King Salmon in stunning surroundings
Lake Creek, its tributaries and the dozen or so surrounding streams offer unlimited fly-fishing opportunities.
With king salmon in June and early July and chum salmon, pink salmon and silver salmon in late July and August, anglers will find plenty of fly rod action in the area.
Our best rainbow trout fishing begins in early August when several species of salmon are spawning in Lake Creek. We fish for rainbows into late September until freezing weather in the headwaters lowers our river temperature into the thirties.
Fly Fishing Adventure
This is a deluxe Alaska fishing lodge accommodating a maximum of 16 fishermen in 6 private riverside cabins. Comfort, courtesy, fine food, custom itineraries, attentive guides and excellent fishing combine to maximize your Alaska lodge experience.
Lake Creek, its tributaries and the dozen or so surrounding streams offer unlimited fly-fishing opportunities. With king salmon in June and early July and chum salmon, pink salmon and silver salmon in late July and August, anglers will find plenty of fly rod action in the area. Our best rainbow trout fishing begins in early August when several species of salmon are spawning in Lake Creek. We fish for rainbows into late September until freezing weather in the headwaters lowers our river temperature into the thirties.
Wilderness Place Lodge features excellent hearty meals to compliment your Alaska fishing lodge experience. We strive to serve the best selection of Alaskan and Pacific Coast entrees. Our professional chef features dishes of fresh-caught Lake Creek salmon, Alaskan Halibut, Prime Rib, and hearty extras necessary to accompany hungry fishermen. Enjoy a glass of fine wine prior to dinner, and a fresh cup of our own lodge-roasted coffee to balance out a hearty dinner. Optional in-camp breakfast is served at 8 a.m. every morning for those not on the water fishing. For early risers, a hot breakfast is delivered to you streamside while you fish. On-water breakfasts usually consist of hot egg, sausage croissants or sandwiches, fresh fruit, hot coffee and juice. We also will deliver sub-sandwiches, chips, soda, snacks, vegetables, water, fruit juices, etc. to cover lunch on the water.
We give every fisherman the option to maximize their time on the river. Also, fireside shore lunches cooked by your guide may be arranged if desired. We typically grill fresh-caught Lake Creek salmon, vegetables and baked potato plus a glass of wine and prepared dessert right from the kitchen. It’s your trip; let us know what best suits your tastes! A four-course, gourmet dinner is served at the lodge every evening at 6:00 pm to allow for evening fishing afterwards.
The fishing lodge has both standard and deluxe accommodations. Three log cabins are located on the banks of Lake Creek and four knotty pine frame cabins are located a short distance from the river’s edge. The cabins are heated with either wood or oil stoves, decorated with local artwork and are equipped to offer each guest a comfortable, deluxe yet rustic, Alaskan accommodation. Daily maid service with fresh towels is provided and we do have clothes washer/dryer facilities for the use of our guests.
Standard Cabins: One standard cabin sleeps 4; two sleep 2 each and are equipped with comfortable beds with white wool blankets and hotel quality bedding and linen.
The Deluxe Cabins: The deluxe cabins offer either single or double beds with full bath. The deluxe cabin for 4 has a full bath and costs $30 per night per person above the standard rate. The 2 deluxe cabins for two ($50 per night per person extra) is new with full bath, pine panelling, carpeting and Alaskan artwork.
Arrival and Departure
Guests leave for the lodge from Anchorage’s Lake Hood (adjacent to Anchorage International Airport) at 11:00 AM from Rust’s Flying Service unless arranged otherwise. It is recommended for the fishermen to arrive in Anchorage on the day before their trip to the lodge. Upon your arrival to Anchorage or your flight to the lodge, call Rust’s Flying Service at 1-800-544-2299 for a free complementary shuttle. On the last day of your trip, you will depart the lodge at 11:45 AM, arriving back in Anchorage by 12:30 PM. It is best to allow several additional hours in Anchorage before flying home from the Anchorage Int’l Airport.
