Bristol Bay Fishing Paradise

​There is no better way to describe it! Located right in the middle of over 3,000 square miles of some of the last untouched wilderness on Earth, Alaska Rainbow Lodge is perfectly situated for your fishing adventure of a lifetime. Whether your dreams include early season Rainbows on dry flies or mouse patterns, casting to aggressive Silver Salmon, trolling for a monster King, or drifting beads for 30-inch trout on the Kvichak Flats, we can make them come true! With our unmatched knowledge of the area and fleet of floatplanes and boats, you will have access to all of the best fishing streams and rivers in Bristol Bay.

Check out our species chart below to plan your perfect Alaskan fishing adventure.

2021 When To Visit Fish Species Chart

Equipment and Gear

Boats: We operate over 30 river boats located on 14 different streams. We also operate eight float rafts. We are the first lodge to add Stealthcraft jet powered drift boats to our fleet for un-matched comfort and fishability. On our home river, the Kvichak, Alaska Rainbow Lodge operates a 22 ft inboard jet cabin cruiser – equipped with 6 suspension seats. This boat is used to take our guests from our lodge to the famous Flats of the Kvichak River, just below Lake Illiamna.

Airplanes: We own and operate three float-equipped 6-passenger DeHavilland Beaver aircraft and a Cessna 185 on wheels or floats. These incredible workhorses give us access to remote locations in a way that no other aircraft can.

High End Equipment
We furnish all rods, reels, lures and flies for your Alaskan fly fishing adventure.

For those that wish to bring their own tackle, we will send a detailed list of what you’ll need. We provide equipment from industry leading manufacturers such as Sage, Lamson, Redington, Streamwalker and Simms. We suggest you bring your own Gore-Tex type chest waders but have them available to rent if necessary.

We provide quality, high-end equipment at every turn with onsite staff to ensure a seamless, problem-free week at the lodge. We value you and your fishing experience far too much to allow for anything but the best!

You’ll benefit from our experienced, exceptional, and licensed fly fishing guides during each day’s adventure.

Competent, knowledgeable, friendly and professional guides are the key to our success.

Most guides return year after year and have an in-depth, working knowledge of the area and the techniques required to get you into fish – lots of fish! But our guides aren’t the only ones who keep coming back.

Clients often make return trips, citing their fishing guide’s knowledge and attentiveness as the crucial aspect of their fantastic trip. Our guides are one reason Alaska Rainbow Lodge has obtained such positive feedback in online reviews, and one of the primary reasons our clients often return to the lodge year after year.

Normal guided fishing excursions involve two fishermen per guide, and all our guests will receive personal attention.

If you feel a bit rusty or would like some detailed instruction upon arrival, our guides offer an afternoon of casting lessons. No matter if you are an expert or novice, our guides will guarantee an adventure you will always remember.

The guides at ARL are the best in the business!

Aerial View of Alaskan Fishing Streams

Our season at Alaska Rainbow Lodge runs from early June through mid- to late September. Though it may seem short, this timeframe encompasses Spring, Summer, and Fall in the Bristol bay region. The different seasons bring different fishing and weather* conditions that guests need to be prepared for.

June: Spring in Bristol Bay! This is a fantastic time for anglers after a trophy Rainbow Trout on the Flats or want to hone dry fly and mousing skills. The trout are just coming out of a long winter with limited food and they are hungry and aggressive! We have anglers who return year after year for that reason alone. Later in the month, the King Salmon run begins and continues into July. The largest species of salmon, they fight hard and are absolutely delicious.

Anglers need to be prepared for cool mornings down to the upper 40’s with highs typically in the low 60’s. Though rain and wind are always a possibility June has the best all around weather on average for the summer. Fresh leaves on the trees, bright green grass, and endless Alaskan days and sunsets makes for the perfect trip!

​July:​ We know the Alaskan summer is in full swing when the Sockeye Salmon start making their way up the Kvichak, past our dock around the first week in July. Sockeye fight like crazy and are the most sought after fresh fish to take home. Add in a day of fishing for late run Kings, and you can have a fantastic fish box to take home at the end of the week. Trout fishing remains hot, especially in some of our higher mountain streams. Here, expect wading or rafting trips. Most of the true monster trout have returned to the lakes until the salmon begin to spawn in the fall. Bear viewing really kicks off in July, and the brown bears begin to concentrate around the streams to fish for salmon.

The weather in July is warmer in general, with lows in the 50’s and highs in the upper 60’s. On calm days, highs approaching 80 degrees are not uncommon, but are usually tempered by afternoon rain showers. For first time visitors to Alaska or family groups, the variety of fishing and other activities make July hard to beat.

August: August is by far our most popular time of the year. The aggressive and hard hitting Silver Salmon arrive early in the month and are found in various different river systems through early September. Trout start switching over to eating salmon eggs, so we switch to bead fishing to target the big ones. The monster trophy trout that left in June begin to show back up late in the month.  Arctic Char fishing really heats up with big numbers and some fish up to, and exceeding, 30-inches in some of our secret spots.

