Fly Fishing the Copper River - Alaska

Copper River Lodge

Fly-Outs Included in the Package - New for 2023

The Copper River Lodge has a 90%+ rebooking rate and word-of-mouth referral rate, openings are limited, so book early. There is only one permit to operate on the native-owned land, and Copper River Lodge shares this permit with one other lodge. The permit allows legal access to the uplands of the River and allows the Lodge to leave jet boats on the upper Copper and access water that very few people fish.

• Fly Fishing Only - Barbless Hooks.
• Copper River Lodge has operated here for nearly 40 years.
• The Lodge hosts six anglers per week.
• Target wild Alaska rainbows and sockeye salmon

Copper River Fishing

Angler Holding out Large Rainbow

The Copper is a classic fly-fishing-only Alaska trout stream. Easily waded and crossed. The River is packed with long dry fly glides, deep winding pools studded with boulders, fast riffles, and deep undercut banks just begging for a mouse fly. The Copper River runs through a scenic valley lined with cottonwood, spruce, and birch. The trees provide shelter from the relentless north wind.
The Copper was the first river in Alaska designated as a "fly fishing, catch-and-release only, trophy rainbow river."

Fly-Outs Included for 2023:  The Lodge now has their own floatplane and will be able to fly up to four anglers per day to different sections of the home river and/or different fisheries in the Lake Iliamna/Katmai region. This program enables anglers to see a variety of water while still getting to fish the Copper River on the non-fly-out days. Each angler should plan on three to four fly-out days per week, weather permitting.

The Lodge also has a lake boat to access other tributaries of Lake Iliamna, in particular, the Gibraltar River, which can be an exceptional fishery. They can only make this trip on days that are not very windy as the lake can get very big swells.
Caring for the fish you catch during your week is a critical component of the fishing program. All fishing on the Copper and other area fisheries is catch-and-release using barbless hooks.

Fishing Facts

Angler Fly Fishing in River with Mountain Backdrop

Season:  June through early October. In June and July, the Copper has some of the best dry fly fishing in Alaska. Sockeye salmon fishing is red hot in July before tapering off in early August.
Boats:  16 ft. tunnel boats with 40 HP jet units to run the river and get to the next fishing hole. You'll rarely, if ever, fish from the boat. The Lodge also has a lake boat to access other tributaries that flow into Lake Iliamna.
Guides:  You will fish with different guides during the week. The guides have fished around the world and make this their career. Two anglers per guide. They can help the beginner learn how to cast or show the experienced fly angler how to reach a tricky undercut bank.
Equipment:  Flies are included in the package. No equipment is provided. Rentals are available. Wader rental for $125 per week. Rod rental for $75, with a $50 breakage fee. You'll need to reserve equipment 90-days in advance. Always bring a backup rod because broken rods are much more common than you think.
Fishing License:  Your fishing license is not included in the package.

Sample Fishing Day:
7:00 a.m. Hearty Breakfast.
8:00 a.m. Depart for fishing. If you get tired or cold, your guide can take you back early.
Midday:  Lunch on the river, packed by the guides.
6:00 p.m. Return to the Lodge.
8:00 Dinner and Dessert.
After dinner, take in a sauna.

Fly Fishing for Trophy Rainbows

Angler and Guide with Large Rainbow

The Sockeye Run Begins in July

Angler Fly Fishing surrounded by Sockeye Salmon

A Great Trip for Beginners to Advanced

Boy Grinning and Holding Big Rainbow

The Lodge caters to six anglers per week. The small group size ensures personal service and a relaxing atmosphere.

About The Lodge

Cabins with Cedar Siding and Green Roofs

The Lodge has four guest cabins. Each cabin has a deck overlooking the river. The Lodge has diesel-generated electricity.

Four Guest Cabins

Guest Cabin with Two Beds

Each cabin has a queen and twin-size bed, heat, and a private bathroom with a shower and toilet. Guest rooms are cleaned daily. (Laundry service is not available for guests.)
Communications:  There is wireless internet and a telephone that you are welcome to use for limited amounts of time. It is the Lodge's only phone line, so it cannot be used for long periods. There is no cell phone service or television at the lodge.

Dining Room

Long Table with Chairs and Views

Meals:  The Lodge prides itself on the quality and freshness of its cuisine. Freshly baked bread, rolls, or pastries are served with each meal. Fresh fruit and vegetables are always available. Dinner menus vary and include entrees such as pork tenderloin, New York steak, roast duck, and fresh-caught salmon. Dinners are served family-style and followed by a gourmet dessert. With advance notice, the Lodge can accommodate special dietary needs.
Alcohol:  Alcoholic beverages are not sold at the Lodge. If you would like to place an order to enjoy at the Lodge when you arrive, Fishing with Larry will help you arrange it.

Copper River Lodge and Cabins

Getting to Copper River Lodge:

Saturday:  The Lodge recommends staying in Anchorage for one night and getting a hotel with an airport shuttle. The hotel night is not included. A list of hotels is included in our confirmation packet.
Sunday:  You should be in Anchorage no later than 2:30 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., you'll take a 90-minute Iliamna Air Taxi. (The Iliamna Air Taxi is NOT at the main airport, and it is your responsibility to get there via hotel shuttle, Uber, or taxi.) There is a combined 70-pound baggage limit per person for this flight. (It is your responsibility to call and book your trip from Anchorage to Iliamna.) Upon arrival in Iliamna, you'll be met by the floatplane pilot for a 15-minute flight in a De Havilland Beaver to the River. Have rain gear ready. The guides will transfer you by boat to the Lodge, a five-minute ride. You'll unpack, take in an orientation, and have dinner.
Saturday - Departure Day:  You'll get in about six hours of fishing and depart the Lodge at 3:30 by floatplane. You'll be in Iliamna for the 4:30 flight to Anchorage. Please give yourself two hours between your arrival and departure from Anchorage. Do not book a flight before 7:30 p.m. on your Saturday departure.

2023 Rates

6-nights and 6 days guided fishing
$8,600.00 per person

Please note:  If inflation is over 5% at the time of final invoicing, you can expect a modest increase to help the Lodge absorb the cost.

Package Includes:

• Floatplane transfers between Iliamna and the Lodge
• 6-days guided fishing
• Fly-outs to other fishing areas
  Each person should plan on 3 to 4 fly-out-days per week
  (weather, schedule, and aircraft maintenance permitting)
• Flies, leaders, and tippets
• Lodging at Copper River Lodge
• Meals at the Lodge
• Taxes

Packages Do Not Include:

• Airfare to Anchorage, and return
• Hotels, meals, and ground transfers in Anchorage
• Airfare to Iliamna, and return
• Alaska fishing license, $45.00 (2023)
• Gratuities for guides and staff
• Liquor
• Fishing equipment, some backup equipment is available
• Global Rescue or similar medical/safety evacuation coverage
• Travel insurance
• Anything not covered under inclusions.

Request an Information Packet.  

Fishing Travel Experts

Guy Schoenborn

1-800-205-3474 ext. 1

MT Office:  406-322-5709


Brad Staples

1-800-205-3474 ext. 3

Cell (503) 250-0558