Located on the uninhabited Pacific coast of the Alaska Peninsula, AWS has a sterling reputation for delivering a high quality fly fishing experience despite the daunting logistics associated with their wilderness setting.
And that setting is breathtaking; walk out your tent door and look to the right – there is the wild Pacific. Straight ahead, you look out over a salmon-filled river and estuary, framed in the background by a towering rock escarpment. To the left, you're looking up into the forested, layered mountains that form the cradle of the home stream, a view dominated by an immense, glacier-covered mountain, and closer in, Harley's Hill, a unique volcanic
upthrust vaguely reminiscent of the Devil's Tower. Once here, you are in for the experience of a lifetime; walking the home stream for burly silvers, day hiking the upper reaches of the stream for unbelievable numbers of sea run Dolly Varden, stalking the nearby ocean beach for ocean-cruising salmon, and helicoptering to other remote rivers for more of the same. It is a unique experience, even for Alaska.
Reservations & Rates
Getting to AWS is really a very straightforward proposition, but because of some unique logistical constraints it is crucial that you are at the right place at the right time on your way into the camp, or things can get difficult (more on this in Getting There).
We've been there, understand these travel details, and no-one is better suited to walking you through the process, and getting you to this amazing place on schedule. Tackle, flies, clothing, itinerary, whatever – we're happy to talk you through what to expect. Feel free to call us at 800-669-3474, or email email@example.com , and one of our travel specialists will respond promptly.
After a verbal confirmation of your reservation you'll receive a short confirmation letter or e-message showing the dates of your stay, terms of the booking and an invoice showing the cost of the trip. A 50% deposit is normally due within two weeks of deposit. Final payments are due 60 days prior to arrival. Deposits and final payments can be made with either a credit card or check.
The cost of the week-long AK Wilderness Safari package is
• Mid-Season (mid/late July - 3rd week of August): $5,550 per person
• Late Season (4th week of August - September + 2 days heli fly-out fishing): $6,850 per person
Inclusions: Included in your angling package at the AK Wilderness Safari is round trip bush plane transport between King Salmon and camp, meals, lodging and daily guided fishing, flies and leaders, including two day's helicopter fishing at week's end.
Non-Inclusions: Not included in your angling package at AK
Wilderness Safari are fishing license (not available at camp – you need to purchase before you arrive), specific alcoholic beverages (though the selection they do have is available to you at no charge), gratuities, tackle and items of a personal nature.
The Fly Shop® is not in the insurance business, but we recommend Travel Guard coverage as a service with a desire to see your best interests protected. It is impossible to know when an unfortunate situation (loss of luggage, fly rods, illness in the family, or an accident) may occur. However, such things can and do happen, and this insurance can provide a means of recourse against non-refundable financial losses. Click HERE for Travel Guard's Policies and more information
Though AWS has a superb chum salmon escapement late July through the middle of August, we generally concentrate on the Camp's coho run, which is essentially a month long, from late August through late September.
These silver salmon begin to flood in on the twice-daily tides (nearly all of your homewater fishing is tidally influenced…yes, these fish are BRIGHT!) about the 20th of August each year, and the run steadily increases in intensity as the season progresses. By early September the numbers of silvers in the river right in front of camp is predictably amazing, and they continue to stack up until nearly the end of the
month. In that same month-long period, the sea-run Dolly Varden – which have been entering the river since June and are stacked in the upper reaches of the stream – are changing into their striking spawning colors, and will climb all over any fly even remotely resembling a salmon egg. These trout-like gamefish average 12-18 inches, with the occasional 20+ inch specimen a welcome daily surprise!
Getting To Alaska Wilderness Safari
Getting to the AWS camp is a great adventure, and a reminder of just how remote you truly are.
Guests will normally leave their home state early on a Friday and fly to Anchorage, and then catch one of the late afternoon or evening flights out to the little village of King Salmon. Here you will overnight. Once in King Salmon, contact the charter company, Egli Air Haul, at 907-246-3554 to let them know you have arrived (or you may press #20 at the airport terminal call-console). If you are overnighting in King Salmon Friday night, it is just a short walk away from the airport to your lodging.
