Fishing

The Aniak Experience

Whether you're looking for an all inclusive guided trip, or a more economical do-it-yourself option, we promise to provide the most memorable fishing trip you've ever had! Our location is amidst many wild and remote bodies of water. We offer the finest staff, service, and equipment available. Our decades of experience assures that we will give you the adventure of a lifetime! Trips are offered from June 1 to September 30 to coincide with seasonal fishing dates.

Big kingAll 5 species of pacific salmon, rainbow trout, lake trout, arctic char, dolly varden, arctic grayling, pike, and sheefish are all very abundant in this remote and scenic area of Alaska, that we call home. With hundreds of great fishing locations within a 1 hr flight of the village, we're sure to find just the right float trip, or location, for just about any species of fish you'd like to target. Customizing any of our adventures is also possible, so please don't hesitate if you have any questions.

 

What is the Fishing Like?

Aniak Air Guides' lodge sits on the outskirts of the village of Aniak, at the confluence of The Aniak  & Kuskokwim Rivers (see location page). Being right in the heart of the 3 most productive fisheries in western/southwest Alaska ( the Yukon, Kuskokwim, and Bristol Bay Drainages), gives us a unique advantage to access, and choose from so  many wonderful and productive fisheries. If a salmon run happens to be down in one particular river, it's no problem to find another close by.

3 fisherman with a lawn full of silver salmonLocal waters commonly yield 20-30 salmon per day!....not too mention all the rainbows, arctic char, dolly varden, & arctic grayling. King and chum salmon are the first to arrive.... starting their run by the village in mid June and culminating by the end of July. Aggressive silvers typically show in late July, and hit all the way thru mid-Sept. Reds and pinks are sprinkled in from late June thru early August. Rainbow Trout fishing is second to none, starting in mid-June, with hot fishing all the way in to September. Arctic char, dolly varden, and arctic grayling are also caught in abundance until mid-September.

 

What is the Gear Like?

Make sure you read our Guided Gear List or Unguided Gear List before you pack!

Raft ready to go

A typical 3 person camping set-up for *all adventures* includes the following gear provided by Aniak Air Guides:

  • Weatherproof Maps w/ points of interest waypointed
  • Marine radio (for communication when you see AAG plane)
  • Raft Equipment 13' and/or 14' NRS self-bailing Otter raft(s), Longhorn frame(s), with padded seat, dry bags, life jackets, oars, straps, oar savers, cargo net, patch kit, high volume Wonder pump(s), bow line
  • Cabelas 4 and/or 6 man tent(s)
  • Kitchen Gear (large tote doubles as wash bin) can opener, plates, bowls, cups, silverware, coffee percolator, non-stick pot&pan, spatulas, soap & scrubber, kool-aid jug
  • Coleman stove(s) (propane and/or gas)
  • Bear Spray
  • Sleeping pads
  • Camp chairs
  • Collapsable water jugs
  • Tarps
  • Duct tape
  • 1 sleeping pad per person
  • dry bags

A typical raft set-up for *fishing and rafting includes the following gear provided by Aniak Air Guides:

  • Self-bailing Otter raft
  • Oaring frame with padded seat
  • Oars
  • High volume pump
  • Patch kit
  • Life vests
  • Dry bags
  • Cargo net
  • Extra tie-down straps

 

Licenses & Tags

Available for purchase at our lodge or through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
Fishing License Alaska NonResidents
$105.00 for 14 days
Alaska Residents
$29.00
King Salmon Stamp Alaska NonResidents
$75.00
Alaska Residents
$10.00

 

Rainbow Wide assortment of fishing lures Cooking on the river

 

Guided Trips

Just imagine the wonderful fishing you will experience by having an experienced guide, an airplane at your beck and call and some of the finest fishing rivers in the world for an entire week! Please make sure to read our guided gear list before you pack.

