Planning a Trip to Alaska
Planning a trip to Alaska can seem like an overwhelming experience. You’ve seen dazzling photos of mountains, glaciers, bears, eagles, fish, whales, moose, caribou, fireweed, lakes, rivers and Northern Lights. You want to see some of this plus experience the best fishing of your life, but how do you start planning?
You’ll need to answer a couple of questions to narrow your focus. The first thing you have to consider is the type or types of fish you intend to catch. Do you want a mix of saltwater and freshwater fishing or to focus on comfortable river fishing only? Is everyone in your party interested in fishing or should you plan a variety of angling and non-angling activities for your group? Once you’ve figured out that salmon fishing ranks high on your Alaska vacation wish list, you’ll soon learn the Nushagak River in Bristol Bay is an obvious choice. The Nushagak River is literally the home to the world’s largest wild king salmon run and it’s also got a remarkable silver salmon run that gets very little pressure.
Timing your trip with the runs that you most desire to target is essential when planning a trip to Alaska. As with all fishing, you can’t know the exact time the run is going to show each year but you can predict that king salmon will begin to be fishable in numbers on The Nush right around Summer Solstice each year. We fish Chinook for about four weeks each summer, then transition into our Mid Summer Multi-Species Packages until coho show up the last week of July to finish up our season through mid August.
Once you’ve tapered your wants to a short list and determined species, timing and location, it is time to choose your lodge or outfitter. There are several variables to consider when selecting your hosts for your Alaska trip. Ask yourself a series of questions before contacting the lodges you’ve decided meet your needs.
Is the lodge reputable? Do they receive good reviews and referrals?
How experienced are their guides?
How are the accommodations?
How is the dining?
Is their reservations manager knowledgeable and responsive when I contact them?
What are my goals for this trip?
Do I have any special requests or requirements?
You’ll want to interview your top choices and find the people you connect with and the lodge that meets your comfort level. At Nushagak River Adventures Lodge our guests are our first focus. It’s safety then satisfaction that are the top two goals of our team.
The main reasons our guests choose Nushagak River Adventures Lodge when planning a trip to Alaska are the top quality lodging, experienced guides and lodge staff, and attention to detail in our operation. Over the last several years since Pete von Jess bought the lodge he has actualized an entirely new facility with help from an incredible build team. A brand new main lodge, new cabins, new bathhouse, new boats, new motors, and new fishing gear has all been part of this transformation of the lodge since new ownership. The improvements continue with increased satellite capacity and more.
Most of the “lodges” on The Nush are actually tent camps with cots and sleeping bags, nothing like our impeccably constructed white pine buildings with the amenities of a five star in the Bush, including comfortable beds and fresh linens. The incredible part is we are not priced much higher than the tent camps, so it’s an easy choice.
Starting from the moment you begin planning a trip to Alaska you’ll find our team fast to respond and filled with local fisheries knowledge and recommendations to make your trip planning easier. Once you’ve booked with us, we make sure you have all the details and recommended travel arrangements to ensure a smooth trip out and back. We have overseen every detail from where you stay on a layover in Anchorage or Dillingham to the times to book your flights for the easiest transportation to our remote Alaska lodge.
Ahead of the trip you’ll fill out our forms to ensure we have everything we need to know about your dietary or health concerns. Once you get in to camp you are also in good hands. We greet you on our beach as your float plane alights on the grand Nushagak River. The first priority is fishing so we take your gear to your cabin, orient you to the lodge, give a quick safety briefing, serve lunch, and then it’s on the boat as quickly as possible to maximize fishing time during your 4 1/2 days with us.
You’ll come off the river around 6 pm to clean up, relax, and unwind. Executive Chef Chris Lee serves appetizers at 6:30 followed by a main course and desert that will leave you grinning and satiated, possibly a bit too much. Our kitchen team is totally top shelf from Chef Chris to Jenn Laube, our resident desert chef. After dinner guests can relax by a fire, catch and release bank fish from our beach, tell tales at the lodge, or retire early after a full day on the water.
Fishing is the main focus here at the lodge and each of our guides is an excellent boatsman and fisherman. They are all U.S. Coast Guard certified captains, knowledgeable, courteous, Red Cross first aid certified, and Alaska registered guides. You’ll get to fish with several different guides during your stay as we rotate our guides and guests each day.
In short, guests choose Nushagak River Adventures Lodge because:
1. Nushagak River salmon fishing is the best in Alaska.
2. Our guides are top notch and catch lots of fish!
3. The welcoming staff is pleasant, professional and safety conscious.
4. A remote and serene location gets you away from crowds and heavy fishing pressure.
5. Our lodging is heads and shoulders above the tent camps and other lodges.
6. We serve 5 star cuisine that is truly memorable.
7. Our operation is run smoothly, with excellent business practices.
Planning a trip to Alaska can seem like a daunting task, but once you nail down the overall plan, you can focus on choosing your outfitter. Hopefully this helps you organize your thoughts and simplify the process. If you determine you are looking for the best salmon fishing in Alaska, we will look forward to hosting you at Nushagak River Adventures Lodge.
Please inquire with any questions or date requests.