Dec 12th, 2018
Fishing Bear Lodge
Describing a place as unique and special as Fishing Bear Lodge is anything but easy. At its core this modest and endearing family run Alaskan lodge offers its guests just the right amount of “roughing it” and an opportunity to experience a remarkable diversity of true wilderness fly fishing. Backed up against the surreal spires of the Wind River range, right in the heart of southwest Alaska’s 1.6 million acre Wood-Tikchik State Park, Fishing Bear employs jet boats to fly fish a host of seldom seen small streams for hearty rainbows, abundant Arctic char and large surface oriented grayling. In addition to these smaller “under the radar” stealth systems, guests can enjoy late night trophy rainbow fly fishing sessions on the renowned Agulapak. For dry fly enthusiasts, lovers of solitude and exceptional scenery, or families in search of adventure and a rewarding introduction to the wonders of wilderness fly fishing, this is a place you will want to visit more than once.
For more information please contact David Kalinowski at 800.552.2729
Expert interview with Fly Water Travel’s Alaska destination manager, David Kalinowski
1. The remote and scenic waters of the Wood Tikchik Park offer productive fishing and a truly unique Alaska fishing adventure.
2. Fishing Bear Lodge continues to be an exceptional value in Alaska.
3. This is one of Alaska’s most productive venues in terms of traditional dry fly fishing for rainbow trout and grayling.
4. The trout fisheries here are well suited to anglers of all skill levels and ages.
5. The operation is family run, very down to earth and their crew works incredibly hard to make your adventure all it can be.
Where is the lodge?
Fishing Bear Lodge sits on the shore of Lake Beverly at the mouth of the Peace River within the 1.6 million acre Wood-Tikchik State Park.
How do I get there?
Guests fly into Dillingham, AK on Sundays and overnight at the Beaver Creek B&B. On Monday AM the B&B will transfer you to the float plane for the charter flight into the lodge.
When should I go?
The lodge operates from mid-July through September. July offers the best pike fishing and consistent dry fly fishing for trout and grayling. August offers more diversity as the sockeye begin to spawn in many small streams around the interconnected lake system. September offers the best numbers of char along with the largest and healthiest rainbow trout of the season.
Where do they fish?
The lodge fishes the many tributaries of the interconnected lake system within the Wood Tikchik State Park. They can access numerous under the radar small streams and larger thoroughfares including the renowned Agulapak, Wood and the Peace Rivers.
Who is best suited to the destination?
This is a great venue for all anglers, beginner and advanced, young and old. The facility is very simple and modest, so we like to say its a lodge with just the right amount of roughing it.
What are the accommodations and meals like?
Guests stay in small double occupancy wooden cabins. They have heat and lights when the generator is operating. Each cabin has two twin beds with pads. The bathroom facility is behind the four cabins and there are three stalls all with a flush toilet and sink. The shower facility has been revamped for 2017, and there is plenty of hot water to go around. Meals are hearty, simple and served family style with lots of fresh baked breads, BBQ meats and side dishes.
How would you describe the general vibe and atmosphere of the lodge?
The overall vibe is relaxed and comfortable. The lodge is run by a very down to earth, hard working family who make the extra effort to ensure their guests have a great time. They continue to receive the highest marks from their guests and we have the highest confidence the their ability to show folks a great Alaska adventure.
Is there an onsite manager, owner or point person at the lodge?
Justin Johns is the owner/operator and is on hand to show guests the best possible trip he can. His son Conner and daughter Kia are also present for much of the season and help guide and do some of the cooking. Alan has been the long-time cook and is also on hand each day to help with any of your needs.
Is there internet and cell service?
The lodge does have limited internet via satellite, best for only simple emails. Cell phones will not work.
How do they fish?
The lodge does some fishing out of the boat but they rely mostly on wade fishing. During certain times, some longer off-trail hiking trips to remote tributaries are also available. Most weeks have opportunities to fish dry flies for trout and grayling, and during mid-August through early September the egg fishing can be great. Streamer tactics take a good number of fish early and late in the season as well.
What fish will I catch?
The target species are rainbow trout, grayling, Arctic char and northern pike. There will be sockeye salmon in the waters, but typically are not targeted.
How many fish will I catch?
Your catch rates depend on what you may be targeting. Trophy pike fishing might have you hooking only a few a day, while trout, grayling and char can be quite productive. For folks that are trout hunters, having double digit days is common.
Will we see other anglers?
Many small streams will have you fishing in solitude, but on the larger systems, especially the Agulapak, you should expect to see other anglers. The area is quite remote, so you can expect some quiet and if you seek solitude, you will be able to find it.
Is there wade fishing?
Yes, most of the fishing can be done wading if you prefer. With that said, the lodge can also cater to those who rather fish from the boat on the majority of their days. Its best to expect some walking and wading, although its fairly simple and not overly physical.
How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds?
From only a couple minutes to say 45 minutes in the boat. They have an extensive inter-connected lake system, with many tributaries, so there are lots of areas to explore.
What are the guides like?
The guides here are all hard working, down to earth and have the willingness to cater to your needs.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
The lodge can provide rods, but if you have quality rods at home, I would encourage you to bring them as the lodge selection, while adequate is not top of the line. All the needed flies and terminal tackle can be supplied. Guests will need to bring their own waders and rubber soled boots, along with a sleeping bag or some sheets for the bed. If you bring sheets, the lodge can supply cover blankets. I personally prefer to bring along a sleeping bag. Having your own towel is also needed.
What is your favorite rod for the trip?
The best overall trout rod would be a 6wt. I like to have a smaller rod for dry fly grayling fishing, say a 3 or 4 wt. If you like to pitch streamers early or late in the season, a 7wt is a good bet to help turn over the larger flies.
Are there other activities?
The lodge has a few kayaks to paddle the lake and there are some great hikes around the area to take in the magnificent views of the Wind River Range.
What are the physical demands?
While the physical demands are not overly challenging. Guests must be able to get in and out of boats and walk and wade at certain times. The wading if fairly simple and the distances you walk can be kept short if you like or lengthened if you have the willingness and ability to hike further.
Dangers and annoyances?
Guests will be in bear country and traveling in jet boats each day, both of which can be hazardous if not taken seriously. The guides here are trained to deal with these situations and your safety is their main concern. Biting insects can be a nuisance, especially in the early part of the season.
What is your favorite memory of this trip?
The quiet beauty that surrounds this venue is amazing. Sitting lakeside in the evenings were some of the most peaceful and scenic moments I have ever had. I do remember a giant rainbow trout that ended up breaking my hook and getting away, that one is a bit haunting.
The remote and scenic waters of the Wood Tikchik Park offer productive fishing and a truly unique Alaska fishing adventure.
With its productive waters and remote location Fishing Bear Lodge remains one of Alaska’s best values.
This is one of Alaska’s most productive venues in terms of traditional dry fly fishing for rainbow trout and grayling.
The trout fisheries here are well suited for young to old, beginner to expert anglers.
The operation is family run, very down to earth and all work incredibly hard to make your adventure all it can be.