The Goodnews River is located in a remote region of western Alaska, north of Bristol Bay and south of the Kanektok. Goodnews River Lodge is the only true lodge on the river and can literally access hundreds of miles of water accessed by jet boat. The Goodnews system flows through the protected Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and consists of three forks flowing west out of the Ahklun Mountains. With only a few float trips passing through this vast system each season, the lodge has the luxury of rotating their waters, enabling their guests to fish different well-rested water each day. With all five species of Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden and grayling all calling the Goodnews home, this comfortable base camp offers some the least pressured and most varietal fishing in all Alaska.
The lodge is located in Southwestern Alaska, seven miles upstream of the small community of Goodnews on the Bering Sea. The lodge sits approximately 450 west of Anchorage.
The Goodnews River is a complex of three forks that offer anglers over 400 miles of fishable water accessed by jet boat. The river hosts runs of all five pacific salmon, with the king and silver runs getting much of the attention. In addition to their prolific salmon runs, the river has lots of leopard rainbow, grayling and great numbers of Dolly Varden.
Each day two guests depart with a guide by jet boats. The lodge is located just above tidewater, so if you are seeking fresh salmon the runs are short. When targeting rainbow trout, Dolly Varden and grayling, the runs may be longer as you head upstream to choose from one of the Goodnews’s three forks. These up-river beats are remote and while you may on occasion see a float trip party, it’s more likely you will not see any other anglers.
The tidewater section of the river begins fills with kings in late June and angling for them, from boats continues through July. The kings are followed closely by chum and sockeye salmon. For those wanting to take some fish home, the sockeyes are a great option. Silvers arrive in large numbers in August and they are great sport for fly anglers. They are eager to chase flies and can provide lots of action for fly anglers.
The Goodnews River Lodge operates a fixed base mixed tent lodge located just outside of the community of Goodnews near the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. It sits on the banks of the Goodnews River, in far western Alaska, along the coast of the Bering Sea. The Togiak National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over four million acres of lands that the US government deemed appropriate to manage by the objectives set forth in the National Wildlife Refuge system’s directive. The goal of this directive is to, among other things, conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity. The refugees northern border is the Yukon Delta National Wilderness Refuge. Its eastern border is the Wood Tikchik Lakes and Wood Tikchik State Park. The southern border is Bristol Bay and the western border runs 50 miles inland of Goodnews and Platinum until it bisects the Kuskokwim Bay coastline. Several villages fall within the refuge’s boundaries including Eek, Quinhagak, Platinum, Goodnews, Manokotak and Togiak. The refuge is mainly comprised of coastal flats, river flood plains and high tundra plains. Two mountain ranges run through the refuge-- the Kilbuck range and the Ahklun range. Both are heavily eroded by ice, wind and water, and their highest peaks are less than 4,500 feet high. The area is habitat to over 48 mammal species, 31 land-bound, including caribou, wolves, moose, brown and black bear, foxes, beaver, muskrats, minks, river otters, voles and porcupines. Seventeen marine mammals live in the refuge including sea lions, walruses and whales. Three main river drainages host all five species of Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, Arctic grayling, Arctic char and pike. Over 200 bird species nest in the refuge including golden and bald eagles, peregrine falcons, numerous species of waterfowl and shorebirds. Willow and cottonwood make up the scrub forests along the riverbanks and the tundra is flush with lichen, berries, dwarf trees and grasses. From the river the world looks lush with a short forest of spindly trees, bushes and grasses. Gain 15 feet of elevation and you can look out over the treetops and view a vast flat tundra plain pocked with innumerable ponds and lakes.
Accommodations and Meals:
Goodnews River Lodge is an elaborate tent camp with large Weatherport tents built up on platforms, several fixed buildings and lots of nice boardwalks connecting everything together. The complex consists of a boathouse, dining hall, commercial kitchen, restrooms with flushing toilets and showers, a drying room, and smaller tent-cabins for staff and guests. The lodge has ten standard guest tent-cabins, each with elevated front porches overlooking the as well as several deluxe cabins upgrades with attached full bathrooms. Ideal for couples, they are large enough to accommodate a party of 3. (Available on a first come first served basis at an additional charge). Each guest cabin offers the following features:
• Front door and cross-ventilating windows
• Front porch for gear storage and relaxing
• Carpeted hardwood floor
• Thermostatically-controlled propane heat
• Electric and gas lighting
• Extra-long mattresses with flannel sheets and thick comforter
Day 1: Arrive Anchorage and overnight at your elected accommodations (independently arranged, not included).
Day 2: Depart Anchorage on the lodge coordinated charter flight (estimated cost $975 per person). Arrive Goodnews, AK, meet the lodge boats and transfer upstream to the lodge to get settled.
Day 3 – 8: Full days of guided fishing with all meals and accommodations included.
Day 9: Transfer downriver, board the charter flight back to Anchorage. You may book a departing flight from Anchorage after 7PM.
2020 Rate: $5,950 - $7,495 plus $995 round trip Anchorage to Goodnews charter flight per person per for a 7 night/6 day package
Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, guided fishing, limited selection of flies and/or terminal tackle, transportation between Goodnews and the lodge.
Not Included: Round trip airfare to Anchorage, accommodations and meals in Anchorage, alcohol, staff and guide gratuities.
Note: A limited amount of loaner equipment is available and may be reserved in advance.
Species: Rainbow trout, five species of salmon, char, grayling
Season: June to September
Capacity: 16 anglers
Map: Goodnews, AK