Feb 18th, 2016
Rapids Camp Lodge is an easy to reach full service fly-out Alaskan fly fishing lodge with excellent home waters and one of the most diverse and exciting fly fishing programs in Alaska. Seasoned hardcore fly anglers appreciate the wide range of water the lodge frequents. This includes staples like the Moraine, Battle Creek, Contact Creek, Headwaters Creek and the American River. Other prolific “under the radar” rainbow and char fisheries mandate the use of a wheel plane and sturdy walking legs. During the early and late season the lodge concentrates on fly fishing for large rainbows in the “rapids” of the Naknek River near the lodge. The lodge features eight comfortable double occupancy rooms with private baths, a large friendly bar, two gourmet chefs, workout room, state of the art tackle and waders. With three Beavers and a turbine Otter, handsome jet boats for the home water, and a saltwater boat positioned for Halibut and other bottom fish, Rapids Camp has endless options for all who visit.
Want to know more? Visit our Rapids Camp Lodge page, email us or see the expert interview below.
Expert Interview with David Kalinowski
Where is the lodge?
Rapids Camp is located in King Salmon, AK on the shore of the trophy trout waters of the Naknek River
How do I get there?
Upon arrival at the Anchorage airport a lodge expediter will meet you at the baggage claim and transfer you to the lodge plane for the flight to King Salmon. If you cannot arrive prior to 1PM on Friday(the standard transfer day)anglers should plan on arriving on Thursday and overnight at one of the many hotels. The lodge expediter will pick you up Friday morning at your elected accommodations and transport you to the lodge plane for the flight to King Salmon. Upon arrival in King Salmon a representative will meet you and drive you the short distance to the lodge.
When should I go?
Rapids Camp has a very diverse fishing program, so this will depend on the preferred target species. For the largest migratory rainbow trout June/July and September are great but August offers the best catch rates and more diversity in the rainbow trout waters. King salmon fishing is best in June to mid-July, silver salmon in August and even Halibut and other bottom fish can be targeted from June – August.
Where do they fish?
The mighty Naknek River is right out the front door and harbors some of the biggest rainbow trout in the state. Also on the menu will be many of the renowned Katmai Park rivers, like Moraine, Battle, Brooks and American Creek. They also fish several “unnamed” systems on the peninsula and up to the Nushagak. Rapids Camp is willing to fly greater distances than most to put you on the fish you desire.
How do they fish?
All tactics can be employed here and will depend on the timing and the target species. From two handed(spey) traditional swing tactics for large migratory rainbows to conventional tackle for halibut and everything in between. They have the gear and the knowledge to show you all that AK has to offer.
What fish will I catch?
Rainbow trout, all five species of salmon, char, grayling, halibut, rockfish, you name it and they likely know when and where to catch it.
How many fish will I catch?
Rainbow trout catch rates are highest in August and around 10 to 15 quality fish a day is good, but at times there can be many more.
Where do we stay?
The lodge has 8 double occupancy rooms with private bathrooms. Additionally, they offer a two bedroom house that is great for groups up to 4.
Is there wade fishing?
Indeed much of the fishing can be done while wading. Conversely if you are not keen on wading, they have boats(jet and rafts) on various waters and can accommodate anglers wishing not to wade.
Is there internet and cell service?
There is internet at the lodge and cell phones may work, but will depend on the carrier. I would not count on cell phone coverage. The lodge has a land line you are free to use with a calling card.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
Rapids Camp has a diverse selection of equipment available at no extra change. From waders/boots to spey rods, they can take care of all your needs. You literally can show up in Anchorage with only your clothing and they can take care of the rest.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
On the Naknek, a 12 to 13 foot two handed rod capable of throwing 475 – 575 grains is great for swinging flies for the big lake run rainbows. Add a 9 foot 6 weight for the streamer/dry fly and bead fishing and you should be set. If you do not wish to travel with rods/reels, the lodge can supply all the needed equipment.
Are there other activities?
There is some great bear viewing at Brooks Falls and scenic flights to the land of ten thousand smokes or beach combing on the peninsula are always a neat option.
What is your favorite memory of this trip?
My first stop on the Naknek with Rapids Camp, I step out of the boat, strip a bit of line to begin my casting. Before I get any line out a huge chrome bright rainbow porpoises right in front of me. My guide ask’s “how big do you think that one was?” I reply….BIG! While I didn’t hook that fish, it instantly showed me the possibilities and I was all in.
What are the physical demands?
The beauty of the Rapids Camp program is their diversity of venues. They can show you small systems that require a bit of hiking and fitness, but also can help those not willing to hike and even prefer to fish from the boat.
Dangers and annoyances?
As with any full fly out lodge, there always is a chance for weather related delays. The lodge will do its best to keep you updated on possible departure times and even offer to fish on the Naknek until its safe to fly. It also should be noted that bears can be present while fishing in Alaska.