Luxury fishing lodges in Alaska are not common. The remote location of many lodges makes it difficult to import luxury materials for building and luxury materials for meals, entertaining, and daily life. Those efforts make luxury fishing lodges special. But it is not just the creature comforts that make up a luxury fishing lodge. In this "fishing the good life" blog, we look at why anglers choose luxury when Alaska is full of fishing lodges.

Why Consider a Luxury Lodge?

We count three primary reasons to consider a luxury lodge experience in Alaska - great fishing, accommodations, and service. Anglers choose luxury fishing lodges to enjoy and experience a side of the world that even the richest person might not know or have seen. These are places that blow your mind while allowing you to enjoy fishing in luxury and with people who care that your experience goes beyond the cost and becomes a trip you will always look back on and want to return. That is why anglers choose luxury fishing lodges in Alaska.

"An Alaska fishing trip is costly and often a once in a lifetime experience," notes Allen Walburn of Kodiak Island Resort in Larson Bay, AK. Allen notes that, because of this, luxury lodge guests "want to do everything possible to avoid any unpleasant surprises, so they seek out the best locations and lodges in hopes of assuring a satisfying experience that will supply a lifetime of memories".

Fresh caught sockeye salmon sushi
Expect excellent meals such as freshly caught sockeye salmon sushi at a Luxury Lodge

One of the newest contributors to My Alaskan Fishing Trip is Cecilia "Pudge" Kleinkauf and we recently asked her a few questions to help you get to know her better. We look forward to sharing Pudge's fly fishing experience with you as she is Alaska's leading woman fly fishing instructor, fly tyer, and guide. Her extensive resume includes being the owner of Women's Flyfishing®, a Trout Unlimited Endorsed business, which provides fly fishing schools and small group guided trips focused on female anglers. Additionally, Pudge is the author of five books on fly fishing in Alaska - portions of which will be featured on this site along with her answers to your questions from our "Ask the Pro's" series.

Cecelia 'Pudge' Kleinkauf
Alaska Author & Guide - Cecelia 'Pudge' Kleinkauf

The Most Popular Articles of 2015

Posted by Jeff H on January 05, 2016 to Alaska Fishing
Sweetwaters Mongolia Taimen Fishing Camp
Fly-Fishing for 40-inch Taimen with Sweetwaters Mongolia Taimen Fishing Camp

The team at My Alaskan Fishing Trip worked hard this past year to continue and provide you, the visitors to the site, with information that can help plan your next Alaskan fishing trip. So, looking back on the year, we wanted to highlight the three most popular blog articles...

Anvik River Lodge
Anvik River Lodge

The Anvik River Lodge sits in the heart of the middle Yukon, about 450 miles northwest of Anchorage. The nearest town is the village of Anvik which is about a two-hour and fifteen minute, 75 mile boat ride up the Anvik River to the lodge. Relax & enjoy the scenery. The boats are enclosed so you don't have to worry if it's chilly or a little rainy. This initial ride up river really gives you a sense of how truly remote you are. There are few other signs of human inhabitants outside of a couple of rarely used trapper cabins and a fish & game run sonar tent camp (that I'm told runs for only about a month during the summer).

The ride is nice. However, it's the fishing here that draws people. There are five species of Pacific Salmon as well as Arctic Char, Dolly Varden, Arctic Grayling, Cisco White fish, and Northern Pike. This is the land of the midnight sun and with that you can fish as long as you want. The lodge offers a 1:2 guide to guest ratio and some of the finest food you will find anywhere.

You are likely at My Alaskan Fishing Trip because you have questions as you plan your Alaska fishing experience. The goal of the site is to connect anglers like you with information to make your trip successful, so we have created "Ask the Pro" as a way help answer any questions you have - direct from experienced professionals. Answers will come from a diverse group of guides, lodge owners, and other knowledge resources with the primary pro's highlighted below.

So, submit your questions and we will get some answers from our pro's...feel free to ask about anything related to Alaska fishing or general travel. Fishing techniques and tips, or advice on places to go, things to do, non-fishing activities, Alaska with kids, best time to go and more are all welcomed.

