Nov 8th, 2018
The Igiugig Lodge (Ig-ee-AH-gig) sits on the bank of Lake Iliamna near the mouth of the ruggedly beautiful Kvichak (Kwee-Jack) River. For fly anglers, the Kvichak’s most famous inhabitants are its supercharged steelhead-esque rainbow trout. These fish grow to epic proportions in Lake Iliamna and return to the river each summer to fatten up. Although these high flying rainbows are a huge draw, opportunities to target all five species of Pacific salmon, grayling, Arctic char and even huge northern pike are also available at various times. The cozy Igiugig Lodge can accommodate up to six guests and offers a highly personalized and customizable experience. Each day two anglers can set out in a Cessna float plane to explore Alaska’s backcountry. Other anglers have the opportunity to experience guided jet-boat fishing on the mighty Kvichak. The guides and staff will discuss your fishing options and recommend the best plan to meet your angling goals for each day.
Owner, Pilot and guide Brad Waitman has over 25 years of experience flying in the Alaskan bush and guiding the waters of Bristol Bay. Brad’s resume includes decades in the lodging business and over 5,000 hours of flight time. He’s a certified First Aid and CPR First Responder and fully licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard. The staff here will work to ensure that you’re comfortable and that every detail of your experience is attended to. With so many diverse fisheries available and species to target, the flexibility of this small Alaskan lodge makes it a Fly Water favorite for warm Alaskan hospitality, stellar fishing and a highly personalized experience.
For more information please contact David at 800.552.2729
Expert interview with Fly Water Travel’s Alaska destination manager, David Kalinowski
1. Owner Brad Waitman has over 25 years of experience flying and guiding clients in Alaska.
2. Taking a maximum of six guests each week, Igiugig Lodge offers a high level of personalized service.
3. Each week offers guests two fly out days and four jet boat days on the Kvichak River.
4. One of the finest trophy trout systems in all of Alaska, the Kvichak, is right out the front door.
5. Brad Waitman is a hands-on professional that we greatly trust as and angler, pilot and host.
Where is the lodge?
The lodge is located at the outlet of Lake Iliamna where the mighty Kvichak River originates. It is directly across the river from the small village of Igiugig.
How do I get there?
Guests arrive in Anchorage on a Friday and overnight. The lodge coordinated charter flight will depart on Saturday and fly directly to Igiuigig where a lodge representative will meet you at the airport. They will transfer you via boat across the river to the lodge.
When should I go?
June through September. Each month offers a different experience. For anglers wanting to swing flies for big rainbow trout, both late June and late September stand out. All species of Pacific salmon can be targeted at Igiugig Lodge. June/early July are great for king and chum salmon, July is best for sockeyes and August offers silver salmon. Rainbow trout are available each month with August being dominated by fishing egg patterns.
Where do they fish?
The Kvichak river will be fished via jet boat for four days. On the two fly-out days, guests may visit a variety of systems including the Moraine, Brooks, Big and Little Ku and Kulik among others. Salmon anglers can visit the productive Nushagak or Alagnak systems.
Where do we stay?
Guests stay in double occupancy cabins with full private bathrooms.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
They are casual but comfortable. The cabins are heated and have 24 hour electricity and hot water. Meals are delicious with a mix of steak, crab, pork loin and other tasty dishes. Breakfast is hearty with eggs to order, bacon, sausage and more. Lunch will include fresh made sandwiches and soups with snacks.
How would you describe the general vibe and atmosphere?
The lodge is casual with guests and staff dining together each day. The staff is very friendly and accommodating.
Is there an on-site manager, owner or point person at the lodge?
Owner Brad Waitman is the man in charge and every aspect of his lodge is to his standards. He is always within earshot.
Is there internet and cell service?
Yes, there is internet available. It is best for simple emails as bandwidth is limited. Do not expect there to be cell service, but the lodge has a land line that guests are free to use with their own calling card.
How do they fish?
Depending on the week you may be spey casting for large trout or king salmon, drifting indicator rigs from the boat or sight fishing while wading small streams. At other times you might cast mice and dry flies to willing trout and grayling.
What fish will I catch?
Rainbow trout, pacific salmon, Dolly Varden, grayling and northern pike.
How many fish will I catch?
Double digit days for rainbow trout are common. If targeting king salmon a couple fish in the day is great. Silver salmon can be numerous with 15 or more fish possible with the right conditions. Add grayling, Dolly Varden and char in the mix and guests are typically very satisfied with the number of fish caught.
Will we see other anglers?
Yes, the region has a fair amount of pressure. The lodge is not what I would consider remote by Alaska standards, but their location offers incredible trophy trout fishing and flights on the fly out days are typically short and to high quality systems.
What are the guides like?
Brad and his two guides are incredibly knowledgeable, hard working and just plain “fishy”. Along with those characteristics, they are truly competent and know how to operate in Alaska.
Is there wade fishing?
Yes. As much or as little as you like.
How far is it to the fishing grounds?
Right out the front door of your cabin is one of Alaska’s best pieces of trophy trout water. On fly out days, you may fly 10 to 45 minutes.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
Yes. I still inform guests it’s best to bring their own waders and rubber soled boots. If that is not possible the lodge can take care of all your needs.
Are there other activities?
Other activities are limited. There are some great walks along the shore of Lake Iliamna, but I would consider this location best for anglers only.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
Early and late in the season, I like a light spey or switch rod in the 6 to 7 wt. range. If I had to bring one stick, I would choose a 10ft. 7wt.
What are the physical demands?
There is some walking and wading involved, especially on fly out days for trout. Overall, the trip can be designed around your preferences and is not rigorous.
Are their special skills required?
Are there any dangers or annoyances?
Bears are part and parcel of Alaska and during the early season mosquitoes are as well. Additionally there are risks associated with flying in small air crafts and boats.
Owner Brad Waitman has over 25 years of experience flying and guiding clients in Alaska.
Taking a maximum of six guests a week, Igiugig Lodge offers a high level of personalized service.
Each week offers guests two fly-out days and four jet boat days on the mighty Kvichak River.
One of the finest trophy trout systems in all of Alaska, the Kvichak, is right out the front door.
Brad and his crew have the knowledge to show anglers of any skill level a great Alaska experience.