“Affordable, no frills, wilderness silver salmon fishing” would well describe this wonderful operation near Cordova.
Custom made for the self-sufficient salmon angler that values numbers of big, bright silver salmon in a wilderness setting more than creature comforts and high-end amenities.
Easy to access via two relatively short flights from Anchorage, this lodge has become a favorite among hardcore silver salmon addicts. The river fished (accessed largely with jet boats, and/or walking) is fairly small, and annually receives a very large run of cohos. Anglers have a blast throwing streamers and surface poppers alike to these chrome torpedos, many of which can be seen holding in the shallow runs and pools. Accommodations are Spartan, food is excellent, and the guides work hard. And it is a great value.
Reservations & Rates
The cost of the week-long Hidden Cove Camp package is $4,250.00 USD per person.
Included in your angling package at the Hidden Cove Camp is lodging, round-trip transportation between Cordova and Hidden Cove Lodge, boats and professional guide service, home-cooked meals and wine with dinners. Also includes all applicable municipal rents, user fees, and sales taxes.
Not included in your angling package at Hidden Cove Camp are fishing licenses, favorite alcoholic beverages, tackle, gratuities and flights to and from Cordova from Anchorage.
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 Hidden Cove Camp
More appropriately, season, singular!
The silver salmon generally begin trickling into this small coastal river sometime in mid to late August, and by early September their numbers are filling many of the pools. Though in some years the fishing remains excellent well into October, we consider the prime weeks to be those inside the month of September. Late August can be excellent, but depending on the year, can also be a little sketchy, for numbers of fish.
Generally speaking, the first 3 weeks of September find the river stacked with ocean-bright silvers, with a few colored up specimens; the last week of the month usually sees about a 70% chrome/30% colored fish scenario, though the later you are there, the more fish in the river, typically.
Getting to Hidden Cove Camp
On the day of your arrival to Cordova, you will be greeted by Steve Ranney or his staff, and you and your gear will be loaded into one of Steve's many aircraft and you'll be on your way to Camp.
Keep in mind it may take a couple of flights to transport everyone from Cordova to the Lodge (about a 20-minute flight), and occasionally flights can be slightly weather delayed. If you prefer, you can also come in the night previous to your trip, overnight at Steve's full service Orca
Adventure Lodge in Cordova, then leave for the River Lodge first thing in the morning. The bush flight from Cordova to the lodge follows the contours of the unbelievably rugged Pacific coastline, and is spectacular, with massive ice fields, glacier-peaked mountains, azure bays, and often plenty of wildlife sightings. This is some seriously wild country!
Typically, on departure from the lodge, you'll leave late morning for Cordova, catching a connecting commercial flight back to Anchorage or Seattle the same day. Steve Ranney will make sure and get you back to Cordova in time to catch your flight out.
Lodging at Hidden Cove Camp
The camp is located in the spruce trees a few hundred yards from the airstrip.
It is actually located in an abandoned town site where old relics and steam engines are scattered through the woods. The camp consists of a new main cabin and 3 guest cabins. The new main cabin replaces an old lodge building, the last standing building in the old town site. The new cabin is very comfortable with 4 guest rooms upstairs and a modern
kitchen downstairs along with a dining hall and shower / bathroom. The guest cabins are simple yet comfortable with either wood or oil heat, and separate, walk-to bathrooms. At the Hidden Cove Lodge, each two anglers share either a rustic cabin, or newer lodge room, complete with all linens, and generator-supplied electricity with plenty of room for laying out gear and getting organized. The rooms are definitely not fancy, but spacious and serve their purpose well. And what the camp might lack in fancy, gingerbread amenities, it more than makes up in the fishing, attention to detail, and service. Meals at Hidden Cove are what you would expect in a maritime wilderness operation. Hearty and simple, they include some fresh seafood, and excellent wilderness fare (meat and potatoes). Plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits, homemade breads and desserts will satisfy even the hungriest angler. You won't go hungry at Steve's lodge, so don't plan on losing any weight.
Fishing at Hidden Cove Camp
Hidden Cove River Lodge is an approximate 20-minute flight from Cordova, Alaska, located on 100 acres of privately owned land, one of the few private land holdings in the Eastern District of the Chugak National Forest.
Hidden Cove accommodates a maximum of twelve anglers, and from right in front of the lodge anglers have access to approximately 14 miles of water (North and East branches) as well as a huge tidal lagoon. Each three
or four anglers share a guide and access the waters via an outboard powered jet-skiff. With the river being right in front of the lodge, anglers can literally fish from sun-up to sundown. It is estimated that more than 20,000 cohos migrate up the two main river branches at Hidden Cove Lodge, an incredible number. There is one other operation on this river, actually located near Hidden Cove, but with Hidden Cove's exclusive jet boat transportation, you're able to access plenty of pristine water, never needing to fish within sight of the other lodge's guests.
The highlight at Steve's Hidden Cove Lodge is fly-fishing for enormous, ocean-fresh Coho salmon ("silvers"). These brutes range up to 20 pounds, with an average fish pulling the Boga to the 9-12 pound mark; that's enough to put plenty of stress on your 8 weight! When conditions are right you can expect to catch 20 to 30 silvers per day, but anglers have had 50 and even 100 fish days. Obviously they can't guarantee you size and numbers of fish; there are too many variables. But that's been the experience of most of the past seasons. And, as if all this isn't appealing enough, much of the time you can cast dry flies to these chromers, if that's your choice. Hidden Cove Lodge offers high-volume Coho fishing, in a wilderness setting that is rugged and spectacular. These are full fishing days, and the exact schedule will depend on the guest's wishes, as well 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 lodge for lunch if you like. Regardless, with the fishing virtually within a rifle shot of the lodge, your fishing days are full days – pace yourself.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• Spartan, comfortable wooden lodge on the banks of a river that loads up with big, chrome silver salmon each September. An affordable way to access world-class silver action, catching big, beautiful salmon until your arms ache.
• A small lodge taking only 10-12 guests a week; they are the only anglers on the river, so they have endless water to fish, all to themselves. You never have to worry about sharing the river with anyone other than other lodge clients, so you can relax and fish wherever you want, at the pace that suits you best.
• Guides use well-maintained jet sleds to access miles of river and tributaries, returning each evening to the main lodge. The lower river below the lodge is tidal estuary, so most fishing is upstream, in beautiful, smaller water. You can easily access more water than you could fish in a week, and many of the pools fished are small enough to allow you to see the fish in the water before you even cast.
• Best suited for self-sufficient anglers, as the guides will not be with them 100% of the time. For those who like to fish without a guide nearby constantly, this place is perfect.
• The 30-minute flight from Cordova to the lodge is included in the package, and flies near the spectacular Mt. Saint Elias range, and glaciers. The flight alone is worth the trip!