Oct 4th, 2019
Since its inception in 1950, Kulik Lodge has been a true Alaskan classic offering fly-out fishing, exceptional home waters and stays of varying lengths. Their location is one of, if not the finest, in the state within easy walking distance of the prolific and crystal-clear Kulik River, renowned for its remarkable rainbow trout fishery. Likewise, Kulik is centrally located in the heart of Katmai National Park’s finest trout waters, with a wide range of fabled trout systems only a short flight away. Kulik Lodge’s fishing program has two main components: Guided jet boat fishing on their remarkable home river and guided fly-out fishing to a wide range of famous waters in the greater Katmai National Park region. One thing that sets their program apart from others is that guests can make the decision to fly-out onsite without any advance notice. This enables guests to remain agile in light of the prevailing conditions and not be committed to a costly fly-out package were the weather to close in. When guests fly out, they can pay for these services on-site and the lodge has lots of walk and wade options as well as jet boats cached in a variety of key systems that are home to rainbow trout, arctic char, grayling, lake trout, pike, and five species of Pacific salmon. Last but not least, guests at Kulik lodge are free to walk and wade fish the home river in the evenings unguided, which is a huge bonus.
For more information please contact David at 800.552.2729
Expert Q & A with Fly Water Travel’s Alaska destination manager, David Kalinowski
Top reasons to go
1. Kulik Lodge is located in the heart of the most productive trout fishing region in all of Alaska.
2. They offer stays of various lengths, 3, 4 and 7 day packages.
3. Guests can add fly out days on site depending on weather and preferences.
4. Their fishing program is very diverse and can target nearly every freshwater species Alaska is known for.
5. They have exclusive rights to operate jet boats on their home river and unique concessions within Katmai Park.
Where is the lodge?
Kulik Lodge is located in Katmai National Park. The lodge faces the west shore of Nonvianuk Lake, just to the south of the outflow of the Kulik River.
How do I get there?
Guests arrive in Anchorage and overnight prior to the included charter flight from Anchorage to the lodge. Transfer days are Saturday and Tuesday, depending on the length of your visit. On the day of your charter flight you will check in at the Katmai Air hanger (4125 Aircraft Drive, Anchorage). At the hanger a representative will meet you and weigh all your baggage. There is a small waiting room with coffee and snacks available. You will board the pressurized Pilatus PC-12 for the comfortable 1 hour flight to King Salmon where you will then transfer to a float plane for the remaining distance to the lodge. In the near future, the lodge will be upgrading their on site runway to accommodate the Pilatus which will allow for a direct flight between Anchorage and the lodge.
When should I go?
The Kulik River has a healthy resident population of rainbow trout and offers good fishing June through September. July is a great time to mix the great fishing with an included bear viewing fly out to Brooks River. Guests can also add fly out days on site to additional trout and salmon venues making the season at Kulik well rounded and productive.
Where do they fish?
The Kulik river is a short walk away and the lodge has exclusive rights to operate jet boats to cover the entire river for the resident rainbow trout. They also fish the lakes for pike and a few select tributaries for trout/char. Adding fly out days increases the diversity of a trip here. Kulik Lodge is fortunate to have short flight times to other Katmai Park waters like American, Moraine, Little Ku, Funnel, Battle and many others. The lodge also has unique concessions to stash jet boats on other Katmai Park waters which adds a level of exclusivity. They also offer raft floats on certain systems, a salmon camp on the Nushagak, sockeye angling on the Kvichak and silver salmon fishing on the west side of Cook Inlet. This is a very diverse fishing program that can fulfill expectations of many anglers.
Where do we stay?
The lodge has double occupancy cabins with private bath/shower along with a couple larger cabins that can accommodate families or groups.
Who is best suited to this destination?
This is a great destination for any angler irrespective of skill level. Kulik Lodge also matches well with families and even those that may not want to fish every day. They can provide great bear viewing, flight seeing and hikes as well. The lodge grounds are comfortable with fun additions like a horseshoe pit, corn hole, sauna and hot tub.
What is a typical day like?
Each morning guests wake up and head into the main lodge for coffee, tea and the breakfast service. Breakfast is made to order from a rotating menu with several options. After breakfast you will meet your guide in front of your cabin for the day of fishing. If you are flying out, the lodge will inform you of the time of your flight and a lunch will be packed for the day. If fishing the home river, you will climb aboard the jet boat for a cruise up the river. The option to return to the lodge for lunch on home river days is always there. The day ends around 5:30PM. Once you get out of your waders/boots and drop your gear, head to the main lodge for appetizers and complementary cocktail. Dinner is served around 7:00PM and is served family style.
