Orvis Ratings and Reviews

Top Rated Product

Dan Michels, AK

Dan Michels, owner of Crystal Creek Lodge, has developed a wild bird hunting program at the lodge over the past 20 years that features upland hunting with pointing dogs for willow ptarmigan and waterfowl hunting for ducks and geese.
Average Customer Rating:
5 out of 5
5
 out of 
5
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (6 reviews)
5 stars
6
4 stars
0
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
0
6 of 6(100%)customers would recommend this to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Dan Michels, AK
Review 1 for Dan Michels, AK
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great Hunt in Alaska,
September 8, 2013
By: winojoe
from The Texas Gulf Coast
Billing / Reservation: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on knowledge of the sport or activity:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on his/her ability to instruct and communicate:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on overall enthusiasm and personality:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Dog performance based on breed
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
Satisfaction level on cover to hold birds (appearance of the hunting grounds)
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
"On my third visit to this awesome lodge, I got the opportunity to hunt with Dan. We started our morning by loading the wheeled Beaver with our equipment and Dan's English pointer A K. The flight was memorable as we flew over the tundra and Dan pointed out places of interest. After landing we geared up and headed to field. We immediately had a flock rise. A K did his part, I finally did my part, and we managed to take a few birds. Dan was excellent guide and host. Truly a new and exciting experience."
Would you recommend this experience or trip to a friend? Yes
Review 2 for Dan Michels, AK
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Unbelievable!,
October 17, 2012
By: SEC45
from TX
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on knowledge of the sport or activity:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on his/her ability to instruct and communicate:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on overall enthusiasm and personality:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Dog performance based on breed
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
Satisfaction level on cover to hold birds (appearance of the hunting grounds)
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
Reviewer Images
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User submitted photo
User submitted photo
Additional Thoughts:Outstanding, both!
"What a trip! Hunting ptarmigan has been a dream trip for 20+ yrs. For my 50th birthday, I booked with Dan Michels for this hunt, as he came up #1 on every on line search. And lived up to the billing. All hunting is done on lands accessed only by wheeled or float bush planes. Your limitations will be your physical stamina and shooting prowess!"
Would you recommend this experience or trip to a friend? Yes
Review 3 for Dan Michels, AK
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Best In The Business,
October 3, 2012
By: Scotchdouble
from Orange, MA, USA
Billing / Reservation: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on knowledge of the sport or activity:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on his/her ability to instruct and communicate:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on overall enthusiasm and personality:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Dog performance based on breed
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
Satisfaction level on cover to hold birds (appearance of the hunting grounds)
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
Additional Thoughts:Seamless booking, planning, itinerary, etc.
"Dan Michels is bar none the finest upland bird guide working in Alaska. His breadth of ability is astounding: he's a superlative bush pilot, a seasoned dog handler, a remarkable naturalist, and a man who can, with uncanny ability, put clients onto birds. but what sets Dan apart is his ability to maintain, even after a lifetime in the business, a fundamental love for bird hunting. So many seasoned guides posess the technical know-how but lose the joy, and the very experience of putting clients on birds becomes rote. Dan still giggles at the successes of clients, scratches his dogs on the belly, stops to sit and look around and notice the impeccable places to which his work carries him. His joy is infectious. He is a kind, clever, and unflappable man with whom I've spent my very finest hunting days. you'll not be disappointed, either in Dan, or in the CCL hunting experience; it's the very best."
Would you recommend this experience or trip to a friend? Yes
Review 4 for Dan Michels, AK
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
A superb experience,
September 29, 2012
By: Reynardfishing
from Old Greenwich, Greenwich, CT, USA
Billing / Reservation: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on knowledge of the sport or activity:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on his/her ability to instruct and communicate:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on overall enthusiasm and personality:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Dog performance based on breed
