Value in Alaska

David Kalinowski November 13, 2023

When looking into trips to Alaska, it is common for folks to experience a bit of sticker shock. Our goal at Fly Water is to help guests understand the unique attributes and angling opportunities offered by each operation so guests can determine the value propositions through a highly personalized lens.

There are many factors to consider. However, I feel there are three important ones to consider when deciding where to go.  

The first, the fishing. It is what we are drawn and how good is it? I think that will depend on what species you are most interested in targeting and your timing restraints if any. Knowing what specific dates at specific lodges will offer in terms of fishing will depend on their location and what waters they access on a given week. Talking through the lodges' seasons helps anglers understand the possibilities for that location. It is also important for an angler to share their wishes. A good match will ultimately have an angler returning home feeling “worth every penny.”

Second, one should consider what is included in the package. Extra flights, hotels, meals, transfers, and essentially all the not included elements of a package can be a huge part of the total expense of a trip. The rack rate of some lodges will look appealing, but considering all the not included items or extras, it may be just as expensive as the next. Lodges with included flights, transfers, equipment, alcohol and easier travel may look expensive, but you may ultimately view them as better value based on your time and needs.

The biggest one, and often hardest to explain, is the overall experience at the lodge. I often say, “angling is many things to many people” because we are not all looking for the same experience. I do my best to explain my personal experiences in detail, covering areas like the atmosphere at dinner or the comfort of the boat being used to provide a clear view of what to expect. There are so many places to choose from, and I feel it is important to have a good idea of what to expect on-site when deciding on where to go. We like to work with those destinations that give guests a great experience for a good value.  

With all this said, I know I will be asked what lodge offers the best value, and the answer is they all have value, but the value propositions vary, depending on the goals and sensibilities of the individual.

Rapids Camp Lodge: The package is incredibly inclusive. You can simply show up with the pertinent clothing in Anchorage before 1PM on a Friday. You are met by the lodge expeditor on arrival and transferred to the lodge that same day. You depart the following Friday after being dropped off at the airport for your departure. In between you will be hosted, shown a diverse fishing experience, and treated to great food and many lodge amenities with a fun atmosphere. 
Copper on the Fly: The package cost is low, yet guests will be hosted by experienced owners/guides. They have hand built their lodge and have a reputation in a beautiful area on the shores of the Copper River. They are fun, down to earth and treat you as a guest in their beloved summer home. The river they access has some very large trout, tons of sockeye and is incredibly beautiful. The pace is up to you here. The level of relaxation you feel as you sit on the deck overlooking the river may just offer the most value. 
Fishing Bear Lodge:This lodge offers scenery and solitude. While this place may be a bit more difficult to get to, once there, the evening quiet is felt. Located in the largest state park in the country, there are simply not many other structures around here. The lodge is simple and as we like to say, it offers just the right amount of “roughing it”. It is family owned and the owner is as hard a working gentleman as one could find. His love of the region and the wild is as evident and incredible as the snow-capped mountains that surround this place. While the fishing is great, the experience is so much more. 

Let's Get You Ready to Travel to Alaska

Our Alaska Destination Manager is David Kalinowski