Trout, Rainbow Trout, King Salmon, Silver Salmon, Grayling, Pacific Salmon, Chum Salmon, Sockeye Salmon
Destination Type
Safari / Tent Camp
Fishing Style
Dry Fly, Jet Boat, Sightfishing, Spey, Wading
June - September
Fishing Days
Why We Go
  • Fish a diverse and prolific system with all five species of salmon, rainbow trout and Dolly Varden
  • Enjoy a riverside tent camp that enables anglers to reach prime waters irrespective of weather
  • Fish with experienced guides, who are happy to teach Spey casting to their guests
  • Take advantage of easy wading runs and side channels packed with trout and salmon
  • Enjoy one of best rivers in the world to target both kings or silvers on the fly

Long considered the gold standard of tent camps, Alaska West offers anglers the best of the Kanektok River: legendary main-stem fishing for sea-bright kings, chum, and silvers, and willow-lined side channels teeming with wild leopard bows, char, and grayling. The Kanektok is a remarkably diverse fishery, perfectly suited to both single-hand and Spey anglers. Their early season is dominated by Spey fishing for big kings, then shifts to phenomenal multi-species fishing mid-season, and finishes strong with hordes of fresh silver salmon. High catch rates, easy wading, and open back casts are the norm. Alaska West is a large comfortable tent camp set in the heart of the lower river's finest water. Guests sleep in comfortable, double occupancy wall tents with carpeted floors, quality mattresses, heat, and lighting. Hot showers, a large dining tent, a recreation tent, and a drying tent complete the scene. Anglers fish two per guide and move about the system in 18-foot jetboats. For those interested in getting a taste of all that Alaska has to offer without footing the bill for a fly-out lodge, this is a proven crowd-pleaser that keeps anglers coming back year after year.

Fishing Program

The Kanektok river is a fish factory. With runs of all five species of Pacific salmon, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden and grayling, the Kanektok river provides a great mix of quantity and variety. For those who haven't experienced it, it's simply a shock to see such a large biomass in a relatively small river.

Down river from the lodge is the larger water which includes long gravel bars where the king salmon hold, and deep and snaggy channels where the big rainbows lie. The slow backwaters are loaded with silver salmon and the tidewater sections are full of salmon that were in saltwater hours earlier. As anglers progress upriver past the Alaska West camp, the Kanektok River transitions to smaller water with side channels and tributaries. These upriver sections allow hiking along the side channels while fly fishing for rainbows, and offer opportunities to target salmon in smaller water. This makes for classic day-long drifts while fishing for trout and salmon and working the extremely productive Dolly flats. This river, combined with the location, provides incredible variety in a small area.

Alaska West utilizes 16- to 18-foot jet powered flat-bottomed Jon boats to access all sections of the river. With an easy to wade river bottom, gravel bars and numerous side channels, most anglers will fish while wading. Guests who prefer the ease of fishing from the boat have a few different options. While fly fishing for salmon, anglers may fish from the boat by setting anchor and swinging or stripping flies, which can be very effective. For those looking to target trout, guides remove both seats and will row anglers down river 'drift boat style'. This method is a wonderful way to see the river and cover water. Anglers may also use the boat for transportation downriver to wade the long gravel bars while swinging a fly with a two handed rod for chrome bright salmon.


Alaska West classifies its facility as a 'tent lodge'. It is made up of a combination of permanent and semi-permanent structures designed to combine comfortable living, eating, and lounging areas situated alongside a phenomenal river. The dining tent is a spacious and heated structure with wood floors, picnic tables, and a full kitchen that supplies meals which can accommodate specific dietary requests with advanced notice. A split-level wood viewing deck is located close to the dining and lounge tents and has a great river view. The lower section has mesh walls to keep the bugs at bay, while the top deck offers exceptional photography and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Separate from the dining tent is the lounge, a large and heated tent furnished with comfortable chairs and tables. There is a refrigerator for guests' use filled with cold sodas, juices and mixers. Games, a telephone, satellite television, online camp computer and fly tying bench with limited supplies are available to guests as well. Serious tiers are advised to bring their own vise and tools.