Flying Services Guests are flown to and from the lodge in floatplanes (Cessna 206, DeHavilland Beaver, DeHavilland Otter) operated by Rust’s Flying Service based out of Lake Hood Seaplane Base adjacent to Anchorage International airport. The flying service is fully insured and has an excellent safety record. Most of the airport hotels will provide shuttle service to the flying service dock. However, if transportation is needed, it should be arranged through the flying service at least 24 hours in advance.
Equipment – Rentals
For nominal cost, we can provide you with hip boots, spinning rods and fly rods. All of these pieces of equipment must be reserved in advance.
Tackle a complete packing list of fishing tackle items is provided in advance to each guest. Some guests prefer to outfit themselves with all necessary fly-fishing or spin fishing gear prior to their visit with us. Many guests however choose to purchase their needed tackle from the fully equipped lodge tackle shop to prevent purchase of unneeded tackle. Either way, we will be sure to update you on popular lures, tackle, equipment and fly patterns for each Alaska salmon species, and rainbow trout.
Licenses Fishing licenses can be purchased at the lodge if the client has not done so in Anchorage. Cash, traveller’s checks, personal check or credit card may pay for items purchased at the lodge.
July – King Salmon
King salmon is probably the most exciting large freshwater species that can be taken on the fly. We are usually fishing from shore or wading from gravel bars to pursue these giant fish. Casting a fly to kings requires proper gear and technique. Kings run early in the season when river flows are high and the water somewhat turbid. These conditions require heavy shooting heads and large weighted flies for proper presentation. Eleven to twelve-weight rods are generally necessary to cast these lines and large flies. Later in the season when river flows are down, or when fishing from a boat, 10-weight rods usually will suffice.
Double-handed Spey fly rods, first used in our area by European anglers, can be very effective in fishing for king salmon, particularly in larger, faster areas of the river. The ability to roll cast heavy sink-tip fly lines effortlessly can be fully appreciated by those of us who have fished for years with conventional rods. We now find that many more of our clients, both American and international, are using 9 and 10-weight Spey rods of 12 to 15 foot length. Additionally the longer rods have increased fish fighting power as well as the ability to easily cast a wide variety of sinking fly lines.
Fly reels for king salmon should be large (3.5-4” spools) and preferably should have a sturdy mechanical drag system. Popular saltwater models such as the Fin-Nor #2, Sage 5500 or Billy Pate Bonefish are ideal. Many others, such as the System 2-1011 or Lamson 5 work well as long as the drag system is operating properly. Backing capacity is not as important as the necessity for a strong drag and an exposed spool rim for palm control. One hundred fifty yards is usually plenty of line capacity for kings.
Leaders for kings are usually short, consisting of a single section of 15-25# mono of only 3-5 feet in length. We often fish from shore and are not able to chase king salmon with a boat so a large fish should be turned upstream as early as possible… Easier said than done.
July/August silver, chum and pink salmon
Anyone who has fished Alaska in late July and August will attest that the Silver Salmon, Pink Salmon and Chum Salmon can provide just about the fastest fly rod action that can be experienced anywhere. Seven and 8-weight rods with floating or 10’ or 13’ T-2 Type III sink tip lines are ideal for the silvers and chums, while pinks can be fished effectively with 5 or 6-weights. Silvers usually will give lots of aerial action and are strong fighters. We usually fish silvers in sloughs or backwater pools just off the main river current. They are often in nearly still water that might not be much over a foot deep. In these conditions, use a floating line and a sparsely tied and lightly weighted fly pattern. In faster or deeper pools use larger and darker patterns weighted appropriately and fish a 10’ sink tip line or a 13’ steelhead tip line in Type II or Type III densities.
