Goodnews River Lodge
2019 Dates: June 19-26, June 26-July 3, July 10-17, July 17-24, July 24-31, July 31-August 7, & September 4-11
The Goodnews River Lodge is located in a remote corner of Southwest Alaska about 450 miles from Anchorage, at the edge of the pristine Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. As the ONLY full-service fishing lodge on the entire 3 branch river system, you will experience World Class fishing, as well as the solitude and peaceful beauty of Alaska as it should be. It’s just you and the fish. No crowds. No flying to the “best” river. It’s all here on the Goodnews River, and it’s all yours to enjoy.
The 3 forks of the Goodnews River flow out of the Ahklun Mountains and wander through the Togiak National Refuge as they make their way to the Bering Sea. There are over 490 miles of fishable streams, braids, creeks and river branches for you to enjoy, all without seeing another angler. The Lodge itself is located on the North Fork of the river, which is the main branch, right at the upper edge of tidewater, and just 7 miles from Goodnews Bay. From there, our jetboats can easily access all 3 forks of the river, as well as the lower tidewater sections. Chrome bright Salmon, most still with sea lice, are the norm. These fish are fresh and feisty and will challenge your angling skills. Resident Leopard Rainbows and Grayling live in all areas of the river and follow the salmon upriver as they get ready for their spawning rituals. It’s a river system as nature intended, with no trace of human interference besides you and your guide.
What to expect fly fishing the Goodnews River
If you are looking for a Fishing Lodge that puts fishing first, then look no further. We are the only full service lodge located on the Goodnews River, a three branch wilderness river system located about 450 miles from Anchorage, at the edge of the Togiak National Wilderness Reserve and flowing into the Bering Sea in southwest Alaska. As the only Lodge fishing the River, we control the amount of fishing pressure and are able to protect our fish. You don’t have to worry about some one beating you to the best spots, because the only other fisherman you are likely to see are your camp mates, or those of the furry persuasion.
The River boasts outstanding runs of all 5 species of Pacific salmon, sea run Dolly Varden, resident Leopard Rainbows and Arctic Grayling. The Lodge is a fixed camp right on the river just above tidewater, and is not a fly out camp. We access over 490 miles of river, creeks, braids and sloughs via a fleet of high speed jet boats. There are three options for the angler in search of his or her trophy fish:
- choose one of three river branches
- fish the tidewaters
- wade the feeder creeks
The Lodge provides one guide per two anglers. Each guide has a nose – and access – to some of the hottest holes for Trout, Grayling, Dolly Varden, and all 5 species of Pacific salmon!
So Many Fish!
Our season begins in late June with the arrival of the mighty King salmon, along with outstanding fishing for Rainbow Trout and Grayling. In addition to the Kings, Chum and Sockeye salmon move into river by the thousands in early July. These fish, like all the salmon we fish for on the River, will be chrome bright and fresh from the Bering Sea, many still sporting sea lice. Mid-July brings the arrival of the sea run Dolly Varden. Cousin to the brook trout, this is the time when some of the largest Dollys of the year are caught, up to 30”. In even numbered years, Pink Salmon by the thousands will flood the River at the same time. The “Grand Slam” season hits it’s peak at the end of July. It’s quite an accomplishment for an angler to land all 5 species of Pacific Salmon on fly in one day, and the Goodnews River is one of the few rivers in Alaska where that is possible.
But perhaps we are best known for our outstanding Silver salmon run. The first Silver is usually caught around mid July, and fresh Silvers just keep pouring in until long after the camp closes in mid September. Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden follow the salmon upriver and are easy to find as they feast on the banquet of salmon eggs deposited by the spawning Chums, Sockeyes and Pinks. Many of our repeat guests come back every August for the combination of Silvers, Rainbows and Dollys. It’s really hard to beat a day of Silvers in the morning, and then Rainbows and Dollys in the afternoon. It’s your typical day in August at the Goodnews River Lodge.
Your Typical Day
Your typical day will start steaming hot coffee for the early risers at 6:30am in the Dining Hall. A full Breakfast complete with eggs to order is served family style at 7:00 am. At that time, you will make a sandwich for lunch to enjoy on the River, or if you’d rather come back to the camp for lunch, there is always hot soup available. You will also be offered a choice of entrees for dinner that evening, including the option of fresh fish. Then it’s time to gear up, as the boats leave the Lodge at 8:15 am and return after a full day of fishing at 5:30 PM.
