Alaska Rainbow Adventures
2020 the season of Covid19
2nd Update - 5/24/2020
We stated last month that we would have an update, and some direction regarding our 2020 season in the month of May, once we knew more.
As of today, May 24, this is what we know:
The State of Alaska continues to maintain a 14 day travel quarantine for all non-essential personnel entering Alaska; this is scheduled to remain in place until June 2, with no clear cut vision of whether or not this will be extended and/or modified. Furthermore, when/if that 2 week quarantine is lifted, there are still local community mandates, and Tribal Council orders, which may or may not come into play that we have to negotiate through this season.
All of this leaves us with a standby to standby situation. We are continuously monitoring all new and expiring health mandates multiple times a day, as well as communicating regularly with other Outfitters, Lodges, and Air Taxis. The Katmai National Park Service held a teleconference on the May 21, which we attended, and their position remains unchanged: with the exception of Brooks Falls remaining closed (until at least early July), the entirety of the Park remains open as long as we follow all of the aforementioned quarantines/mandates/guidelines/ad infitum.
SouthWestern Alaska/Togiak/Yukon-Kuskokwim Trips, remain a non-starter.
With all of this in mind, if Alaska continues to re-open at its current pace, we remain cautiously optimistic that there may still be a possibility of conducting operations in the Bristol Bay/Katmai region of Alaska beginning in July. Thankfully, we are still receiving inquiries from existing and prospective Guests regarding trips this season and we are doing our very best to try and assemble an updated and Covid-19 Conscious Itinerary.
This is in no way a guarantee that we will have a season. It is simply to inform everyone that we are trying to have one, contingent upon a lot of unknown future state, community and tribal policies at this time.
While we are highly experienced at reading water and sign, our knowledge of epidemiology and pandemic protocol isn't as finely tuned; we are relying on medical experts and community leaders to guide us at this time.
Please continue to bear with us for the next couple of weeks, as we await the next set of State of Alaska policy updates. Once we have those, we will make the final determination as to what the remainder of the 2020 Season holds for all of us.
Stay safe. Hug your loved ones.
First and foremost, on behalf of all of us at Alaska Rainbow Adventures, we hope you are well, safe, and staying healthy in these unsure times. We would also like to thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this myriad of unknown and difficult to predict events.
As of today, April 16th, we do know a few certainties that are facing us for the 2020 Season, however, it may be what we don't know at this moment in time far outweighs that. We do know that due to the Covid19 pandemic, The local Communities and Village Tribal Councils where we operate many of our trips have made it clear they don't want to risk the horrific possibility of Covid19 reaching their People, and in some cases to prevent the spread have closed off all but essential access to their villages and corporation lands, we respect that. Therefore due to these circumstances which none of us could have foreseen, we are suspending all operations in South West Alaska for the 2020 Season. This encompasses any trips originating in Bethel and Dillingham, Alaska and includes trips to the Goodnews, Kanektok, Arolik and Togiak Rivers.
While this decision is not one we wanted to make, it is one we had to make. To be clear, there may be Outfitters or others in the Sport fishing Industry who will attempt to operate out in Southwest this season, Alaska Rainbow Adventures will not be one of them. We firmly feel that if someone asks you to stay out of their Home in the middle of a global pandemic, you don't go looking for an open window. We sincerely and respectfully thank the Elders and Tribal Members, their Families, and Loved ones, for doing what they feel is best for them and their safety. We wish them all security and peace and send them our love. We will see you next season friends, and look forward to the smiles and hugs to be shared again.
As to what the Season on other waters looks like going forward from this date? Well, we're going to have to park our rafts here, and scout ahead a bit to find the safest way to proceed. With the reality of a 14-day quarantine for all incoming travelers to Alaska and a desire to adhere to the requests from our Indigenous People. We are monitoring the situation with Tribal Councils in the Region, The State of Alaska, and the National Park Service, before moving forward.
Even with such uncertainty however, we have already begun, to formulate a hybrid schedule for what we may yet be able to do this season. This new schedule would be operating solely in the Katmai region, accessing the Alagnak River and Moraine Creek or both, basing in all probability out of King Salmon, Alaska. We've fished these waters since Alaska Rainbows Adventures inception nearly three decades ago, and continue to guide them today. Leopard Rainbows, Sockeye, Coho and Chum Salmon as well as Grayling, Dolly Varden and Char all are available depending on what timeframe we access the region. All of this pending the status of Quarantines, Travel Bans, and any Other Restrictions.
We know you have questions and we want to be able to answer each and every one of them, so please ask away, be it by e-mail or telephone, in the meantime we have some questions of you, some of which may answer yours.
If you are sticking to coming to Alaska in 2020 should it be allowed, please let us know in a timely manner, so we can factor that into our attempts at creating a schedule. Please understand that it is highly probable that the trip you booked, will be moved or rearranged to accommodate as many of you as possible. It is however vital we have a realistic number of Guests interested in going forward to proceed. For those who are more on the fence, with a solid “Maybe” it would be good to hear from you as well, and understandably for those of you who know 100% that they are not coming to Alaska this Season and desire to reschedule for 2021 or even 2022, we completely accept & recognize that, please advise us of your decision so we can future schedule you. If you don't desire any of the above options and you have purchased trip insurance, and wish to cancel entirely, that is absolutely a viable alternative. Please contact your insurer, but let us know so we can plan accordingly to answer any questions your insurer may have.
All of this leads to the inevitable questions concerning all of our bottom lines in this new reality. Covid-19 is impacting every corner of the World, physically, emotionally and financially. No one is exempt. The Flyfishing Community has been dealt a really hard blow in this pandemic. Alaska is already bracing for a really bad to nonexistent tourist season. Alaska Rainbow Adventures is a small spot in the scheme of all this, and we are concerned, to say the least. As a small business, my Guides and I are a Family. Our children have grown up together, we’ve shared countless campfires, and laughs over the decades. We've faced the worst Remote Alaska can throw at us, and always emerged with a grin and tale to tell. We will emerge from this, but we're going to need your help. We foremost want to accommodate everyone in this chaos. We also hope that everyone understands we have families to feed and roofs to keep over our heads. Any guests, regardless of their decision, that could find it within themselves to submit their remaining balance on their 2020 trip, we would be extremely humbled and grateful. If you have yet to book a trip with us consider doing so now for 2021 or 2022 as availabilities will be fewer as we move those affected from the 2020 season to future dates. It will be compassionate souls such as you that will help our industry survive this.
We derive much more than our economic livelihood from what we do. It is our very lifeblood. Alaska is our Home, and we live to experience her Wild Side. The People, Bears, Fish, Ravens, and all aspects of Alaska’s remote beauty are inextricably tied to our souls and we cherish this place. We love sharing Alaska with all of you and want to continue to do so for many, many years to come. We’re all in this together, and together we will all get through this.
Please continue being so awesomely patient in this with us, we will update you further as we learn more about that which we can do. In the meantime, Hug your families, stay safe and healthy. You are all in our thoughts daily.
Paul Hansen / Owner
Mike Bianchi / Head Guide
Alaska Rainbow Adventures