Alagnak  Lodge Overview

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The Alagnak Lodge is located in the tidal section of the river about 5 miles upriver from the mouth. We are about 25 miles north of the town of King Salmon, Alaska, and about 300 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska.

The Alagnak River has long been renowned as one of the finest sportfishing rivers in Alaska and is home to strong runs of all five species of pacific salmon (Silvers- Reds- Pinks- Kings - Chums), which is unusual, even in Alaska.  Our native stream fish are mostly rainbow trout and some northern pike in the lower river.  For much of our summer season, there are two or three species of salmon in the river at one time.  At the Alagnak Lodge, most of our salmon fishing takes place within a ten-minute boat ride either downriver or upriver.  We don’t need to waste time and money traveling to the fish, they come to us.

Almost all the Alagnak River and its headwaters are contained within the wilderness areas of Katmai National Park and The Alagnak Wild River.  There are no roads to the Alagnak River and it is difficult to reach by water, so the Alagnak is generally accessed only by aircraft.   This, and the total lack of any sort of development other than a few lodges, ensures the Alagnak River remains pristine wilderness with relatively few fishermen.  The lower river is an alluvial plain; the river meanders with channels running from eight to twelve feet deep through the silty sandbars.  The returning king, red, chum, silver and pink salmon use the daily tides to propel themselves over the sandbars at the mouth of the river.  We are five miles upstream from Bristol Bay and the tides can raise the river up to 10 feet at our location.   The fish often linger in the lower river as they acclimate back to fresh water before pushing themselves upriver to return to their spawning grounds.

Fishermen of all skill levels consistently catch fish.  We use a variety of fishing equipment and techniques depending on the circumstances and will adapt to your choice of fly, spinning or casting rods, reels, lines and terminal tackle.

King salmon prefer to stay in the deeper water, and most of the king fishing takes place from the boat. The sockeye, chums, pinks and silvers and native stream fish will be on or along the edges of the many sandbars or banks and are targeted mostly with fly or spinning gear. The sandbars and banks can be fished from the boat or by wading. 

With only two clients per guide, the clients receive a lot of individual attention and assistance as we cater to their needs and desires.  Instruction is part of the job for a guide so if you want some pointers, they will provide them.

Upriver shallows

Alagnak River Attributes

The Alagnak River system drains westward from the mountainous region bordering Kamishak Bay in Cook Inlet, Alaska.  The approximately 1,400 square mile Alagnak River system lies south of the Kvichak River system and north of the Naknek River system.  Upstream the Alagnak River system contains four major lakes, two rivers and many well-known streams and creeks such as the Funnel, Moraine, Battle and Kulick.   Kukaklek and Battle Lakes are drained by the Alagnak River and Nonvianuk and Kulik Lakes are drained by the Nonvianuk River, which flows into the Alagnak River.

The exceptional quality of the Alagnak River watershed fish populations can be attributed to several factors, the most important of which is the watershed’s high-quality and diverse aquatic habitats unaltered by structures or flow management controls.  Surface and subsurface waters are highly connected, enabling hydrological and biochemical connectivity between wetlands, ponds, streams and rivers; thereby increasing the diversity and stability of habitats able to support fish.  High aquatic habitat diversity also supports the genetic diversity of fish populations.  The return of spawning salmon brings marine-derived nutrients into the watershed and fuels both aquatic and land food webs.  The Alagnak is one of the very few watersheds blessed with the perfect stream bed attributes that facilitate the spawning of all the salmon species as well as the native stream fish..

With the exception of the last 10 miles, almost all this drainage lies within the Katmai National Park and Preserve and the Alagnak Wild River Corridor.  The last 10 miles of the lands abutting the river are mostly owned by the Levelock Native Corporation and its members. There is virtually no development or agricultural activity of any kind in this entire drainage system.  The Alagnak River is and will remain free of any pollutants dangerous to fish.  This whole drainage system is a true pristine Alaska wilderness.

In a pamphlet for the Alagnak River, the National Park Service writes: ”Unbounded by dams or artificial channels, the Alagnak River meanders its way from headwaters in the Aleutian Range across the Alaska Peninsula to Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea.  The upper 69 miles of river are designated a national wild river, meaning free flow, no dams, and little human impact. From the time of the earliest Alaskans, the river has given much to those willing to learn its ways.  In summer, the river teems with salmon.  Fall brings migrating caribou and berries.  It traverses the beautiful Alaska Peninsula, providing opportunities to experience the unique wilderness, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area. This river is one of the most popular sport fishing destinations in all of Alaska.  Alagnak’s extraordinary rainbow trout, char, grayling, and abundant salmon are some of the most attractive sport fish in the world, and the river has become the most popular fly-in fishing destinations in all Southwest Alaska.

fish eye lens drone view from upriver

History & Mission

Alagnak River Lodge History

In July 1979 the four lodge founders camped 10 miles upriver on the Alagnak River.  They had fished at other lodges in Alaska, but the fishing on the Alagnak was the best they had seen. They were not impressed with the accommodations, having to fight mosquitoes, and always looking out for bears.  They decided to set up a more permanent camp so they would have a place to stay and fish.  To them a tidal water location was best, so they arranged a lease on a 10-acre site just upriver from the present location.  They had decided by this time to build a lodge rather than a camp and loaded a barge in Seattle with building materials, boats, motors and generators. With a crew of 14, construction started in May that year and was completed in time for the first guests to arrive on July 4th, 1980.

In 1992 a survey found that the lodge had been built in the wrong place, not quite on the land that was being leased. As the solution, the lodge owners purchased 11 acres and the lodge facility was moved to its current location.  This monumental feat was accomplished in the fall and spring and included bringing the lodge up to all the then-current building codes.

In 1997 the current owner started the purchase process and assumed the operation of the lodge.  Since then improvements and upgrades, such as staff quarters, upgraded infrastructure, new boats and a new dock, have been made each year so the lodge is now well maintained and up to the current standards of fishermen and adventurer travelers while remaining true to its roots as a fishing camp.

fox at lodge 2009

Mission of the Alagnak Lodge

Our shared mission is to provide the Alaska wilderness lodge experience our clients desire.

We respect that we are in the wilderness and we act consistently to minimize our impact on our environment.  We are caretakers of our land and we co-exist with the wildlife.

We understand our guests are on vacation and want to enjoy themselves and have a memorable experience. We understand each client is an individual and we seek to understand and fulfill their individual desires.  Everyone seems to enjoy the abundant wildlife and the relative isolation and tranquility of the river.  Our time on the river is dedicated to the activities desired by the clients in the boat.

At our core, we are a traditional fishing camp, but we understand our clients want a certain level of proficiency in the supporting hotel and restaurant functions.

 

Adult Eagle spreading wings

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