Fly fishing at Goodnews River Lodge is remarkable as it is the only fully serviced lodge on the Goodnews River Alaska. Because of this, the river receives very little fishing pressure. There is no commercial fishing in the estuary or river, allowing all five Pacific Salmon species a free run. Over the last few years, this has shown in the numbers of returning fish just how good these rivers can be if the fishing is properly managed.
The Goodnews River flows southwest from Goodnews Lake down the Goodnews Valley, during which it splits into three main forks. The lodge jet boats can easily access all three forks of the river plus all the lower tidewater sections. In total, there are over 490 miles of fishable streams, braids, creeks and river branches for you to enjoy. There are three options for you to enjoy while searching for that trophy fish. You can choose one of the three river branches, fish the tidewaters, or wade the feeder creeks.
The river boasts impressive runs of all five Pacific Salmon species, sea-run Dolly Varden, and resident Leopard Rainbows and Grayling. Chrome bright Salmon, so fresh from the ocean that they are covered with new sea lice. These fish are incredibly fresh and feisty, and they will challenge your angling skills. Resident Leopard Rainbows and Grayling live in all areas of the river and follow the Salmon upriver as they get ready for their spawning rituals.
Time to visit will depend on what you wish to target when freshwater fly fishing, if looking for sheer numbers of fish or larger specimens. The tidewater section of the Goodnews River fills with Chinook Salmon in late June. Fishing for King Salmon from the boats continues throughout July. King Salmon are followed closely by Chum Salmon and Sockeye Salmon.
For those wanting to take some fish home, the Sockeye Salmon are a great option. Silver Salmon arrive in large numbers in August through to early September. These species are a great sport for fly anglers. They are eager to chase flies and can provide lots of action for you every day.
Both the Leopard Rainbows and Grayling are present in the rivers all year. In the early season, they can be found in the lower section and take various flies and are great fun on an evening with drys. As the season progresses, these fish follow the Salmon up to the upper reaches feeding on their eggs; matching with egg pattern flies can make for some fantastic sport.
If you wish to visit some of the peak weeks we run Hosted Trips to Goodnews River Lodge each season.
The night before your fishing day starts, your guide will discuss your options. Any species you want to fish for or a location you specifically would like to visit. The lodge has an excellent policy as there is so much water to fish. All the guides agree and inform each other where they will all be starting the day. Then from there you can visit and fish anywhere on the river you so wish. As the lodge sits right on the river bank just above the tidal water line, the runs to go out salmon fishing each day are short. There are no planes to catch or weather dependant issues to prevent your fishing. If you wish to target Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden and Grayling, the runs may be longer as you head upstream to fish some of the headwater braids.
Your typical day will start with breakfast at 7:00 am. At that time, you will also either make a sandwich for lunch, order a shore lunch, or decide to come back to the camp for lunch. If its a wet-looking day and you do not wish to be out in it all day, why not return for lunch, get dry and warm-up before returning to the river for an afternoon session. That is the beauty of Goodnews; you are so close to the fishing you can be as flexible as you wish. You will return to the camp around 5:30 pm in time to get cleaned up and ready for some snacks before dinner. The evening meal is served at 6.30 & 7.30 pm. Guides are assigned each evening after dinner for the next day’s fishing giving you a chance to discuss what species you want to fish for the next day with your guide. After diner, with the 24 hours of daylight, for anyone will some energy still left to burn, you can continue to fish in front of the lodge.
Always a difficult question to answer as what is a typical day, all we can talk about are averages. Remember, the amount of fish you will catch will depend on the target species, time of year, weather, and anglers’ abilities; however, the averages are around for a guide purposes only with normal conditions.
Kings / Chinooks 5-10 hookups per day on the fly is a good day.
Sockeye 20+ hookups per day.
Silvers / Cohos during peak season 30 to 50+ hookups per day.
Rainbow Trout – 12 – 15 hookups per day.
The fishing at Goodnews River Lodge can be conducted in many different ways and usually depends on what you wish to catch. Customers who want to target the big Kings and Chum Salmon; although you can fish with a single-handed rod, it’s much better swinging large flies with double-handed spey rods. The guides at the lodge-like nothing more than customers who want to swing big flies deep for the Kings as it produces the best results for these two hard fighting salmon.
You can use lighter rods like 12ft switch rods and single-handed 10# rods for the smaller salmon species like Sockeye, Pinks, and Silvers as you will be using smaller flies and mainly floating lines. If you are fishing in the sliver season, why not try fly fishing with poppers? It is entertaining to use surface fly poppers and watch these fish chase and hit them. Read our Tips on Pacific Salmon Fishing & Chasing Silvers in Alaska.
