Copper River lodge – What To Expect

Copper River lodge is an intimate fishing lodge in one of the most attractive regions of Alaska. Catering for just six anglers and focusing on trophy rainbow trout. This is a real Alaskan gem far far removed from the crowded open water that exists in some locations. Combined with excellent personal service there is an astonishingly high 80% repeat and word of mouth referral booking rate.


The Copper River - The Area

The Copper River runs through a scenic river valley lined with groves of cottonwood, spruce, and birch. Aside from helping make it one of the most gorgeous rivers in the state, these trees offer the fly fishermen refuge from the relentless northern winds. Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty it is unlike many other Alaskan fishing lodges which are typically located in small towns or near native villages. Surrounded by the vast Alaskan wilderness it is totally isolated and therefore offers anglers the best of what Alaska has to offer, both in terms of fishing and a unique wilderness experience.


The Fishing –Trophy Rainbows & Salmon

The Copper River is a classic trout stream packed with long dry-fly glides, deep winding pools studded with boulders, faster riffles, and deep undercut banks all begging for a mouse fly. Unlike other tundra rivers in Alaska that also offer large Trout, the sheltered, scenic and remote location makes the Copper River standout from the others as well as offering some of the largest rainbows in Alaska. It was the first river in the state to be designated a "fly fishing, catch and release only, trophy rainbow river." It is this designation that has kept the fishing so spectacular. The rainbows are bright silver, full of fire and a real joy to catch. It is one of the last places in the world where fly fishermen can do battle with wild rainbow trout that reach well over ten pounds.

For the serious salmon fisherman there is also a prolific run of Sockeye salmon. Salmon are so abundant and such hard fighters that a fisherman’s arm will tire long before the end of the day arrives. When the Sockeye first run into the river it can be a particularly enticing time for a fly-fisherman who wants to enjoy incredible light-tackle salmon fishing as well as sight fishing nymphs and dry flies to Alaskan sized rainbows in some very thin water.

If you are simply in it for the rainbow trout then remember that it is the run of salmon that provides the huge amounts of food by way of eggs and biomass from the spent fish. This result is the huge trout that the Copper River is famous for.


Bear Viewing

ongside the fishing the Copper River Lodge can offer an incredible opportunity to see the regional wildlife and specifically the bears. Tailored trips can be arranged with a focus on bear viewing, although of course you can enjoy the fishing at the same time!!

The best time of year for these activities is in late July.  This is the prime time of year on the Copper River to view bears in their natural environment, and not on a crowded viewing platform. The skilled guides will take you up some of the beautiful and small rivers that flow into Lake Iliamna. These rivers are blessed with some of the largest sockeye salmon runs in Alaska. As a result the grizzly bears (the Alaskan Brown Bear) flock to these small streams for the easy source of food.

You will boat, raft, and hike up the beautiful Copper River, which is filled with shallow rifles that the salmon have to risk their lives to swim through. Often the bears will be waiting for one of the unlucky salmon to venture too close. There are very few ecosystems in the world as rich as the streams of Iliamna. The Copper River can get a sockeye salmon run of over 100,000 salmon in only 20 miles of river. This is over 5,000 salmon per mile on a river that is sometimes less than 20 ft wide! With a good spotting scope or binoculars you can watch these bears in their own pristine environment.  Jet boats are also used to access more remote aspects of this river, and to get a little closer to the wildlife.


Copper River Lodge – Accommodation, Guiding and Living

From your arrival at the floatplane dock until your departure, you will enjoy an unrivaled standard of personal service. Flexibility is the key to any fishing trip and what distinguishes the Copper River Lodge from the others is the professional guide staff. They have extensive experience with fly fishermen in destinations as far away as Mongolia, South American, Russia, and of course, throughout Alaska. For them guiding is a profession, not just a summer job.

Whether you are interested in learning to double haul, or in presenting a dry fly to a difficult lie, the guides will always be qualified and ready to help.

The Copper River Lodge only caters to six fly fishing anglers a week. This ensures a personal service and a relaxing atmosphere that is impossible to find at many other lodges in Alaska. The lodge offers an excellent range of food that can cater to any taste. In addition, the lodge is the only operation located directly on the river, so you will never miss a day of fishing due to the weather. Additionally, use of a twenty foot lake boat is available to access other areas in the region.


Availability and Pricing 2023 Season


The season runs from June to early October. Weeks run Monday-Sunday


$8,600 US Dollars.

Package Includes:

- Seven (x6) nights accommodation (based on double occupancy).
- Six and half (x6.5) days guided fly fishing (Monday to Sunday).
- Round trip floatplane transportation from Iliamna Airport to lodge.
- All meals and soft drinks.
- All local and state taxes.
- All leaders, tippets and fishing flies.


Price does not include Anchorage-Iliamna return flight, fishing licenses, alcohol or gratuities. Lodge capacity is six guests; however we can accommodate private groups of up to eight people. We are happy to arrange your travel should you so require.

Best Times to Go

Rainbow Trout

Peak months, from June 8th to end of September (June and July are the best months for dry and nymph fishing and August and September provide lots of action as the salmon spawn and the rainbows feed heavy on the eggs etc.)

Sockeye (Red) Salmon

Best months are June and July for catching fresh hard fighting sockeye salmon.


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