Each heated tent cabin is furnished with two single beds with full bedding and pillow, clean shower linens, nightstand, hang-down bug net, lantern, carpeted floor and clothing hangers. The housekeeping staff will come through daily to make beds, empty trash and tidy up while anglers are out fishing. There are two shared showers with hot water, an outdoor sink basin and chair and are cleaned daily. There are outhouses stationed at various places around camp, close to the tent cabins, and are cleaned daily. A drying tent will house wet and dirty gear that will be heated during the night for dry boots and waders each morning.


Day 1: Arrive in Anchorage and overnight at your elected accommodations (arranged independently, not included in package).

Day 2: Take a cab or shuttle to your charter flight. (Charter flight is pre-arranged and is an additional cost). In Quinhagak, you will be met by members of the Alaska West staff and transported by jet boat (approximately 25 minutes) upstream to the camp. Anglers will typically arrive at Alaska West between 4

Days 3-8: Six full days of guided fishing.

Day 9: On your departure day you will have breakfast and then be transported by jet boat to Quinhagak. You will depart Quinhagak at approximately 1


"The fishing focus of Alaska West is exemplified by our first day. We arrived at camp at 3:00 PM expecting fishing to start the next day. We were in the process of unpacking, when a guide ran up to us and said "Get on your waders. Dinner isn't for 4 hours. You're here to fish aren't you?'" B.W., CO


Rates & Details

2024 Rate: Per person based on double occupancy

  • 7 night/6 day package: $7,750 plus estimated $1,100 round trip charter flight

Included: Accommodations and meals at the lodge, guided fishing, limited selection of flies and/or terminal tackle, transportation between Quinhagak and the lodge.

Not Included: Round trip airfare to Anchorage, accommodations and meals in Anchorage, alcohol, staff and guide gratuities.

Species: Rainbow trout, five species of salmon, char, grayling

Season: June to September

Capacity: 8 anglers

Fly Water Q&A

Who is best suited to this destination? This is a great destination for all skill levels. The Kanektok has multiple species to target which can be caught with numerous techniques. For the experienced Spey caster the king salmon fishing is one of the best in the world. It is also a world-class river for catching rainbow trout on mouse patterns. For those that love catching lots of fish, the silver salmon season is super productive and even beginning fly anglers have great success. Being a tent camp, it’s best for those that appreciate a bit of roughing it, although this is one of the most comfortable and well-appointed tent camps we have experienced.

Where is the lodge? Alaska West is located south of Bethel and north of Bristol Bay in western Alaska. The camp is about a 25-minute boat ride upstream of the community of Quinhagak.

How do I get there? The camp coordinates a charter flight between Anchorage and Quinhagak. In recent years that charter has a stop in Bethel to change planes before proceeding to the airstrip near Quinhagak. Once in Quinhagak, the lodge bus will meet guests and then drive a short distance to the river. At the river, guests and their baggage will be packed into boats for a 25-minute ride upstream to the riverside camp.

When should I go? King salmon season runs from mid-June to mid-July. Chums enter the river on the heels of the king run and peak in July. June and July are the best time for anglers interested in mouse fishing for rainbow trout. August brings the salmon spawn and many Dolly Varden and trout are caught with egg imitations. August also ushers in some of the best silver salmon fishing one can imagine.

How will I fish? How you fish will depend on what species you prefer to catch. The guides here are some of the best in the business and whether you desire to cast Spey rods for large kings or cast mice to trout, they will be able to put you in the right spot and with the right gear. The Kanektok is one of the most diverse destinations one could visit in AK. Most fishing is done while wading.

Is there wade fishing? Yes, much if not all your fishing can be done while wading and it is truly easy. Conversely, if you prefer, they can accommodate anglers wishing to fish from the boats.

Where will I fish? All fishing is done on the lower 25 miles or so of the Kanektok River.

