An Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Expedition in Aniak, Alaska

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Aniak River Lodge

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Expedition

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Aniak, Alaska

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The Story

Choose Aniak River Lodge for your fly-fishing adventure in Alaska: Why Aniak, you ask? Most of our guests would say LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. We say it's more than that. While our village is a mere 70-minute commercial flight from Anchorage, it's here that everything changes. A 75-minute jet boat run puts you on the banks at our river lodge. (A glamour camp, please see our Accommodations tab. We use shallow-draught jet boats to negotiate the shallow waters between the village and our lodge. Most local boats are prop boats (better fuel consumption and high gas prices that can't reach our fishing grounds. Our river meanders and winds through gravel bars, log jams, and sand banks as it makes its way through riparian forest and tundra. This technical water doesn't allow for landing planes. It's too far for a helicopter, so apart from the occasional rafter, we are alone. 100 miles of water are yours. Seven boats and seven guides make your perfect trip. No planes, no people, no combat fishing here. It's fishing Alaska as it should be.

We fish 12-plus species, including all five salmon. Our Coho run is considered to be spectacular. We are one of only three river systems in North America that hold the elusive sheefish. Dolly Varden, Arctic char, grayling, northern pike, and rainbow trout are prolific here. Our river topography and location have evolved a perfect environment for mousing. Our mousing now draws anglers from across the globe. We consider the Aniak to be the mousing capital of the world. Whether you want to hike, wade, dry fly, swing, nymph, drift, mouse, or anything in between, our guides will custom make your trip.

We are one of the only operations that offer the unique opportunity to experience the luxury of the lodge and the rustic environment of the trout camp. Our camp is reminiscent of the "old Alaska fishing trip" that our state was famous for.

Finally, and foremost, what sets us apart is our people. Our experienced, attentive guides. Our passionate chefs and our dedicated mechanical and house staff have formed a family dedicated to make yours an unforgettable trip.


In July of 2020 the Original Aniak River lodge was raised to the ground by fire. The decision to rebuild for the 2021 season was made immediately and efforts to begin the task were underway within the first week . We decided to follow the traditional “ safari tent” concept that has been embraced throughout our travels in Africa. The tent are tough durable skins atop of raised wooden platforms. Tents are for double occupancy and designed with en suite bathrooms in each unit. Bathrooms have hot water showers and flushing toilets. Tents are bug proofed with screens and nets. The dining hall and kitchen are housed in a similar fashion. The new electrical grid is based on a 12 volt system with generator backup when solar is not available.

At Aniak river lodge, we limit the number of guests to 16 per week. This is based on double-occupancy at the lodge and at the tent camp. Our luxury, no-frills lodge is built for comfort and ambiance. The lodge has eight double cabins that each has its own private bathroom. If you prefer your solitude you can hang out on your own deck connected to the boardwalk that takes you to the main lodge.

Our tent camp is a remote, rustic experience that everybody enjoys. The camp hosts eight elevated, heated weather ports with beds and mosquito nets to ensure a comfortable stay. Each tent sleeps two guests. The main tent is a big hall the has a lounge area and the main dinning room. The tent camp has shared bathrooms and toilets with hot showers and flushing compost toilets. The tent camp embraces the Alaskan bush experience in every way. Many, many hours are spent around the fire pit sipping cocktails and telling stories.

Food & Drink:

At Aniak river lodge, we take our culinary traditions seriously. We have two excellent chefs that cater to your every need. We go from simple to sophisticated—Ikura caviar and smoked salmon to New York-style pizza in a wood-fired oven. We embrace the field-to-table concept where it is possible. We source locally in season and emphasize our regional cuisine. We encourage our guests to harvest a fish and bring it back to the lodge so that our chefs can prepare something special for you. The sheefish is a unique and delightful fish to catch and eat.

A day on the water generates a big appetite and our chefs will be waiting for you with appetizers every night to precede the entre. Deserts are a house specialty and always crowd pleasers. We cater to all, so if you have a special dietary requirement let us know and we will make sure you are covered.

Shore lunches are a must. The guide will cook you a lunch on an open fire while you carry on fishing. If you prefer a pack lunch our chefs will have one ready for you as you leave in the morning.

The county of Aniak is “damp" which means you can possess alcohol for your own use but we cannot provide or sell you any. You may, however, have alcohol delivered in advance or bring it with you.

In conclusion, our food, like our fishing, has become a hallmark of any trip to Aniak. Bon appetite.

What is Provided:

Your week-long trip runs from Saturday to Saturday and includes seven days of guided fishing (Saturday is a short day as we travel up to the lodge by boat. It’s a bonus day on the lower river.) We include all meals and accommodations. We provide all flies and terminal tackle. Each boat will carry appropriate 8 wt. Orvis rods for your use. You are responsible for getting yourself to the village of Aniak but we will provide all information on flights and times to make this happen. The following items are not included in the trip price: Alcohol (we are in a "damp" county so you may bring your own or you can have it shipped ahead of time), Alaskan fishing license. You must buy this online prior to arriving. No king stamp required. Finally, a gratuity that is shared among staff members.

