If you have not sent us your completed questionnaire, please click on the link below. This will take you an electronic questionnaire form that we ask you to complete and submit to The Fly Shop. Please be sure to click the “Submit” button at the end of the form. The information provided will help us — and the outfitter best coordinate your trip. THANK YOU!
Trip Questionnaire: CLICK HERE
Anglers headed to Rainbow River Lodge to fly fish for trophy rainbow trout (with seasonal options to catch Dolly Varden, Arctic grayling, sockeye/chum/pink/silver salmon, northern pike, lake trout), will find the gear and techniques similar to that used for these species elsewhere in Alaska. As always, there is no substitute for quality equipment, the value of which is immediately apparent upon hooking into your first wild Alaskan rainbow trout!
Rainbow River Lodge has excellent waders and wading shoes, and spare rods and reels for their guest’s use. This is excellent gear should anglers, for whatever reason, find themselves in a pinch. Or, if you would like to simply use the lodge’s waders and tackle, let us know, and we will arrange this ahead of time. Most anglers choose to bring all their own fishing and personal equipment with them to the lodge.
Single-Handed Fly Rods:
Though a few of the rivers are large enough to allow the use of light switch rods, single-handed rods are really the best choice on the various streams you’ll be fishing. They are best fished with 9’ or 9’ 6” rods that are designed to cast 6, or 7 weight lines. Ideally, fishermen should have two rods available for the trip, each rigged with different flies and lines according to the guide’s suggestions. This will maximize your time on the water, negating the need to continually change out lines and flies. Bottom line, though, a floating line will be what you’re using the most; if you’re only bringing one outfit, make sure it has a floating line rigged up and ready to fish. Sage, Winston, Scott, and The Fly Shop’s Signature Rods are rods to consider if you are looking to add a new rod to your quiver.
Single-Handed Fly Reels:
Single-action fly reels with rim-control features are needed for these hot rainbow trout. Your reel should be equipped with a drag system that’s smooth, and reliable. Extra spools rigged and ready to go with sinking tips or spare floating lines are optional. Ross, Galvan, Hatch, Abel, and The Fly Shop’s Signature reels each produce quality products with excellent drag systems.
Single-Handed Fly Lines:
A floating line is going to be the most used tool during your stay at Rainbow River Lodge, as it allows for maximum flexibility with different fishing techniques. Anglers often go from dead-drifting single egg patterns beneath indicators to throwing weighted streamers, to skipping mice across the surface, all of which can be accomplished with a large belly floating taper.
Single-Handed Fly Line Suggestions:
Make a note to bring bright-colored fly lines, such as yellow, orange, or chartreuse. This allows constant tracking of your fly’s whereabouts, and the ability to avoid submerged snags that are more than willing to take your flies. For a floating line, Scientific Anglers manufactures a fantastic line – the Anadro Taper – with an extended and bulked-up forward taper perfect for turning over the larger flies (or indicators) used.
Remember that all flies are included as a part of the lodge rate – the following suggestions are for those anglers that like to tie their own patterns and/or just want to have a few of their own to bring.
Early Season Rainbow Trout Flies:
Early in the season, big streamers and dry flies are the patterns of choice. Leeches, smolt patterns, sculpins, and wooly buggers are all great options, often swung through riffle drops and deep current seams. As well, don’t hesitate to skate a big mouse pattern, as these early season fish are hungry after a long, cold winter, and will often crush a skittering rodent. Remember, these big trout are by no means leader shy. Dry fly hatches are prolific on Rainbow River Lodge’s home river in June/July – caddis, stoneflies, mayflies and mice.
Fly Selections for the Early Season (June thru July):
- Sculpzilla’s #4
- Lanier’s Streamer #4
- Silvey’s Sculpin, tan/black/olive #4
- Living Leech, black/chartreuse #2
- Egg Sucking Leech black/purple #4
- Home Invader, white #6
- King Smolt #2
- Mr. Hankey (mouse) #4
- Dali Lama, olive #2
- Mercer’s Missing Link dry #14-16
Mid-Season Rainbow Trout Flies:
At this time of year (August thru early September), sockeye salmon will be thick, and spawning in the rivers of Rainbow River Lodge. With the onset of spawning, trout begin to move out of traditional river lies and adjacent lake systems, positioning themselves behind mid-river salmon spawning redds, drawn to the massive protein infusion into the system. Guides typically have their angler indicator-nymphing with beads or yarn egg patterns. Arctic grayling and Dolly Varden compete with the rainbow trout at this time of year. Both are crazy about salmon eggs – this is definitely the time of year for those who predicate the success of their trip on sheer numbers of fish! The guides will provide the indicators, beads and hooks.