The venerable egg-sucking leech is the favourite pattern for silver salmon and chums, tied in a side array of variations to match river conditions. We use small ties, about #6 (with a total length of about 1”) in clear, smaller water, and larger ones up to about 2 or 2-1/2” length on #1/0 with cactus chenille bodies and flashabou dressing for turbid water. Lots of other fly patterns will take silvers, including flash flies, egg imitations and Coho streamer variations in all colours. Ask anybody who fishes for silvers, and you will hear about as many favourite fly patterns as you have anglers. Silvers or chums that are found in good numbers in very shallow water will often take a large dry fly or a deer hair mouse on the surface. Try a natural coloured bomber or a small grey or brown mouse any time you see a lot of fish near the surface or fish that are taking wet flies very close to the surface. Silvers don’t take dry flies often but they do take them when conditions are right, and they have the inclination. Needless to say, taking an 8- or 10-pound silver salmon on a dry fly is very exciting angling.
When salmon are spawning in Lake Creek and its tributaries (king salmon in late July, pinks and chums in August,) rainbow trout begin their annual feeding frenzy. Their anticipation of salmon eggs soon to appear in the river causes many large rainbows to venture out into the open river, often in shallow water. In late July, and early August, king salmon hens begin digging nests in coarse gravel in relatively fast water. This activity disturbs rocks on the bottom, releasing hundreds of caddis and mayfly nymphs and other aquatic insects.
The flood of insects is eagerly consumed by rainbows waiting for the eventual escape of eggs from gravel. During this early spawning phase of kings, we fish nymphs such as the bitch creek or a large stonefly nymph or large wool head sculpins. Occasionally a big, bushy stimulator dry fly will take nice rainbows behind these kings. When pinks and chums are spawning in large numbers, we just start out fishing egg imitations in the spawning areas, particularly the chum beds, usually resulting in almost non-stop rainbow action. In shallow riffles, particularly behind chums, the rainbows will often eat dries readily.
Grayling can be found throughout Lake Creek all season with the best concentrations found in the upper river above the canyon during summer and in the lower river near the lodge in fall. These scrappy fish are primarily insect feeders and will take most dry flies nearly any time of the season. Our recommendations for fly selection is to carry three patterns in 2 sizes: a grey fly (mosquito), a black fly (black gnat) and a tan fly (adams or elk hair caddis). I usually carry size 10-14. If the grayling aren’t liking dries, nymphs or emergers will take them. Just fish some generic patterns in natural colours, size 10-14.
Northern Pike inhabit many of the small lakes in our area and often, for a change of pace, we’ll either fly or boat into these lakes for some pike fishing. We usually fish for pike with 7-9 weights and floating lines. Fly patterns usually are large minnow imitations like Lefty’s Deceivers or other tarpon flies, about size 3/0 to 5/0 and 4 or 5 inches long. Deer hair mice and bass bugs fished near weed beds or next to lily pads also are very effective, and pike often strike savagely at surface presentations. Leaders should be 8-12 pound class tippets with either a wire or heavy mono shock tippet. A simple leader setup we use for smaller pike is a 30# section of about 12” knotted to the class tippet with an Albright knot. For larger fish over 15 pounds, use a tarpon type bimini twist tippet with a light wire shock section. Pike on the fly is fantastic sport in the Lake Creek area with about a dozen lakes to fish within 15 miles or so. Mid-summer most of the pike we see are 3-10 pounds, but in early spring we often see fish of 12-15 pounds.
Our fly-tying bench is stocked with every imaginable material for tying all Alaskan patterns, dry flies and nymph and saltwater patterns. There are several vices and ample room for a small group to share tying secrets and for instruction. Fly tying equipment and materials are available to all lodge guests during their stay. We have a complete line of fly fishing gear at the lodge for rent by our guests. We feature Sage rods in weights 4-12 and System 2, Lamson and Ross saltwater reels. If you require the use of any of our lodge tackle, just request it at the time you are making your reservation to confirm availability. We also carry a complete selection of flies used in our area as well as fly-fishing necessities such as leaders, tippet material and fly lines in our tackle shop.
Prices start from: £3998
7 night lodge packages include: Return International flights from Heathrow / Manchester, Round trip floatplane flights from Anchorage to the lodge, Full lodge services including 6 days guided fishing, All meals, and shared or private cabin accommodations.
Not Included: Beer & wines (The lodge has a beer and wine license and a good selection of both are always available) Fishing licenses, Lures & flies, Staff gratuities.