There are at least a dozen aspects to consider when choosing a sport fishing trip in Alaska. Three which should not be overlooked are:

1.) Location of the lodge

2.) Proximity to home waters,

3. ) Experience of the outfitter.

Rainbow King Lodge has all 3 of these covered, plus a lot more.

Location, location, location!  Located a stone’s throw from Lake Iliamna, Rainbow King is one of a handful of so-called legacy lodges in the Bristol Bay/Iliamna drainage. It sits in the epicenter of some of the best rainbow trout fishing in the world. Rainbow King is a fly-out lodge, with many of the best trout streams 15 to 30 minutes away by floatplane. The longest flights are an hour to the coast, where anglers target fresh runs of Pacific Salmon and for those interested in taking home fresh fish – halibut. Within a short flight, or quick jet-boat ride, lies world-renowned trout fisheries like: Newhalen, Talarik Creek, Moraine, Gibraltar, Funnel, Dream, South East, Copper, Kvichak, Battle, Branch, Kukaklek, the American – the list goes on and on…

As Pacific Salmon arrive to spawn in these Lake Iliamna tributaries, resident river and migratory lake rainbows follow, gorging on their eggs.  It’s an annual ritual of feast or famine for the trout that begins in mid-July and continues through the end of September.  By mid-September most of the salmon are dead or dying and swinging big streamers that imitate salmon flesh or foraging sculpins can produce savage strikes and huge fish.  The trophy waters of the Lake Iliamna and Katmai Basin offer one of the best chances in the world to hook and land a wild rainbow trout in excess of 10 lbs. Rainbow King Lodge also holds private access leases on a number of small trout streams with epic trout populations – they have to be experienced to be believed!

Of course, Alaska has more to offer than rainbow trout.  Just as easily accessed from the lodge are the remote coastal salmon streams on the Cook Inlet and in Bristol Bay. Some of these coastal watersheds don’t even have a name, but on the right tide, during certain times in the summer and fall, they stack up with Pacific Salmon so thick you can almost walk across them. All five species of Pacific Salmon can be pursued at Rainbow King Lodge, along with Arctic Grayling, Dolly Varden, Arctic Char, Northern Pike, and lake trout.

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Reservations & Rates

Rainbow King Lodge starts their season each June and ends in late September. The Rainbow King Lodge all-inclusive six-day and six-night fishing package runs $8,500 per person.

For groups of 8 or more (all-inclusive) the rate is $8,300 per person.

Included in your Rainbow King Lodge package are Fly-outs; Licensed Guides; All Necessary Fishing Gear; Rods; Reels; Wading Boots; All Meals; Non-Alcoholic Beverages; Salmon and Halibut Packaging & Airline Approved Fish Box; Daily Maid Service; Limited Mobile Phone Service; and Wi-Fi.

Not included in your Rainbow King Lodge package are Airfare to and from your home to Anchorage and to and from Anchorage to Iliamna; Gratuities; Bed Tax; Liquor; Fishing License & King Salmon Stamp (seasonal); Chest waders are the one fishing item you will need to bring or purchase on-site.

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

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Seasons at Rainbow King Lodge

At least one of the salmon species will be available at all times of the season, allowing you to plan your trip to include the species of your choice:

• King Salmon – mid-June to late July
• Sockeye Salmon – late June to early August
• Chum Salmon – early July to mid/late August

• Pink Salmon – mid-July to mid-August
• Silver Salmon – early August to end of the season in September

While all Salmon species will never run at the same time, the best overlap of runs will occur from mid to late July.

Rainbow Trout are available throughout the season, with the largest and most plentiful being available during June and mid-August through September.

Arctic Grayling fishing is always excellent, as is the Dolly Varden, Arctic Char, Northern Pike and halibut on the coast.

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Getting to Rainbow King Lodge

Rainbow King Lodge is located 190 miles southwest of Anchorage on the shores of Lake Iliamna, Alaska’s largest lake.

