Located on the remote banks of the Aniak River, it’s jam packed with rainbows, dollies, grayling, salmon, sheefish and northern pike. It’s a fish factory. Talk about a complete fly fishing experience!
Aniak River Lodge is unique among Alaska lodges in several ways. First, their accommodations, instead of being either an established lodge or a wilderness tent camp, are actually, potentially, both. Guests travel from Anchorage to the outpost village of Aniak, where they are met by lodge staff, and transferred upstream 30 miles to their lovely new wood lodge on the remote banks of the river. Here they will typically spend the week, using jet boats for transportation (and in some cases to fish from, if so desired), for rainbows, dollies, grayling, salmon (in August), sheefish and northern pike. If everyone at the lodge agrees to make the change, anglers will have the option to spend a couple of nights and days at the upriver Wilderness Camp – if so, they will be jet-boated about 10 miles upriver (fishing all the way), arriving at the Wilderness Tent Camp in time for hors d’oeuvres, a great meal and a hot shower. The next 2 days and nights will be spent here, targeting big rainbows, char, Dolly Varden and grayling (and silver salmon, in August). Guests will then be returned to the lodge to finish out the week.
Another feature setting ARL apart is the large amount of fishing water you will have all to yourself! Other than the occasional private rafter passing through, anglers will have near-exclusive use of the upper/middle reaches of the Aniak that surround both the lodge and the camp. These reaches of the river are heavily braided and utterly jam-packed with fish! Jet boats are used to access the many miles of river either upstream of the lodge or downstream. Anglers return each night to a great dinner, warm bunk and that all important shower.
Finally, in these upper reaches of the river lurk many large, heavy-shouldered leopard rainbow trout, many of which will never be hooked, or even see a fly. These big rainbow trout are more than willing to come to the surface and attack skated mouse flies, one of the great thrills of the freshwater angling experience. And unlike some rivers where the mouse fishing is strictly a June and September, hit-and-miss opportunity, Aniak River rainbows will come to the surface with some predictability all season long. The subsurface fishing is amazing! Big rainbows, char, dolly varden and grayling will clobber swung and dead-drifted flesh flies, egg patterns, leeches and sculpins. Even the water in front of camp awaits, for more potential hookups at day’s end!
Reservations & Rates
The cost of the 7-night/6-day Aniak River Lodge package is $6,295.00 per person.
Included in your angling package at the Aniak River Lodge is lodging at both Aniak River Lodge, and the wilderness tent camp, if everyone at the lodge agrees to a couple of nights and days at the camp (tent camp offers hot showers, running water, two bathrooms, weatherproof tents with carpeted floors, propane heaters, cots, sleeping bags, blankets, mosquito nets, linens and towels, and daily room cleaning). Otherwise, the whole week will be spent at the main lodge. Also, an experienced, Coast Guard-licensed guide for each 2 anglers, jet sleds for transportation to daily fishing, and all meals, snacks, and drinks (water, coffee and soft drinks – alcohol is not provided, as Aniak is a damp village, so alcohol cannot legally be sold).
Not included in your angling package at Aniak River Lodge are flights to and from the village of Aniak, fishing license, gratuities, alcohol, fishing gear, or 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.
• Travel Guard Insurance
Seasons at Aniak River Lodge
These big trout are more than willing to come to the surface and attack skated mouse flies.
By late June through July one of the biggest runs of king and chum salmon enters the Kuskokwim River. Many of those salmon are headed for the Aniak. If the fishing for kings and chums isn't enough for you, then the rainbows garbaging mouse patterns, streamers and eggs will keep your fly rod busy. You will also find sockeye salmon in the Aniak
through August. The numbers of Dolly Varden in the river and tributaries is almost beyond belief. This is the best time of year to target sheefish and the rivers large population of northern pike in the lower river.
In early August immense schools of silver salmon enter the Aniak River, and change the fisheries dramatically. Suddenly, every backwater is flooded with these chrome sea-runs, and they are eating both streamers and surface poppers. The month of August is the time to come for anglers wanting to fish for both rainbows and silver salmon. The silver salmon tend to average 7-10 pounds, and the Aniak harbors excellent numbers of 18-24 inch trout all season long. And millions of Dolly Varden!
By early September silver salmon are still prominent throughout the Aniak, though are coloring up. Anglers still do well on egg patterns as well as streamers emulating sculpin, or chunks of rotting salmon flesh - these routinely produce the biggest rainbows. The changing colors are spectacular this time of year, and the Aniak River is full of some of the biggest rainbows of the year, many of whom are again on the prowl for a skated mouse fly.