Although the lodge uses boats to run up and down the river to the various fishing spots, the fishing is mainly conducted by wadding on foot
Goodnews River Lodge is an excellent destination for any fly anglers wanting to target and catch King Salmon along with a massive run of Coho Salmon, aka Silvers in the Autumn. Although all levels are welcome at the lodge, this tends to be more of a big fish destination. The guides are great at supporting customers and putting you on fish, plus they love nothing more than teaching. Still, it is preferable if customers before arrival have a basic understanding of fly fishing as you will get much more from your holiday. Another great advantage of this lodge is the trip is not that physically demanding, as the boats are right outside the lodge there is minimal walking. Wading the river is easy, and the guides will always take good care of you.
Goodnews River Lodge offers an angler a glimpse of what fishing was like in Alaska in years gone by. This lodge and river are one of Alaska’s last places where you can rely on prolific Salmon runs as there is no commercial fishing or other lodges on the river allowing the Salmon a free run.
Goodnews River Lodge is a tented lodge that sits on the river banks, keeping you very close to the fishing. The whole camp consists of a large main dining room with a picture window overlooking the river, a commercial kitchen, a recreation hall complete with a lounge, TV/DVR, a Ping Pong table, a football table, and the never empty Popcorn machine. Inside there is also a shop for customers to purchase logo merchandise.
There are seven standard tents/cabins. Each cabin is built on a platform and includes a front porch. Guest cabins feature thermostatically controlled propane heaters, gas and electric lighting, comfortable bedding and handmade duvet covers, mosquito netting, storage shelves, and a chamber pot.
A separate building houses six private bathrooms with heater, toilet, sink, vanity, shower, and 110V AC electric service. There is also a drying tent for guest comfort.
In addition to the standard tent/cabins, we now have eight larger Deluxe tent/cabins, and these include their own separate bath area complete with shower, sink, and toilet. Ideal for couples, they are large enough to accommodate a party of 3. (Available on a first-come, first-served basis at an additional charge).
All guest cabins offer the following features:
The main lodge tent is the central gathering place for the camp, and a hot breakfast is served to start everyone’s day. Lunches are packed and thermoses are filled for the day on the river. Each morning the breakfast includes pancakes or french toast, bacon, sausage, muffins, hashbrowns, quiches, hot and cold cereals, fruits, and of course, eggs to order. Hot coffee, Orange Juice, and Tea are available for the early riser, and breakfast is served promptly at 7 am. After you’ve finished your breakfast, stop by the Lunch Bar, where you can make your sandwich or wrap for the day. Sodas are located in the same area. Cookies, brownies and great mixed granola are also available to take for that mid-morning snack. If a shore lunch is something you are interested in, just let your guide know the night before, and he will have everything set the following day.
At 7:30 pm, Dinner proceeded by appetisers ranging from smoked Salmon to bacon-wrapped cheese and Alaskan style sushi. The main courses include Salmon Wellington, Prime Rib, Blackened Halibut and Buffet style BBQ. Delicious pastries, tarts, fruit sorbet and combinations of ice cream and brownies or chocolate chip cookies complete these excellent dinners. One thing for sure is you will not go hungry.
Although the fishing days are fixed, the below itinerary is still flexible should you require additional free days to explore at the beginning or end of your holiday; we can tailor this itinerary to suit you personally. Feel free to talk to our travel consultants who can explain all options available.
Depart UK (alternative routes available),
Arrive Seattle Depart Seattle
On arrival take a taxi to the Anchorage Hotel.
Overnight accommodation: Anchorage Hotel (Twin Rooms) R/O
Early in the morning, take a taxi to Ted Stevens Airport.
Depart Ted Stevens Airport
Arrive Goodnews Airstrip
On arrival, you will be met by the staff for the 20-minute boat ride to the Lodge. Lunch will be served while you wait for your luggage to arrive at your tent, then it’s time to tackle up and go fishing! Fish until 5:30 PM.
Overnight accommodation: Goodnews River Lodge (Twin Bedded Tents) F/B
Your typical day will start with breakfast at 7:00 AM. At that time you will also make a sandwich for lunch, order a shore lunch, or decide to come back to the camp for lunch. Each day you will fish from 8:15 AM and return at 5:30 PM. Guides are assigned each evening after dinner for the next day’s fishing. This gives you a chance to discuss what species you want to fish for the next day with your Guide.
Overnight accommodation: Goodnews River Lodge (Twin Bedded Tents) F/B
Each day we rotate our guides, that way you get to know all of the Guides and experience many different parts of the river. Guiding is based on 2 anglers to 1 guide.
Overnight accommodation: Goodnews River Lodge Twin Bedded Tents F/B
In the morning its time to depart back to Anchorage.
Depart Goodnews Airstrip
Arrive Ted Stevens Airport
On arrival take a taxi to the Anchorage Hotel. Overnight accommodation: Anchorage Hotel (Twin Rooms) R/O
Take a taxi back to Anchorage International Airport.