How long does it take to reach the fishing grounds? A short walk from your tent cabin, then a jet boat ride from 0 – 25 minutes away.

What type(s) of fish will I catch? Depending on the time of year, King, chum, sockeye, pink and silver salmon. Rainbow trout, Dolly Varden and grayling.

How many fish will I catch? King anglers should expect a few opportunities a day swinging flies. A dozen rainbow trout would be good and lots of Dolly Varden can be caught, especially in August if you would like to keep the rod bent. Silver salmon anglers can expect a lot of fish to hand once they enter the river.

Will I see other anglers? Yes.

What are the guides like? The guides here are very professional and some of the best in the business. Alaska West continues its tradition of hiring and training staff that have a strong passion for guiding anglers and many have gone onto long and distinguished careers in the industry.

What are the physical demands? There are no real tough physical demands, but it must be said this is a remote environment and guests need to let the lodge know of any medical or dietary concerns. Guests will need to get in and out of boat and do some easy walking.

Are there any special skills required? No.

Does the lodge provide equipment? The camp can provide some equipment with advanced notice, but best to come equipped with what is needed.

What is your favorite setup for the trip? King Salmon – Spey rods in the 13 to 14-foot length capable of handling 600 to 650 grain Skagit heads and tips. Trout – a stout 9-foot 6-weight. Silver salmon – 9-foot 8-weight.

What are the top flies? Kings – intruder style flies with a lot of movement and in colors of chartreuse, pink, purple, blue, black or combos of each. Silvers – anything pink including surface poppers and wogs. My favorite is a pink starlight leech. Trout – Morrish Mouse

What are the options if water conditions become challenging? While the river does not have a high propensity to blow out and weather rarely bad enough to keep the boats from launching, there are no other fishing options if conditions become unsafe or overly challenging.

What is a typical day like? Breakfast is served buffet style at 7AM. Lunch fixings are set out for guests to prepare their own and you will be advised which guide cooler to put it in. Boats get going at 8AM. Guests return around 5 to 6PM, then appetizers are set out in the lounge tent. Dinner is served buffet style around 7PM.

What is the general vibe, atmosphere, and style of the lodge? The camp is casual with a well run but relaxed feel.

Is there an on-site owner, manager, or other point-person at the lodge? Rick Sisler is the camp manager and there to help answer any questions and keep things running smooth. Rick is an experienced Alaska guy who once upon a time guided at Alaska West.

Where do we eat, and what are the meals like? All meals are served buffet style in the large dining tent. All guests, staff and guides will eat together. Food is plentiful and each day offers a special dish. The atmosphere is much like a school cafeteria.

What is the alcohol policy? Guests cannot bring alcohol through Quinhagak as it is a dry village and against the law. The camp offers a service where alcohol is preordered, paid for, and then flown into camp prior to guest’s arrival. Once at camp your spirits will be delivered to your tent and you are free to enjoy. The camp has lots of mixers on hand and ice is also available.

Where do we stay, and what are the accommodations like? The camp has double occupancy Weatherport tents with wooden floors. Each tent has two twin beds with bedding and a heater. There are hangers for clothing, battery powered lights and pitchers of water next to your bed. Each day the bed is made, and your tent swept keeping things nice and tidy. There is also a large recreation tent, a large dining tent and a screened in outdoor sitting area. There are port-a-potty style outhouses scattered throughout camp. The shower room has on demand hot water and sinks for washing. There is also a large drying tent where each guest will have their own stall to store/dry wet gear for the week.

Is there internet and/or cell service? There is no cell service. Satellite internet is available in the lounge tent, but it is slow and its best for simple emails. There is a satellite phone system available in case of emergencies.

Are there other activities? No.

Are there any other expenses? Guide gratuities, alcohol orders, fishing licenses. The camp has traditionally offered to smoke some of your salmon for an extra fee.

Do I need a visa? No.

Tell us about yourself and we'll reach out to plan the details of your trip