Once your day on the water is complete, you will return to the Lodge for a hot shower and brief rest before dinner.
Your Guides are assigned each evening after dinner for the next day’s fishing. This gives you and your Guide a chance to discuss what species you want to fish for the next day, and to make sure you have all the right gear ready. We rotate our Guides every day. That way our guests get to know all of our Guides and experience many different parts of the river, as each Guide has his favorite fishing spots and techniques. We do not put more than 2 anglers with a Guide and Boat. If you want to have a shore lunch consisting of freshly caught fish and all of the fixin’s the next day, now is the time to order it so we can have it ready for your morning departure. You are then free to tie flies, gear-up for the next day, or relax in our new Recreation Hall while swapping fish tales of the “one that got away”. Of course, if you still haven’t caught enough fish for the day, you can sample the outstanding fishing available right in front of the Lodge.
Our season begins with the arrival of the mighty King salmon in mid June, along with outstanding fishing for Rainbow Trout and Grayling. Along with the Kings, Chum and Sockeye salmon move into river by the thousands in early July. Mid July also brings the arrival of the sea run Dolly Varden, and in even numbered years, also sees the arrival of the Pink, or “Humpy” salmon. The “Grand Slam” season, catching all 5 species of pacific salmon in a single day, hits its peak the last week of July and the first week of August.
In August the Goodnews River turns Silver-Silver Salmon that is. The first silvers enter the river by the last week of July, and just keep pouring in until after the camp closes in early September. Rainbows and Dollys follow the salmon upriver and are easy to find as they feast on the banquet of salmon eggs. Many of our repeat guests come back every August for the combination of Silvers, Rainbows and Dollys.
The Lodge consists of a boathouse, dining hall, commercial kitchen, restrooms with flushing toilets and shower area, drying room, and lodging for staff and guests. The Goodnews River Lodge is completely self-sufficient! You’ll stay in one of our ten guest cabins, each with an elevated front porch overlooking the river and just right for relaxing after a long day fighting fish. They’re constructed of special hi-tech weatherproof fabric designed to give protection in the extreme Arctic environment. You may also opt for one of our new upgraded Cabins. These include their own separate bath area complete with shower, sink and toilet. Ideal for couples, they are large enough to accommodate a party of 3. (Available on a first come first served basis at an additional charge). Each guest cabin offers the following features:
- Front door and cross-ventilating windows
- Front Porch for gear storage and relaxing
- Carpeted hardwood floor
- Thermostatically-controlled propane heat
- Electric and gas lighting
- Extra long mattresses with flannel sheets and thick comforter
You may be in the wilderness, but you’ll have all of the comforts of home.
Food and Beverages
Dinner is served between 6:30 and 7:00 PM in the main Dining Hall, starting with imaginative hors d’oeuvres, refreshments and then a four-course meal consisting of freshly baked breads, salad, and a main entree served with a starch and seasonal vegetables, followed by one of our signature desserts.
Typical Length of Stay
Our weeks run Wednesday to Wednesday only, and you would need to be in Anchorage on the Tuesday before your week starts as we depart from Anchorage Airport at 9:00AM every Wednesday. (Your Anchorage stay is not included in the package price.) The return flight gets you back to Anchorage about 3:00PM the following Wednesday. We do reserve the right to access a fuel surcharge, should it become necessary.
All guests must take the Charter flight. There is really no other way to get here. The Goodnews River Lodge will not be held responsible if you miss the Charter.
Reservations are accepted on a first come first served basis. Reservations will not be confirmed until we receive your 50% non-refundable deposit per guest. Due to our short season and the need to plan far in advance, all monies are non-refundable
Notification of cancellations must be received in writing. If you must cancel, we will offer you the option to move your trip to another week in the season, if space is available. If none is available, we will allow you to find someone to come in place of you in your original week.
The Goodnews River Lodge accepts no liability for personal accident or injury to any person while a guest of the lodge while pursuing any activity at the Lodge, or while being transported in a company vehicle or in any vehicle contracted by the Goodnews River Lodge.
All personal property is considered in the safekeeping of its owner unless handed to the Proprietors for safe storage.