Basic Lodge Package = $4,900.00 per person

Includes:

  • One bush fly-out for up to 6 people
  • Species: Salmon (King, chum, pink, red and silver), Rainbow and Lake Trout, Arctic Char, Arctic Grayling, Dolly Varden, Northern Pike, Sheefish
  • Monday through Saturday, fully guided
  • Airport pick-ups and transportation around Aniak
  • Accommodations
  • Food

Does Not Include:

  • Transportation from Anchorage to Aniak
  • Fishing Licenses
  • King Salmon Stamp

 

 

Guided Fishing Gear List

Bring Supplies: Bring Tackle:
  • long underwear
  • light jacket
  • rain gear
  • hip boots
  • medicine
  • chapstick
  • sunscreen
  • rod and reels
  • extra line
  • lots of good snap swivels
  • 3 changes of clothes
  • medium jacket
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • sunglasses
  • camera and lots of film
  • bug repellant
  • needle nose pliers
  • medium rods
  • ultra light 4 to 10 lb. test
  • 9" wire leaders for pike
  • 10 to 20 lb. test (for salmon and pike)

Lures
All spoons, black jigs, pixies 1/2 oz -7/8 ounce orange and red, vibrax 1 to 4, orange Mepps spinners 1 to 4, 3 inch daredevils and 3 inch red eyes, crazy crawlers for pike, Mepps Cyclops.

Fly Gear
8 to 10 weight rods for Kings.
7 to 8 weight rods for other salmon.
4 to 6 weight rods for grayling and rainbows.

Line
Bring sinking tip or shooting head rigged with 200 yards of 25 pound Dacron backing for 9 to 10 weight rods. Bring floating or sinking for tip line for lighter rods.

Flies
Black gnats and mosquitoes size 10 to 16, weighted flies 6 to 12, bucktail streamers and minnow patterns for salmon, flesh flies and egg patterns for Rainbows.

 

 

Unguided Trips

We also offer a trip for the more adventurous type, a self-guided float trip through the Alaskan wilderness on a large inflatable raft. These are easy flowing rivers with the purpose of the trip being fishing (not whitewater rafting). Which of our nine rivers you choose will depend on the species of fish you want to catch and the time of year. Please make sure to read our unguided gear list before you come!

 

 

Prices include 1 night of lodging included at the end of the trip
River: Cost:
Aniak
river description
Preview/Purchase DVD of Aniak River Rafting & Fishing

full length float - $2,550 per person*
lower river float - $2,050 per person*
(boat and/or plane pick-up included)

Anvik
river description
$2,800.00 per person*
(boat and/or plane pick-up included)
Holitna
river description
Preview/Purchase DVD of Holitna River Rafting & Fishing
$2,750.00 per person*
(boat and/or plane pick-up included)

Hoholitna
river description

$2,850.00 per person*
(boat and/or plane pick-up included)
Innoko
river description
$2,800.00 per person*
(boat and/or plane pick-up included)
King Salmon
river description
$2,800.00 per person*
(boat and/or plane pick-up included)
Kipchuk
river description
$2,400.00 per person*
(boat and/or plane pick-up included)
Kisaralik
river description
$2,800.00 per person*
(boat and/or plane pick-up included)
Salmon
river description
$2,250.00 per person*
(boat and/or plane pick-up included)

*Please Note!

Prices for unguided trips include all bush flying and airport pick-ups and transportation around Aniak, rafts and camping gear.

Cost does not include transportation from Anchorage to Aniak, Fishing Licenses, King Salmon Stamps, or food.

 

Unguided Fishing Gear List

Keep your portion of gear under 80 pounds!

All of our unguided packages are designed for our guests to bring/supply as little as possible. In a nutshell.....you provide food, sleeping bag, and personal/fishing gear....we take care of the rest.

