What makes No See Um Lodge unique from other lodges in Alaska is its ratio between customers and planes. This high proportion of customers and aircraft means its not a fly fishing lodge that drops you off and returns to pick you up at the end of the day.
Other advantages are there is no waiting for your turn for the aeroplanes to fly you out to the rivers, which can be a pain and waste of valuable fishing time at other fly-out lodges. The tremendous additional advantage is you are in control, as you’re able to fish where you want when you want and not forced into a rigid fishing schedule of destinations based on accommodating a large number of people. You discuss with your guides the night before what you want to do, where you would like to go and what you would like to target as you have total control.
Another advantage of this remarkable fishing lodge is that the staff are the most exceptional guides and pilots available in Alaska. Many of them return to work at the lodge year after year, meaning it’s like their second home. Their willingness to provide the best for you has put No See Um lodge in Alaska in a class by itself. The freshwater fly fishing lodge strives to have one guide for every two anglers making sure you always receive the attention you deserve.
This beautiful fly fishing lodge is located in Alaska and sits high on a bank that overlooks the legendary Kvichak River in Southwest Alaska. This unique location makes it central between several fisheries, which means its only an average flight time to any destination around 30 minutes. Also, being based right on the Kvichak River allows fishing right out of the lodge’s back door using one of the many inboard jet boats. Therefore unlike many other fly fishing lodges, if the weather is too bad to fly out, you can still go fishing all-day; there is no reason ever to lose any fishing days.
No See Um Lodge runs a fleet of 3 Beavers planes to just 12 guests each week from which it is possible to access over 30 different rivers and streams for world-class Trout, Char, Grayling, and all five species of Salmon. These rivers and streams include Moraine Creek, Brooks River, Upper and Lower American Creek, Kulik River, Copper River, Talarik Creek as far South as the Egegik River and Ugashik Narrows, to name a few. Read our blog on the top 10 fishing rivers in Alaska
Although many customers at No See Um Lodge like to pursue the Rainbow Trout, Char, Grayling, the guides are just as happy to spend as much time as you desire to go after Salmon. For the more die-hard Salmon anglers, the lodge also holds boats on both the Nushagak and Alagnak rivers that provide for incredible Chinook or King salmon fishing and possibly the best Chum and Silver fishing on the planet.
You could say the toughest part of your holiday is going to decide which river to fish next.
The fishing program’s structure gives us unparalleled flexibility, and because of this, there’s no “typical” day. Every day the rivers you fish are decided on based on the fishing and river conditions, weather, and the most crucial thing what you would like to do.
Breakfast time will be determined at dinner the evening before, but between 6 and 7:30 am. You will be woken up 15 minutes before breakfast with a knock on your door and cup a freshly brewed coffee. After breakfast, board on of the floatplanes relax for an average 30 min flight to one of over thirty destinations and your fishing location. 8:30-5:30: Fishing, viewing wildlife and soaking up the incredible scenery. Lunch is packed fresh every morning and will be carried by your guide and eaten on the river. Depending on the location and season, you might even have a shore lunch of fresh fish. 5:30-6 pm: Enjoy the flight back to the lodge. 6-7 pm: Hot tub, sauna, relax with a beverage and sample the days special hors d’oeuvres and watch the sun go down as you share many fishy stories. 7-9 pm: Dinner.
After dinner, you can relax by the fire, wet a line in the river or join a lively game of horseshoes or cards
Like many fly fishing lodges in Alaska, the fishing is seasonal as well as each species. One good thing is the fish tend to be reliable season upon season, which helps us all plane our adventure to coincide with what target species we would love to catch. At No See Um Lodge, the Rainbow Trout are available all season which average three to ten pounds. If you are looking for large Rainbow specimens that range from fifteen pounds or more, these are generally caught in August and September. The lovely Dolly Varden or Arctic Char around the three to six pounds are available all season with larger fish, getting up to fifteen pounds in late September. The Arctic Grayling lady of the stream is a resident fish, so they are available all season in the one to three-pound range.
For anglers looking for salmon fly fishing, the Chinook Salmon start running about mid-June and continue until July 31st. Size varies from ten pounds up to sixty pounds. Most of these fish are caught within a day of saltwater, are silver to chrome and incredibly strong fighters. Sockeye starts running in late June and is available until October. Pound for pound; they are one of the strongest fighters. Size-wise they average six pounds but can go to twelve pounds. Coho or Silver Salmon arrives in the rivers in late July and are available until mid-September. These Salmon are very aggressive fish that often strike at surface topwater flies. They generally have explosive runs, often into the backing and averaging ten pounds, but sometimes reaching close to twenty, you will know you have one on.
