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Ask the Pro's: Fishing Trip Advice - DIY vs Guide vs Lodge

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  • Hello!

    I am a full time traveler and have been traveling around US and Mexico fishing for the last 14 months. I am headed to Alaska July 9th to 24th. I have my own gear. My question: is it possible to DIY 6-7 days of fly fishing or it a better use of my time and $$ to go to a lodge? I really try and stay clear of “organized” fishing and guides but I don’t anticipate this opportunity arising again for me in my lifetime. If a lodge it is, these are the things I don’t want; an early rise and shine and fishing all day long, or sitting around with strangers at dinner talking 'BS'. (I’m a bit of an introvert). Is there such an animal as a guide with a plane who can take me to wading spots for big fish a couple of days in a row and leave the accommodation and meals to my own choosing? Or can I DIY this with a rental truck and help from a local fly shop? I will be flying into Anchorage. That is as far as my plan goes at the moment. Thank you in advance.

    - Gibbs

  • Hey Gibbs,

    You might try hiring a guide for a few days and then fishing in those areas that you just fished with your guide. As a guide, I frequently have people hire a fishing guide for a day or two and then ask me for some DIY ideas. I am much more forthcoming with location info to guys who have hired me for a day or two. Where would I fish and who would I hire? I would fish in Cooper Landing and reach out to Alaska Troutfitters<. They are good and have a fly shop and good, friendly advice. I would then stop at the Fly Shop in Wasilla and ask if they can hook you up with a guide. They are welcoming and helpful They will then tell you how to fish the Alaska Parks Highway streams, which will be full of salmon by the time you get to Alaska. Then, you could reach out to me at Denali Angler (I do have a few dates left in July) if you want to get away from the crowds and do some dry fly fishing for Arctic Grayling up in the Denali area. I'm in Cantwell and I own Denali Angler.

    I would not go to a lodge at this point because the best lodges have been booked for months. Not that they aren't a good option, just that I wouldn't try to book one at the last minute.

    Hope this helps,


    George Rogers - Owner & Fishing Guide with Denali Angler. I’m an Alaska registered fishing guide and I’ve fly fished the Denali area since first moving to Alaska in 1992. For much of the year, I’m a science teacher, but my summers are spent fly fishing, hiking, rafting and picking blueberries with my wife and two sons in the little town of Cantwell.
  • Hi Gibbs,

    Based on your preferences, a Lodge is not going to fit your style. Lodges are going to have a set schedule each day, breakfast and dinners are at a set time and will have everyone at the lodge there at those times. There are plenty of DIY fishing areas along the road system. You can travel south to Cooper Landing and fish the Russian, Quartz and Upper Kenai. Note, those will be busy fisheries that time of year. Traveling North on the Alaska Parks Highway, you have a ton of walk-n-wade stream options along the way. North will provide the most solitude with some walking. Northern streams will be trout and grayling predominately.

    Anything we an do to help, please let me know.

    - Mike

    Mike Brown - Owner of Mossy's Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska
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