The principal guide and captain is 3rd generation with 4th generation growing up on the boats, as primo deckhands!
Ken and Althea Hughes have been in Alaska now for over 55 years. In the fall of 1959, Grandpa and Grandma Hughes settled in the Copper River Valley near the Gulkana River. They taught school for a few years before building and running a hotel and restaurant on the Gakona Junction. Grandpa Hughes had 2 sons and 1 daughter, Kenny, Randy, and Robin, grew up with the Gulkana River as a playground. Kenny is presently the mayor of Teller, a small village close to Nome (the finishing point of the famous 1000 mile Iditarod dogsled race.) Robin lives in North Carolina has a large family of Girls! Grandma Hughes enjoys writing and putting her stories down or paper. She is known for telling the truth, no sugar coating… not ever!
Randy, graduated from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks with degrees in Biology and Education. He worked seven summers with the Department of Fish and Game as a fisheries technician in the Copper River Valley. “Dad’s” responsibilities included counting salmon runs, taking scale samples, issuing permits, and working at one of the world’s largest Red Salmon hatcheries at the head of the Gulkana River. During the hatchery years Dad and Mom (Kristi) had 2 sons, Joshua and Daniel. A few years later the Girls showed up! Krystal, Rebecca, and Randi Rae. In 1999 and 2000 Kristi and Randy adopted two boys, Kristian, and Elijah. Randy has been the Dad, Teacher, and the “Leader of the Pack”
Randy, being “Dad,” taught the boys all the basics of fishing, allowing them to develop their unique and personal touch. As a guest, one can expect to learn the same basics from the Hughes family (and still be left to find your own groove.)
Fishing has always been the FAMILY activity. In the summers life was fishing, and this fit in well with Dad’s occupation as a teacher during the winter months.
Joshua and Daniel got their starts as soon as they were big enough to handle a rod and reel. Joshua took a little convincing, however. Upon hooking his first salmon and feeling how hard it pulled, he threw down his rod and ran the other way. In 1999 he won the Gulkana River King Salmon Derby for the heaviest fish. Since Summer in Alaska doesn’t get dark at night, Joshua found himself fishing around the clock. Guiding during the daytime hours and fishing for the Derby at night. Sleep … what Sleep? A lot has changed since then, and Joshua is now one of the dominant fish slayer in all of Prince William Sound & Gulf of Alaska.
Joshua started guiding guests to primo fishing when he was 14 years old. Liking the attention of tourists. Being the itinerant entrepreneur, Josh came to the river prepared with pockets full of home-tied flies going for $1.00 each. As he got older Joshua gained more experience fishing with other guides on the rivers, and then moving into Large Boats and a Captain’s License.
Joshua now Owns and Captains KingFisher’s Perch with his Wife Jaime. Like in Joshes family growing up, primo Deckhand Caleb is Joshua and Jaime’s first born. Caleb (age 14) is learning the family business and gets in on all the Action.