Another very aggressive fish is the Chum Salmon that are available from late June thru late August. These Salmon, often appear in large numbers and are very strong, probably the most under-rated Pacific Salmon. More rods are broken on a lightning-fast Chum runs than any other fish. Their size ranges from ten pounds to twenty plus, but once you are playing one, it will feel three times the size. Lastly, Pink Salmon or Humpy run every other year in mass and smaller numbers on odd years. Also, a very aggressive striking fish will attack almost any fly and fight very well considering their smaller size.
Like many things, the tackle is all about balance, and as you have lots of opportunities to fish for all the species available at No See Um Lodge, there is a range of fly rods, lines and flies you will require. For Rainbow Trout, Arctic Char, and Arctic Grayling, you will mainly fish with 5,6 or 7 weight fly rods 9ft long. When targeting the Salmon for Silvers, Pinks, and Sockeye, you will require a heavier rod to fish with larger flies and deal with harder fighting fish. Normally rods in the weight of 7,8, and 9 are perfect for these species. However, if fishing for the larger and more aggressive Salmon like the King/Chinook and the Chum Salmon, you will need even stronger weights again. These fish will demand at least 9, 10 and even 11 weight rods.
For customers wanting to target the big Kings and Chum Salmon, it is easier to cast and swing large flies with Spey rods. In the same weights as above, but full spey rods 12 to 13 feet in length will allow you to manage heavier flies and lines with much more ease. For the smaller Salmon, shorter lighter rods such as 12ft switch rods make great both single and double Spey fishing rods.
Many anglers will bring their own rods, reels, waders, boots and rain gear. With the increased difficulties in airline travel, it can be tricky getting everything into allowed baggage so the lodge offers loaner rods, reels, waders and boots at no charge.
The No See Um Lodge is built on a high bank overlooking the Kvichak River. Several buildings comprise the lodge, and with a maximum capacity of twelve guests, the lodge offers the ultimate fishing experience for couples and small groups.
The lodge can now accommodate 12 rods per week as the primary guest house consists of two double-occupancy rooms and two single-occupancy rooms, each with a private bath. There are also two private honeymoon double cedar log guest houses with full complimentary bars and each complete with twin beds and private bathrooms.
The riverside line of cabins is connected by a boardwalk which will take you right to the hot tub and sauna. Both honeymoon cabins are cosy one-room buildings, each containing queen and twin beds, a sitting area, a beverage refrigerator and a private bathroom. The riverside windows ensure that you have a beautiful view from within the whole cabin.
The primary guest cabin is the largest cabin, which can sleep, eight people. This cabin has four bedrooms and bathrooms, a large living room, a stocked bar, fireplace and a wader room to dry all your boots and clothes. Each of the four bedrooms has two twin beds and a private bathroom. Most guests will gather at the end of the day in the guest cabin’s living room area to sit by the fire, have a drink, enjoy an appetizer, start a card game and maybe even tell a fish story or two.
The lodge has 24-hour electricity, phone service, a classic wood fire sauna and a modern hot tub. If you are looking for a quick way to warm up after a cold day on the water, the hot tub and sauna are always on! Like all of the other buildings, the river view is essential, and from the hot tub, you have a remarkable view of the river where you can sit and relax as you watch fish jumping while drinking a glass or two of wine.
After a full day of fishing, you can enjoy the relaxing and friendly atmosphere at the lodge while sipping a beverage or cocktail of your choice, as you sample delicious appetizers before dinner. Even though the lodge is 300 miles from the grocery store, the chef prepares fresh loaves of bread, rolls and desserts in addition to serving breakfast and dinner in the dining room. Although the goal is to serve you a delicious gourmet meal every time, the lodge prides itself on doing so in a comfortable and friendly environment. The dress code is always informal, and you will enjoy meals while mingling with the No See Um guides and pilots.
Breakfast cooked to order with a different special each day of the week. Specials include smoked salmon scramble, blueberry pancakes, and huevos rancheros. The basics; oatmeal, cold cereal, eggs, toast, a variety of juices and more are available every day and are also cooked to order. Lunch is prepared fresh in the morning and then carried on the river by your guide.
A typical lunch will contain a sandwich, side dish, chips, snack, fresh baked cookies and hot soup. Depending on the circumstances, a shore lunch of freshly caught fish may even be cooked stream-side by your guide.