Fly Selections for Mid-Season (August thru early September):
- Articulated Flesh #6
- Mercer’s Mini Carcass #8
- Mercer’s Skin N’ Bones #6
- Clown Egg #6-10
- Single Eggs #8
- Mouse patterns are optional at this time of year
Late Season Rainbow Trout Flies:
Once the heaviest runs of spawning sockeye salmon are over, resident trout will slowly slide back into bankside cover, and more and even larger lake rainbows will continue to enter the rivers. Streamers and mouse patterns will once again be swung and skated. Beads continue to be quite effective, but savvy anglers understand that the biggest trout are scarfing down tons of decomposing salmon flesh, as the spawned-out sockeyes die and drift downstream, disintegrating along the way. Dead-drifting “flesh” patterns this time of year can account for the largest trout of the season. Along with the chance for a trout of a lifetime, there are sea-run Dolly Varden in full and spectacular spawning dress. Bankside foliage is beginning to change colors, days are getting shorter and crisper – this is a gorgeous time of the year to experience Alaska and is probably the most popular with guests.
Fly selections for Late Season Trout (early September thru early October):
Identical to the selection listed for mid-season, with the following additions:
- Living Leech, black/chartreuse #2
- Egg Sucking Jig Wiggler Leech #4
- Twofer Flesh #6
You are also free to contact us with specific equipment and trip preparation questions at (800) 669-3474 or email@example.com. We are extremely familiar with the techniques and equipment needed to best take advantage of the fishing opportunities on the rivers fished.
The most convenient way to buy your Alaska Sport Fishing License is online. The lodge does NOT sell fishing licenses; you must purchase your license in advance of your arrival to the lodge, online, at: http://www.admin.adfg.state.ak.us/license/purchasing.html
No Felt Soled Wading Boots:
Anglers are reminded that footgear with absorbent felt or other fibrous material on the soles are prohibited while sport fishing in the fresh waters of Alaska.
Spiked & Studded Wading Boots:
Please be aware that cleated and/or spiked wading boots are strictly prohibited at Rainbow River Lodge as they are extremely detrimental to float equipped aircraft and the wooden decks at the lodge. Alaska has banned the use of felt-soled boots in all of their rivers, so rubber-soled boots are what you will want to bring. If you need metal cleats in your boots as a safety issue, you will need to carry the boots on the planes and put them on after deplaning at the various fishing destinations.
Rainbow River Lodge has a Starlink Wi-Fi system in place, which will mean clients who would like to bring their own Wi-Fi-enabled electronic devices will be able to operate freely at the lodge.
Electricity at Rainbow River Lodge:
Electricity at Rainbow River Lodge is provided by a diesel generator during the day, 120V. The lodge also runs an inverter system which delivers 120V electricity all night. If you use a CPAP machine, you can plug it right into the electrical outlet in your room, no battery required.
Gratuities are a personal decision based on services rendered. Normally, guides and staff are tipped upon departure, in accordance with their individual effort and service. In most cases, we like to leave a gratuity with the camp or lodge manager. A good rule of thumb for figuring an amount to leave is 10-15 percent of the package cost. If you have any questions concerning gratuities, please feel free to call us, or ask the lodge/camp manager for guidelines. Please note that you will need to take enough cash (or a personal check) to cover gratuities, as the lodge does not take credit cards.
Rainbow River Lodge does have limited laundry service available, for those needing a one-time load of laundry done during their stay.
The Direct Phone Numbers to Rainbow River Lodge:
- Alaska lodge number: (509) 994-8181 – this is a voice over internet protocol phone.
- Chris Hartis (manager) (509) 994-8181 | firstname.lastname@example.org
- Chad Hewitt (owner) (503) 720-5063 | email@example.com
- Lake & Peninsula Airlines is located at Merrill Field Airstrip at 1740 E. 5th Avenue, Anchorage, AK 99501 (907) 345-2228
- The Fly Shop® (530) 222-3555 | (800) 669-3474 | firstname.lastname@example.org