Reel Action Alaska Lodge


Location:  Royal Wolf Lodge (RWL) is located on the Nonvianuk River in the heart of the Katmai National Park.  (Southwest Alaska)  Situated on 120 acres of privately owned wilderness, the nearest village is Igiugig.    

Time of Year:  The second week of June through September.

Target Species:  Rainbow Trout


Fishing:  Royal Wolf Lodge is centrally located in the heart of the world’s greatest natural rainbow trout fishery.  Focusing on fly fishing for rainbows, RWL fishes three main drainages; the Kvijack, the Alagnak and the Naknek.  Located in the middle of all three, the lodge has access to many creeks, streams and rivers.  The longest flight to any of these locations is 20 minutes, with the average being only 10-15 minutes.  The lodge utilizes Helio Couriers and De Haviland Beaver floatplanes, both recognized as the very best ‘bush’ aircraft ever built.  The Helio floatplane is unique in the fact that it can take off and land on a very short water runway.  This gives the lodge access to areas few other people can go. 

Season Schedule:  The first part of the season consists of fly fishing for rainbow trout before they are eating sockeye salmon eggs.  During this time, leeches, mouse patterns, smolt and fry flies, dry flies and nymphs are all utilized.  The fishing during this time offers great variety – from small streams fishing dry flies, to larger rivers spey fishing with leech patterns. 

The second part of the season typically runs from the last week in July until the last week of August.  This time of year, rainbows are feeding on eggs, eggs, eggs!  Sockeye salmon are spawning and this is a time of plenty for the rainbows who gorge themselves on hundreds of eggs per day.  Often you will be sight casting to large rainbows feeding behind spawning salmon.  Imagine yourself casting to pods of 23-30” fish and where catching 30-80 fish per day is the norm.

The last part of the season generally runs the month of September.  During this time it is a combination of egg fishing with mouse and leech fishing.  Some of the streams will still have salmon spawning and in others they will have already successfully spawned.  In the streams void of salmon eggs you will be swinging leeches and flesh flies.  It is during this phase that rainbow trout will be at their largest size. 

At several locations, Royal Wolf Lodge utilizes jet boats and rafts, while at other locations you will simply hike and wade.  The guides at RWL are some of the best in the world, several having 20-30 years guiding experience in Alaska.  With this unique combination of a prime rainbow fishery and incredible guides, Royal Wolf Lodge can truly be called ‘World Class.’         

Trip Packages and Pricing:  Royal Wolf Lodge offers 7-night/6-day packages for $7,850. 

Lodge Facility and Accommodations:  Royal Wolf Lodge accommodates up to 16 anglers, however capacity is generally capped at 12-14 people.  Surrounded by mountains, lakes, streams and rivers, the main lodge as well as the private guest cabins boast a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside.  The private cabins feature a small porch, full bath, propane heater and comfortable beds.  The main lodge offers a warm and friendly atmosphere.  This is where all the meals are served and where most of the socializing takes place.  With a large deck, open bar and a toasty fireplace, the lodge is a great place to share conversation and swap stories of fishing bravado.  The lodge also features a well-stocked library and eclectic music selection.  Meals at the lodge are prepared each day by the executive and pastry chefs.  Speaking from experience, these gourmet meals are delicious and well presented.  Now after a long day of casting, catching and releasing beautiful Rainbows, what sounds better than a hot sauna and relaxing massage?  Despite being very remote, RWL offers a full spa complete with Finnish sauna, professional massage therapy room and certified massage therapist.  Truly a wonderful way to end the day and wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the next angling adventure.   

What’s Included:  The prices listed include transportation from Igiugig to the lodge and the return to Igiugig, daily fly outs (weather permitting), guided fishing, use of boats and raft, all meals, complimentary beer and wine as well as soft drinks and mixers.   

What’s NOT Included:  The prices listed do NOT include fishing gear or equipment, liquor or any guide/staff gratuities.  

How to Get There:  Flying to Royal Wolf Lodge is fairly straightforward.  From your hometown you will fly into Anchorage, Alaska and from there you will take a charter flight coordinated by RWL into the village of Igiugig.  Guests arrive and depart RWL on Friday.  The charter flight leaves Anchorage at 1:00pm and arrives in Igiugig at 2:00pm where you will be met by a representative from the lodge and flown the remainder 20 minute flight.  The following Friday your departure back to Anchorage leaves Igiugig at 11:30am and arrives in Anchorage at 12:30pm.  When you are scheduling your flights, be sure and leave plenty of time to catch your connections in Anchorage.  In fact, spending Thursday night in Anchorage is a good idea.

Guide Summary/The Fishing Day:  Although I (Paul Jacob) have never been a guest at Royal Wolf Lodge, I worked as a guide for them in 2008 and all I can say is WOW!!  What a location, what a lodge and what an absolutely incredible Rainbow fishery.  Chris and Linda Branham truly provide an ideal setting for you to experience fantastic fishing, scenic beauty and diverse wildlife – everything you could possibly want in your Alaskan adventure.

As a guide, I was able to experience the whole season and witness the different transitional phases the fishery undergoes.  From egg fishing to dry flies on the surface or swinging long articulated leeches, there is a style of fishing for everyone.

A typical day at Royal Wolf begins with a hot buffet style breakfast at 7:00am (coffee is set out at 6:30am).  After breakfast you will have time to gather up your gear, put on your waders and meet your guide at the floatplane by 8:00am.  From here you will enjoy a brief 10-20 minute flight over the Alaskan wilderness to your fishing destination for the day.  Subsequent to the plane dropping you off, it’s time to fish – for the next 8-9 hours you will enjoy world class Rainbow fishing like no where else on earth.  At the end of the day the plane will return to pick you up and take you back to the lodge.  Once there, after taking off your waders and enjoying a hot shower, appetizers are set out and it’s time for cocktail hour.  Leading up to dinner, most guests choose to socialize in the main lodge taking pleasure in meeting and talking with new fellow anglers.  Following a delicious dinner and amazing dessert, the guides will come in, introduce themselves and discuss with you the fishing plans for the next day.  Each day you will be flown to a different location and get to explore incredible new Rainbow water.  Royal Wolf Lodge and the waters they fish are truly something you have to experience to believe.    






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