Included in all Unguided Fishing Packages:

  • Airport P/U & Drop Off
  • Transportation around town
  • 1 night of lodging included at the end of the trip, with meals included
  • Bush Flying/ Transportation
  • Pre-float flight of river
  • Weatherproof Maps w/ points of interest waypointed
  • Lower river P/U (end of float)
  • Marine radio (for communication when you see AAG plane)
  • Raft Equipment 13' and/or 14' NRS self-bailing Otter raft(s), Longhorn frame(s), with padded seat, dry bags, life jackets, oars, straps, oar savers, cargo net, patch kit, high volume Wonder pump(s), bow line
  • Cabelas 4 and/or 6 man tent(s)
  • Kitchen Gear (large tote doubles as wash bin) can opener, plates, bowls, cups, silverware, coffee percolator, non-stick pot&pan, spatulas, soap & scrubber, kool-aid jug
  • Coleman stove(s) (propane and/or gas)
  • Bear Spray
  • Sleeping pads
  • Camp chairs
  • Collapsable water jugs
  • Tarps
  • Duct tape
  • 1 sleeping pad per person
  • dry bags

Bring:
  • light jacket
  • rain gear
  • hip boots
  • medicine
  • chapstick
  • sunscreen
  • rod and reels
  • 10 to 20 pound test (for salmon and pike)
  • extra line
  • lots of good snap swivels
  • 3 changes of clothes
  • knife and sharpener
  • garbage bags
  • flashlight
  • soap
  • hat & gloves
  • toilet paper
  • towel
  • 5 gallon collapsible water jug
  • 1 medium jacket
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • sunglasses
  • camera and lots of film
  • bug repellant
  • needle nose pliers
  • medium rods
  • ultra light 4 to 10 pound test
  • 9" wire leaders for pike
  • long underwear
  • sleeping bag
  • hatchet
  • food (buying in Aniak is suggested)
  • matches or high quality lighter
  • rope & cord
  • paper towels
  • water purifier

 

River Descriptions


Aniak River Float

Rainbow trout catch The Aniak River trip is a long float, 100 river-miles, and, in our opinion, one of the most scenic as well. Typically, it is also the most difficult to navigate. Previous rafting experience is a must on this float. Your float begins after catching a few lake trout at your drop off point, Aniak Lake. After leaving the lake, you'll be into the grayling immediately, along with arctic char and dolly varden soon thereafter, and salmon and rainbow fishing just getting better the further you float. However, with significant debris loads, log jams, and sweepers often present, floating can often be arduous on this upper stretch (the first 50 river-miles). The remaining 50 miles are, by comparison, a “tame” stretch of water that most anyone can safely navigate.

This wild and scenic river is not for the novice rafter (depending on access point), as some of the bends can be tricky. Except for the lower potions, the river is clear and swift flowing, and not always confined to a main channel. With multiple channels and other hazards to deal with, floaters are often required to navigate narrow channels throughout the float trip. For this reason, we do have guides available for those of you with minimal rafting experience.

Typical with the lower Kuskokwim streams, the upper sections flow through the beautiful Kilbuck and Kuskokwim Mountains (2,000 feet to 4,000 feet) and gradually transition into the Kuskokwim lowlands and tundra. The river changes from clear and swift flowing in the mountains to a slow and meandering course in the lowlands. Taiga forest vegetation, including black spruce, balsam, birch, aspen, poplar, and alders line the banks of the Kuskokwim lowland streams. Calling this river home are all five species of salmon, rainbow trout, arctic char, dolly varden, grayling, even pike and sheefish on the lower stretches. Grizzly, black bear, caribou, moose, wolf, wolverine, fox, eagles, beaver, marten, and otter are also frequently sighted along the river banks.

This river is one of our most economical floats because we fly you out only one way, and then you float all the way back to the village. Should you decide not to float the entire distance (the final 15 miles are very slow), a mid-river pick-up is included.

Preview/Purchase DVD of Aniak River Rafting & Fishing

Anvik River Float

This scenic, clear water tributary of the Yukon River is an easy float (Class I & II) through beautiful surroundings that are forested to the headwaters. A less visited river means you will hardly see anyone on your trip! Great fishing for king salmon, chums, silvers, arctic grayling, char, pike, sheefish, & dolly vardens.

