by Michael Bales – Head Guide for Alaska Rainbow Lodge
What a great season we had at ARL in 2014! We have enjoyed the four months flying our anglers around Bristol Bay. Anglers and staff all enjoyed great weather and some really fantastic fishing. Ron and Sharon will be back in Texas in October to begin working on bookings for the 2015 season, so right now is the best time to reserve your date and make sure you get your preferred time period. The last two weeks in August are booked solid. We’re seeing a lot of activity for our June and July six(6) day trips. Be sure to let us know when you would like to reserve your return trip in 2015.
Our strategy of a “Family special” pricing this past June and the first two weeks in July generated a lot of new business for the lodge.We’re offering three dates in 2015 on a half-price deal. One angler pays full rate of $6,475.00 and his/her fishing buddy, spouse, son or daughter pays half price, or $3,237.50. The dates are June 10-16, June 16-22 and June 22-28. The six night lodging/five day fishing package makes a nice gift for your business customers or a family member who has Alaska on their bucket list. Click here for the details.
Some plans in the works for next year include purchasing a new boat for the King Salmon camp on the Lower Nushagak River and possibly a Sauna for the Lodge. We’re tossing around the idea of hiring a masseuse for relaxing massages after a hard day of ﬁshing. We’re always discussing ways to improve your experience here at ARL and would like to hear your input on what you’d like to see happen at the lodge.
The docks have been pulled out of the river at the lodge and at King Salmon. Forty boats and thirty-two outboard motors have been winterized for storage during the off-season. Of the forty boats we own and you fish from, only seven live at our lodge. The other thirty-two are out on the rivers you fish, from the Upper Nushagak about eighty-five miles North of ARL, all the way to Ilnik, two hundred and twenty-five miles southwest of the lodge on the Alaska Peninsula.
The close-down routine requires us to fly to the location of all these boats, remove the motors, tie the motors to the Beaver floats and winch the boats up off the river into the bushes. Typically we then go on to the next river and do the same thing with those boats, usually attaching a motor on each float, then loading all the paraphernalia inside the Beaver and head back to the lodge. It’s all part of the close down routine and requires several trips to all these outlying areas to collect motors, gas cans, tools and seats. We do it all in reverse in the spring before we open.
Ninety-six ﬂy rods and over a hundred spin outfits have been tested, checked and put to rest until next season. Everything has been counted (and I mean everything!) and orders have been noted for next season on low inventory items. The storage areas have been battened down to withstand fifty knot winds, which are common in this area during the winter months.