Alaska is still considered one of the “last frontiers” of fly fishing, with millions of acres of untarnished wilderness. Hectare after hectare of glaciers, forests, tundra, volcanos, coastline, and untouched rivers combine to make Alaska one of America’s greatest assets. It remains one of Yellow Dog’s favorite and busiest programs for good reason!
While the Pacific coast is known for steelhead, the Western US is known for big trout, and Canada is known for pike–Alaska is known for all of the above. In addition, the annual salmon migration brings millions of spawning fish to the Alaskan watershed, granting anglers some of the finest and most consistent fishing in the world.
If you aren’t sure what makes a “Fly-Out Lodge,” we previously discussed the differences between Fly-Out, Fixed Based, and Float Trips. Yellow Dog is thrilled to work with many of the finest fly-out lodges in Alaska, each of whom takes advantage of floatplanes and helicopters to access the best waterways daily. Poor weather on one river? No problem. Is an untouched alpine lake inaccessible by foot or boat? No problem. The fishing is better elsewhere? Again, no problem. The luxury of having a fly-out option means guides and anglers can always target the areas where fishing is most productive. Below we provide an abundance of options for anglers depending on budget, accommodations, fishing options, and more.
Fly Out Lodges
One of Yellow Dog’s recommended Alaska luxury lodges, Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge is a full-service, perfectly located lodge for an Alaskan adventure. Situated on the world-famous Kvichak River in the heart of the Bristol Bay region, the lodge has access to all five species of salmon, massive rainbow trout, and stunning Arctic char.
The home waters of the lodge are exceptional, but the lodge also utilizes floatplanes to access the very best the region has to offer. Two De Havilland and one Cessna are used to transport anglers around the region, in addition to numerous jetboats. Owner Brian Kraft employs some of the finest guides and pilots in Alaska, operating one of the most consistent and finest fishing lodges in Alaska and beyond.
Consistently one of the best trout fisheries in Alaska, Bear Trail is also known for its prolific salmon runs in the summer. The fall fishing on the Naknek for rainbows fattened up from the salmon spawn is phenomenal each season. The Naknek is a large body of water excellent for swinging flies, but anglers can access nearby water if interested in exploring new territory.
The lodge works with a charter program that can deliver anglers to various points in the Bristol Bay watershed via plane. In addition, a massive fleet of jetboats grants anglers fantastic access to the home waters of the Naknek.
One of Alaska’s longest-running and renowned lodges, Bristol Bay Lodge has operated for a half-century. Dozens of fishing options from their central location allow anglers to access virtually any river in the Bristol Bay region. One of the most unique and exciting offerings in the Yellow Dog Alaskan lineup, Bristol Bay also offers access to two extremely remote outpost camps. The camps are located along virtually unpressured water, making for a truly adventurous outdoor experience.
A combination of both De Havilland Beaver floatplanes and jet boats are used to access the region. Anglers can expect to fish at different locations each day, ensuring they experience a variety of waterways and fisheries throughout their stay.
Enchanted Lake Lodge has been offering anglers and their companions a remarkable experience for over fifty years, one of the most luxurious Alaskan lodges in operation. The lodging, cuisine, scenery, and fishing, are all superb. Enchanted Lake Lodge is ideally located in the heart of Katmai National Park to access almost any river in the Bristol Bay region.
Two floatplanes and an arsenal of boats allow anglers to fish what feels like an almost limitless number of fisheries. The Kulik, American, Brooks, Battle, Big and Little Ku, Moraine, Funnel, and Kvichak are all a short flight away, providing some of the finest trout fishing anywhere.
Intricate Bay Lodge is a top-shelf, full-service fishing lodge along the banks of Iliamna Lake. With a maximum of ten guests per week, the lodge is able to deliver a personal and memorable experience. The home waters of the lodge see some of the largest salmon runs in all of Alaska, in addition to fly-outs to the watersheds of Bristol Bay.
Excellent pilots use De Havilland Beavers and a Cessna 206 to transport anglers around the Bristol Bay region. In addition, the lodge will fly drift boats to access the higher sections of their home water, the Copper River, one of the only lodges in Alaska with such access.
Built along one of the most productive trout rivers in the world, Kulik Lodge is the only operation located on the Kulik. Established in 1950, Kulik has established itself as one of the most dependable and top-notch fishing operations around. Anglers have access to the best rivers in Alaska within a one-hundred-mile radius and one of the best home waters of any lodge in Alaska.
With a fleet of aircraft, boats, and some of the best-trained guides and pilots in Alaska, Kulik Lodge offers the best of both worlds: excellent fishing right outside of the lodge and access to new stretches of water each day.
One of the nicest, best-run operations in Alaska, Mission Lodge excels at it all. With access to some of the most pristine trout fisheries in the world, Mission also has access to Pacific salmon runs, pike, Arctic char, and Arctic grayling, depending on the time of year. Large rivers, small creeks, and outpost camps are all on the menu, with Mission Lodge’s guides able to offer you variety in both settings and species.
Three De Havilland Beaver floatplanes and a fleet of aluminum boats are all used to access the numerous waterways near the lodge. Daily fly-outs are included in the package rate at Mission, meaning every day offers new adventures and the opportunity to explore the Bristol Bay region.
Another lodge offering its guests a more intimate and personalized experience, No See Um Lodge ranks amongst the best in terms of service, fishing, and accommodations. Situated in the greater Iliamna region, the lodge customizes each day of fishing based on the best options available.
With three De Havilland floatplanes for a maximum of ten anglers, No See Um offers a luxury most lodges cannot: the planes stay with the anglers during fishing. This guarantees anglers can relocate based on weather and fishing conditions to ensure your week is the best it possibly can be.
Located on the Naknek River, The Lodge at 58 North offers one of the most diverse fishing programs in the entire state. The Naknek offers the trout of your dreams in addition to annual salmon runs. The lodge’s guest cabins, excellent dining experience, and top-notch staff all bolster an already phenomenal fishing lodge.
The lodge’s onsite pilots and guides can customize your trip to combine fishing on the Naknek as well as the Bristol Bay region. Access to both excellent home water and dozens of options in Bristol Bay mean guides can discuss the best options each day for the duration of your stay.
Yellow Dog considers Tordrillo Mountain Lodge one of the top family-friendly freshwater lodges on offer. They offer a remarkably unique program combining excellent fishing, heli-skiing, and a plethora of outdoor options near the lodge. Huge resident rainbows, a variety of Pacific salmon, and trophy char are available near the lodge.
Using helicopters instead of planes means pilots can access areas far too rugged for other lodges. In addition to remote fishing access, the helicopters are utilized to transport guests to backcountry skiing. Both anglers and non-anglers can take advantage of this option, meaning they can ski in the morning and target king salmon in the afternoon!
Yellow Dog has decades of combined experience in Alaska and understands the importance of finding the right destination for your next destination trip. Access to planes and greater swaths of the Alaskan wilderness means fishing the best water each and every day. In addition to fly-out options, Yellow Dog works with a number of fantastic fixed and float operations throughout the region. We encourage anyone considering a trip to Alaska to call Yellow Dog to ensure you end up at the best lodge for you.
+ Listen to this WAYPOINTS Podcast: CAMILLE EGDORF – Alaska Trip Planning and How to Do it Right
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