This is a one-of-a kind flyfishing experience, set within pristine Alaskan scenery, just the way Mother Nature made it. Please give us a call if we can assist in arranging dates or answering any additional questions for you.
Getting To Aniak River Lodge
Arrival into Anchorage is always on Friday, with the overnight spent there at one of the many fine hotel options, followed by the flight to the lodge on Saturday; the procedure is reversed on your day of departure, with guests flying back to Anchorage from Aniak the following Saturday.
Lodging at Aniak River Lodge
Aniak River Lodge is a wilderness fishing outpost, far off the beaten path. For over a decade Aniak River Lodge was actually a deluxe river tent camp, with large Weatherport tents on wood platforms, real beds, hot showers, and really good camp fare.
In 2016 the owner opened up his new classic wood Alaska lodge on the banks of the Aniak. Each two guests now share a spacious private cabin with ensuite bathroom and shower, and full electricity, and are each connected to the main lodge via boardwalk. The spacious, comfortable main lodge is where anglers take breakfasts and dinners, enjoy their favorite evening libations, and gather to recount the day’s adventures. The lodge owner now brings in a trained chef for lodge meals, which are now always far better than simple camp fare! Though there is currently an option for guests to spend a few days away from the lodge at the original camp, this is only optional, and many guests choose to spend the full week at the improved amenities at the lodge.The brand new Aniak River Lodge facility is comfortable, well-appointed, and adjacent to miles of great salmon and trout water.
Fishing at Aniak River Lodge
One of the great benefits of a river-based operation is flexibility in the daily fishing program…since you are right on the water, travel time does not factor into your day on the water.
At Aniak River Lodge, if you prefer to sleep in, or get up extra early... no problem, the Aniak River Lodge crew will make it happen. The level of personalized service is awesome. Once you have gotten up and enjoyed your choice of breakfast options, you will meet your guide down at the
boats (2 anglers per boat/guide), and be off in your jet boat for a day covering the many gorgeous miles of the Aniak River. This river is the perfect size to accommodate the lodge's jet-powered skiffs, and easily waded after arriving to the various fishing runs and braids. Lunches are normally taken streamside, allowing for maximum fishing hours. Each day you will find new favorite pools, and have the option of returning to them, or exploring for new adventures. As each day draws to a close, tired anglers are boated back to the lodge, and the awaiting hot showers, appetizers and amazing dinner entrées.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• Aniak River Lodge is the only fly fishing lodge on the entire, major Aniak River system – countless miles of main river, side channels, and tributary streams all to just 14 anglers a week. That means no one is low-holing you or running their jet boat over your fishing water. You can fish at your own pace and know you have miles of river to explore with your guide.
• Because there is so little fishing pressure on the river, the Aniak offers some of the finest mousing and streamer fishing for rainbows in Alaska. Beads work very well here, but because the fish are so untouched, they are very aggressive to more traditional Alaska fly patterns, as well. The mousing on the Aniak may be the best in Alaska for larger rainbows, and is at its best in June and July - streamers are great, year round.
• The standard program at ARL is seven nights at the comfortable new riverside lodge, though with a possible option for two of those night/days to be spent at an upriver wilderness tent camp (if everyone at the lodge agrees to it). It’s like two different trips in one. This is a grand and classic Alaska adventure, multi-faceted and a great way for anglers to fish and experience two different areas of a massive and fish-filled river system.
• Aniak River is an Alaska fish factory the likes of which is becoming increasingly harder to find. In addition to fantastic rainbow trout fishing, there are almost obscene numbers of Dolly Varden, plenty of Arctic Grayling, all five species of Pacific salmon, northern pike, and even good numbers of the elusive sheefish. You will catch fish here, and a lot of them - and the toughest decision you will have to make each morning is what species you want to target. We say go after them all.
• There is an experienced guide and lodge staff, and well-maintained boats and motors; there is very little down time between breakfast and dinner, and this is an excellent place for all levels of anglers. You can choose to target big rainbows one day, then catch salmon the next, target dollies and grayling another day, run down river for sheefish and big northern pike the next – the options are many and you won’t be bored, we guarantee it!
• Fishing can be done either wading, or from the boats, depending on angler preference. Wading anglers tend to prefer the smaller tribs and side channels, while boat anglers can cover fish on the main river that get almost no pressure. The wading, especially on the tributaries is relatively simple and easy, perfect for older anglers that love to wade fish, but don’t like heavy water and slippery bottoms. ARL can accommodate nearly any sort of angler, no matter what their physical ability.