Fly fishing trips in Alaska come in many different forms, from Permanent Tent Camps all the way to the luxury of high end Fly Out Lodges. There are remote float trips where you spend each night on the river bank and see new water every day as well as adventure cruise/mothership trips where you sail the waters of Southeast, Alaska exploring the bays, coves and hidden streams surrounded by the Tongass National Forest. On any given day, you will see the beauty Alaska has to offer, from its majestic wildlife to its amazing scenery, not to mention, great fishing.
Deciding which style of accommodations suits you best is a critical first step in having your Alaskan fishing trip live up to your dreams. Let’s assume you’ve decided to spend a week fishing in Alaska. A few lodges can accommodate shorter stays, but given the time and logistics of just getting to Alaska, budgeting a week is the best plan. And let’s also assume you’ve done a bit of homework regarding the timing of the different salmon runs. If you need more information on run timing, check out the Seasons page on our site.
In general Alaska lodges come in three different styles:
- Permanent Tent Camps (PTC),
- Non-Fly Out Lodges (NFOL) and
- Fly Out Lodges (FOL).
Some of these are very remote and off the beaten path, while others are close to communities and towns and are easy to get to. In addition to these lodge types there are also:
- Wilderness Float Trips and
- Adventure Cruises
Let’s take a look at what each style of Alaskan trip has to offer as well as the general price range.
Permanent Tent Camp (PTC) style lodges are often located on the banks of a larger river system in the Bristol Bay Region. These camps are located close to the fishing and tend to be a great option for the serious angler that wants the focus to be on fishing and not wining and dining. Anglers sleep in hard wall tents and dine and recreate in a dining hall. The accommodations are basic but comfortable and home style meals are the norm. Hot showers in bath houses and large drying tents for your wet gear are typical. Some will have saunas and other luxuries, but campfires and the stars are usually how the night goes. They utilize jet boats to access different sections of the river and tributaries for your daily fishing needs. These camps can range from $4500-$6000 per week per angler. PTC’s are a hardcore fly angler’s heaven.
Non-Fly Out Lodges (NFOL) are similar to PTC’S in that they are located right on the water and use jet boats to get around. However, they differ in that they have an actual lodge as opposed to hard walled tents. These lodges are typically on some of Alaska’s best rivers where the fishing is almost always going to be good. The accommodations can be rooms located in the lodge or small cabins located around the lodge property. NFOL’s tend to be quite a bit nicer than PTC’s and often include access to saunas and or hot tubs for some extra evening relaxations. The food is usually a step up from the PTC and the main lodge is often what you would picture an Alaskan Lodge to look like. With advances in technology, many of these lodges have access to satellite internet, but only if it is wanted. Fishing is also 100% the focus at a NFOL. Cost ranges from $3000-$7000.
Fly Out Lodges (FOL) are the cream of the crop. Every day you will board a float plane with your guide and fly out to a different remote fishery. The lodge will likely have jet boats on numerous area rivers at their disposal as well as tent camps to host you for the day before you are whisked back to the main lodge at day’s end. FOL’s typically have the best lodging, food and amenities. Most have saunas and/or hot tubs and other activities for the guests to enjoy while not on the river. Many will have a masseuse on hand to relieve those aching muscles from all the fish caught that day. The big bonus with a FOL is the variety of fishing that can be accessed. With a float plane at your disposal you can fish rivers both large and small and pick and move any time you want. The sheer amount of country you will see and experience is unmatched. The price tag is the highest at these lodges, but if it is in your budget they are hard to beat.
$9000-$12,000 per angler for a week.
Wilderness Float Trips (WFT) are perhaps the most intimate way to see an Alaskan river. These are often based out of one of the small communities in the Bristol Bay region. The trips start by flying out to a head water lake where the main river starts. From there, anglers float each day, fishing from the rafts and stopping in the prime locations to fish. Each afternoon, camp and tents are set up and a fire is built. Most campsites have great fishing around the camp. Seeing bears, moose and other wildlife is all but guaranteed. These trips are for anyone wanting to get close to nature and experience Alaska at its wildest. Wilderness floats range from 7-10 days and run $4000-$6000 per week per angler.
The Adventure Cruise is a completely different way to see Alaska. The trips take place on yachts that are typically 70 - 100 feet in length and accommodate approximately a dozen guests. Southeast Alaska (the Inside Passage) or Prince William Sound are where these trips take place. The yachts have very nice state rooms, accommodations and food. Nightly dining is usually bounty caught straight out of the waters surrounding the ship which often include crab, shrimp and fresh fish. With these trips, fishing isn’t the main focus but is usually done 3-4 day out of a 7 day trip. Sea kayaking, whale watching, and enjoying the spectacular scenery of coastal Alaska is all part of the experience. A wilderness adventure cruise is ideal for families or those looking for a diversity of experiences. These trips usually run $4000-$7000 per week per guest.
Now that you have an overview of the different types of fishing trip options, it comes down to selecting a lodge or two. If you have any questions about what type of trip is the best fit for you, don’t hesitate to give us a call 907-586-1550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to share our expertise on Alaska and help you pick the perfect lodge, outfitter or yacht.