We need to get something out of the way, right off the bat. When you scratch a check for several thousand dollars to go fishing at some far-flung Alaska fishing lodge, the place had better deliver. The farther out in the boonies the place is and the bigger number on that check, the higher the expectations will be.
Anybody who decides to erase that Alaska fly in fishing trip from the bucket list is going to chose their Alaska fishing lodge with extreme care. The place had better have experienced guides, comfortable lodging, decent food, and it had better have access to the legendary fishing that the Alaska bush has become famous for.
If this wish list sounds familiar, and this is the year to hop on that plane, Alaska Rainbow Lodge is worth a long look.
Alaska Fishing Trip to Alaska Rainbow Lodge
Alaska Rainbow Lodge is in southwest Alaska, not far from Bristol Bay. To the southeast is Katmai National Park, to the northeast is the biggest lake in Alaska, and the Kvichack River, home of the biggest Rainbow Trout in the state, is right outside the front door.
Fishing at Alaska Rainbow Lodge will happen between June and September, with different fish available at different times. A fishing trip to the lodge includes transportation to and from King Salmon, Alaska, all fishing gear, all meals, all beverages, accommodations at the lodge (private bedrooms available), guides, maid service and packaging of salmon that are caught and taken home.
Another great feature of Alaska Rainbow Lodge is the inclusion of any fly-outs that are taken. Three float planes will fly guests to any of the thirty rivers and streams in the area. All fly-outs are less than a half-hours flight from the main lodge, meaning more time on the water each day.
As for the fishing, one look at the name of the lodge tells about the most popular fish in the water. Rainbow Trout are one of the favorites of this place, and any Alaska fly fishing trip will include tossing some flies at some rainbows.
The Kvichack River consistently produces the biggest Rainbow Trout in the world, and 30″ fish are caught every year. Ten pound fish are landed almost every day, with 18 pound rainbows just a cast away. Happily, the lodge operates a catch and release policy with Rainbow Trout. Rainbows can be caught here all year long, and Alaska Rainbow Lodge wants to keep it that way.
Alaska Salmon Fishing
Man does not live by trout alone, and neither do the grizzlies at nearby Katmai National Park. For gourmands of two or four legs, a ringing dinner bell commonly means salmon. Alaska Rainbow Lodge has access to all five kinds of Pacific salmon:
- King – This is the biggest species of salmon in Alaska. King Salmon will top 50 pounds, but even the smaller sized fish are almost tireless fighters. When one of these brutes takes the bait, it is a coin flip as to who has who. Long live the King.
- Sockeye – Incredibly, between 3 and 5 million Sockeye Salmon will swim up the Kvichack River each year; up to 20,000 per hour! These fish rarely top 10 pounds, but they fight harder, pound for pound, than even the mighty King. Why, exactly, do you want to catch one of these?
- Silver – These fish fight harder than any other salmon. (Where have you heard that before?) With silvers, it might be true. These fish will reach 20 pounds and are found at various sights at different times of year. This is where a good guide earns his keep. (At Alaska Rainbow Lodge, a guide never has more than two guests to attend to at any one time.) Of course they’re found in the Kvichack River; that’s why they built a fishing lodge here.
- Chum – Often overlooked by fishermen in pursuit of other species of salmon, the chum is a remarkable fly fishing quarry. These fish school in large numbers and when located, mayhem is often the result. They seemingly compete with each other to see who can bite a fly first. (Better hit the gym before going north; these things won’t give up easily either.)
- Pink – Commonly found in August, Pink Salmon seldom top 5 pounds. But, like their big brothers, they don’t like flies landing on their river, and when they see one, the carnage begins.
No matter where the days fishing has taken place, from the bank of a fly in river, wading in a stream that was reached by boat, or right out in front of the lodge, the days end normally happens in the lodge, where no more than 16 guests will be booked at any one time. The 4600 square foot lodge is never over-crowded, and the guides can give personal attention to each fisherman’s needs.
After a good meal and some thirst-slaking, the day’s fishing conquests can be re-lived and the action for the next day plotted. And, with a little luck, the fish won’t fight as hard tomorrow.