Crystal Creek Lodge, AK

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge in King Salmon, Alaska.

Crystal Creek Lodge, AK

Overview

Your personalized adventure begins months in advance, the moment your reservation is created. Heather Oberholtzer, an owner, personally takes your inquiry call and, based upon your conversation, creates a reservation at the time in season best suited to your needs.

16 guests are served by 22 total staff. Our typical clientele during any given week in the season is a mix of couples, families and friends. Corporate guests are welcome yet we are distinctly couple and family friendly.

Put your watch and wallet away. We pray the only decisions you will have to make while on vacation with us are: 1. What are your breakfast and dinner choices? 2. What would you like to drink? 3. What fishing or adventure activity would you choose for tomorrow?

Getting to King Salmon, Alaska, is remarkably easy and getting from there to Crystal Creek Lodge is even easier. The moment you arrive to the airport in King Salmon, you become one in our care. The Crystal Creek Lodge staff will bring you to the lodge, escort you to your room then give an orientation and wader fitting. Alex Oberholtzer, an owner and the operations manager, will brief you on current opportunities then interview you on your fishing preferences for the upcoming stay. He will check with you each day thereafter to fine-tune your adventure as it unfolds.

Dan Michels, an owner, the general manager and one of the original guides of the lodge from the 1988 season, will meet you at the first dinner to introduce himself. Know that the entire operation is under his watch and gentle guidance.

Mobility by aircraft and watercraft is key to taking advantage of the myriad of opportunities found at 50+ fishing spots, National Parks, National Monuments, National Wild & Scenic Rivers and Wildlife Refuges we access within 125 miles of home base. Five immaculate bush aircraft are available to assure all guests get express service at morning departure. Typically, the aircraft then standby with you in the field, all day. Our four seasoned pilots know your safety is priority one, therefore if inclement weather precludes safe flying our staff of eight guides are prepared to whisk you away from the lodge dock in our fleet of first-class watercraft to fish the incredible Naknek River. The Naknek is of itself a world-class destination fishery, therefore you are assured of excellent fishing opportunities every day. All guides are licensed U.S. Coast Guard Captains and Wilderness First Responders, a first aid certification as arduous to attain as that of an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

Accommodations

A 360 Google tour of the lodge, cabins and property is available from the homepage crystalcreeklodge.com

One memorable guest quote: "I was told there was no such thing as a luxury lodge in remote Alaska, then I walked through your door".

The lodge itself is an impressive structure built of massive Douglas fir logs and river rock, tastefully appointed with unique craftsman accents and decorated with interesting artifacts of Alaska and the lifestyle you will experience with us. The lodge site is perched on a bluff overlooking the Naknek River on 34 private acres. Looking across the river, you see nothing but endless wilderness and sky.

All guests receive a full-size or larger bed. An exception is our private cabins which feature queen beds in the main floor bedrooms and twin beds in the loft rooms; perfect for families. All rooms in the lodge have a full bath and walk-in shower. The cabin rooms have tiled tub showers.

Since you will be in the "real world" while with us, we recommend you unplug to gain full benefit of your experience. Yet, in case you need to be connected to the life you just left behind, all rooms have individual DSL connections with private passwords.

You will never find a television set at Crystal Creek Lodge. We do have a photo-sharing screen in the bar, so take lots of photos to share with your fellow guests.

General guest amenities include a spa room, a fitness room with weights and popular machines, massage therapist and massage room, and laundry service. A "mud" room with private, full-height storage cubbies and air dryers for wet waders is available to change and store your field gear. Our bar area has pool and football tables.

Food & Drink

While in your hometown and desiring an inspirational break, odds are that you go to an excellent restaurant. Accordingly, you will receive the same while on vacation at Crystal Creek Lodge. We search the farms and markets of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to bring you the finest ingredients then arrange a menu to present them. We always offer a choice of fresh Alaskan seafood OR fresh land meat at dinner. Breakfast is off of a rotating menu as well. Lunches are typically a rotating menu of proven favorite hot soups and sandwiches packed to accompany your guide in the field. Our accommodation of special needs diets is legendary.

We believe every good dinner should by accompanied by an appropriate fine wine. Our wine cellar has approximately 75 labels of new and old world wines to choose. If you are learning wine or would rather minimize your decisions our chef selects appropriate pairings nightly. Wine aficionados are certainly welcome to bring their own wines, yet will be surprised by the variety we have on hand.

Our famous Beaver Bar features an excellent selection of name-brand beer, craft beer, and quality spirits in a decor bound to keep your own spirit amped for the daily wilderness adventures.

A $250 bar credit is allotted to each guest.

FAQs

Season:

June 8-October 8

Species:

For many anglers, fishing Alaska is a dream come true. Most of the guests at Crystal Creek Lodge like catching a variety of fish species. All season long we have rainbow trout, dolly varden, Arctic char and grayling available. Throughout the season, we have various salmon species to catch as well. King salmon are available from the second week of June to the end of July. Silver salmon are targeted from late July through the middle of September.

