Alaska’s hidden gem – Anglers Alibi Lodge
The concept comes to no surprise that Alaska is a bucket list destination to fish, with countless miles of world-class fishable water, it is the last frontier, so vast and remote, it’s daunting. It will change your outlook on life it’s self.
Deep in the heart of Alaska and accessible only by floatplane, much of the land around Anglers Alibi is untouched and the waters have yet to be fully explored.
This off the grid lodge sits on the banks of the legendary Alagnak River and is located less than 20 miles north of king salmon AK. Bordering Katmai National Park.
Anglers Alibi is in the tidal zone from Bristol Bay watershed, the fresh ocean run salmon (all 5 species) make their way up stream, passing the front steps of the lodge, making fishing highly accommodating for the guest who wants to cast off the dock.
There are scenes from my trip I hold onto with adoration, such as when the floatplane lifted off from King Salmon and gained altitude over the vast lands below, giving me a birds eye view of mountains in the distance, and winding rivers that intertwine the land. Then I will always remember the overhead drone shot of my fly swinging out to the river stacked full of salmon so thick – it looks as if I could have walked across their backs. Lucky are we to still have special places like this to come to and enjoy. With a world ever so over populated and polluted – there is still pristine places left to savor and the fish still freely migrate.
The Alagnak River is so much more then fishing. There is an abundance of wildlife and pristine land that is so awe-inspiring! Which leads me to urge any one looking to travel to this dreamy place, to bring your camera! Home to countless birds, Alaskan brown bears, fish (of course), various wildlife, and an incredible array of flora. I took copious amounts of photos while on the river and from the front steps of the lodge. I had the pleasure to see a momma brown bear with 3 cubs right from my cabins front steps. They where crossing the flower covered field to the river, what a beautiful sight to see!
I must mention for the cautious person reading this, the camp, the cabins, everything is protected by a high-powered electric fence 24/7, so no worries!
I have had some unbelievably good experiences in my life as a traveling angler, visiting this lodge and the Alagnak River is at the pinnacle of those experiences. When deciding on any fishing trips, it can be daunting with the excess of lodges available. One of the best ways to assess the quality of a lodge /outfitter is how long they have been operating. John Perry is the proud owner of this thriving business of over 20 years, with a 90% return rate of clients.
With a maximum of 12 guests per week, and 6 guides there is a 2:1 guest guide ratio. I found that to be perfect and small enough that every guest gets acquainted with each other.
With the help of a full staff the days are nicely scheduled from early am coffee room service (my favorite!) 6:30 am breakfast in the main lodge, and then it’s out the door fishing! Lunch on the river is superb and the day comes to an end with cocktails and appetizers at 4:45. Dinner at 6:30 is always, and I mean always completely delicious! The food alone will make you re-book to come back. The evenings were great fun with the other guests telling stories, jokes, to playing cards and for the guest who craves more tight lines there is fishing right from the lodge dock! 10:00 pm is bedtime, the generator is turned off and the complete peace of the wilderness sets in. I slept so incredibly well on my stay, and I never expected the beds to be so comfortable. I will also mention there are private hot showers that are clean, new/ modern, so even though you are off the grid, you still have all the comforts of home. I also was impressed with the extra attention to detail John and his staff accomplish on a daily basis, they definitely strive to make sure every guest is comfortable.
There is a wide variety of fishing to be had. The Alagnak River hosts a strong run of all five species of pacific salmon! I started my stay off by tangling with giant tiger salmon (aka chum) and albeit I must admit, they quickly garnered my admiration as a hard fighting sportfish. I never knew this prior to my trip, but the “lowly chum” is in fact a prized fish to chase on the fly, and one that made it to the top of my favorites list. Due to the tidewater from the ocean, these crazy chum are fresh, dime bright and full of fight! That’s the huge difference. You will wear your self out fighting these leaping salmon and possibly bust a rod if you fish “under gunned”! I broke two rods due to fishing lighter weight gear! The average size tiger is 8-10 lbs but I was into hefty +12 lb fish. I recommend 9 weight rods.
I was there end of July into August and the silver (coho) salmon were just starting to run up the Alagnak River, they are incredibly delicious and highly sought after. The king salmon run was finishing upon my arrival (Fishing for them is between July 1st – 31st), but I was successful at landing some kings just in time, then I was into giant pink salmon, and rounding off all 5 species with the sensational dime bright sockeye.
When salmon were beginning to tucker me out, we made a run up via jet boat to “the braids”, aka “fisherman’s paradise”, a remarkable section of the river that’s teeming with fish, but we targeted the grayling, dolly varden, and trophy rainbow trout. The crystal clear waters of that section allowed me to get some great gopro underwater footage of the fish schooling. I was into fish almost as soon as the fly was in the water. What a blast! It was like being a kid in a candy store! The fishing is so good there, that I didn’t notice the hours zoom by, and my guide needed to pry me away from the seam I was fishing. Ah, so good, peaceful and spoiling!
A visit to Anglers Alibi takes you away from your daily life and adds a sense of calm, tranquility, a chance to rejuvenate and connect with nature and your self. I found my self enjoying every day and moment that passed by. The knowing that I’m off the grid, away from phones, internet and breathing in pure clean air, gave me inner peace and a weeks worth of that really helps ones self get back to what’s important in life.
If you ever want to fish till your arms are fatigued from fighting giant Alaskan salmon, feel like part of the family, eat like a king, have comforts of home yet be totally off the grid, then do not hesitate to visit this hidden gem – I highly recommend your Alaskan trip be to Anglers Alibi Lodge, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about once you fish this diverse river and wonderful lodge nestled in the “land of the midnight sun”.
Signing off for now, wishing you tight lines and big fish! ~ Rebekka Redd
Official website: http://www.anglersalibi.com/
Special thanks to John Landry (my guide at Anglers Alibi) for taking many of the great pics of me holding those awesome fish.
Special thank you to my dear friend Kate Taylor for taking the shots of me with the king salmon and pink salmon!!