August is generally the rainiest month of the summer, so anglers should be prepared with extra layers and high quality rain gear. Low temperatures usually don’t get below the mid-50’s with highs in the 60’s. The weather can start to get cooler towards the end of the month.

September: Yellow and orange fall colors lead us into September, the best month for the angler looking for the trout of a lifetime. All of the large fish that returned to the lakes in the spring are back to chase the spawning salmon, and they have almost doubled their body weight during the summer. For anyone looking for a 30-inch plus trout, this is the time to come. Arctic Char are plentiful and there are even still a few late run Silvers to chase early in the month.

September weather bounces between epic sunny days in the low 60’s and cooler rainy days that may struggle to get much above 50. Lows can touch freezing, and we usually have a few frosts in the morning before the end of the season. Base layers and fleece are your friend this time of year. Dealing with the colder weather is well worth it when you hook that trout of a lifetime!

What to Bring on Your Alaska Fishing Trip

As you plan your Alaska fishing trip to Alaska Rainbow Lodge, please refer to the fishing tackle and clothing lists below so you don’t leave anything behind that you may need on your fishing trip. We have developed these lists over the years, so you can count on needing most items listed. Alaska fishing clothing and tackle is different than some you may have fished with previously. This Alaska fly fishing checklist includes what we feel like are the essentials, but feel free to bring anything additional that you may want or be used to in order to enhance your fishing experience.

Download Packing List
Fishing Resources
King Salmon on Alaska Rainbow Lodge Dock

Fish Species

Kvichak River Trophy Rainbow Trout

Rainbow TroutTrophy rainbow trout fishing is our specialty at Alaska Rainbow Lodge.

Our home river, the Kvichack, consistently produces more Rainbows in excess of 28″ than any other river in Alaska. The worlds largest, some up to 18 pounds, come from this awesome resource here in Bristol Bay, making us a truly unparalleled Alaskan trout fishing destination.

Trout fishing is spectacular all season long in a variety of locations: from drifting the large rivers to wading in small mountain streams. June is great for catching big Spring rainbow trout that are hungry and aggressive. It is also the best time of the summer to get dry fly or mousing action! For those looking for a true monster rainbow trout, up to and exceeding 30 inches, late August through the end of September is the time to come. The big rainbows move out of the lake into the rivers to feed on the eggs of spawning salmon, and provide our anglers with an unbeatable opportunity to catch the fish of a lifetime.

Family with Arctic Char

The Arctic Char is Alaska’s most beautiful fish when in their spawning colors. They are aggressive, and it is not unusual for our guests to catch 30 or more per rod on some of our more productive rivers. Char make a great shore lunch fish and can also grow to incredible size. Our lodge record is over 36 inches!


Grayling are the hidden gem in Alaska’s fresh waters. They rarely exceed 20 inches in length, but more than make up for their small size with plentiful numbers and an enthusiasm to take a fly that is unmatched. Their iridescent colors and large dorsal fin make for incredible pictures, and are great to eat for a fish sandwich shore lunch.

Family Landing Big King Salmon

King Salmon are the largest of Alaska’s salmon and are known for their brute strength and wily behavior. This is a voracious predator that will challenge your skills and the best gear. You should be prepared for fights of 15 to 30 minutes to land some of these giants. Our King fishing program takes advantage of three different rivers in which we target these massive salmon.

Sockeye in Spawning Colors

Our home river, the Kvichack, has the largest Sockeye Salmon run in the world with three to five million fish every year. These fish average between 6-8 pounds and objectively taste the best of all the salmon. Guests are often amazed as they watch 20,000 fish per hour swim right past the lodge! Sockeye put up a spectacular fight when fly fishing – they empty reels, thrash line, jump end over end, and challenge fishermen!

Sockeye are also the engine that runs all of the incredible wildlife in Bristol bay. They are a food source for the Trout, Char, Grayling and other freshwater fish in the area. The bears in Bristol Bay are some of the largest in the world because they have the sockeye as a food source. Even the plant life benefits from the nutrients dumped into the area as the millions of sockeye spawn and die in the rivers each year providing fertilizer to thousands of square miles of Alaskan wilderness.

Silver salmon are considered by many to be the hardest fighting and most aggressive of all the Alaska salmon, and will run hard and leap high from the water when hooked. Fly fishing for these top predators is our specialty here at Alaska Rainbow Lodge. We have many locations where we can chase Coho from late June through early September.

Chum or Dog salmon are some of the most underrated sport fish in Alaska. They are large, aggressive, and incredibly strong. They make big runs and will strip off all your line in a hurry. Chum are the fastest salmon to turn into spawning colors once they have entered fresh water and become inedible (though a chrome chum can be great smoked). Their spawning colors of green and purple stripes and huge teeth make for fantastic pictures.

Pink salmon are the smallest of the Alaskan salmon species. They run every other year and can be extremely numerous in many of our rivers. They are not usually considered a great fish to take home for the dinner table, but can be tempted to eat almost anything and put up a great fight. Pinks can provide hours of entertainment when the run is in.