Located in the heart of the greater Katmai/Iliamna region, the Branham’s Big Ku Lodge is arguably Alaska’s most unique and strategically located trophy rainbow camp. Perched on a bluff overlooking the outlet of Lake Kukaklek, Big Ku guests enjoy easy walking access to one of the best beats of trophy rainbow water in the world, as well as three additional systems that are accessed by jet boat.
Limited to six anglers per week, Big Ku Lodge is an intimate, remote, no frills camp that offers small groups of serious anglers the ultimate hub from which to fish the Big and Little Ku, Battle and Moraine systems. Currently the only lodge in the greater Katmai region able to access these remarkable systems by jet boat, Big Ku guests will have the distinct advantage of reaching their elected water irrespective of weather restraints that hamper the region’s aircraft based operations. For those who never get enough time on the water, early morning and late night unguided fishing on the home water is both encouraged and expected.
Accommodations are in simple duplex cabins with private baths. Meals are served in the main lodge overlooking the lake and river. For rainbow enthusiasts who cherish small facilities, long hours on the water, quality swing and spey fishing opportunities, true value, and independence from aircraft This “diamond in the rough” is as good as it gets.
Big Ku Lodge Location:
Big Ku lodge is located about two hours by air from Anchorage in the greater Katmai/Iliamna region of Alaska. The lodge is immediately south of Lake Iliamna overlooking the outlet of Lake Kukaklek.
Note: Baggage allowances- 50 pounds checked bag and 10 pounds carry-on (60 pounds) MAXIMUM baggage weight per person.
Big Ku Lodge Fishing Program:
Big Ku Lodge has the enviable ability to reach four of the Katmai region’s top trophy trout streams by boat! The advantages this gives the hardcore angler are many, including the option to reach the best water in almost any weather; a price which is significantly less than the surrounding fly-out lodges, and a section of home water which ranks among the best trophy trout beats in all of Alaska. This program enables great after-hours fishing, and the ability to reach some famous local waters first. This is a “rainbow only” lodge, (they do not target salmon) with lots of fish in the three to six-pound range as well as specimens that can top ten pounds.
Big Ku Lodge is on the main stem Kukaklek River, near its outlet from Kukaklek Lake. This is a great river, hosting runs of salmon and trout from early June through September, and is dead center in the finest trophy rainbow trout fishing in the world. In June, late August, and September particularly, the Big Ku is at or near the top of every Alaska well informed angler’s list, with good numbers of four to eight-pound fish lying in its many shallow runs and riffles. It is, in particular, a superb streamer fishery, and literally only a stone’s throw from the front porch of the lodge. With long days, this is a great piece of water that you can walk and wade unguided after dinner. The wilderness location could not be better, offering striking views in all directions of river, lake, rolling tundra and nearby mountains. Grizzly bears often stroll nearby during the prolific sockeye salmon run, and there is always the chance to spot wolves, moose or caribou from your cabin door.
Big Ku Lodge uses open Jon boats or a large, covered-cabin inboard jet boat to ferry guests in comfort to any one of the available local streams (other than of course, the home water). The ride to most of the rivers is short, and your arrival often finds you first on the water. Having arrived to the stream of choice, you will either use a smaller jet sled to access the best water, or simply walk and wade, depending on the circumstances. As a June or July guest, you will have three fly-out days included in the package price and guests visiting in August and September will have one fly-out day. Straightforward and a wonderful, Big Ku Lodge offers an option for those who would like to experience the magnificent surrounding country and rivers.
Big Ku Lodge Fisheries:
Big Ku Lodge fishes four premier rainbow systems. These waters include Moraine Creek, Battle Creek, Little Ku and the home waters of the Big Ku. Technically the headwaters of the Alagnak, Big Ku is under private lease, thus greatly limiting the pressure on one of Alaska’s best pieces of trophy trout water. While all five species of pacific salmon, arctic char, Dolly Varden, and grayling abound in the surrounding waters, Big Ku Lodge is first and foremost a lodge dedicated to providing their clientele with unparalleled trophy rainbow fly fishing.
Big Ku Lodge Accommodations and Meals:
The lodge can accommodate six guests in duplex cabins overlooking Kukaklek Lake. All accommodations are double occupancy. All cabins have heat, private baths and comfortable beds. Meals are served family style in the main lodge. Big Ku Lodge is compact and comfortable but is by no means fancy. It does, however, have one of the best and most dramatic locations in the state.
Day 1: (Friday) Arrive Anchorage and overnight at your elected accommodations.
Day 2: (Saturday) Charter flight from Anchorage to Igiugig and then float plane flight to lodge (included in your package).
Note: Baggage allowance- 50 pounds checked bag and 10 pounds carry-on (60 pounds) MAXIMUM baggage weight per person.
Days 3 – 8: Six full days of guided fishing.
Day 9: (Saturday) After breakfast fly back to Anchorage and points beyond.
Typical Daily Schedule:
7:00 AM: Generator turns on (coffee available in rooms or cabin shortly thereafter).
8:30 AM: Breakfast served.
9:00 AM- 9:30 AM: Depart for fishing.
Note: On fly-out days anglers still start the day on the Big Ku and then depart for their fly-out between 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM.
12:00 PM- 2:00 PM: Lunch stream side or at the lodge depending on guest preference.
5:30 PM- 8:00 PM: Guests return to lodge.
7:30 PM- 8:30 PM: Dinner served.
10:00 PM: Generator shuts down, battery power engages.
"We loved this little six angler lodge, the lodge managers, Brian & Katy, and our guides. The whole experience just seemed to match what we enjoy in a fishing trip. All logistics were executed like clockwork. The location of Big Ku as home water, plus being in the heart of a large system of fisheries, make this a very special place. The consistently large and acrobatic rainbows far exceed the norm in the lower 48, at least in my experience." M.L., CO
2018 Rates: $5,750-$6,750 per person 7 night/6 day package
Note: 3 and 4 day packages are available with a 4 angler minimum
Included: Round-trip flights between Anchorage and the lodge, guides, use of boats, instruction, flies, and all meals, including limited beer and wine with dinner only, as well as soft drinks, and juices. Fishing gear can sometimes be supplied if requested in advance of the trip.
Not Included: Hard alcohol (please feel free to bring your own bottle), fishing gear (though the gear can sometimes be arranged if needed), fishing licenses, optional additional fly out fishing ($425 per person per day), guide and staff gratuities.
Species: Rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, grayling, northern pike
Season: June - September
Capacity: 6 anglers
Map: Igiugig, AK