Gear Recommendations:

Aniak river lodge will send you a detailed gear list to make sure you have everything that you need for a successful trip. This list will be sent to you as a pre-trip information document once your booking is confirmed. This list is, however, available upon request.


Year-round, please below for more detailed information.


Our river boasts more than twelve species of fish that include all five species of salmon and some truly unique species that make fishing the Aniak an unforgettable experience. We target the following species:

Chinook "king" salmon June 20–July 20
Coho "silver" salmon August 1–September 1
Chum "dog" salmon June 15–August 1
Sockeye "red" salmon June 25–August 15
Pink "humpy" salmon June 20–July 20
Sheefish "tarpon of the north" All season
Arctic grayling All season
Northern pike All season
Dolly Varden All season
Arctic char All season
The leopard-spot rainbow trout All season

Please note that these dates are estimates based on historical observation and can differ significantly from year to year. We have found that climate change has resulted in significant swings in fish behavior and migration patterns. Also note that during seasons there will be peak periods. Mousing, for example, will be at its peak between late June and early August, although rainbow season is all summer long.


Aniak is situated in the heart of western Alaska. Your week will expose you to a number of diverse and different terrains as you fish the seven beats our river system is divided into. Every day, you will fish a different area with a different guide. The Aniak river meanders down from Aniak lake all the way down to the mouth where it joins the Kuskokwin River (the second largest river in Alaska). This beautiful river winds its way through some spectacular scenery on its way to the mouth. It cuts through the Alaskan tundra with distant mountains and snow-covered peaks, taking you through the Alaskan bush and riparian forests that are exactly what you would expect from a wild Alaska trip. Our guides will get up-close and personal with this stunning country. When the sun eventually decides to set, we have the most spectacular sunsets on the planet. The good news is they last for ages. They are not only the most beautiful but also the longest. The experience of hiking or boating up one of our small side creeks are a visual feast that will stay with you forever.

Typical Weather:

Expect two things on a typical trip: sunshine and rain. The sun will shine for 20 hours plus in the early season, dropping back to a 12-hour day by mid September. Our geographic location subjects us to a number of weather influences that making weather prediction very unreliable at best. However, you can expect to have some form of precipitation three out of seven days historically. However dry spells lasting numerous days are not uncommon. You will experience daytime temperatures between a high and a low of 50 to 75 degrees F during the early season with cool nights. By September, the daytime temps will hover between 30 and 50 degrees with significantly colder nights. It is worth noting that you should expect the unexpected. Layer up, bring good rain gear, and don’t forget the sunscreen.

The weekly trip price for the 2022 season is $6895 per person sharing. Single room supplement is $1500.

You can find all pricing information at:

Does Aniak river lodge provide transport to the village of Aniak?

No, The guest is responsible for flights to and from the village on Saturday morning. We recommend you spend Friday night in Anchorage and catch a commercial flight to Aniak on Saturday morning. This flight will return you to Anchorage the following Saturday. We will provide you with all necessary details on this short flight.

Does Aniak river lodge provide trip insurance and evacuation insurance?

No, the guest is responsible for all cancellation and evacuation insurance. We recommend that you get this insurance. We will provide a list of recommended insurance covers in the pre-trip information.

Can I harvest fish during my trip?

Yes. Although we are primarily a catch and release lodge you may harvest fish while you are on your trip. In fact we encourage you to keep a few during the week. Our chefs will turn them into a delight for you on your request. The Sheefish is a magnificent eating fish you likely wont have anywhere else. A fresh Artic char will make a delicious shore lunch. We do not however kill and process fish for taking home. If you are bent on taking fish home we recommend spending a day or two at coastal destination where you can catch your Salmon in the salt where they are at their culinary peak.

Can we use spinning gear as well as fly-fishing gear?

Yes, you may. Our guides are experienced in both disciplines.

What wading boots are allowed?

Rubber-soled boots are required. No felt or steel studs are allowed. Interchangeable soles are acceptable.

Can I bring my own rods and reels?

Yes. We do have lodge rods but we encourage guests to bring their own favorite rods. We will provide a list of appropriate rods.

Additional Activities:

While our operation is dedicated to fly fishing, our guides will take the time to make your trip memorable by accommodating any reasonable requests to do something out-of-the-ordinary. Many clients like to set aside time to go and check out the Tundra, berry picking, or specific photo shoots. Full-day wading hikes are very popular. Our guides are always available to teach you some of the finer points of fly casting. In the evenings, we will teach you to tie a fly. Its always a thrill to catch a fish on a fly you tied yourself, especially if you have not tied one before.

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