Alaska fishing; please visit these pages to learn more about the fishing program:

Rainbow trout:
The rainbow trout of Alaska are fish of legend. The Naknek River and streams of the surrounding Katmai National Park region offer the finest rainbow trout fishing in the world. Crystal Creek Lodge is on the Naknek River and our guests can be casting to 25-inch-plus rainbow trout within 10 minutes of leaving our dock by boat.

Char fishing:
The chars are common to Arctic and subarctic waters, and thrive in the Bristol Bay region. They are aggressive, strong and beautiful fish that populate streams in prolific numbers. It is common for anglers to catch dozens of char in the 18-28 inch range.

King salmon fishing:
Prime king season is June 15 -July 30. Kings are the largest of the Pacific salmons. They average 15-30 pounds, though each year a handful of brawlers tip the scales in the vicinity of 50 pounds. We literally can catch kings within sight of our dock.

Salmon fishing:
Five species of Pacific salmon run the local rivers by the millions and they are thus available in prolific numbers. One or two species of salmon are available in peak configuration during any week of the season. Alaska salmon fishing at it's best! Our home river, the Naknek, sees a sockeye salmon run into the millions of fish.

Region/Terrain:

Our operations are based in King Salmon, Alaska and we will range up to 125 miles north, south, east or west to experience a wide variety of terrain, from spectacular mountains created by plate subduction and volcanic activity to rolling terrain created by glacial recession. Rivers and streams vary greatly in size and character but most are light gravel and sand bottom also created by glacial recession and thousands of years of washing.

Typical Weather:

Our weather is tempered by the nearby Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska so temperatures range from 50-65 F most weeks in the season. September will be cooler. Wet and rainy weather can occur at any time in the season; that is what makes the rivers flow. Be prepared for inclement weather to influence at least a portion of one day of your trip.

Rates:

You can find all pricing information at: crystalcreeklodge.com/rates/

What is Provided:

Included:

  • Advertised days guided fishing, adventure or hunting activities. Advertised nights double-occupancy accommodations. Three meals per day.
  • Up to $250 per person bar credit.
  • Use of chest waders, fly rods and reels, king salmon rods and reels, spinning rods and reels and all flies, lures, and tackle.
  • Fishing and hunting licenses. Preparation of all harvested fish and game and an airline-approved non-insulated shipping container.
  • Daily housekeeping and midweek laundry services.
  • Transfers between the king salmon. Airport and the lodge.
  • All local taxes.
  • All privileges advertised within the Crystal Creek Lodge brochure or web site.

Not Included:

  • Airfare between your home and King Salmon
  • Staff gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages consumed in excess of $250 per person per week. Massage therapy services.

Gear Recommendations:

We provide ALL waders, boots, premium rods and reels and all necessary flies, lures, and terminal tackle. A list will be provided at time of reservation for those who wish to bring their own or supplemental equipment.

What to Bring:

A comprehensive pre-trip pamphlet will be provided at time of reservation.

Additional Activities:

Bear viewing:
The nearby Katmai National Park and Preserve is world famous for its population of Brown Bears. Literally thousands live there. It is very common to see bears each day as we fly between the lodge and field destinations.

Beachcombing:
There are many places to go and find great beachcombing. What are we looking for? Shells, driftwood, interesting rocks, bones of giant sea mammals, antique artifacts and detritus from around the Pacific Ocean that washes up on shore. This is pure kids play!

Hiking:
Our roadless region of Alaska is filled with inspiring possibilities for the hiking enthusiast. We have innumerable locations to find breathtaking wilderness hikes, and the floatplane is just the ticket to get you deep into the wilderness for a day hike and back home again in time for a hot shower and delicious dinner.

Rafting and kayaking:
Two options are available for day adventures. One is a kayak day trip floating the from the headwaters of the Naknek River in Katmai National Park downriver to Crystal Creek Lodge. The other is a raft trip on a remote river in Katmai National Park. Both options have fishing available or you can just enjoy the ride.

Walrus viewing:
Three of the only regularly-used terrestrial haul outs for Pacific Walruses in the United States are within flying distance of the Lodge, two of the haul outs are on capes accessible by aircraft and one on an island accessible only by boat. We visit one site 125 miles south of the lodge that has the greatest number of approachable walrus.

National Parks:
Get out your National Park Passport and check-off Katmai National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Aniakchak National Monument. Aniakchak is the least visited Monument in the National Park system.

Reviews



Crystal Creek Lodge
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge
Dan Michels, Heather or Alex Oberholtzer
1 Big Creek Road
King Salmon, AK 99613
N 58 38.812'
W 156 34.641'
2019 Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge of the Year

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