The Headwaters to Yellow River has a medium gradient with pools, riffles, and frequent small sand/gravel bars. Some tributaries have a significantly higher gradient, such as Canyon Creek. From Yellow River to the mouth, the river becomes a lower gradient stream changing to a single channel meander. The lower river from Theodore Creek to the mouth, is also a single channel meander with attached oxbow lakes and a low gradient. This lower section of the river is better fishing for northern pike than in the upriver sections. Sheefish are also available near the mouth and are best fished for in early June and September.

Holitna River Float

The beautiful Holitna is a very easy flowing, mostly flatwater river that anybody can float (Class I & II). You will pass through forests of black and white spruce, poplar, birch and cottonwood, and you may even drift for days without seeing many, if any, other people. The fishing is excellent for kings, chums, silvers, grayling, char, sheefish, and pike up to 44 inches.

Preview/Purchase DVD of Holitna River Rafting & Fishing

Hoholitna River Float

This is an easy float (Class I & II). The river initiates at large Whitefish Lake and passes through a lot of windy, slow turns moving on its long trip down to meet the Holitna River. It is the most remote, least traveled river, and it is very unlikely that you will see any other people. The upper river starts above treeline in the tundra, then lower down travels through mixed white and black spruce and poplar forest. Great kings at the intersection of with the Holitna River, wonderful pike in the lower river, shums, and silver fishing; also grayling and char. 5 to 10 day float.

Innoko River Float

This trip is for serious Pike and Sheefish fisherman. The Innoko River is the best spot in the world for pike over 20 pounds. with very good chance at a 30 pounder. Large and aggressive northern pike can grow to over 45" because there are so many lakes connected to the river. You can also catch whitefish, grayling and an incidental salmon. 5 to 10 day float.

The Innoko is the westernmost major tributary of the Yukon River. It is a very slow, easy river in a remote and isolated setting. Past Shagaluk, water levels are low and the current is especially slow. The Innoko rises in the Kuskokwim Mountains west of the town of McGrath and flows north, then southwest for about 500 miles (800 km) before joining the Yukon near Holy Cross. Most of the river basin lies in the Innoko National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is visited by an estimated 130 species of birds, and more than 300,000 migratory nesting waterfowl and shorebirds. Frequent flooding supports willow sandbars, providing habitat for moose and beavers. Year-round residents include peregrine falcons, black and grizzly bears, wolves, marten, lynx, red fox, river otter, and wolverine. Winter brings Beaver Mountain caribou.

King Salmon River Float

This river, also known as the Upper Nushagak, is a very easy float (Class I) that anybody will enjoy. The water is crystal clear with good steady flow, sometimes slowgoing, sometimes fast with deeper pools. You will be surrounded by beauty. In the distance by rolling tundra hills filled with berries, while the river corridor is narrower and secluded by lowland brush. Further downriver, the scenery turns wooded. Moose and caribou wander these areas. You will also see more black bears than on other rivers, since the King Salmon is further inland. The fishing is excellent for kings, chums, silvers, grayling, dolly vardens, char, and rainbow trout (up to 24 inches). Sockeye and pinks are also in the river. 5 to 10 day float.

Kipchuk River Float

The Kipchuck River, nestled between the upper stretches of the Aniak River and the Salmon River, is one of our least traveled rivers. If complete solitude is what you desire, this is the river for you. The fishing on this river is, by comparison, not as good as the Aniak River and the Salmon River but is much more isolated. Access to this river is also subject to seasonal water levels, as gravel bars are our only option for drop-offs. This float is approximately 80 river-miles long, with total solitude for the first 35 miles.

