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“What a Treat!”
Review of Brown Bear Lodge

Brown Bear Lodge
Ranked #13 of 18 Tours in Hoonah
Attraction details
Reviewed 11 August 2012

Booked a Bear Search trip with BBL after I found them on the Hoonah website whilst trying to avoid cruise ship charters. What a treat and delight to have such an avid & enthusiastic guide as Phil who is just so passionate about all he has to share with his guests. It wasn't the best weather on the day of our visit however we did a brief trip around town, had to stop & chat to a couple of locals along the way, visited the nearly complete lodge and then headed out of town on our search. We'd mentioned to Phil that we hadn't seen any salmon on the run during our entire 3 weeks in Alaska - we just kept missing them. Well - were we in for a treat. Not only did he do his very best to search out some bears for us (we only saw 2 but we DID see them and quite up close & personal with one......) he then took us out to the mouth of a river on Freshwater Bay to not only SEE the fish - but also try & catch some (we had licences....) And did we catch them! All catch & release but soooooo much fun hooking these cranky monsters who are just trying to get upstream & spawn!
If I ever have the opportunity to return to SE Alaska, I would definitely come back to Chichagof to try and make the most of this rich & diverse part of the state. If the hospitality shown to us on our daytrip is anything to go by, I would LOVE to stay at Brown Bear Lodge once it's ready as these guys are the best!

Date of experience: July 2012
1  Thank Tez823
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"across the bridge"
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"freshwater bay"
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"stream fishing"
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"tour companies"
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"salmon fishing"
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"brown bear"
in 6 reviews
"king salmon"
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"cruise ship"
in 4 reviews
"bald eagles"
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"icy strait point"
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24 - 27 of 27 reviews

Reviewed 5 August 2012

I reserved a salmon fishing trip for four with Kenny Meserve and confirmed it with him by phone the day before our ship was going to arrrive. When we got off the ship and walked to his van we were told that another group had more people (14) and that there was no room for us. His guide Phil could not get in touch with Kenny to send another van and either could I. From what I could tell of Phil the term guide is used very loosely in Alaska. We were basically dumped for a larger fee. This was our trip of a lifetime and it was unforgivably tarnished by this so called guide service.
We found another guide service to take us out called Teckk Outfitters and they saved the day. Their number is 907-321-2673.
Later we saw Phil from Brown Bear Lodge either fishing or snagging salmon in a pool with all 14 people fishing shoulder to shoulder on the side of a stream. Very sporting indeed.

Date of experience: August 2012
12  Thank Angie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2012

I booked a Brown Bear Safari with Kenny (Owner, Brown Bear Lodge) in May 2012.

Took me an hour to get off the cruise ship due to tenders, Kenny texted me that Phil (my guide) would be waiting for me. Met Phil, the loveliest, most patient local guide ever! He will try his best to accommodate your interests - I told him I wanted to see everything! I had a wonderful time exploring Hoonah & the surrounding untouched beauty. Met local Tinggit people, watched American Bald Eagles soaring above the sky, sealions swimming across the straits...

Phil was brilliant at spotting the brown bears. I was about 5 to 10 metres away from two of them! Talk about having your very own National Geographic moment! I felt safe at all times with Phil (as a solo female traveller & getting that close to the bears). Learnt a lot about local life, fishing, natives and the land. Visited the almost complete Lodge & met Kenny (a grizzly was on the Lodge's backyard!)

Phil took me back to the cruise ship just before return time. We stood on the bay to watch the resident mom & calf humpbacks rolling in the waters. Amazing. I totally loved the warm hospitality I experienced at Hoonah. I will send my parents on the cruise ship & back to Hoonah. Phil's gonna take my dad out Salmon fishing!

It is vital that we support local tour companies (instead of paying the large cruise ship companies!); and appreciate Hoonah as a port unspoilt by ridiculous diamond/jewellery shops.

Date of experience: May 2012
4  Thank JVHeng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2011

The first thing you'll notice are all the beautiful picturess mountains. As you enter the bay,several kinds of whales start showing up and still before your feet hit the ground, you will see eagles everywhere, hundreds of them. Once on land, there are shops to see and plenty of eateries to choose from. We found our guide, Phil Jones and set off on our trek. Our guide found several bears for us. but he also stopped so we could get many other photos and he was very knowledgible about our surroundings. We have hired other guides but none compared to phil. We will never forget our visit to Brown Bear Lodge and our guide phil jones

5  Thank linda_marie65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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