The Bristol Bay watershed is the last stronghold of wild Pacific salmon in the world. It has by far the largest runs of salmon that return every year to it's streams than any other region on the planet. The many rivers that flow into Bristol Bay, most notably the Nushagak, Kvichak, Alagnak, and Naknek rivers, are supported by this huge biomass of life giving nutrients every summer. These huge runs of salmon are the basis of the food chain that supports every living thing in the region. These salmon travel far into the mountainous regions to spawn, even further impacting the total area that the salmon nourish. The life cycle of spawn and die of the Pacific salmon is such a critical aspect to how the rivers in such a raw area flourish with life both above and below the water, supporting all kinds of living things.

Scott Haugen, Dan Busch, and Will Rice's book: Flyfisher's Guide to Alaska: Includes Light Tackle is an outstanding resource for all fly fishermen, especially the DIY local fisherman or those who are visiting Alaska for a short period. The books strongest feature is the description of the rivers. I am not sure another set of river descriptions of this magnitude exists. Alaska is a huge territory, and there are so many rivers that you could visit each one and never experience all that Alaska has to offer fly fishermen. Explore water bodies with names like Lost Lake, Salmon Creek, Hidden Lake, Engineer Lake and Moose River. The authors make it easy to fall in love with fishing in Alaska. 

The book is rich in details and while written for the DIY fisherman every fisherman who visits Alaska should have a copy of this book. The book is available in paperback for Under $35 via Amazon, and it is also available for $9.99 for your Kindle. The 455 pages are filled with helpful advice and adventure that make this an ideal book for all levels of fishermen. The helpful sections that novice fishermen will enjoy are those about flies and line setup. The authors are patient and explain their methods well. The book includes maps, fish guides, and information about rivers, highways, where to stay and everything else you would ever need to know to make a successful fishing trip in Alaska. 

Fly Fishing the Copper River
Fly Fishing the Copper River - © Scott Cindrich

The smaller Copper River is home to monster Rainbow Trout. The river is designated as a catch and release river which adds to the monster fish population within the fishery. The river structure is ideal for fly fishermen of all skill levels. Beginners and veterans will find the thrill and action of trophy rainbows along these crystal clear waters. The best time to fish for trophy rainbows is June through September with the exception of July when the Sockeye Salmon invade the river by the millions. The Benefits of the smaller Copper River include:

  • 18 plus pound trophy rainbow trout
  • Fly fishing haven for all levels of fishermen.
  • River geology that increases active fly time.
  • Huge population of massive, monster rainbows.
  • Large selection of food choices so the trophy fish will strike many types of lures and flies.
  • Easy fishing for veterans and beginners. 
  • Rated a best river to fish by Trout International.
  • Catch and Release for active monster fish management. 
Homer, Alaska Halibut Fishing Capital

To adequately describe the feeling of trying to land a 200 or 300 or 400 pound fish is nearly impossible. There is, of course, an intense adrenaline rush that is almost immediately followed by the feeling of what do I do now. Once you have landed a good sized Halibut you realize that it is you that is hooked. That is why the Pacific Halibut is such an excellent sport fish. The waters around most of Alaska is rich with Halibut. As you read through this blog, you will find various links to Alaska Fishing Lodges. Those links are there to help you find the best lodge that is right for you. 

The Pacific Halibut is a laterally flattened fish with a very distinct look. The bottom side is white; the top is speckled with light and dark green, brown, and even yellow spots set against a dark brown or gray background. Both eyes are found on the dominate, colored side of this of these massive fish. These fish are linked closely with the geological structures of Alaska. They are flat fish, and they make their home along the flat coastal shelf along the edge of Alaska. Mostly they are found in waters that range in depth between 20' and 1000' along the flat continental shelf. Water temperature plays a part in where you find them. Their temperature zone is 37 degrees F. to a high of 46 degrees F. Depending on their location they can occur to depths that are greater than 3500 feet. Outside of Alaska they have a wide habitat range. But they are always found in flat terrain. 

NOTE: Fishing for Halibut takes some consideration. Alaska offers some of the best Halibut fishing in the world. The locals make a distinction between the massive adults, called Barn Doors and the smaller Halibut called Chickens. Make no mistake about Chickens, they can weigh up to 100 pounds. Barn Doors can weigh more than 500 pounds. The world record for a sport caught Pacific Halibut is 459 pounds. Both Chickens and Barn Doors make excellent eating. 

