide who specializes in salmon fishing *for harvest*, as it demands different techniques, rods, methods (i.e. bait), locations, etc. Especially if you were wanting to take home "limits" of salmon, this can take the entire 8 hours of a trip to accomplish. River fishing for salmon is not always quick, easy limits and then on to the next thing unfortunately. If we ever gave the impression that that was a realistic possibility through any of our literature, marketing, or correspondence, I sincerely apologize.
We try very hard for our guests every day. We value every single person who gives us their business and go out of our way to show them our appreciation on the water. We will always do right by them. In this instance, there was clearly a miscommunication as to what you wanted out of the trip, and we failed. Again, we are deeply sorry that we did not have a clearer understanding of what you were wanting out of your trip. However, to say that we intentionally did this to "fool" you is not accurate at all. As I said in my voicemail and subsequent text, we would love the opportunity to make it right and take you out on the water to get you those silvers, free of charge, in addition to the refund.
Thank you again for your feedback, as it helps us continue to improve the experiences we offer.