While there are literally hundreds of fishing lodges scattered throughout Alaska, there are only a handful of truly great ones; the cream of the crop that are the absolute best at everything they do. Brian Kraft’s Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge is easily one of the best – a full-service, fly-out lodge with an amazing location, a world-class team of guides, and a line-up of amenities, accommodations, and equipment that’s as good – if not better – than anything you’ll find anywhere in the world. Nestled high on the riverbank of the world-famous Kvichak River, A.S.L. is ideally situated in the very heart of the Bristol Bay region. The fishing is excellent on the lodge’s home water, and the location is very close to many of Alaska’s most famous fly-out rivers as well. All daily fly-outs are included in the package price. Spend a week at Sportsman’s, and the only thing that you’ll worry about is how soon you can re-book for the following year!
Typical Length of Stay
The standard Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge package is a 7 day and 7 night package, although shorter length of stays are offered. Call Yellow Dog for details.
Accommodations and Lodging
Sitting on the riverbank overlooking the world-famous Kvichak River, Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge consists of a 3,500 square-foot, solid cedar, chalet-style main lodge, three duplex cabins for guests, the “Iliamna” guest cabin, and a wood burning sauna.
The lodge can accommodate a maximum of 16 guests per week, and all the cabins have hot and cold running water and 24-hour-a-day electrical service from the generator plant. The guest cabins were designed for comfort and all have breathtaking views of the Kvichak River. Each double-occupancy room is complete with a private bathroom, shower, and two very comfortable full beds with linens and comforters. The Iliamna cabin can comfortably sleep four guests and is perfect for small groups or families. This cabin has its own living room, loft with a reading area, a kitchenette, and a private bath. Each day your room will be cleaned by staff members.
The entire lodge is connected by a boardwalk that runs from the floating dock up to the main lodge. The main lodge has a hardwood-floored dining room, a comfortable living room with a fireplace, couches and rockers, a wet bar, fly tying area, a tackle/guides room, a loft with a reading area and map room, and a laundry room. The main lodge is spacious enough for all of the guests to stretch out and relax, yet it is intimate enough to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow guests and guides.
Food and Beverages
The lodge chef will prepare three hearty meals each day. Breakfast includes hot and cold cereals, muffins, breads, fruits, eggs, French toast, pancakes, bacon, sausage, reindeer sausage, juices, and coffee. Lunch usually consists of sandwiches and soups packed for your day on the water. A shore lunch can be arranged with your guide and adds a nice experience on a warm Alaskan day. Dinners at the lodge include Alaskan style appetizers, NY strips, prime rib, crab legs, fresh salmon, halibut, shrimp, chicken, and pork all followed by delicious desserts. Do not plan on losing weight at Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge! The lodge doe not supply any hard liquor, but they do provide the beer and wine. Feel free to bring a bottle of your favorite liquor, and the lodge will provide all of the common mixers.
As you travel down the crystal clear Kvichak (pronounced “kwee-JACK”) River from majestic Lake Iliamna, you will find The Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge nestled high on the riverbank. This intimate, full service fishing lodge – one of the most famous fly fishing lodges in all of Alaska – is located in the heart of the Bristol Bay region, home not only to the world’s richest commercial and sport salmon fisheries, but is also Alaska’s only designated “Trophy Rainbow Trout” area. Here, snow-fed streams flow crystal-clear from the mountains across the rolling tundra to the sea, and the purity of this nutrient-rich environment allows fish to grow to an enormous size. With annual salmon runs in the millions and rainbow trout in excess of thirty inches, anglers throughout the world see this specific area as home to the finest sport fishing in the entire region. Anglers fishing out of Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge will fish by both wading or drifting, utilizing either fly tackle or conventional gear. (There are streams that are designated as fly fishing-only areas and there are rivers that allow both fly fishing and the use of conventional gear.) The type of fishing you do is your choice. Your guide is there to help you and to educate you about the rivers in the area and all of the different angling methods.
The location of this lodge is one of the strongest attributes of this operation, and A.S.L. was built on the Kvichak River for three very important reasons. First, the Kvichak River has the largest salmon run in the world, with literally millions of fish swimming right past the lodge every summer. Second, the Kvichak River has some of Alaska’s largest rainbow trout and indeed some of the largest rainbows in the entire world. This is a known fact. The Kvichak will consistently produce rainbow trout in excess of 27″ with fish over 30” caught very season. The population of these fish is very healthy, and the fish are protected by Alaska Department of Fish & Game regulations for catch and release only. Finally, the third reason the Kvichak River was the desired location to build Alaska’s Sportsman’s Lodge was because of the close proximity to other excellent fishing streams that can be quickly accessed by using the lodge’s floatplanes. The lodge is only a short flight away from some excellent fly fishing-only streams for rainbows, as well as some fantastic salmon streams.
