Flowing through the heart of Southwest Alaska's massive Togiak Wildlife Refuge, the Kanektok remains the Alaskan float trip by which all others are measured. Beginning at an alpine lake and winding 90 miles through true wilderness and countless fish-filled side channels and braids, the Kanektok float offers guests the opportunity to experience Alaskan fishing at its finest. Guests fish from the rafts while covering the needed miles as well as getting out to fish key pools and side-channels. With nearly unlimited daylight, guests also have plenty of time to fish the waters surrounding camp in the mornings and evenings. The rewards of this trip are many as the river is home to all five species of Pacific salmon, grayling, Dolly Varden, and the gorgeous leopard rainbows for which it is famous. Owner and head guide Pat McDonough brings with him a wealth of hunting and fishing outfitting experience. Pat now owns the permit of his past employer and Kanektok mentor Bus Bergman who began running these trips in 1981. Pat will run trips for seven consecutive weeks in the heart of the season. This trip will have some great upgrades from the good old days including a dedicated bag boat, comfortable tents, and good meals. Best of all, this 90-mile fish-filled odyssey will offer folks a very well-regulated and uncrowded wilderness fishing experience.
The Kanektok River flows through Togiak National Wildlife Refuge to the Bering Sea near the Alaska native village of Quinhagak in far western Alaska.
The trip begins with a float plane flight to Kagati Lake, the headwaters of the Kanektok river. Depending on the arrival time, you may spend the first night there or potentially move downstream to set the first night’s camp. Each night the group will settle into a new camp that will be selected and set up as the group moves downstream. For weeks that are filled with six anglers, the outfitter will provide an extra gear boat that will carry a portion of the camp gear. The gear boat will arrive at camp about an hour before the anglers to begin camp set up. For trips of less than six anglers, boats will have anglers and gear aboard and there will not be a dedicated bag boat.
There will be one guide for every two anglers (if the trip has an even number of anglers). Due to the length of the float, there will be plenty of fly fishing from the boat. The rafts are large and stable, but do not have dedicated fishing frames, so guests will be standing often throughout the day. The guides will position you properly to cover the best pockets and structure. Since the guides will be at the oars, anglers will do a fair amount of their own rigging and should be proficient with basic knots. You will also make stops to wade fish in prime runs or side channels.
Each day anglers will rotate guides enabling everyone to fish with each member of the staff. Anglers are asked to help unload and load the boats and help making and breaking camp is greatly appreciated. Guests are free to fish unguided around camp while the crew sets and breaks camp as well.
Accommodations and meals:
Each day anglers arrive in camp and assist with unloading gear from the boats. Once the rafts are unloaded guests are free to continue fishing. The crew will set up each double occupancy tent, cots w/ pads and have your dry bags waiting outside of your tent. The tents are A-frame style with room to stand. Cots with inflatable pads make for a comfortable, high and dry sleeping platform. Guests will need to bring their own synthetic sleeping bag and pillow(optional). The camp will also consist of a full coverage dining tent with tables and chairs for each guest to relax in and share stories from the days fishing.
Meals are prepared with propane stoves or BBQ’s in the separate kitchen/cook tent. Breakfast’s will alternate between hot served items like eggs, pancakes, hash browns, bacon and sausage to oatmeal and cold cereals and fruit. Lunch consists of tortilla wraps filled with deli style meats and cheeses, topped with nutritional veggies. Candy bar’s, snacks and filtered water are available on each boat throughout the week. Guests need to bring along their favorite water bottle. Appetizers are set out once camp is set in the evening and dinners are served hot each night. They are a hearty blend of fresh salads, meats and side dishes with warm Dutch oven desserts. Every other day a propane powered on demand hot water system with shower tent will be set up for guests to refresh and recharge. An OK Mackay portable toilet is also set up in a secluded area of camp. While these trips are certainly a wilderness camp setting and best for adventurous anglers, the crew does all they can to provide a comfortable experience.
Day 1: Arrive Dillingham, AK where the outfitter will meet and shuttle guests to their lodging, have a quick orientation and provide dry bags to organize gear. Guests typically dine out at a local restaurant this evening(not included in rate).
Day 2: In the AM shuttle to the charter flight for a float plane ride into Kagati Lake for the start of the float. Overnight at camp with on river meals.
Day 3 – 7: Five full days of guided fishing, floating with overnight camps and meals.
Day 8: Final AM of floating with an arrival in Quinhagak where guests are shuttle to the airport for the departing charter flight back to Dillingham. Guests can connect to a late afternoon or evening flight out of Dillingham and back to Anchorage. Guests can connect to a red-eye flight home or overnight and depart Anchorage the following day.
2020 Rates: $6,200 per person for a 6 night / 7 day package
Included: On river meals, guiding, major camping equipment, transfers between Dillingham and the river, dry bags, cots and pads and back up flies.
Not Included: Round trip airfare to Dillingham, accommodations and meals in Dillingham and Anchorage, fishing license, water bottle, synthetic sleeping bag, pillow, alcohol, flies, rods/reels, waders/rubber soled boots, personal fishing equipment, gratuities.
Species: Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, char, grayling
Season: June - September
Capacity: 6 anglers