Pelican Alaska Fly-in by Alaska Seaplanes Tour Charter
Pelican is located in the northwestern part of Chichagof Island in the Hoonah-Angoon census area. It is 100 miles west of Juneau and 90 miles north of Sitka and is on the Lisianski Inlet and Strait. I booked this fly-in in advance of our Alaska Marine Highway trip as an excursion from Juneau, Alaska through Alaska Seaplanes. This trip is perhaps not everyone’s first choice for an excursion (unless you are out to catch fish) but I do love old fishing villages and meeting the people who live and work there. Pelican Alaska Every two weeks you can catch an Alaska State Ferry from Juneau to Pelican (in season).
The fly in by Alaska Seaplanes from Juneau was spectacular and fun. Our pilot was Jerrad, a new dad to a baby girl as of 2 weeks ago. Jerrad is from South Carolina and is married to a local girl from Baranof Island. On the way back we flew in to Elfin Cove only to pick up/drop off cargo and transport people. We saw amazing scenery including Brady Glacier during our return flight.
Pelican Alaska’s motto is ‘Closest to the Fish’ and it and nearby Elfin Cove are known to be fabulous fishing spots for all types of Salmon and bottom fish. You won’t find industrialized tourism here! The population in Pelican is around 80 but varies per season. It’s Boardwalk is about 1 mile long and frequented by the trash truck, 4-wheelers, bicycles and people. There are no roads. We picked up frozen King Salmon Steaks from Yakobi Fish Processing to take back to Mike as a thank you gift for being such a great host and guide throughout our early expeditions along the AMHS and during our stay in Juneau.
We had coffee at the Lisianski Inlet Cafe owned by Karen and Victo which is open for breakfast and lunch, bought some frozen King Salmon from a local fish processing plant, visited Rose’s Bar and Grill for a beer (none on tap), and walked out past the K-12 school to the flats. The Highlander Lodge has rooms available and serves food only to their clients (usually pre-booked fishing groups). I had wanted to rent a Kayak and perhaps paddle around but there was nothing apparently available. Perhaps they only do group tours.
We stopped in at the Pelican Inn and Grocery Store and we ordered one of Vicky’s 5-star gourmet pizzas which was very good. Pelican Inn has 6 bedrooms and 5 baths for lodgers and guest fisherman and during our lunch there Vicky had someone call to book rooms that night who was a return visitor from some years back that wanted to bring his wife back here. Each room has a different theme and we got to see them during our visit. They were charming and clean and the place is lovingly restored. They are open seasonally. I wish we had more time to have booked a fishing trip with Larry Jarrett for some Halibut or other kind of wonderful fish.
During our walks out along the docks to see the fishing boats we met Emily, who was decked out in Wellies, Shorts, a Head Lamp and Headphones who was taking a break from doing a cleaning job on a fishing boat with no electricity. Mode of travel along the docks is primarily 4-wheelers or in the winter using a rope pulled sled or toboggan. Mode of dress begins with Wellies and then you add on as appropriate.
I would see Pelican Alaska again to revisit it’s people and docks, and for a fishing trip at a wilderness lodge!