What are the meals like?
Breakfast is made to order off a rotating menu. The breakfast menu has several layers of offerings from light and simple to full course. Lunch at the lodge includes a sandwich bar, soup with side salads. There are always cookies, brownies or other snacks out during the day. If you are flying out, a bag lunch is brought along with a sandwich, soup, chips, fruit and snack. Dinner is served family style with heaping amounts of good meats, pasta, salads and sides. The food is very well thought out and high caliber.
How would you describe the general vibe and atmosphere?
Overall the vibe is relaxed and the atmosphere fun and happy. The staff does a great job of making you feel at home.
Is there an on-site manager, owner or point person at the lodge?
There is a lodge manager and head guide on site at all times. They are there to help and do a great job of showing you all they have in a fun and exciting way.
Is there internet and cell service?
There is limited satellite internet. The bandwidth is small, so only good for simple emails. They do have phones available for emergencies, but do not expect your cell phone to work.
How do they fish?
The lodge has all the fly rods/reels and waders with rubber soled boots if you need. The fly angling tactics range from dry fly, streamer and indicator fishing depending on the time of year and your preference. There are good opportunities to fish a mouse for much of the year as well. They do have conventional tackle for king salmon angling on the Nushagak if interested (June/July).
How many fish will I catch?
The trout fishing in and around Katmai Park has been very good in recent years. Expect double digit days on trout on most days with good conditions. Salmon fishing can vary depending on the time of your trip and species of choice. King salmon angling is not a numbers game and a fish or two in a day is good. Sockeye angling can have folks harvesting their limits and silver salmon fishing in good conditions usually has folks into double digits.
What are the guides like?
As with most Alaska lodges there are a mix of personalities but you can tell that they all enjoy their craft and are very helpful and willing to share their knowledge with a smile.
Will we see other anglers?
Is there wade fishing?
Yes. A lot to a little depending on your preferences.
How far is it to the fishing grounds?
The Kulik River is a short walk away. Fly out days could have you flying as much as an hour, but many times much less.
Does the lodge provide equipment?
Yes. Kulik Lodge has a well stocked wader/boot room and the pertinent rods/reels matched to their fishing program.
Does the lodge provide Flies?
Yes. They have the flies and terminal tackle needed but we encourage guests to have a small selection to bring along especially specific streamers and mice patterns.
What is your favorite rod(s) for the trip?
Much will depend on your target species and preferred tactics. A quality 6-weight single hand rod is a great all around trout tool and a good idea to pack for any week in Alaska. If wanting to target sockeye, chum and silver salmon a quality 8-weight single hand rod is the go to. Adding a 6 or 7-weight switch rod for early season trout fishing can be a good idea if you enjoy two handed casting.
What are the top flies?
June and July – streamers and mice. Fry patterns are nice to have in the first few weeks of the season. The Dali Llama in black/white is a go to in all of Alaska. RIO has a great mouse pattern called the Pip Sqweak which has proven to be productive. August into September beads are the go to, but adding some flesh flies in off-white is a great idea especially in September. If you are interested in silver salmon, pink flies like the starlight leech are great and adding some popper/wog’s for the surface is fun.
Are there other activities?
Yes, there are great bear viewing options, hiking and flight seeing.
What is the cost?
There are three options in terms of length of stay. Base rates for June and July – 3 day package is $3995 per person. 4 day package is $4995 per person. 7 day package is $6995 per person. Base rates for August to seasons end – 3 day package is $4495 per person. 4 day package is $5495 per person. 7 day package is $7495. Fly out days can be added to any package and are $450 per person/per day with a 2 person minimum.
Are there hidden expenses?
Once you arrive at the charter flight there are no additional costs other than gratuities. The package here is very inclusive.
What is the Cancellation Policy?
No refunds unless a suitable replacement is found.
Do I Need Trip Insurance?
Trip insurance is a great idea for any trip but not required.
Does this trip combine well with other trips?
Yes. Adding some touring in and around Anchorage to a full week is easily done. Conversely adding a 3 or 4 day fishing package here to other vacations plans makes for a well rounded vacation for the entire family.
Are there special skills required?
What are the physical demands?
Some hiking can be involved but overall the wading is easy and if you prefer not to hike long distances, that can certainly be accommodated.
Dangers and annoyances?
While in Alaska guests need to be aware that brown bears are likely around. The guides and staff are well versed in how to fish around these furry friends. Mosquitoes can be abundant in the early season. Additionally there are risks associated with flying in small air crafts and boats.