Jul 17th, 2017
Sandy River Lodge
The Sandy River is located in one of the most remote and spectacular regions of Alaska. This wide open wilderness has its own unique beauty with volcanoes rising in the distance and hardly a sign of human activity. The Sandy River Lodge is not easy to reach but its fishery makes it well worth the effort. The Sandy River is blessed with some of the best king salmon fishing in the world. The fish are fresh from the salt, packed with strength and take flies aggressively. The average fish are 15 to 25- pounds, with chances to hook into a fish 30 pounds or greater. Along with their awesome king fishery, which lasts from June through July, there is a remarkable steelhead run that begins in September and runs into October. Like any anadromous fishery, the conditions will dictate success. With the lack of trees and being in the open expanse of the Aleutian Peninsula the weather can change quickly. Dealing with windy conditions is common, so be prepared, have patience and the rewards will be forever etched in your memory.
For more information please contact David Kalinowski at 800.552.2729 or email HERE.
1. Simply put, the Sandy River is the most productive king salmon and steelhead system we represent.
2. This is an exclusive venue with relatively little pressure and only a limited number of rods available each season.
3. The guides here are some of the industry’s best when it comes to swinging flies for anadramous fish.
4. The remote feel here is unmatched in all Alaska.
5. The environment is truly unique with snow-capped volcanoes, few trees and a river that is easy to wade and fish.
Where is the lodge?
The lodge sits about 10 miles upstream from the Bering Sea on the remote Alaska peninsula. The nearest commercial “town” is Cold Bay, AK.
How do I get there?
The lodge coordinates a round-trip charter flight between Anchorage and the lodge. Guests arrive in Anchorage the day prior to the AM charter and overnight. On departure, guests can take a late flight out of Anchorage, after 9PM, or overnight and depart for home in the following morning.
When should I go?
King salmon season runs the second week of June through the first weeks of July. Steelhead season begins the last week of September and runs all through October.
Where do they fish?
The lodge can access all 16 miles of the river. During king season most of the angling takes place in the lower half of the river. The focus during steelhead season would be on the upper dozen miles of the river.
Who is best suited to the destination?
Anglers who are keen on swinging flies for sea-bright fish, especially with spey rods.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
The accommodations are simple, yet very comfortable. The lodge has a mix of guest rooms, a common area and a dining area. While its not fancy, you will be warm and dry. The food is a mix of your typical meats, salads and sides. While not overly extravagant, you will be well fed.
How would you describe the general vibe and atmosphere of the lodge?
The atmosphere is relaxed. It is a fish camp and the focus is on angling.
Is there an onsite manager, owner or point person at the lodge?
Jay Robeson is on site to handle all the guests needs. He is a long time guide on the river and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to operating in this remote part of the world.
Is there internet and cell service?
There is limited internet via a satellite system. The bandwidth is small and only good for simple and short emails. There is no cell service while at the lodge.
How do they fish?
All angling is done while swinging flies on tight lines. Most anglers employ spey rods as they make covering the water easier, but single hand rods are fine for those that prefer to use them. Virtually all fishing is done with Skagit style lines and sink tips.
What fish will I catch?
King salmon in June/July and Steelhead in September/October. The lodge only operates during the prime windows for each of these runs. During king season you may incidentally hook some down running steelhead or kelts. During steelhead season a few silver salmon may be caught.
How many fish will I catch?
This is typically the most productive king salmon and steelhead venue we represent. With that said, in any anadramous angling, conditions can dictate success. Getting 10 + fish a week is expected and if everything comes together, double digit days are a real possibility.
Will we see other anglers?
There are only two commercial lodges on the river. While you may see other folks, the number is limited to a total of 16 anglers at the lodges during a king week and 12 anglers on the entire river during the steelhead season.
Is there wade fishing?
Yes. All angling is done while wading.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
The maximum jetboat ride is around 30 minutes, but many quality runs are much closer.
What are the guides like?
The guides are highly skilled at swinging flies for anadramous fish. They all are capable spey instructors with many years on the river.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
No, its best to come prepared with everything you need.
What is your favorite rod for the trip?
Kings – my 13ft 8/9 Winston BIIx, oldie but a goody in my humble opinion. For steelhead my trusty 13ft. 7 weight ACR did a fine job.
Are there other activities?
There are some hikes from the lodge to take in the beautiful scenery of the snow capped volcanoes jutting skyward from the open expanse of treeless tundra, but this is a venue best suited for eager and adventurous anglers.
What are the physical demands?
The wading is easy and there is limited walking involved, but the weather and wind can make things difficult at times.
Dangers and annoyances?
While there are bears and wolves and jetboats, all which can prove exciting, the real issues in this part of the world surround weather. The wind can make the river rise or drop and even blow out for periods of time and weather can also mess with the charter flights to and from the lodge. Fall steelhead conditions can be tough but the catch rates tend to far outweigh the hardships.
What is your favorite memory of this trip?
Visiting this river was a true highlight in my fishing career. The setting was truly unique and breathtaking in its own way. The number of fish was simply impressive and their willingness to take the swung fly made it my most memorable angling experience to date.