If you are looking for a Fishing Lodge that puts fishing first, then look no further. We are the only full service lodge located on the Goodnews River, a three branch wilderness river system located about 450 miles from Anchorage, at the edge of the Togiak National Wilderness Reserve and flowing into the Bering Sea in southwest Alaska. As the only Lodge fishing the River, we control the amount of fishing pressure and are able to protect our fish. You don’t have to worry about some one beating you to the best spots, because the only other fisherman you are likely to see are your camp mates, or those of the furry persuasion.
The River boasts outstanding runs of all 5 species of Pacific salmon, sea run Dolly Varden, resident Leopard Rainbows and Arctic Grayling. The Lodge is a fixed camp right on the river just above tidewater, and is not a fly out camp. We access over 490 miles of river, creeks, braids and sloughs via a fleet of high speed jet boats. There are three options for the angler in search of his or her trophy fish:
- choose one of three river branches
- fish the tidewaters
- wade the feeder creeks
The Lodge provides one guide per two anglers. Each guide has a nose – and access – to some of the hottest holes for Trout, Grayling, Dolly Varden, and all 5 species of Pacific salmon!
So Many Fish!
Our season begins in late June with the arrival of the mighty King salmon, along with outstanding fishing for Rainbow Trout and Grayling. In addition to the Kings, Chum and Sockeye salmon move into river by the thousands in early July. These fish, like all the salmon we fish for on the River, will be chrome bright and fresh from the Bering Sea, many still sporting sea lice. Mid-July brings the arrival of the sea run Dolly Varden. Cousin to the brook trout, this is the time when some of the largest Dollys of the year are caught, up to 30”. In even numbered years, Pink Salmon by the thousands will flood the River at the same time. The “Grand Slam” season hits it’s peak at the end of July. It’s quite an accomplishment for an angler to land all 5 species of Pacific Salmon on fly in one day, and the Goodnews River is one of the few rivers in Alaska where that is possible.
But perhaps we are best known for our outstanding Silver salmon run. The first Silver is usually caught around mid July, and fresh Silvers just keep pouring in until long after the camp closes in mid September. Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden follow the salmon upriver and are easy to find as they feast on the banquet of salmon eggs deposited by the spawning Chums, Sockeyes and Pinks. Many of our repeat guests come back every August for the combination of Silvers, Rainbows and Dollys. It’s really hard to beat a day of Silvers in the morning, and then Rainbows and Dollys in the afternoon. It’s your typical day in August at the Goodnews River Lodge.
Your Typical Day
Your typical day will start steaming hot coffee for the early risers at 6:30am in the Dining Hall. A full Breakfast complete with eggs to order is served family style at 7:30 am. At that time, you will make a sandwich for lunch to enjoy on the River, or if you’d rather come back to the camp for lunch, there is always hot soup available. You will also be offered a choice of entrees for dinner that evening, including the option of fresh fish. Then it’s time to gear up, as the boats leave the Lodge at 8:15 am and return after a full day of fishing at 5:30 PM.
Once your day on the water is complete, you will return to the Lodge for a hot shower and brief rest before dinner. Dinner is served between 6:30 and 7:00 PM in the main Dining Hall, starting with imaginative hors d’oeuvres, refreshments and then a four-course meal consisting of freshly baked breads, salad, and a main entree served with a starch and seasonal vegetables, followed by one of our signature desserts.
Your Guides are assigned each evening after dinner for the next day’s fishing. This gives you and your Guide a chance to discuss what species you want to fish for the next day, and to make sure you have all the right gear ready. We rotate our Guides every day. That way our guests get to know all of our Guides and experience many different parts of the river, as each Guide has his favorite fishing spots and techniques. We do not put more than 2 anglers with a Guide and Boat. If you want to have a shore lunch consisting of freshly caught fish and all of the fixin’s the next day, now is the time to order it so we can have it ready for your morning departure. You are then free to tie flies, gear-up for the next day, or relax in our new Recreation Hall while swapping fish tales of the “one that got away”. Of course, if you still haven’t caught enough fish for the day, you can sample the outstanding fishing available right in front of the Lodge.