Sunday – Day of Arrival:
Depending on where you are flying from you may have to travel to Anchorage the day before your scheduled arrival date at the lodge and overnight at one of the many fine hotels in the city and then travel to Iliamna the following afternoon. We will be glad to help you with suggestions regarding your hotel reservations.

For those guests on the west coast you may be able to take an early morning flight to Anchorage, arriving in time to connect with a charter flight to Iliamna that same afternoon. You will fly into Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. From there you will need to take a cab or Uber to Merrill Field and the Lake Clark Air Terminal. Rainbow King works directly with Lake Clark Air transporting guests between Anchorage and Iliamna at set times on Sunday.

You must arrive at Lake Clark Air at Merrill Field in Anchorage no later than 4:00 PM to catch the 4:30 PM flight to the lodge, (from Anchorage to Iliamna) an approximate one hour scenic flight through Lake Clark Pass.

Upon arriving at the Iliamna Airport, you are greeted by the lodge courtesy van, and guides which provide comfortable transportation for you and your gear to Rainbow King Lodge, just 3 miles away. Once at the lodge you will be introduced to the staff, given a tour of the property and shown to your private accommodations. Now it’s time to relax and get ready for the Alaska fishing experience of a lifetime. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be available in the lodge lounge, and dinner will be served in the dining room at 7:00 pm, followed by a complete orientation of your fishing holiday for the next six days.

Monday – Saturday: Six full days of fishing:
Rainbow King has an extremely unique fishing program that offers private access to many of the region’s finest streams and rivers. Dream Creek, Southeast Creek, Upper Copper, The Gorge of the Newhalen River, Gibralter, and others are secured by exclusive access licenses. It's an Alaskan fishing experience solely available through Rainbow King Lodge.

Usually during cocktail hour, the night before, the lodge manager and head guide will sit down with each guest and make a tentative plan for the following fishing day (weather dependent of course), set a departure time and take your lunch and drink order. Depending on when you are scheduled to depart the next morning, coffee (made to your specifications) or beverage of your choice will be delivered to your door approximately 1 ½ hours before departure. You can make your way to the dining room to fuel up with a hearty, cooked to order breakfast; steak and eggs, Eggs Benedict, whatever you want, and then get suited up in your waders and meet the floatplane in front of the lodge or a short van ride to a nearby lake to start your day.

Flights to your fishing venue for the day are usually no more than 15 – 30 minutes, however if you are flying to the coast for a day of salmon or halibut fishing, flights can last as long as an hour. Your guide will carry all the essentials needed for a successful fishing day, including flies, tippet, leaders and all the fixings for a delicious lunch, including drinks of your choice.

Lunch is taken on the fly in the field, usually stream-side and prepared by your guide. Rainbow King Guides will make a freshly prepared streamside lunch often featuring the day’s catch.

After a full day of fishing and experiencing the incredible wilderness pleasures of the Alaska, you and your guide will return back to the lodge via a short plane ride, arriving around 5:00 pm in plenty of time to take a hot shower, enjoy some delicious hors d'oeuvres and an adult beverage in the rec room, and revel in the day’s fishing action, sharing stories with your fellow lodge guests.

Dinner is usually served at 7:00 pm in the dining room and is nothing less than a multi-course feast, painstakingly prepared by professional chefs. Your options for dinner may include filet mignon with snow crab, prime rib or a bourbon/pecan-crusted rack of lamb. After dinner, you are free to unwind in the comfortable rec room where there is a 70" big screen satellite TV, or sit in the hot tub, play a game of pool, or just relax and hang out with friends and family. Most people head to their room early as that wakeup call usually comes pretty early, especially as the week moves on – and another adventure awaits you tomorrow. The best part is you get to do it all over again, day after day…

Saturday – your last day of fishing at Rainbow King Lodge:
This day is just like your previous days, accept at the end of the day, after dinner, you will catch a flight back to Anchorage to continue your travels in Alaska or head home. After returning back to the lodge, after a full day of fishing, you will have a chance to shower and organize your kit, before heading to the dining room for an early dinner. This would be a perfect time to settle up your tab at the lodge pro-shop and take care of any gratuities you want leave for the staff. The flight from Iliamna to Anchorage departs at approximately 7:30 pm, which should have you back in Anchorage an hour later. If you are headed straight home, you should be able to catch a red-eye flight or overnight and start your travels home the next morning. Plan your departure from Anchorage accordingly.

