Alaska West

Located in the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska West offers a unique wilderness angling experience. The lodge sits on the banks of the Kanektok river just upriver from the Yupik village of Quinhagak in far western Alaska along the coast of the Bering Sea. The Kanektok is a flyfishers dream river with runs of all five species of Pacific salmon, Arctic Grayling, Dolly Varden Char and some of the prettiest rainbow trout on the planet.

The fixed based tent community that makes up Alaska West is situated just 5 miles upriver from the mouth of the Kanektok in the perfect location to enjoy all that the river has to offer. Downriver from camp is the larger water, including the long gravel bars where the Chinook Salmon hold, the deep snaggy channels where the big Rainbows lie, the backwaters that load with Coho. Upriver from the camp, the river makes a transition to smaller water, side channels and tributaries. Hiking up these channels can produce exceptional small water angling for Rainbow Trout and Dolly Varden.

The Kanektok is perhaps most famous for the King Salmon fishing in the lower reaches. These chrome bright fish are fresh from the sea and very aggressive to the swung fly making them the perfect spey rod quarry. Alaska West runs a spey instruction program throughout King Salmon season. Each week from June 10 through July 15, 2011, guest spey instructors will be in attendance at the camp teaching evening casting classes and riding along with guests during their fishing day. Tom Larimer, Brian Niska, Charles St. Pierre and George Cook will each be featured this season at Alaska West.

The Togiak National Wildlife Refuge encompasses over 4 million acres of lands that the US government deemed of value to conserve fish and wildlife populations and habitats in their natural diversity. Its northern border is the Yukon Delta National Wilderness Refuge. Its Eastern border is the Wood Tikchik Lakes and Wood Tikchik State Park. The southern border is Bristol Bay and the western border runs 50 miles inland of Goodnews and Platinum until it bisects the Kuskokwim Bay coastline. Several villages fall within the refuge’s boundaries including Eek, Quinhagak, Platinum, Goodnews, Manokotak and Togiak. The refuge is mainly comprised of coastal flats, river flood plains and high tundra plains. Two mountain ranges run through the refuge– the Kilbuck range and the Ahklun range. Both are heavily eroded by ice, wind and water, and their highest peaks are less than 4,500 feet high. The area is habitat to over 48 mammal species, 31 land-bound including caribou, wolves, moose, brown and black bear, foxes, beaver, muskrats, minks, river otters, voles and porcupines. 17 marine mammals live in the refuge including sea lions, walruses and whales. Three main river drainages host all five species of pacific salmon, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, arctic grayling, arctic char and pike. Over 200 bird species nest in the refuge including golden and bald eagles, peregrine falcons, murres, numerous species of waterfowl and shorebirds. Willow and cottonwood make up the scrub forests along the riverbanks and the tundra is flush with lichen, berries, dwarf trees and grasses. From the river the world looks lush with a short forest of spindly trees, bushes and grasses, but gain 15 feet of elevation and look out over the treetops and the view is a vast flat tundra plain pocked with an uncountable number of ponds and lakes, that runs every direction until it crashes into the sea, bumps into a mountain or drops into a river’s path

Accommodations at Alaska west are cozy and comfortable. Your heated tent cabin is furnished with two single beds with full bedding and pillow, clean shower linen, nightstand, hang-down bug net, lantern, carpeted floor and clothes hangers. The dining tent is a spacious heated structure with wood floors .The lounge tent is great place to relax after a full day of fishing and is furnished with comfortable chairs and tables. At your disposal are a refrigerator with cool soda, juices and mixers, poker chips with cards, board games, dart board, magazines, books, map board, telephone, satellite television and an online camp computer. There is also a fly tying bench with a limited supply of fly tying materials and vises. The showers have hot and cold running water and are cleaned daily, as are the outhouses which are strategically located near your tent cabin.

Fishing with Alaska West on the Kanektok costs $5100 USD. That price includes 7 nights and 6 days of guided fishing on the Kanektok river, meals, lodging, flies, terminal tackle and loaner gear. In addition, guests tip an average of $500 and purchase their plane tickets between Anchorage and Quinhagak, Alaska for approximately $675.. Fishing on the Arolik costs an additional $100 per day or $5700 USD for 7 nights and 6 days. All trips to Alaska West include emergency medical services provided by Global Rescue.

Alaska West lodge is booking anglers for the 2012 season from June 15th to August 31, please call Whistler Flyfishing at 1-888-822-3474 to find out more information or email us at info@whistlerflyfishing.com.

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