My Alaska Fishing shares the secrets of the Dolly Varden char. Dolly Varden are in the same taxonomic family as salmon and trout; however, Dolly Varden are char, not trout. What does that mean to sport fishermen? Not that much. Many people refer to these fish as Dolly Varden trout because the look like trout. If you want to know how to differentiate between a Dolly Varden and  trout you simply have to look at the spots. The two fish are completely opposite in coloration. Trout species have a light colored body with dark spots. Dolly Varden have a dark colored body with very colorful spots. The spots on Dollly Varden are often bright red and/or yellow. The bright red and yellow coloring can also be found in patches on their head and fins. They make a very striking fish. Oddly, it is rumored that they got their name due to fashion. In the late 1800's there was a style of dress that was called the Dolly Varden, and it was a sheer top over brightly colored print. When you see a Dolly Varden char, the story makes sense.

Dolly Varden caught at Angler's Alibi Lodge - Alagnak River, Alaska
Dolly Varden caught by Rebekka Redd at Angler's Alibi Lodge - Alagnak River, Alaska
Alaska King Salmon

A guide to understanding the habits of Alaska King Salmon. This guide will help to improve your Alaska Fishing Trips. Find information on where to stay, how to fish, and some of the behaviors of these awesome fish.

King Salmon are also known as Chinook salmon. They are  giants, and are the largest species of Salmon within the Pacific Ocean. Their size is one of the primary reasons that sports fisherman find so much pleasure in fishing for King salmon. Salmon, by nature, are excellent fighters and that ups the sports level for fisherman. Unlike Marlin, King salmon keep their fight contained below the water. Don't expect jumping and breaching from King salmon. They are crafty, stealthy fighters that you must tire out to defeat. King salmon easily average 30 pounds or more. Imagine being the fisherman who landed the record 126 pound nearly 6 foot long fish. That is why sports fisherman flock to Alaska every year. These fish offer a tremendous challenge and thrill. Alaska Fishing Lodges are here to make your adventure memorable. Throughout this article, you will find links to various lodges and Alaska Fishing Guides. Those links will help you plan a successful fishing trip to Alaska.

Alaska Rainbow Trout

Alaska is known for some amazing fish from King Salmon to Halibut, but Alaska Rainbow trout are perhaps one of the most sought after fish that Alaska has to offer. There are a huge number of people who visit Alaska each year simply for the challenge and sport that Alaska Rainbow Trout offer.

The basic territory of the Alaska Rainbow Trout is the South Eastern portion of Alaska, but they spill into South Central Alaska and Southwestern Alaska. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game the Rainbow Trout range as far East as the Kuskokwim River and as far west as the Kuskokwim Bay. The Kenai river is an excellent location for Rainbow Trout fishing. The best locations to find Alaska Rainbow Trout are in the lakes, and tributaries of major rivers. In Spring, they spawn in the shallow waters and gravel riffles. Spawning can extend into early summer in years when the winter has been hard. Understanding the river is a key to successful fishing.

The following is an overview of the Alaska Rainbow Trout, their habitat and the food that they eat.

Alaska Fly Fishing

For outdoor enthusiasts, Alaska is one of the remaining vast frontiers offering endless hours of exploration and discovery. From mountain climbing and hiking national parks to whale watching or driving a dog sled over snowy terrain, Alaska is a prime destination for the adventurer.

Alaska is also one of the best locations in the world for fishing for a variety of species. Salmon fishing is abundant with five Pacific species inhabiting the waters from May to September. For cooler options, learn the best techniques for ice fishing on frozen lakes.

You'll also have flyfishing opportunities for exceptional rainbow trout from the Kenai River weighing in from 5-10 pounds and surfcasting from the ocean shoreline for halibut. Add rockfish, Arctic char, lingcod, sockeye, grayling, northern pike, and more, to your list for a complete fishing experience throughout the year.

Alaska Kenai River

The Kenai River stretches from Kenai Lake to the Pacific Ocean where it dumps into Cook Inlet. The river is laid out in switchback bends across the flood plains of the Kenai peninsula. The river offers 82 miles of freshwater habitat for many species of Salmon, Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden Trout, and Steelhead. The Kenai River is one of the most popular places to fish in Alaska. Alaska is wild, and by that we mean bears. Bears love fishing just as much as you do. Never go fishing alone. In fact, for fisherman who have never fished the Kenai River, we suggest choosing an Alaska Fishing Lodge, or using an Alaska Fishing Guide. The benefits are that the pros know where the best spots to fish are, they often have the best equipment, they always know the best techniques to catch fish regardless of the time of year, and they will help to keep you safe. 

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