Rates do not include your State of Alaska fishing license, King Salmon stamp (if applicable), transportation to and from Anchorage and point of departure, your stay in Anchorage, or staff gratuities. We reserve the right to assess a Fuel Surcharge if necessary
How to Get There
All Guests of the Goodnews River Lodge will be transported to the Lodge via TransNorthern’s Super DC-3 or similar airplane direct from Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport to Goodnews Bay. TransNorthern’s flight will leave from the Lower concourse from Gate L-2 just to the left of baggage claim.
- Have your Taxi or Hotel Shuttle drop you off at the Taxi Standby Baggage Claim, cross the street, enter baggage claim, and follow the signs left towards the “A” Concourse. You do not have to go through the security lines upstairs to reach your Gate.
Flight check-in time is 8:00 A.M. Your name will be on the Manifest for the Goodnews River Lodge flight at the Gate. You do not need a ticket to board the flight, nor do you need to go to any ticket counter. The Gate Attendant will check you in and weigh your baggage. Please limit your baggage weight to 50# plus your carry on. A current departure time will be provided by the Gate Attendant. Normal departure time (weather permitting) is 9:00 am, with arrival at Goodnews Bay estimated at 11:30 am.
At the end of your stay, the charter will get you back to Anchorage at approximately 3:00 pm (weather permitting). Try not to schedule a flight home prior to 7:00 p.m.
Details about fly fishing at Goodnews River Lodge
Upcoming Goodnews River Lodge Un-Hosted Dates Available
- June 19-26 6 Spaces Available $6,250
- June 26-July 3 1 Space Available $6,250
- July 10-17 9 Spaces Available $5,950****
- July 17-24 5 Spaces Available $5,950****
- July 24-31 Kid’s Week- 12 Spaces Available- (but lots of lookers) $6,250 **
- July 31-Aug 7 10 Spaces Available $7,125
- Sept 4-11 4 Spaces Available $5,950****
** Kids Kast & Katch special, the week of July 24-July 31 Kids 12-16 are $2995, and kids under 12 are no charge with each fully paying adult. All kids this week pay charter and native fee.
**** The weeks of July 10-17, July 17-24, and Sept 4-11 include a free deluxe cabin upgrade for 2 anglers (as available)
Packages Include: While we know that nothing in life is free, we’ve done our best to make it easier and more affordable for you to visit the Goodnews River Lodge. We know that you’ll leave with a limit of priceless memories.
A Fishing Adventure package at the Goodnews River Lodge for 2017 includes 6 1/2 days of guided fishing, with only two anglers per guide, all meals, transfers and double occupancy in the camp. All flies, lures, and terminal tackle are included as well. In addition, we do have a supply of loaner gear available including rods, reels, waders, etc. at no cost should you need them. **Because there is no commercial service to the town of Goodnews Bay, we have arranged for a private charter direct from Anchorage to Goodnews Bay and return via a fully modernized Super DC-3. This not only eliminates all of the hassles in getting to the Lodge but also allows us to get you out fishing that afternoon. As there is really no other way to get here, all of our guests are required to use the charter flight.
Packages do not include:
- $975 Charter Flight
- $85 Native Land Use Fee
- Alaska Fishing License
- Travel Insurance and Global Rescue
The Goodnews River Lodge accepts no responsibility for any effect that inclement weather conditions may have on your holiday.
Adherence to dietary requirements can only be guaranteed if notified in writing at least 14 days prior to departure. All requests will be met wherever possible, but failing to provide for any special requests will not constitute a breach of contract.
Travel Arrangements & Insurance
We strongly suggest you consider Travel Insurance either through your Travel Agent or through Global Rescue at the time of your reservation. You should also check with your credit card company or bank to see if they offer protection on missed flights.
If the Goodnews River Lodge cancels a holiday, a full refund will be provided, except where the performance or prompt performance of our contractual obligations is prevented by circumstances amounting to “force majeure”. Such circumstances shall include but are not limited to, war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, terrorism, strife, industrial disruption, natural disasters, fire, technical problems, or accidents with airports, ports, or transport, inclement weather, governmental action, and similar events beyond our control.
Travel Arrangements & Insurance
Front Range Anglers will assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for trips. Contact us at 877.935.2975 or 303.494.1375 or [email protected] for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance. FRA requires all anglers to have Medical Evacuation Insurance- we recommend Global Rescue, and we HIGHLY recommend Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance.