Our guides have fished all around the world and have a real passion for fishing in Alaska. The only thing they like more then catching a beautiful trophy fish is knowing that they help someone else realize their fishing dreams. We have 2/1 guest to guide ratio. They can help the beginner learn how to cast, or help the experienced fisherman with what works best on the Kvichak. They will give you as much or as little assistance as you desire. In their spare time around the lodge they can show you how to tie their favorite flys! (This is a popular past time)
The Fishing Schedule
The Last Cast Lodge has the distinct advantage of being a small operation located right at the headwaters of the Kvichak river. With our guided trips and out Do It Yourself (DIY) programs, with 10 acres of river frontage, it allows allows us to cater to both the serious and the more laid back fisherman.
Our daily fishing schedule runs from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you get tired or cold, we can take you in early. With this many hours to fish every day, even the most energetic fishermen will find time to relax. Most lodges run an 8am to 5pm day. By setting our schedule back, we have the entire river to ourselves in the early evening. In Alaska, this can be the best fishing of the day and a spectacular time for viewing wildlife. (However if you prefer to fish from 8am to 5pm that can easily be arranged)
Every morning you will hear the dinner bell go off at 8am letting you know that breakfast is ready. (if you are an early riser coffee is set out beforehand). At 9:00 the fishing day begins. The guides will ask you if you want to have a picnic lunch on the river or if you would prefer to come back to the lodge to eat. On the cold days it can be nice to come back to the lodge and get something warm inside you. We are very flexible and will cater to your wishes.
We have 10 proven boats we use. In the early part of the season the water is really low. We try when possible to, fish from shore. We use the boats in the early part of the year to go from one fishing spot to the next. You can stay out and fish until 7pm, at which point the boats have to be back at the lodge. At 8:00 p.m. we have a generous dinner served family style, followed by a surprise dessert.
On the arrival and departure days you still get plenty of fishing. After flying from Anchorage to Igiugig you will be picked up along with your gear and taken down to the river by truck. There you will be shuttled by boat across the river a short five minute ride. Once at the lodge you will be shown your bunk house and given time to unpack and organize yourself. After unpacking and a light lunch, you can be fishing by 1:00 p.m.This gives you a full six hour day. On your last day, you can fish off the beach in the early morning, we will start shuttling you across the river around 11:00 a.m. This is a tentative schedule, with Alaska weather and depending on the chartered airplanes it is subject to change.
The Fishing Program
Caring for the fish you catch during your week is a critical component of our fishing program. All fishing for rainbow trout, grayling, pike and char at our lodge on the Kvichak River is catch and release only. The only fish you should plan on keeping for your home pack is Salmon. Anglers are allowed to keep 5 sockeye salmon during the month of July, ? silvers, ? Pinks,? kings and ? chums
All fishing is with single, barbless hooks.We do this for your safety and the fish’s safety. Our guides have pliers for crimping your barbs. Barbless hooks allow you to release the fish with minimal harm. If you see that the fish is deeply hooked, please cut the leader – do not try to remove the hook.You will only hurt the fish.
When landing fish, anglers should always strive to land the fish as quickly as possible. When landing your non salmon fish, do not drag it up on the shore or lift it into the boat. Your guide is normally there to help you land your fish. If he’s busy helping another angler and you are alone, try to avoid letting the fish flop about in shallow water or on the ground. All of our guides use soft mesh net to protect the fish when landing it.
Once you have landed the fish, we hope you will want to take a picture. Please make sure that you wet your hands before touching the fish. Do not remove the fish from the water until you are ready to take a picture. When holding the fish, cradle the fish gently with both hands: one under its belly the other one at the tail. Avoid placing your fingers in the fish’s gills and eyes. Do not squeeze the fish, and make sure you support the fish in the water while your partner or guide takes your picture. Fish cannot remain out of the water very long (less than 15 seconds).
We are very much into the trophy photograph, our guides will be out fitted with high end cameras ready to take your picture, this will allow you to relive the experience over and over. They are also trained in the proper measuring of your fish in case you choose to have a fish mount made. If the weather is nice at your request the guide can launch a drone and video your casts. We find this very helpful to review yourself and fine tune your technique. Occasionally they may capture you hooking into a trophy. Along with the drone's our guides will have go pros that If there is time and the conditions are right, our guides will photograph and video an underwater release of your fish. When successful these videos and pictures are a highlight to watch and to show your friends. From the hook set to the release these drone's, go pros and domes make for some incredible videos and memories.
After you have taken the picture, please carefully release the fish back to the river. You should remove the hook prior to taking the photos of the fish. When removing the hook, you should use your long nose pliers to work the hook out. Please remove the hook quickly, keeping the fish underwater. Remember, if the fish is hooked deeply, please cut the leader.
We do not allow stainless steel hooks for fishing. These will not rust out of fish and pose a long-term mortality threat to the fish. When releasing the fish, point your catch into a slow current, or gently move it back and forth until its gills are working properly and it maintains its balance. When the fish recovers and attempts to swim away, let it swim from your hands. If your fish is slow to revive, continue to assist the fish. You will have plenty of time left for fishing.
What to Bring?
Fishing equipment and clothing vary greatly from week to week. The lodge has new custom built rods by the Walton Rod company(no relation to the owners), these rods are for guest use and can be purchased. We have 9ft, 4pc, 5 weights, 9ft, 4pc, 8 weights with a fighting butt, 11ft 4pc, 7 weight switch rods and 12'6", 4pc 560-625 grain spey rods. Try these new state of the art custom rods out you won't be disappointed.
In late June early July the salmon start to show up and will fight well all the way into early August. An 8 weight is the ideal set up for these strong fighting fish. In August, September, and early October we suggest a 6 or 7 weight rod. We generally use floating lines, but occasionally in the fall a streamer down deep can be effective. We suggest that anglers coming in the fall bring a sinking tip line. If you enjoy fishing with sink tip lines you can catch fish on streamers all season.
Dagen ?The Copper is an incredible river to nymph in June and July. We use pheasant tails, prince nymphs, caddis pupae, maggots, and stone fly nymphs - sizes 6-18. Bead head varieties seem to work best.
Rod & Wader Rental:
With luggage restrictions becoming more of an issue with the airlines, we now offer rentals for our clients. A week’s wader rental is $125. Rod rental is $75 for the week with a $50 breakage fee if you happen to break our rod during your stay. Please call us to reserve the rentals at least 90 days before your arrival.
Fishing licenses can be purchased online at Alaska Department of Fish and Game -- be sure to purchase the one week license for the dates of your trip. If you forget to do this we do have some licenses available at the lodge. In regards to packing flies, they are included in the package. Please feel free to bring some of your own patterns. We have a lodge policy of using barbless hooks to help protect the fish.
In general, June and July average temperatures are in the 60’s to mid 70’s. Temperatures in the fall are quite a bit cooler and average in the 50’s. Later in September and October the temperatures can drop into the 30’s and 40’s. Keep in mind that Alaska has unpredictable weather...it is good to always come prepared.
We have a fly tying table available for your personal use. Although we keep a good supply of feathers, hooks, etc., if you plan on doing a lot of fly tying please bring some of your own supplies.