ATA Lodge or Alaska Trophy Adventures, based on the Alagnak River is a true wilderness lodge in the Katmai National Park offering excellent fishing for all the species of Pacific Salmon, alongside great fishing for Trout and Grayling.
Well priced, family owned and run, under its new ownership it has very quickly built up a great name and reputation, both for the location, the river and the lodge management. Be warned, some prime weeks are booked up over a year in advance!!
Alagnak translates into ‘River of mistakes’, so called as the multitude of braids on this charismatic river have led many astray. First impressions on looking out from the lodge on the bank of the river is how swiftly flowing this river is. Running clear and fast it will pull a flyline taught within seconds of it hitting the water. The lodge itself has been hosting anglers for thirty odd years however a recent change of ownership has not just revitalised this once popular lodge but given it a lease of life and energy which is very evident to anyone visiting. Keen, enthusiastic and hardworking guides are its hallmark, backed up a dedicated lodge staff and a drive to constantly improve and ensure an excellent experience is had by all guests.
ATA Lodge is located approx 55 miles upriver from the mouth of the Alagnak River where it drains into Kvichak Bay. About 6 miles upstream from the lodge it splits at the confluence between the Kukaklek River and the Nonvianuk River, which both drain their respectively named lakes 19 and 11 miles further upstream. In real terms, what this means is that the lodge location is far enough from the river mouth and lower river lodges and suitably downstream of the upper river lakes and Bristol Bay floatplane trips to place it in a truly isolated position. If you want wilderness fishing without the buzz of boats from other lodges you will be hard pushed to find a better lodge than ATA.
The lodge is accessed by bush planes flown out of King Salmon to its own private runway. The lodge itself is set in 160 acres of privately owned tundra overlooking the river and surroundings. There are 8 twin cabins, 4 of which have ensuite bathrooms, all overlooking the river. A Swiss style chalet with commanding views sits above the main lodge buildings and is available for private groups which can sleep an additional 8 guests.
The main lodge building has a similar styled high glass windowed front, also providing imposing views onto the river and surroundings. It is the central hub of the lodge where meals are taken and a good selection of books, albums and magazines being equipped with comfortable arm chairs and sofas and open fireplace a great place to relax. The walls of the lodge are well adorned with an ever-increasing selection of carvings, paintings and pictures. It is every but the wilderness fishing / sporting lodge that you would imagine but comfortable and stylish at the same time. Breakfast and evening meals are held at the lodge with a glass of wine served each evening.
For dinner hors d’oeuvres are served prior to a 3 course meal. Guests make packed lunches each day from a wide section of cooked meats, fish and salads along with a wide range of snacks and drinks however the guides will be only too happy to cook up a shore lunch with freshly caught fish should you want to do so.
Like many Alaskan Rivers the Alagnak and its tributaries have solid runs of all 5 species of Pacific Salmon. The Sockeye run is the most prolific followed by the Silver (Coho salmon) however you can also have spectacular fishing for Alaskan Tiger Salmon (Chum). Chinook Salmon migrate up the rivers in good numbers in July, resting in numerous deep holding pools.
The fast-flowing pace of the river means that if you connect with one of these 20-35lbs monsters you will probably need to chase the fish down river in the boat to be able to land it. The Trout, Grayling and Arctic Char are what many of the guides yearn for more than anything else and again the Alagnak and its many braids offer countless opportunities from fast flowing streams to gentle riffles. Pick your species or pick your selection of rods for the day and you will have excellent and varied sport.
One of the absolute keys to a good fishing trip is good guides. ATA Lodge has a formidable team of both keen and experienced guides. All are well kitted out with flies, tackle and a surplus of knowledge you will be in very good hands whether it comes to tackling up for an unfamiliar species, navigating the river or warning off an over inquisitive bear. Transport up and down the river is by standard river boats with powerful 50 or 60hp engines. In addition a more powerful jetboat with a canopy and seats can deliver anglers to the bottom of the river (50 miles away) in a little over an hour.
During the peak of the Sockeye run bears make very good use of this incredibly abundant food source. Whilst it can be difficult for anglers to do so, putting down your rod and watching these incredible creatures is part of the Alaskan experience and over July you are unlikely ever to see as many in such a remote and wild setting.
For those looking at a low-cost option and who would happily forsake the benefits of a cabin to sleep in there is the option for a safari style spike camp based on the lower river for fresh run salmon or a guided float trip where you will be dropped up river and picked up many miles downstream 7 days later. On both trips you will have the benefit of a professional guide with all equipment and food provided however help erecting and maintaining the camp over the week is expected. Minimum 2 and maximum 6 anglers.
Guests require to take a Penn Air flight from the main domestic terminal in Anchorage to King Salmon. Most hotels operate a taxi service which will take you both from the airport to your hotel and back to the airport on departure. Flight time to King Salmon is approx. 1 hr 20 mins and from there you will be collected and driven a very short drive to the local bush plane hangar. From there you will depart in groups of 4 or 5 at a time with a flight time to the lodge of approx. 35 mins. On return, although it is possible to depart for your international flight the day of departure it is important to aim to leave 4-5 hours from your arrival time back into Anchorage to offset any potential weather delays which are relatively commonplace in Alaska.
- Arrive Anchorage
- Overnight Anchorage
Hotel accommodation in Anchorage is not included
- Fly Anchorage-King Salmon (not included)
- Transfer to Bush Plane
- 35 min Flight to Lodge
Flight is approx. 1 hr 20 mins and is not included.
- 6 full days fishing as per the weekly fishing schedule
Schedule arranged with guides the previous day however typically depart to go fishing from 8.30 onwards
- Bush Plane to King Salmon
- King Salmon to Anchorage (not included)
Overnight stay in Anchorage recommended. Not included
Please note flight schedules can be affected by the weather. Tight international connections are to be avoided.
The season runs from mid June- early September
Rates from $6,350 USD/person
- Seven (x7) nights
- Six (x6) days fishing
- Price includes full board shared
- Loaner gear available if required
- All meals and soft drinks
- Guide typically shared between 2
King Salmon - ATA lodge Return– Approx $625 USD
Price does not include gratuities or fishing license. Main Lodge capacity is 16-20 guests
Each species of salmon has a relatively defined and short season. The best time to go varies on which species you are looking to target. The seasonal guide below will give you an indication of what to expect over a certain period.
Mid-June: This is early season and the first opportunity to have spectacular Trout fishing before the runs of salmon arrive.
July From early July the runs of King, Sockeye and Chum salmon should be in full flow, tailing off towards the end of the month. This is also the month when you can expect to see bears around almost every corner as they feast on the Sockeye.
On even years 2016,18,20….Pink Salmon (humpies run the river in large numbers from mid-July mid-August.
August / September Coho / Silver Salmon start arriving in good numbers from August onwards and continue until the end of the season. Willing to chase down surface flies, 8-12 lbs average weight they are excellent sport on a fly rod. Equally the Trout and Grayling fishing really takes off over this period as the fish feed on the salmon eggs.
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We will always strive to ensure that your fishing trip is optimised to meet both the best seasonal conditions.
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