For private aircraft can fly directly to Rainbow King through the Iliamna Airport (PAIL) has two paved runways with one over 5,000 feet and RNAV GPS approaches to all runways.

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Lodging at Rainbow King Lodge

The expansive lodge compound sits on the shore of Lake Iliamna, providing spectacular views and has 13 guest rooms that can accommodate a maximum of 16 guests each week, although the lodge likes to keep the number at 12. Each guest room features a full private bathroom with unlimited hot water, flush toilet, full sink and vanity, heat and 24 hour electricity – perfect for those that use CPAP machines. The rooms are very spacious with plenty of room to unpack and get organized and tastefully decorated reflecting the spirit of Alaska. Custom made mattresses that are topped with the highest-quality Pima cotton bedding assures a great night’s rest. The views out your windows are breathtaking.

The main lodge is where the dining room is located along with the lounge and recreation center, with HDTV, fireplace, hot tub, pool table and card tables. The rec center is where guests meet each evening before dinner for hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and to discuss the next day’s agenda.

You will enjoy: gourmet meals at dinner, freshly prepared fireside lunches while out fishing and made-to-order breakfasts, along with customized menus to accommodate virtually any dietary needs.

Electricity at Rainbow King Lodge is 24/7, provided by an eco-friendly hydroelectric plant just 12 miles from the lodge. The hydro plant is run-of-the-river (no dam for water storage) and uses approximately 100 feet of the natural head provided by the falls. It’s a great alternative to diesel powered generation electricity and completely eliminates the chance of fuel spillage in the surrounding waterways. For those guests that use CPAP machines, you won’t have to worry about a thing.

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Fishing at Rainbow King Lodge

Rainbow King has an extremely unique fishing program that offers private access to many of the region’s finest streams and rivers. Dream Creek, Southeast Creek, Upper Copper, The Gorge of the Newhalen River, Gibralter, and others are secured by exclusive access licenses. It's an Alaskan fishing experience solely available through Rainbow King Lodge.

Usually during cocktail hour, the night before, the lodge manager and head guide will sit down with each guest and make a tentative plan for the following fishing day (weather dependent of course), set a departure time and take your lunch and drink order. Depending on when you are scheduled to depart the next morning, coffee (made to your specifications) or beverage of your choice will be delivered to your door approximately 1 ½ hours before departure. You can make your way to the dining room to fuel up with a hearty, cooked to order breakfast; steak and eggs, Eggs Benedict, whatever you want, and then get suited up in your waders and meet the floatplane in front of the lodge or a short van ride to a nearby lake to start your day.

Flights to your fishing venue for the day are usually no more than 15 – 30 minutes, however if you are flying to the coast for a day of salmon or halibut fishing, flights can last as long as an hour. Your guide will carry all the essentials needed for a successful fishing day, including flies, tippet, leaders and all the fixings for a delicious lunch, including drinks of your choice.

Lunch is taken on the fly in the field, usually stream-side and prepared by your guide. Rainbow King Guides will make a freshly prepared streamside lunch often featuring the day’s catch.

After a full day of fishing and experiencing the incredible wilderness pleasures of the Alaska, you and your guide will return back to the lodge via a short plane ride, arriving around 5:00 pm in plenty of time to take a hot shower, enjoy some delicious hors d'oeuvres and an adult beverage in the rec room, and revel in the day’s fishing action, sharing stories with your fellow lodge guests.

