Igiugig Lodge is located right at the mouth of the Kvichak river. The Kvichak is a big river draining Lake Illiamna, the largest lake in Alaska. Though much of the water on the Kvichak is big by any standard, there are miles and miles of intimate braids containing the famous monster Alaskan rainbow trout. Trophy trout are an easy cast away, ready to test anglers of any skill level.
At Igiugig Lodge we'll also fly you to other rivers and lakes in the area. Fly-Outs give us the flexibility to fish where the fishing is exceptionally good. Our location allows us to quickly reach the best fly fishing streams in Alaska. From our lodge we can reach streams that have trophy rainbows, explosive-striking pike, beautiful grayling, arctic char, and of course, salmon. The fishing on the Kvichak may be so good you won't want to leave, but what's a trip to Alaska without float planes and big fish?
Imagine yourself standing knee deep in a crystal clear river. In front of you are literally millions of bright red, spawning sockeye salmon. You cast your fly line out into the swirling current, and just as the line passes in front of you it pulls tight. A 30 inch slab of powerful Alaskan rainbow comes spiraling up out of the water in a tremendous leap, then dashes off downstream.
For the fly fisherman, Alaska is synonymous with giant rainbows. Most anglers coming to Alaska are searching for these beautiful, strong game fish. The rainbows in this area are all wild... no hatcheries here. These rainbow trout spend the winters in lake Illiamna, and other large lakes nearby, waiting for the summer months when the sun is out and the food is plentiful. The best rainbow fishing is August through September, but we catch large rainbows all season long.
You’re standing in a river at the tail of a riffle, false casting a light rod, waiting for him to rise again. “Come on, there are mayflies everywhere” you think to yourself. There! He just rose. You lay out a cast just upstream of the rising fish. As your fly drifts towards the spot, the fish leaps completely out of the water, gracefully arcs through the air, and takes your fly as it plunges back into the water. Where are you? If you said Montana, you were off by a few thousand miles. You’re in Alaska, fishing for grayling.
Arctic grayling average about 15 inches and are always willing to rise to a dry fly. Grayling are wonderful fish on light tackle and are plentiful. Grayling are often overshadowed by the flashier rainbows and salmon; it’s well worth taking the time to fish for them. You can catch grayling all season.
Arctic char, also known as Dolly Varden, are a large relative of the trout. Arctic char are a freshwater fish, but look very similar to their sea-run cousin which also goes by the name Dolly Varden. To make things more complicated, another closely related species, the bull trout, is sometimes also refered to as Dolly Varden. Regardless, arctic char are caught all season long and are absolutely beautiful. Early in the season the fish are silver with pale pink spots, but as spawning season approaches the fish change colors until they are bright green and red. Be sure to have a camera along when fishing for arctic char. Fish average 4 lbs but can get much larger.
Northern pike are ferocious. There is simply no better way to describe them. These fish eat anything unlucky enough to get in their way... including each other! Fishing for pike is an adrenaline packed experience; with each cast your fly might be devoured by a 50 inch northern pike. Once hooked pike make explosive runs and will quickly bury themselves in the weeds. Wire leaders are a must as these fish have large, sharp teeth. We fish for pike all season long.
Chinook (King) Salmon:
The king salmon truly is the king of the river. These fish can tip the scales at over 50 lbs and put up a massive fight. King salmon season is June through mid July.
Sockeye (Red) Salmon:
Though smaller, averaging about 5 lbs, sockeye salmon are strong fighters. These fish are known to break rods! Millions of sockeye run up the Kvichak every year. Sea-bright sockeye salmon can be caught throughout the month of July and early August.
Coho (Silver) Salmon:
Silver salmon typically arrive mid-August and continue to run until the end of September. Silvers aggressively take flies and are spectacular jumpers once hooked. Silvers will also readily take surface flies. Averaging 8 lbs, these fish are a blast to catch.
Chum (Dog) Salmon:
Chum salmon show up in early July and run through August. Though not as flashy as silver, sockeye or king salmon, these 10-15 lb fish are STRONG! Chums will also readily take both surface and subsurface flies.
Pink (Humpy) Salmon:
Finally, the smallest member of the family, comes pink salmon. These fish are excellent on lighter rods and are known for their aggressiveness. For non stop action pink salmon can’t be beat. Pink salmon can be caught from mid July to the end of August.