By fishing at a lodge like A.S.L. that is located on a trophy river such as the Kvichak, you can be assured that you will have the opportunity to fish every day during your stay at the lodge. Many lodges in this area have a program that is structured so that you must fly-out every day because there is limited fishing where their lodge is located. It is very important to choose a lodge that is able to provide trophy fishing opportunities every day of the season, regardless of weather or adverse conditions. At the Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge, you get the best of both worlds. The fishing is excellent on the “home” river, and the location is very close to many “fly-out” rivers. Many times throughout the season, especially when targeting big rainbow trout, the Kvichak is the river of choice. But, throughout the Bristol Bay / Lake Iliamna area, there are other tremendous fishing opportunities and the lodge wants clients to have the chance to see and experience the flavor of this great area. With that in mind, the lodge has several of its own private float planes and pilots to take guests to different rivers throughout the area to fish for salmon, Arctic Char, and rainbow trout. The central location makes many of the remote streams very accessible; most are literally only a short flight away. Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge is also near Katmai National Park and Preserve and has permits to operate on several “limited access” rivers. The benefit of choosing to visit the Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge is that whether you decide to fly-out to fish a nearby stream or stay and experience the wonders that the home river offers, your fishing day will be filled with adventure and excitement. By the way, all daily fly-outs are included in the package price.
Boats and Equipment
Two DeHavilland Beavers and one Cessna 180 (all on floats) provide fishing access throughout the region. The lodge also utilizes a large fleet of aluminum boats equipped with Yamaha jet motors – some based at the lodge itself, and many others strategically scattered throughout the region on numerous rivers. The lodge does include all rods, reels, flies and all terminal tackle if guests want to travel light.
** Effective on January 1, 2012, Alaska will enforce a ban on felt-soled wading boots to help prevent the spread of a slew of potential water diseases. Please keep that in mind while planning for your trip.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
For non-anglers, the lodge offers a variety of activities including scenic flights, wildlife viewing, boat tours, and seasonal bird hunting. The lodge staff is fantastic about accommodating non-anglers and family members.
How To Get There
Your trip starts upon arrival in Anchorage, Alaska. Several major airlines serve Alaska from the lower 48 with direct connections to Anchorage. Once you arrive in Anchorage, your direct flight to Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge is included in the price of your trip package. Most anglers arrive into Anchorage the day before their departure to the lodge, overnight in the city, and then fly to the lodge the following day.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
It is recommended that guests overnight in Anchorage the day before the trip begins. On the day that you fly to the lodge, you will check in at the airport and board a classic DC-3 that will fly directly to the small airstrip that is close to the lodge. Upon arrival, you will be by the guides and staff of A.S.L. and transferred to the lodge.
Please contact us for the current pricing. Remember that there is no mark-up for going through FRA and Yellow Dog. You never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.
Because many deposits and final payments for trip packages are non-refundable, it is highly recommended that you purchase trip insurance in the event that you have to cancel, postpone or reschedule your trip for any reason. Please be aware that this is the only way that we can assist you with compensation for a cancelled trip. For more information or for assistance in purchasing trip insurance, please contact us or visit our Travel Insurance page.
- Airfare between Anchorage and the Lodge on a lodge chartered flight
- Double occupancy cabin room with two comfortable beds, linens, comforter, private bath with hot and cold running water, and daily maid service
- All daily fly-outs in Lodge aircraft
- Daily guided fishing with licensed guides
- All necessary fishing gear, all flies, and access to a fully stocked fly tying bench
- Alaskan fishing license and Salmon stamp
- Meals, beverages, beer, and wine
- Professional vacuum sealing and preparation of salmon for shipment home
- Shipment of your salmon back to Anchorage
What’s Not Included
- Airfare to Anchorage
- Hotel and meals in Anchorage
- Alcoholic beverages other than beer and wine (hard liquor is not included and you need to bring your own if you want it!)
- Guide and staff gratuities
The Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge is nestled on the bank of the Kvichak (kwee-Jack) River four miles downstream from the inlet to Lake Iliamna, and 250 miles southwest of Anchorage. The Kvichak is the only connection between Bristol Bay and Lake Iliamna. Thus, each year millions of salmon that are returning to the Iliamna drainage to spawn must swim right past the lodge. The largest salmon run in the world is out the front door of the lodge cabins! With all of the salmon in this watershed, the native rainbow trout grow to unbelievable size.
Lake Iliamna is Alaska’s largest lake. It is 90 miles long, 30 miles wide, and up to 1,000 feet deep. The lake has 34 snow fed tributaries that provide for excellent spawning grounds for the salmon. The lake is drained to the Southwest by the Kvichak River, which connects the lake to Bristol Bay. Any Salmon that return to the Lake Iliamna/Lake Clark drainage must use the Kvichak to get there.