Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Ouzel?
Permanent Ranger Don C. Fisher
An Ouzel is another name for a bird called the American Dipper. Well known to river runners all over the US. It’s a hardy slate-grey bird that lives only around clear, clean, swift moving water. It feeds underwater on fish and aquatic insects and builds its nest behind waterfalls. You see them swimming down the biggest rapids, flying into the most remote rivers, reaching places no other birds dare to enter. Imagine this! Most of Alaska’s Ouzels live in Alaska even in the winter!
Ouzel trips are an experience in remote wilderness. We have complete moveable camps. Our large kitchen tents affords us shade and shelter. We have folding directors chairs with back rests in camp & a dinner table. During the day you can sit in these chairs in the raft. We camp right at great fishing holes. It’s a wonderful way to see the country, wildlife, fish and enjoy the wilderness in comfort. We have portable shower for your use. Each night a toilet is set up outside camp.
Our guides are there to help you get the most out of your vacation. They do the cooking and camp chores. Our oarsmen have experience on white-water as well as calm rivers. They are skilled fishermen and can help you with knots, flies, casting, spinning and where and how to fish. Many of our guests are expert fishers and don’t want much help. Our guides can hike with you so you can photograph and learn about the flora and fauna.
We serve fresh meats and vegetables cooked in dutch ovens on gas stoves and over fires. Sumptuous meals like char broiled steak, spaghetti, fresh broiled salmon, turkey and mexican food are served family style for dinner. Breakfasts offer a variety of things: pancakes, hot cereal, fresh fish, bacon, eggs, coffee and juice. Lunches are sandwiches, chips, and candy. We serve hors d’oeuvres before dinner. Please make special requests 1 month ahead of time.
What kind of equipment is used?
We provide several kinds of high quality tents for your sleeping comfort: North Face, REI and Cabela’s. They are roomy expedition quality tents and are extremely water & wind proof. You stay dry and warm in them. We provide waterproof bags for your personal gear. We also provide self-inflating sleeping pads. We don’t provide sleeping bags. Our SOTAR rafts are American made in 14, 16 and 18 foot lengths. SOTAR rafts are the best professional quality river rafts. These comfortable rafts are oar powered by our experienced guides. We use aluminum boat boxes rowing frames and large ice chests. You fish from these oar powered rafts with skilled oarsmen drifting you through beautiful holding waters and scenery. Communications: We go into remote wilderness on our trips. In case of emergency we carry hand held aviation radios or satellite phones. We can talk to overflying airplanes to ask for help if needed. You can get your Alaskan fishing license at many drugstores, sporting goods or convenience stores. You can order online from Alaska department of fish and game from a link on our website. Waders: This is really a matter of personal choice. Simms Gortex waders are the top of the line.
Where do you Operate?
We operate on many Alaska and Kamchatka Rivers. In Alaska we are licensed and have permits for these areas. Aniakchak National Monument, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Church National Forest, Gates of the Arctic National Park, Katmai National Park, Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Wrangle St. Elias national Park, Lake Clark National Park and Yukon Delta Wildlife Refuge.
What are your trip policies?
Ouzel Expeditions will not be responsible for additional meals, lodging or other expenses due to delayed flights, weather or other delays. We will not be responsible for natural acts such as but not limited to: weather, storms, rain, number of fish, and salmon runs. We reserve the right to change the trips itineraries and to change the river at our discretion.