Arrive Seattle Depart Seattle
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 75%
"Wow just returned and getting back into the swing of things. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We all had a top trip. Mike and the lodge staff really work hard and they had their work cut out with us. What with easily landing 30 t0 40 fish each day each the guides were kept very busy. Also a nice touch was the huge rainbows and what stunning markings. Thanks everyone, now starting to save up for the return trip. Mike."
"Mel, just a quick thank you for both recommending Goodness and handling the whole operation. Fantastic service from start to finish. You asked would we use Sportquest Holidays again and would we recommend your company services, easiest question we have ever been asked. A very large yes. Rupert"
"A great destination for keen fly fishermen. This is a tented lodge which does not offer the luxury of other lodges, however if you main reason is to travel for fishing Goodness has everything one would need. Your tent also had heating which was very welcome after some very long wet days on the river. If we were to change anything it would be the hotel in Anchorage, as we would prefer to be closer to the town centre. For all fishing addicts you must check out the fly shops in Anchorage"
The season runs from June to September.
Season: 20 June to 31 July
Peak: 27 June to 25 July
Weight: 10lb to 60lb
Average Weight: 20lb
Season: 27 June to 31 July
Peak: 4 July to 25 July
Weight: 5lb to 16lb
Average Weight: 10lb
Season: 27 June to 31 July
Peak: 27 June to 11 July
Weight: 4lb to 12lb
Average Weight: 8lb
Season: 18 July to 8 September
Peak: 8 August to 5 September
Weight: 6lb to 20lb
Average Weight: 12lb
Season: 18 July to 29 August
Peak: 25 July to 22 August
Weight: 1lb to 12lb
Average Weight: 4lb
Season: 20 June to 5 September
Peak: 21 July to 12 September
Weight: 1lb to 12lb
Average Weight: 4lb
Remember that Sportquest Holidays' services are completely FREE! When you book a trip with Sportquest Holidays, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge and flights independently.
|Birthday Special Save £1000 off advertised price per person (3 spaces remaining)||Birthday Special Save £1000 off advertised price per person (3 spaces remaining)|
|Sportquest peak hosted week for King Salmon||Sportquest peak hosted week for King Salmon|
Prices are based on two adults sharing transfers, fishing and accommodation (unless otherwise stated) and are correct at the time of going to press. Subject to time of year or date and currency fluctuations, these prices may fluctuate slightly due to flight price increases or fuel surcharge.
Wow just returned and getting back into the swing of things. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. We all had a top trip. Mike and the lodge staff really work hard and they had their work cut out with us. What with easily landing 30 t0 40 fish each day each the guides were kept very busy. Also a nice touch was the huge rainbows and what stunning markings. Thanks everyone, now starting to save up for the return trip. Mike.
Mike, thanks for your kind comments and pictures I revived them today. Yes Mike and the crew are fantastic hosts and the camp right on the river is a great destination. Saving up for next year? so shall I pencil the 6 of you again? Regards Peter
Mel, just a quick thank you for both recommending Goodness and handling the whole operation.
Fantastic service from start to finish.
You asked would we use Sportquest Holidays again and would we recommend your company services, easiest question we have ever been asked. A very large yes.
It is always a pleasure and thank you for the kind words, the team works very hard so it is very nice when a customer takes the time to thank them all.
A great destination for keen fly fishermen. This is a tented lodge which does not offer the luxury of other lodges, however if you main reason is to travel for fishing Goodness has everything one would need.
Your tent also had heating which was very welcome after some very long wet days on the river.
If we were to change anything it would be the hotel in Anchorage, as we would prefer to be closer to the town centre.
For all fishing addicts you must check out the fly shops in Anchorage
Miles thank you for completing a destination review
We had some high water but this did not effect the guides putting us onto the fish. Could not ask for more.
Jon, Thanks for your comments we will be sure to pass them onto the camp staff.
I was hard to pull us away. We have never wanted to stay on at a location so much before. Great camp, guides, equipment, food. Just can not fault any of it. Thank you for suggesting Goodnews River.
Dr Moat, a pleasure as always and thank you for using our services. I look forward to the next time.
King fishing at its best. Thanks to Mike and the staff, top class holiday
Thank you for taking the time to complete your customer feedback, so nice to hear just how much people have enjoyed their holiday. I will pass on all your comments to the camp. Mel
Wow, what a great fishing resort in remote, wilderness Alaska. Top-notch service, fishing boats, guides and great hospitality.
Definitely a place to go back to.
Thomas, thank you for completing a destination review. If you would ever wish to return please consider using our services.
We stayed at this lodge a couple of years back now as a group of 4 mad keen anglers. I must say although we have not managed to go back all due to family reasons, we have very fond memories of the place.
We have not forgotten the trip in anyway and we WILL all be back as soon as we can possibly fit it all in.