Dinner is usually served at 7:00 pm in the dining room and is nothing less than a multi-course feast, painstakingly prepared by professional chefs. Your options for dinner may include filet mignon with snow crab, prime rib or a bourbon/pecan-crusted rack of lamb. After dinner, you are free to unwind in the comfortable rec room where there is a 70" big screen satellite TV, or sit in the hot tub, play a game of pool, or just relax and hang out with friends and family. Most people head to their room early as that wakeup call usually comes pretty early, especially as the week moves on – and another adventure awaits you tomorrow. The best part is you get to do it all over again, day after day…

Your last day of fishing is just like your previous days, accept at the end of the day, after dinner, you will catch a flight back to Anchorage to continue your travels in Alaska or head home. After returning back to the lodge, after a full day of fishing, you will have a chance to shower and organize your kit, before heading to the dining room for an early dinner. This would be a perfect time to settle up your tab at the lodge pro-shop and take care of any gratuities you want leave for the staff.

What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?

• Fishing in Alaska is about getting off the beaten path and accessing remote waters. Rainbow King has this covered in spades and ups the game by leasing a handful of world-class trout streams and rivers in Western Alaska – private water! Anglers fishing with Rainbow King have private access to Upper Talarik Creek, Dream Creek, South East Creek, the Upper Copper River and the New Halen Gorge. That’s peace of mind; the water you are on for the day is not being fished by another outfitter and routinely rested to ensure a world class angling experience, each and every day.

• Located a stone’s throw from Lake Iliamna, Rainbow King Lodge sits in the epicenter of some of the best rainbow trout and salmon fishing in the world. Many of Alaska’s best trout and salmon streams are a short 15 to 30 minute flight away by floatplane. That translates into less time in the air and more time on the water – fishing. And if weather keeps the bush planes out of the air, Rainbow King has one of the most prolific salmon and trout fishing rivers a short drive from the lodge. No matter what the weather dishes out, you can rest assure you will be fishing each and every day while staying with Rainbow King Lodge.

• We don’t know a simpler and easier lodge to travel to and from, than Rainbow King Lodge. Simply depart for Anchorage, Alaska on a morning flight, arriving in time to connect with a late afternoon flight to the village of Iliamna, and you are there. Less time traveling and negotiating busy airports getting to and from makes Rainbow King a true and hassle free fly fishing holiday and allows you to concentrate on relaxing and re-creating yourself in the wilds of Alaska.

• Most fly out lodges in Alaska have one or two aircraft, Cessna 185 or 206 and maybe one DeHavilland Beaver. Rainbow King Lodge goes all in and utilizes two DeHavilland Beavers on floats as well as a float equipped DeHavilland Single Turbin Otter to move their clients safely and effortlessly to and from their fisheries. And the Turbin Otter gets you there and back – fast, less time in the air, means more time on the water – no wasted motion. That’s peace of mind.

• Fishing variety is the name of the game at Rainbow King Lodge. No matter what your fishing game and passion is, Rainbow King has a fishery for you. From their private rainbow trout creeks to prolific salmon fishing rivers – there is something for everyone. They even have a halibut boat on the coast where anglers can load a fish box full of vacuumed sealed halibut fillets to take home for family and friends. Northern Pike, Dolly Varden, Arctic Grayling, you name it and Rainbow King can make it happen. Rainbow King’s fishing options are near limitless – there is something for everyone!

• Rainbow King’s world-class fishing program could not happen without an equally world-class and deluxe facility. The lodge complex and infrastructure at Rainbow King is as nice as it comes – deluxe accommodations with full private bathrooms, custom mattresses, Pima cotton bedding, 24 hour electricity, commercial kitchen staffed by professionals, rec-room with satellite TV, hot tub, billiard table – nothing is left to spare. The seasoned staff has everything they need to guarantee you will have an enjoyable, memorable, and relaxing fishing holiday.

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Making Reservations to Rainbow King Lodge

To make a reservation, please give us a call at 800-669-3474 during business hours (Monday - Friday • 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM), or email us at travel@theflyshop.com anytime. 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.