The next morning (Saturday), Egli Air Haul will shuttle your party to their hangar, then transport you from King Salmon to the camp via bush plane. The flight is 1 to 1 ½ hours, and 2-3 round-trips are required to get all guests/gear to camp. The landing strip at the camp is a portion of the tidal estuary where you will be fishing…so the charter company has a limited window (low tide) to get clients in, twice a day. Literally, you set down the plane on dry beach, go stow your gear and enjoy lunch, then walk back and hook silvers in two feet of water where the plane just was. Things change fast in the bush!
The flight from King Salmon to the camp is at first routine, then quickly turns spectacular as you fly through one of the many passes that connect the inland plains with the Pacific Ocean. The coastal range is absolutely gorgeous, and when you break through to the ocean itself, the view is breathtaking, giving you the feeling you have just flown through a portal to another world. And this just sets the tone for where you will be spending the following week.
At the conclusion of your week, Egli Air Haul will return for you (Saturday morning), so it will not be a fishing day. Please make your flight from King Salmon back to Anchorage departing no earlier than 4:30pm, as it will take several trips to transfer first guests, then all the luggage back from camp. Please note that if there are weather or other transportation delays which preclude flying the scheduled fixed wing charter to/from camp, a helicopter charter will be available at your choice (helicopters can comfortably fly in near zero visibility and/or weather that would be dangerous for fixed-wing aircraft).
Lodging at Alaska Wilderness Safari
On Saturday, the day of your arrival to camp, you will be greeted by Rus and his crew, who will carry your bags up the hill to the camp, and get you settled into your tent.
After organizing your gear, a quick snack and an orientation talk, the guides will have you suit up and walk down to the river for your first experience on this phenomenal fishery.
The camp is located on a hillside high above the river, with a spectacular view of the river valley in one direction, the ocean in the other, and everywhere the massive coastal range, replete with glaciers, waterfalls and awe-inspiring vistas. Each two people share a roomy tent (the camp holds 9 anglers, so each week one person will have a private tent), and meet for delicious meals in the cook tent. There is a limited open bar, and plenty of beer and sodas cooling in the cold natural spring adjacent to camp. The camp is cleaned daily, and kept as spotless as a tent camp can be. All
bedding is supplied (cots and lined sleeping bags), there are hangars to put shirts and jackets onto, large snap-lock waterproof containers to organize the rest of your clothing into, dry mats on the floor, and a nightstand with lighting next to your pillow. Everything is clean, comfortable, and well thought-out. The hot water shower and sink facilities are roomy and convenient, and bathrooms are outhouses located on trails well away from camp.
The food here is beyond the normal plentiful camp grub; Rus brings in a professional chef to make sure the meals, breads and desserts are homemade at the camp, and memorable. Expect wonderful appetizers each day after fishing, then an hour to relax and/or take a hot shower before the real eating begins!
Fishing Day at Alaska Wilderness Safari
On your day of arrival, you will have a few hours in the afternoon to get out and work out the kinks.
Following this you will have 6 straight days; these are full fishing days, and the exact schedule will depend on the your wishes, as well as fishing and weather conditions. Breakfast and dinner will be served in the lodge and mid-day meals are served in the field, streamside, or you may return to the camp for lunch if you like. Regardless, with the fishing virtually within a stone's throw of the lodge, your fishing days are full days – pace yourself. The first five days will be spent fishing the river in front of camp, and the large, "bonefish" tidal flats located a short walk or boat ride upriver. As an option, guests can walk up the smallish
main river tributary, fishing a trout rod for sea run dollies averaging 12-20 inches (with the occasional brute in the 23-25 inch range); this little creek is usually full of salmon as well, and offers a real change of pace from the fishing downstream. The final two days are spent exploring even more remote silver rivers by helicopter, streams that are never fished outside of camp guests – this is an experience beyond description! Just the flights alone are life experiences, flying over remote tundra beaches, hovering in front of feathery mountain waterfalls, and landing on remote streams often black with fish.
Making Reservations to AK Wilderness Safari
To make a reservation, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours any day of the week. We can give you the answers you need, detailed explanations to questions you might have, or check on availability and confirm your reservation in minutes.