Thank you for completing a destination review, if you ever should wish to return we would be more than happy to assist you all.
Wet wet very wet.
Peter just returned home and thanks for everything. Unfortunately our week was one of rain. I have never experience rain like that before it just never let up even for a moment.
Lucky the river came up but we still managed to fish but it did effect our fishing. Not sure if if effected us or the fish?
The lodge staff and guides kept everyones spirits up for the whole week and we all made the best of the situation that we could.
A true wilderness experience for us all.
Wilfred a big thank you for the customer feedback as it is very much appreciated.
Shame about the weather on your trip, but as we all know travelling and fishing in these amazing remote destinations we are always subjected to the weather.
Our first time fishing for Silvers and it will not be our last.
Goodnews is a fantastic location river on the river and you feel like you are somewhere special from the minute you arrive. The Silvers provided non stop sport and they fight so hard for their size.
A special thanks to the guides and camp staff as they took very good care of us all. Nothing was to much trouble even when I was feeling under the weather one day so decided to take a day off. They kept a regular check on me and made sure I wanted for nothing. First class fishing and service.
We are so glad that you all enjoyed Goodness River lodge and that you are also feeling better, we will be sure to pass on all your thanks to the lodge and staff.
This was our first ever fly fishing holiday to Alaska. As a group we did not really know what to expect, therefore our expectations was not to high.
Your descriptions about what to expect was completely accurate. If anything I would say that you undersold the destination to us which is a good thing as Goodness then exceed all our expectations.
Some of the group, those with more fly fishing experience did better than others (Like me). Our guides worked very hard and were always on hand to give advice about casting plus to help sort out a few tangles.
Joshua, thank you for taking the time to talk to me on the telephone. Loved listening to your stories.
It will be a pleasure in helping you all again arrange another fishing holiday. Feel free to contact me personally when you are ready.
What a fantastic holiday.
All the people at Goodnews Lodge were tremendous.
The fishing was excellent I landed 19 Kings for the week, my friend who joined me also landed 18 kings for the week and he had never fished for Salmon before.
In total I landed well over 60 fish for the week.
The lodge is basic but has everything you need, food good, staff and fishing guides top class.
The only negative was our luggage did not arrive with us and took a further 2 days to arrive courtesy of British Airways. However the lodge did an amazing job in lending us everything we needed so we could start fishing from the moment we arrived.
I would recommend anyone to visit Goodnews River Lodge.
It was so nice to catch up with on the telephone after your trip. It was a worry when you called us to say that you had arrived in Anchorage but your bags had not. Yes the staff at Goodnews did an amazing job in sorting things out. When we called them to say that you had no luggage they said they would take good care of you all.
What an amazing catch 19 Kings plus tons of other Salmon sounds like you did caught all the time.
Anyhow thanks for completing the customer feedback its very much appreciated.
I look forward in taking care off your travel plans again soon.
Excellent fishing experience overall but I had a bad experience with a couple of the guides not trying as hard as the other to find fish.
A great destination with lots of Silver Salmon can not wait to return next year for the Kings.
Hi Steve Thanks for your feedback and also your company it was a great trip with lots of fish. I know what you mean about the guides as it seemed some knew what to do in the difficult conditions where others looked lost.
The Coho or Silver Salmon, as they’re also known, are powerful game fish, famed for their hard fighting qualities and aerial acrobatic displays. They get found in good numbers throughout the Skeena region from around the middle of August until the end of October, and our Nicholas Dean Trophy Coho package runs right through the peak summer and fall seasons.
The Chinook Salmon, or King Salmon, are the biggest and most aggressive of all the Pacific Salmon species and the Skeena watershed in British Columbia, Canada, is one of the best places to catch them. So if you’re a fly fishing angler looking for one of the ultimate freshwater experiences, then our Nicholas Dean Chinook Salmon package is perfect for you.
Our famed Nicholas Dean Steelhead fishing packages cover the whole of the Steelhead season in Canada, fishing on the mighty Skeena River and all of its watershed. These ultra-chrome rockets on the Skeena average between 8lb and 20lb; however, there’s always the chance of a more significant specimen and each season fish to over 20lb and even 30lb grace anglers nets.
Flowing for an incredible 570 kilometres, the Skeena River is the second largest river in Canada, behind only the Fraser. Originating in northwestern British Columbia, the river and its basin is one of the most famous spots in the world for Salmon fishing. The river and its tributaries host vast numbers of migrating Steelhead, Chinook and Coho.
Fraser River Lodge, nestled on the shore of the mighty Fraser River in British Columbia, is the perfect location to spend a relaxing week's holiday while being surrounded by some of the world's best scenery and wildlife. Choose between Sturgeon, Salmon, or Wilderness Fishing. We can customise your fishing trip around your favourite style of fishing.