Dinner is served after an appetizer and cocktail hour. When the bell rings, dinner begins with a soup or salad course and homemade bread. Main course menus may include dishes like fresh salmon, roasted airline chicken, Alaskan king crab, blackened halibut and smoked prime rib. Dinner is, of course, followed by dessert. The desserts are made fresh daily and feature beautiful creations like strawberry torte roll, baked Alaska, key lime pie, crème Brulee and more. No See Um Lodge can accommodate most special dietary needs but do require advance notice.
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.
Arrive Seattle Depart Seattle
On arrival, you will take a taxi to the Anchorage Hotel.
Overnight accommodation: Anchorage Hotel (Twin rooms) R/O
Early in the morning, you will take a taxi to Ted Stevens Airport and depart from here to King Salmon. On arrival, you will be met by the Lodge staff and taken to your waiting floatplane for the 30-minute flight to the Lodge. Once you are checked in you will depart for your first afternoon of fishing.
Overnight accommodation: No See Um Lodge (Twin rooms) F/B
Over the next 6 days, you will depart each day for your day of fly-out fishing (weather permitting) or local fishing for the species of your choice. Talk to your guides the night before and make plans for what you would like to target each day. Each day you will have lunch on the riverbank. The guiding is based on 2 anglers to 1 guide.
Overnight accommodation: No See Um Lodge (Twin room) F/B
In the morning you will depart back to Anchorage. On arrival, you will take a taxi back to the Anchorage Hotel.
Overnight accommodation: Anchorage Hotel (Twin room) R/O
You will take a taxi back to Anchorage International Airport.
Arrive Seattle Depart Seattle
Average Customer Satisfaction Score 86%
"A great place and easily the best lodge in Bristol Bay. The people and accommodations are wonderful and the fishing is spectacular, whether you are a novice or have lots of experience. I have been to other lodges and none compare to No See Um!"
"John Holman and his team provide a wonderful experience that is unparalleled. I have fished out of other lodges in the area, including Rainbow King, so I have some bases for this perspective. The fishing is superb, the guides are friendly and instructive, the pilots talented and safe, the accommodations comfortable and the food delicious. For the second year in a row, I brought my wife, who has not been fishing for as long as I have. The guides tailor their instruction and fishing locations to ability, and my wife never felt slighted in any way. The plane, pilot and guides are with you all day for every trip, no drop-offs, so if the fishing is not good and you want to move, you can do it. This is a distinct advantage over other lodges. We enjoyed the entire staff and will be back again!"
"My overall experience at NoSeeUm was excellent in every respect. The flying, fishing, accommodations, and camaraderie were all top notch. The pilots are extremely professional. I felt more comfortable and safe flying in the lodge's Beavers than in the 737's I flew in to reach Anchorage. The guides are top notch and patient, which translates into anglers of every skill level having a great experience. The meals and accommodations were also something to be remembered. And the icing on the cake is the landscape and wildlife. It was enough to make me forget why I was there a few times each day. It was a stunning experience that I hope to share with John and his crew several times in the future."
The season runs from June to September.
Season: 20 June to 25 July
Peak: 27 June to 18 July
Weight: 10lb to 60lb
Average Weight: 20lb
Season: 27 June to 25 July
Peak: 4 July to 25 July
Weight: 5lb to 16lb
Average Weight: 10lb
Season: 4 July to 25 July
Peak: 4 July to 18 July
Weight: 4lb to 12lb
Average Weight: 8lb
Season: 20 July to 10 September
Peak: 8 August to 1 September
Weight: 6lb to 20lb
Average Weight: 12lb
Season: 20 June to 5 September
Peak: 21 July to 12 September
Weight: 1lb to 12lb
Average Weight: 2lb
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.
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.
A great place and easily the best lodge in Bristol Bay. The people and accommodations are wonderful and the fishing is spectacular, whether you are a novice or have lots of experience.
I have been to other lodges and none compare to No See Um!
Again thank you for your feedback each year, we do appreciate all the kind comments, I am so glad that you found this one to exceed your expectations. Until next time. Regards mel
John Holman and his team provide a wonderful experience that is unparalleled. I have fished out of other lodges in the area, including Rainbow King, so I have some bases for this perspective. The fishing is superb, the guides are friendly and instructive, the pilots talented and safe, the accommodations comfortable and the food delicious. For the second year in a row, I brought my wife, who has not been fishing for as long as I have. The guides tailor their instruction and fishing locations to ability, and my wife never felt slighted in any way.
The plane, pilot and guides are with you all day for every trip, no drop-offs, so if the fishing is not good and you want to move, you can do it. This is a distinct advantage over other lodges.
We enjoyed the entire staff and will be back again!