This wild and scenic river is not for the novice rafter (depending on access point), as some of the bends can be tricky. Except for the lower potions, the river is clear and swift flowing, and not always confined to a main channel. With multiple channels and other hazards to deal with, floaters are often required to navigate narrow channels throughout the float trip. For this reason, we do have guides available for those of you with minimal rafting experience.

Typical with the lower Kuskokwim streams, the upper sections flow through the beautiful Kilbuck and Kuskokwim Mountains (2,000 feet to 4,000 feet) and gradually transition into the Kuskokwim lowlands and tundra. The river changes from clear and swift flowing in the mountains to a slow and meandering course in the lowlands. Taiga forest vegetation, including black spruce, balsam, birch, aspen, poplar, and alders line the banks of the Kuskokwim lowland streams. Calling this river home are all five species of salmon, rainbow trout, arctic char, dolly varden, grayling, even pike and sheefish on the lower stretches. Grizzly, black bear, caribou, moose, wolf, wolverine, fox, eagles, beaver, marten, and otter are also frequently sighted along the river banks.

This river is one of our most economical floats because we fly you out only one way, and then you float all the way back to the village. Should you decide not to float the entire distance (the final 30 miles are very slow), a mid-river pick-up is included.

Kisaralik River Float

A popular and easy float trip of intermediate duration for the experienced rafter. The upper river is swift, with long stretches of shallow rocky rapids. There are two small waterfalls and three Class III rapids that are all easily portaged along the bank. Great rainbow, grayling, and char fishing. There are also king salmon and silvers, and lake trout at Kisaralik Lake. 8 to 10 day float.

Typical of lower Kuskokwim streams, the upper section flows through moderate sized Kilbuck Mountains (2,000 to 3,000 foot elevation) and gradually transition into Kuskokwim lowlands and tundra. The river changes from swift water in the mountains to gradual slow meandering course in the lowlands with poorly defined channel in several locations. Taiga forest vegetation, including black spruce, birch, aspen, balsam poplar, and alders, covers the banks of Kuskokwim lowland streams.

Salmon River Float

Typically, the Salmon River provides a less challenging route compared to the Aniak and Kipchuck Rivers, which is probably why it sees the most “traffic.” However, in some years this stretch of river can be very tricky as well. The drop-off point for this float is a small wheel-strip next to the river, known as Bell Creek. This float is approximately 80 river-miles long, with the first 45 miles in relative solitude.

The wild and scenic Salmon River is not for the novice rafter (depending on access point), as some of the bends can be tricky. Except for the lower potions, the river is clear and swift flowing, and not always confined to a main channel. With multiple channels and other hazards to deal with, floaters are often required to navigate narrow channels throughout the float trip. For this reason, we do have guides available for those of you with minimal rafting experience.

Typical with the lower Kuskokwim streams, the upper sections flow through the beautiful Kilbuck and Kuskokwim Mountains (2,000 feet to 4,000 feet) and gradually transition into the Kuskokwim lowlands and tundra. The river changes from clear and swift flowing in the mountains to a slow and meandering course in the lowlands. Taiga forest vegetation, including black spruce, balsam, birch, aspen, poplar, and alders line the banks of the Kuskokwim lowland streams. Calling this river home are all five species of salmon, rainbow trout, arctic char, dolly varden, grayling, even pike and sheefish on the lower stretches. Grizzly, black bear, caribou, moose, wolf, wolverine, fox, eagles, beaver, marten, and otter are also frequently sighted along the river banks.

This river is one of our most economical floats because we fly you out only one way, and then you float all the way back to the village. Should you decide not to float the entire distance (the final 30 miles are very slow), a mid-river pick-up is included.

 

Description Sources

Alaska Department of Fish & Game
Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Alaska Fish & Wildlife Service

 

 

 

 

Aniak Air Guides
Rob Kinkade | P.O. Box 93 | Aniak, AK 99557
Cell 907.299.3503|Cell 907.299.3503
aniakairguides@yahoo.com

 

Web Site Design by Elizabeth Kanter
Hosted by NetAlaska Web Services