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
Satisfaction level on cover to hold birds (appearance of the hunting grounds)
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
Additional Thoughts:These guides are uniquely good and helpful as well as knowledgable about the watershed and fishing and hunting
"Here is what I wrote to the lodge and it says it all for me:
Good Morning Dan:
Thank you for a really terrific visit to the Crystal Creek Lodge. John had said many marvelous things in advance and of course I know his standards and practices. The Lodge and staff met and exceeded what I expected in a wonderful way, again and again over the course of the visit.
Your management of a special place that obviously you created from your experiences and expectations about service and sport shows in every detail and the attitudes and behaviors of every staff member.
Having been involved in running a business for some years it is really clear when a leader makes something work as well as you do. I is also clear that your team likes what they do, where they do it and who they work with – the feeling pervades.
Every aspect of the event from the fishing, shooting, flying, eating and just chatting with guides and staff was enjoyable and memorable. I have a long list of names of people who were gracious and a list with no names for the less than fun.
I have hunted most of my life. I grew up on a farm on the Chesapeake Bay where and when geese and ducks were prevalent on that fly way. I have never hunted for Ptarmigan and being in the field that day with you and Maggie will stick with me to my dying day. It was a Best in Class experience. You landed the plane in tight quarters after having found birds. Then you worked the dog and the approach strategy flawlessly and presented the birds perfectly – much more proficiently than I managed the gun. You were tireless in the pursuit and yet in great humor the entire time. What an event ! From there we moved on to catch fish, remarkable!
John had told me about the Ptarmigan hunt and I expected a lot, the event exceeded my thoughts at every turn.
Fishing is also a big part of my life. Having served as a River Keeper for 10 years on the Upper Beaverkill River I have a good appreciation of a watershed and those who manage and work it. You and your guides obviously love and respect what you have the creatures that reside there. I found everyone on the River to be first class in their approach and very mindful of both the fish as well as the fishermen.
The same comments go for your pilots and house staff. The attention to detail and mission pervades and makes your Lodge a very special place.
Thank you falls short of the mark but it is the sentiment that fits.
Best regards,
David"
Would you recommend this experience or trip to a friend? Yes
Review 5 for Dan Michels, AK
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Great Dog Work,
September 3, 2012
By: TomVon
from Lynnwood WA
Billing / Reservation: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on knowledge of the sport or activity:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on his/her ability to instruct and communicate:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on overall enthusiasm and personality:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Dog performance based on breed
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
Satisfaction level on cover to hold birds (appearance of the hunting grounds)
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
"I have not hunted with Dan & Lori in Alaska but, I did do so on the Big Island of HI in late 2004. I have to say, the work of their dogs is second to none..certainly right up there with the performance of Patrick Fisher's bird dogs (who, for several years, was Hunt Manager for the Parker Ranch). No false points, steady to shot and, virtually flawless retrieves. You'll not go wrong booking a hunting or fishing trip with them.
/s/
Tom Stephens
"
Would you recommend this experience or trip to a friend? Yes
Review 6 for Dan Michels, AK
Overall Rating: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Unbelievable Upland Bird Hunt !,
August 29, 2012
By: RoeC
from Boise, Idaho
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on knowledge of the sport or activity:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on his/her ability to instruct and communicate:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Please Rate your Guide/Instructor/Host on overall enthusiasm and personality:: 
5 / 5
5 / 5
Dog performance based on breed
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
Satisfaction level on cover to hold birds (appearance of the hunting grounds)
Poor
Excellent
Excellent
"I've been upland bird hunting for over 40 yrs , I live in a great state ( Idaho ) for an upland hunter ( I also hunt Central Montana yearly ) but hunting Ptarmigan with Dan Michels and his pointer AK was by far the most memoriable and enjoyable experience i have ever had in the uplands ! Great dog work numerous coveys of WILD birds and a guide ( Dan Michels ) that knows the covers and can handle his pointer with little to NO commands ! If you enjoy Upland bird hunting I would highly recommend a trip to Crystal Creek Lodge in King Salmon AK and spend a Fantastic Day with Dan, AK in the Uplands !!"
Would you recommend this experience or trip to a friend? Yes