Thank you for the fantastic feedback, its a great help and a nice detailed review. Loo forward in dealing with you again.
My overall experience at NoSeeUm was excellent in every respect. The flying, fishing, accommodations, and camaraderie were all top notch. The pilots are extremely professional. I felt more comfortable and safe flying in the lodge's Beavers than in the 737's I flew in to reach Anchorage. The guides are top notch and patient, which translates into anglers of every skill level having a great experience. The meals and accommodations were also something to be remembered. And the icing on the cake is the landscape and wildlife. It was enough to make me forget why I was there a few times each day. It was a stunning experience that I hope to share with John and his crew several times in the future.
Michael, thank you for your feedback I will make sure your comments are passed on to John and his team.
No See Um Lodge is my favorite fishing lodge in the World. I have been a fly fisherman all of my 80 years and have fished in North & South America. However, I have been to No See Um more times than I have fingers on my hands. Started fishing at NSL in the early 80’s.
Charlie, Thank you for your amazing testament to such a great lodge, what a valued customer you have been for the lodge over these years.
Once again, we enjoyed another terrific week at No See Um lodge.
The fishery has remained great throughout the six years we’ve been visiting the lodge. No See Um itself is a great place to enjoy the company of other anglers and guides where you can relax, leave the Lower 48 behind and enjoy after-dinner activities.
It’s also a wonderful way to experience the great outdoors of Alaska.
We’ll be looking forward to our next adventure at No See Um Lodge!”
Lindy and Ed, A big thank you for your destination review, very helpful thanks.
I have been fishing at No See Um Lodge for over 12 years. The lodge, aircraft, staff and yes the fishing are all top shelf.
John Holman and his team run a first class operation (as his father Jack did) working tirelessly to assure that each client has a uniquely enjoyable experience.
The pilot/guides are the best: smart and safe in every way with first class flying and fishing skills.
The aircraft are meticulously maintained for safety and comfort.
Fishing, catching and great fun; the ultimate Alaska experience is No See Um Lodge. I will be back again and again.
Thank you form the Sportquest Team for such a detailed destination review, I am sure everyone will find it helpful.
What an incredible Alaskan fishing and wilderness experience. The attention to detail is impressive, friendly attentive staff, a high standard of meals and accommodation, and personalised fishing.
With three Beaver Floatplanes, and the fact that the pilots stay with you as fishing guides, the fishing options are endless, and can be easily changed if fishing conditions or weather dictate.
As a commercial pilot it was reassuring to see that the aircraft are maintained and operated to the highest standards of comfort and safety, which is imperative when you are running an operation like this in the wilderness. Fishermen and women of all levels of fitness or fishing experience are catered for. We were able to fish for all five species of salmon (King, Sockeye, Silver, Pink, and Chum), as well as rainbow trout, arctic char and grayling.
The years of experience and family oriented hospitality shine through, and will be remembered for many years to come.
Thank you for a truly amazing experience
Gregor, thank you for such an amazing detailed destination review, very much appreciated.
Peter thanks for a fantastic holiday, the 4 of us had an amazing time. Like customer reviews before the attention to detail made the trip all that more special.
Loved the fact that our pilots were also our fishing guides.
I think you can safely say we will be back next year.
So glad you enjoyed the trip it was a pleasure dealing with you as always.
We just returned from another MAGICAL trip to NoSeeUm Lodge on the Kvichak River.
It was my 10th annual trip and my partner’s 21st! I started as a novice and the guides have been patient and kind in teaching me how to catch lots of rainbows and char. We also fish for king salmon during the week we’re there, which is another highlight. We look forward all year long to our annual trip, for the fishing, the wildlife sightings, the spectacular scenery, the lodge’s food, the guides and staff and our other guest friends.
The service is outstanding from start to finish, and the guides ensure you have a wonderful time. The planes are clean and well-maintained and the pilots are extremely safety-conscious and professional.
We weren’t ready to leave and are already looking forward to next summer
Thank you for your detailed destination feedback, very much appreciated.
I had the opportunity to experience No See Um Lodge during the last week of the season with my girlfriend. I can’t say enough about the entire experience from watching the sunrise from the air on our way to each remote fishing location, the incredible dinner menu at the lodge, relaxing in the sauna and hot tub after a long day of fishing and who could forget the insane fishing! I easily caught 150+ rainbows during the trip of all varying sizes but plenty of fish big enough to put up a lengthy fight.
This trip is perfect for all skill levels
Thanks for the feedback it was great to hear that you and your girlfriend had a great time, everyone does seem to love this destination.
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